Monday, April 5, 2010
I was about 8 years old when I first got the D&D red box, and by the time I graduated from high school I was playing RPGs about 4-5 nights of the week. Different groups, different games, houses and shops. Yeah, I was a geek, but hey, I had no interest in drugs or alcohol, televised sports, or going clubbing. Instead, I had a social group of between 30-50 friends and another 25 associated folks in the scene. It was a pretty good peer group to associate with, people coming from all walks of life; all ages, social, economic and racial backgrounds. One day, while playing a homebrew Ranma 1/2 inspired game I met some boff LARPers. I eventually ended up losing much of my weekends to Live Action Role Playing or LARPing (think Role Models LAIRE, but with better sites and less budget for costuming) on the geek scale it was sort of a lateral move, perhaps even a level or three down since you have to own and wear some funky stuff. At least with LARPing, you are getting out in the fresh air and getting some exercise. The group I was with was pretty tight so we would still pen-and-paper RP during the week, but as the years stretched by and I had more and more ex-girlfriends around the game it started to get old. World of Warcraft was already 2 years old by then, and most all of my friends had already fallen under its sway. I had avoided it, having once lost a summer to Everquest and not wanting to repeat the process. Eventually, I stopped LARPing and was only RPing with my roommate and a group of girls at a local liberal arts college. When I was offered a chance to roll a toon in WoW by one of my girlfriend's pals, I gave it a shot. Within the next week, I had my WoW account and was slowly on my way down the MMO path. Now I assure you the first guild I was with was great, very active and social. Good people; fun to talk to, very supportive, but not quite the same as interacting with people offline. On top of that, a social guild that does not raid gets a bit old. So I left my old guildies in search of "Phat L00tz" and ended up in another good and social guild that did at least some raiding. After getting myself "epiced" up, the guild hit a stumbling block and started to fall apart. Without the social interaction aspect my interest in the game began to dwindle, until I eventually stopped completely. After a year off WoW and the release of another expansion, I returned and still play, but in a very limited way; a few hours here and there, no raiding. On a leap of faith, I sent a Facebook message to a friend of mine that I had known since high school but had fallen out of contact with, and he offered to let me join his weekly game. This blog is intended to track my thoughts on reconnecting with that aspect of my life.