IT’S weird how you can have something that has been a moderate part of your life you’ve never told anyone about. What I’m about to share I don’t think I have ever told anybody. There’s no good reason really; it’s just one of those things that doesn’t come up in conversation and due to its slightly embarrassing nature I don’t bring it up.
I have created a world in my head. Some people might play Civilization on their PC and preside over the creating and falling of nations, but for me the game is in my mind. (If you don’t get through the next 400 words my analysis is down the bottom.)
My world centres around the state of Albany in Australia. Australia in my head is a land of 20 states and a population of about 160 million. Albany is on the south-west tip of the nation and 10 years ago when I started this little world it had a population of 5.2 million. Today it has reached about 6.7 million I would guess, but it’s been a while since I actually did the calculations.
Albany is a great place. There are two main cities: Tuggeranong and Bright. Smaller cities include the beachside retirement haven of Lincoln, the boutique tourist town of Hinkler and the industrial mountain city of Atherton. More than half of the state is forested and the rest is fertile dairy cattle country. It has lots and lots of black coal and lots of power stations, which provide energy for other states that have been heavily influenced by the environmental movement and therefore have lots of useless wind turbines.
Tuggeranong is a city of around 2.9million. It is really a metropolitan area that is made up of about 15 mini-cities that exist between one of the world’s most impressive freeway systems. These little cities have names: West Tuggeranong, Anderson, Taylor’s Hill, Amberly, Camden, Lewis, Sanders etc. I had to look at a little map I made when I was bored a couple of years ago as my world has had a lot less attention recently then it used to get. In West Tuggeranong is the world renowned Albany State University and it includes a skyscraper city, called Chandler, for its thousands of students. Among the businesses headquartered in Tuggeranong are Australia West airlines, Tuggeranong Times newspaper, Channel Seven television network, Western Foods and their supermarket chain, Purity. The 100 member ‘house of the people’ and the State Government also meet in Tuggeranong.
When I have been interested in different things I have expressed it through this fantasy. When I was interested in television news I imagined that Channel Seven began a one hour newscast, which had a set format, and two anchors who set the world of television ratings alight. When it was politics I imagined a State Government that secured prosperity through development and moral leadership. If I liked aeroplanes I thought about Australia West or if supermarkets took my fancy I channeled it through Purity. Or if it was Christianity, Albany became a strongly evangelical place with thousands of churches and the main freeway was called “Christ our King Expressway”.
When I was at high school I would sometimes spend an hour or so after school riding my bike and thinking about stuff to do with this. Now occasionally I will think about an element of “Albany,” but it’s been a while as I was forgetting some of my names, which I used to know so well. Back in the early days I had to watch myself as my escapism was becoming a bit obsessive, but that hasn’t been the case in years.
Does this ‘world in my head’ make me a tad crazy? Was it just an escape during tough times? A way to create some happiness and control in a world that wasn’t my friend? Is it a sign of a mild autism spectrum disorder like aspergers? As I’ve never really examined it or talked about it with anyone I’m not sure.
My suggestion would probably be someone with a good imagination needed something more intensive then everyday life to use all his brain power and this was a good vehicle. It also tapped into some of his obsessive interests in different aspects of the world. This was my happy place as well. After a tough day of school it was a good escape. I’ve enjoyed thinking about this ‘world,’ but in five years time I’m pretty sure I will hardly ever think of Albany. My mind is full of other things now and that’s probably a good sign.