Monday, November 19, 2012

Change is constant

"What we experience in [game] ... belongs in the end just as much to the over-all economy of our soul as anything experienced 'actually'; we are richer or poorer on account of it."
- Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I had been in the new guild for three months, feeling comfortable and at home, when I discovered on Wednesday that it was going to dissolve. After going through denial, anger, and sorrow, I arrived at bargaining and realized that I might be able to continue raiding if took the offer dangling in front of me, and without thinking twice, I grasped it.

Today, I know my decision wasn't the most ethical one, but I had also just spent three months taking a huge step from my family of friends into a new environment, I had just begun to feel comfortable, I had just come out of my shell, and to find it all evaporating around me with no prospects in sight was a daunting one, and I clung to the offer I received. I'm not proud, but neither am I ashamed.

There are a lot of bitter and angry feelings on both sides, least of all the leadership that split off, and I can completely empathize with both sides of the coin here. I've been the person who logged in, raid night after raid night, making phone calls and sitting in Trade for hours trying to fill a group to get off the ground, I've been the one asking, "Why did we wipe?" and faced a wall of silence, I've been the one to deal with people showing up not prepared, not ready, not aware of strategies, not willing to play a certain way, and try to keep the group going and get kills - and I've said, "I'm done, I can't do this anymore." I know what that's like.

I also know what it's like to be on the receiving end of being abandoned, logging in one day to raid and find most of the team and guild just leaving in droves and you're left there trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

After being in both of these situations, there is only one thing I know for certain - and that's the fact that ultimately, you have to play this game for yourself. If you're playing to keep other people happy, you're going to make it poisonous for yourself. There are ways of making things more or less contentious, ways of trying to explain yourself or not, doing it in the middle of the night or in the stark light of day, trying to avoid hurt, for yourself or others, whatever - there are a million reasons, a million ways, a million things and at the end, we're just pixels on a screen.

And we're more that that. We're people, we're friends, we're voices over Mumble and names on a screen, we're jokes and stories and extensions of identity, our avatars are our personality-fingers wiggling about in the soup of social interaction - and when self-interest, stress, conflict, unresolved desires, frustration and fear combine, people act irrationally. They make decisions that are safest for themselves, and while people do get hurt in the process, maybe ripping off a band-aid is better than picking out stitches one at a time.

I don't know.

Faced with a situation, I picked a side that was best for me. Three months is a blink of an eye in the face of years of Warcraft. But a blink of an eye is enough to leave flash-images in your brain for a long, long time. Names and voices and faces and stories that stay with you, and guilt is the weight that lets you know that maybe you didn't do everything right, maybe there was something better that could have been done.

After being left in the dust once, holding the ruins of a guild in my hands, I didn't want to be in the same place again. So, I left before that could happen, and in so doing, I allowed others to endure what I could not.

I spent the money, I transferred my characters, and I raided last night.

Beyond that, I don't know.

12 comments:

  1. Innana, the guild was a safe environment for a lot of people who formed long lasting friendships. Personally, I do not blame anyone for wanting a change, and I agree with you that you play this game for yourself. People come and go, so there are no hard feelings about that.

    However, the way the whole thing happened was nothing short of devious, and even a little mean spirited by some actors (e.g. blocking website access even after it was clear that people were going there for communication). After raiding with that collective for about two years, you expect, or even perhaps deserve a bit more of an explanation. The whole statement of " we also place extremely high value on our relationships with each other" seems disingenuous to me at this point as actions speak louder than internet pixels.

    Again, on my part there are no hard feelings and I wish you all good luck. You want a smaller group of higher skill, and that is perfectly acceptable. I am disappointed though that there was no communication or consideration of people that were also invested in the guild. Trust was broken, and it seems to me that some forgot that real people are behind the avatars.

    /salute
    Shaadan

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    Replies
    1. Dude, I don't even know what happened.

      Last I heard, the website and guild were turned over just about overnight and then something happened with the people who came back? I don't know. I wasn't keeping track.

      There was miscommunication, misinterpretation, and I honestly don't know enough to comment on it intelligently.

      That said, I was - and am - sad that it turned out the way it did. I had a great time in the guild. Best of luck to you as well.

      Delete
  2. Ahh... I'm sad to hear that happened... on which server are you now?? So I can keep track of your crazy nice gear!!?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zyl.

      I've updated my armory link in the sidebar, but I'm on Stormrage now.

      Delete
  3. Very nice post Innana.

    Now the only wrong you have done is to not give me a hug and a kiss before leaving. I expect roses and chocolates!

    -Clasmir your old forgotten discarded off tank ;)

    lol Have fun guys.

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    Replies
    1. Dude, I was waiting for the drama to die down a bit before sending you a message but then all our accounts were deleted from the site!

      I asked Av to get me your e-mail - you should buddy buddy me over RealID. I'll leave you some in-game mail. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Sure sure... I've heard it all before ;)

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    3. I wonder how long I can drag this out? :)

      -Clasmir

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    4. It might take a while, I won't be home till 6:30 at the earliest. :P

      Delete
    5. Here you go while you wait. I'll send the address to send this to soon. :)

      http://www.ftd.com/im-sorry-pcg/im-sorry-message-bear-by-build-a-bear-workshop/occasion-imsorry/bb69/

      haha :)

      Delete
    6. I'll get on that - meanwhile, here's something to tide you over:

      http://www.funtasticecards.com/postcard/images/e-friendship-cards-sorry-roses-red.gif

      Delete
  4. "Beyond that, I don't know."

    How very Socratic of you.

    ReplyDelete