Sunday, August 03, 2014

With or Without You

Giant Godlike Fingers Optional ^^

I've been involved in some *really* interesting conversations this weekend so far, and I'd like to share a secret with you this morning as a result: I'm nothing special. No, really, I'm not trying to pretend I'm something I'm not, I am doing my level best just to be what you see on these pages and read in these words. I've done a lot of hiding and re-inventing in my time too: I've existed in other Fandoms, thrown myself about in other parts of the Internet, often with little thought for the consequences. But the arrival of my kids bought a really rather fundamental change to my outlook and the understanding that although what I do really ought to be to make me happy first, that doesn't mean I can be the same way wherever I go. I've deliberately shed and walked away from a number of digital identities because, when it came down to it, I never grasped the distinction between being naive and being arrogant until I finally had the courage to address my own actions. There's an extremely fine dividing line between those two qualities, and in gaming that can be quite hard to detect even close up.

When you choose to be a certain way online, there will be consequences.

Item details coming later today, stand by.

Last night I was farming Borean Leather in Zul'drak. It is one of my favourite spots: hardly efficient but reminds me of a better time in Wrath when everything in game was in a good place. I'll admit after I stepped down on Friday there's been a bit of navel contemplation but I am attempting to keep it to a minimum: imagine my surprise when one of my most talented and problemmatic ex-Guildies appeared online and started a conversation. Whatever issues and differences we had weren't on the table: he simply approached me to ask how I was and to wish the new GM well, and suddenly I realised that actually, perception is probably nearly as important when playing as the way you act with other people. If you *think* everything refers to you when you're in a situation that can be as dangerous as it is arrogant, being naive really doesn't come into the equation. This is especially true in social media: unless someone actually stands up and refers to you by name, it's probably always a good idea NOT to assume everything that's being said is personal, because the road to madness is not far away if you do.

One of the biggest issues in game for many people is what happens when the community they are a part of is damaged whilst the game remains robustly intact. It could be due to the actions of a single person, or possibly a group of people with the same common 'goal.' It is a hard job dealing with drama, and I won't lie that one of the main reasons I stepped back from being involved in any kind of organisation for the upcoming expansion is that I just don't want to be that person any more. It isn't about dealing with drama either, it is contributing to it that I'm actively trying to avoid, but there is very little I can do if other people look at what I say or do and choose to make it about them. As my daughter would say, I'm not trying to be a massive poobum, really I'm not. The problem is that some days, try as you might, someone is going to have a LOOK AT ME MAKE IT ABOUT ME moment and you just have to ride the wave and see where it takes you.

This is why I also try REALLY hard not to be an attention-seeking uberplop. That one's my daughter's as well.

Be a Good Repeatable Daily Questgiver. Or summat.

The point this morning is simple. Your experiences are important, hugely so. It is the sum of these moments that has made Warcraft as successful as we all know it has been and continues to be. These memories are what define us and make us what we are, not simply in the Real World but in the confines of Azeroth. However you may view yourself I can guarantee other people will look at the avatar and think differently, and that's why it actually does matter how you act in game, that your online self is an extension of the real person you are. Yes, you can run away and hide, change your name and swap servers, but the person on the outside of the screen remains the same, and there comes a point where you have to decide if what you are and what you appear to be should be the same, or not. For me, I am pretty much the same way everywhere: how I talk, what I write and how I play. That means on any given day you're getting from inspired to utter pants and most points in-between.

As long as you're okay with that, and as long as we can make this journey about joint respect and understanding, that's absolutely fine with me.

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