Alas had a great post today about her Real Life Friends’ List. It kind of struck a cord in me. I sat back and thought, if I was going to catch up with an old friend, who would it even be? I don’t have many old close friendships. I’ve lived in four wildly different places in the last ten years. I’ve made friends in each, and stay in contact (hurrah for Facebook!) but there’s not a whole lot of continuity.
I’ve moved servers a few times in the last four years, too. It’s even harder to stay in touch with friends you left behind on an old server. Real ID can help but the last time we changed servers that wasn’t even there. But Crits and Giggles is the first guild that I’ve made really close friends, so it’s a moot point anyway.
It occurs to me that those two things are linked. When we moved down here to Florida, I was pregnant and I had a contract to telecommute to my old job. It meant I didn’t go out and find a job when we came down here. We found a church – two churches – and a little D&D group and that was it. For the first two years I lived here, I knew all of two people who weren’t from the church. And then it went to one. This area…. I like it, but between the snowbirds and the military, nobody moves here and expects to stay long. You just don’t build relationships.
And then Nomster came along and I got even more stay at home -ish than I had been. I liked staying home. Some weeks I go to Walmart once and Publix once and that’s it.
WoW has been my social outlet. I know that in the evening I can log on and have a guild full of people to chat with, if I feel like it. We’ve got an influx of new guildies in the last few months and I don’t know everyone who might be online, but that doesn’t matter. I might like them! There’s old guild members that I didn’t get to know when we joined that I might just start hanging with, running instances or raids, and find that I like them.
One of my brothers raids with us. He lives a thousand miles away, but we see him every weekend, and usually during the week. Is there any wonder I feel closer to him than my other siblings? I actually have some clue of what’s going on in his life.
I have friends I can chat with. I’ve got emails for some of them so if I get really bored and Reversion’s not enough, I can reach out and talk to people. I can do that for old RL friends too, but…. the guild gives us something in common that just doesn’t exist any more with my friends from Grad School, or my fanfiction days.
One of my guild friends turns out to live in the same town as we do. Now she’s in our D&D group. The lines between WoW and RL blur again…
So when anyone drops little hints that spending all our time playing WoW sounds like a waste, I laugh at them. I’m being way more social in the evening than someone who just sits and watches TV!
So if you want to talk to me, come to Azeroth. I’ll be hanging out with my friends.