** Update: I wrote this post up fairly quickly this morning. I am bad about writing something, doing a quick proof-reading and then posting it. I do not take the time to revise things and make them sound better. There are a couple of instances below where I said I wasn’t affected by the drama that has recently occurred in my guild. But those words aren’t accurate. Of course it has had an effect on me. My friends are no longer friends with each other, things are tense and strained, people are gone and people are bitter. It affects me. What I should have said is the drama didn’t involve me. I cannot determine who’s story rings the most truth because I didn’t witness any of it and none of the parties involved have ever acted or talked negatively to me. I just wanted to clear that up because saying it didn’t affect me made me sound like I didn’t care about anyone and that’s simply not true. I care about all of them.**
This January marks the beginning of my 4th year in World Of Warcraft, a game my brother had been trying to talk me into playing for at least a year before I ever did. I held out because I had heard stories about how addicting it was and I have always been someone who enjoys going out socially with friends and family as much as possible. But he finally convinced me to try the 14 day free trial during the winter days of January 2007 when I was mostly stuck in the house. I immediately loved it (like I was afraid I would) and created a permanent account before the trial was even over. I joined the guild my brother was in immediately because he and one of my real life friends from work (hi David) were in it and they told me I had to be too. I had no idea really what a guild even was, but I had one. Over the past 3 years there have been 3 other people from my life outside the game who have also joined this guild, 2 of which are very dear friends of mine. And David had other friends who lived in the same local area as me and played, so I actually got a chance to meet several guildies at a few LAN parties and have gotten to know them outside of the game.
Over the years I have also developed great friendships with some fellow guild mates who don’t live locally. It’s probably hard for people who don’t have much of an internet life to understand how you can call someone a friend if you only know them online, but trust me, it’s easy to do. These are people that I chat with for hours a week, who’ve offered their help and support to me (even if it is in-game I’m referring to), who I’ve logged into Vent with and actually heard their voices and talked with them. I follow them on Facebook and through their blogs and Twitter accounts, etc. Some of these people talk to me more than certain members of my family do. Yes, they are friends.
Like any guild, there’s drama. I’ve seen a few people rage quit or get kicked over the years and we’ve had people who have had to quit because of personal life. While it’s always sad to see someone go, none of these had ever really had any effect on me at all. But recently, that has changed. Our guild is suffering a meltdown of sorts. Instead of just 1 or 2 people leaving for their individual reasons, we have handfuls of people leaving and all for connected reasons. Guild officers have left. People who have been a big part of my WoW life, people who I absolutely loved to log in and see, people who I do consider friends… are gone now. The past month or so has been one surprise after another with drama and gquits. Our guild forum is filled with goodbye messages and whispered chats are taking place in-game.
As much as I wanted to avoid hearing anything, if you are friends with people on both sides of the split, you’re gonna eventually hear what happened. I’ve heard/read several sides of it. Some people seem to be wondering WHY I’m not more upset about what has happened while others seem to be just waiting for WHEN I will be become upset about what happened. But here’s the thing everyone needs to understand… it’s just a game. I don’t want to belittle anyone by saying that and I don’t mean to be disrespectful to anyone who is seriously upset over what they’re feeling about all of this. But, none of what happened ever happened to me personally. I do not do drama. I don’t ever pick sides because I love everyone. It’s just my nature to be happy. Maybe you think I should be upset that my friends were treated like this. But guess what? I have friends on both sides of this thing so how do I determine who is right, who is wrong and who got treated badly? I don’t have to because I wasn’t involved in any of the original issues. I’ll never know who’s telling the story correctly. And it’s not worth my time to even try… because it’s just a game. I can still play the game and I can still talk to all of my friends (as long as they remain on the same server as me) while I’m logged in. I can even still run heroics with any of them that remain on the same server, they just simple have a different guild name now. I’m sorry everyone is upset with each other. I’m sorry for the stress my friends are feeling. I’m sorry we can’t all be one big happy family. But really, it doesn’t affect me or my game at all. And I hope me saying that doesn’t piss anyone off.
My guild just seems like part of the game to me. I can’t imagine playing without being in it. I never searched for a guild or joined one based on criteria I had in mind. It just simply came with the game because my brother put me in it. And I like it there. Yes, there have been troubles recently and there have been drastic changes and we may or may not have an uncertain future. But I log in just to have fun playing a game. It’s supposed to be an escape from real life. A way of forgetting your troubles. It should never be a source of stress or frustration (except of course for when you are wiping repeatedly on a boss). If I ever get to the point where I am seriously upset about in-game relationships or I dread logging in… then I’ll quit playing that day because it would no longer be a game. So yes, I’m staying in my guild not because I’ve picked sides, but because it’s my guild. I am ignoring the drama. I am concerned about all of my friends and I am sorry they are going through this, but it has no bearing on my game play.
In closing, I have no idea whether any of my WoW friends will ever read this but just in case they do I want to say: I value your friendship, I look forward to remaining in contact with you, I’m sorry your feelings were hurt the way they were. But I am not choosing sides; I do not believe one person over another. I refuse to. I have no way of gauging who is telling a truer version. I’m over it. I’m just playing a game. I love you all.