I always try to explain FFXI in a way that non-players will "get it", but I feel like I usually fail. How can you explain how real of a world it is? How it doesn't seem one little tiny bit like a game?
Look at this screenshot. (I left it full-size for effect.) That's not from a cutscene or anything, that's what I see every day there. I can walk in any direction you see (and the ones you don't, too!). Look at all the options! Look at all the details!
Ah, maybe I shouldn't have tried to do this while my brain is already asleep. It's just that that screenshot shows how many opportunities there are! You can go in any direction -- and not just on the land but in your "life", too! You can help people or you can hurt people. You can grow strong in whichever way you choose. You can make a name for yourself -- a good one or a bad one.
And a last note before I'm unable to see straight: Somehow (amazingly) I leveled chocobo digging again. :D Zero wait time between digs! That leads to many complications (macros, RL hand/arm issues) but those can be worked out later! I've made more progress on digging than many (most?) NA players have. So nice! (Hey, I may not be level 75 yet, but I sure as heck am good at digging junk out of the ground! :P )
And now: To bed! I see I have a mess of email, but I'll deal with that in the morning. Hopefully work won't be too evil...