If you ever find yourself longing for the good old days (namely, those of Regency-era England), then I have a delightful surprise for you that will make you happier than Elinor Dashwood at the end of Sense and Sensibility.
No, time travel still hasn’t been invented (we should probably stop holding our breath), but the next best thing has actually been lurking on the internet for over a year. Ever, Jane is the online virtual reality game you never knew you needed, in which players get to create their own avatars using some of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters as inspiration.
Unlike many other massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) out there, there’s no sword slinging or face slapping in Ever, Jane. Creator Judy Tyrer wants the experience to be as historically accurate as possible, which means no bloody battles à la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Despite this, Tyrer insists there’s conflict aplenty, but the battles are done with words and wit instead of swords and muskets.
On its website, Three Turns Productions states that it is committed to creating “historically accurate worlds based on classic literature,” and that the ultimate goal of Ever, Jane is to allow gamers “to experience, as much as possible in the modern age, the economic, legal, and social systems of the historic period.” If this sounds like the most exciting innovation since the Spencer Jacket, you might want to consider signing up.
On the surface, Regency England is known for its rigid portrait of etiquette and manners. But just as the reality of this era had its seedier and sexier side, so too does Ever, Jane. While the name of the game is still very much in line with Jane Austen’s squeaky-clean sense of social propriety, Tyrer doesn’t deny that some players still need an outlet for their naughtier fantasies. To satisfy this particular demand, the innovators at Three Turns Productions added private chat rooms where players can indulge in the kind of behaviors that would make Lady Catherine de Bourgh do this:
So if you’ve been itching to attend a ball, gossip about the neighbors, or simply flaunt your newest muslin gown about town, this might be the closest you’re ever going to get to living out that fantasy. Just remember to be discreet about your more amorous desires. You can only afford so much damage to your reputation, after all.
Feature image via Focus Features