Today I’ve “stolen” the day’s posting spot to talk about something that has me a bit sadden and also annoyed. It’s a mini-Cassie rant.
I haven’t posted here in a while and have actually distanced myself a bit from the public side of things to just immerse myself in the game and try to have fun.
But I feel like it’s time for me to share some stuff going on and how it’s affected BBB and I because it’s our blog and we get to share what we’re thinking.
I have avoided bringing this up even in our guild because I didn’t think it was important to share or something that I was obligated to do. It was part of my private game playing and enjoyment. Something I believe that I have a right to enjoy.
Several months ago here on the blog (the last time I actually posted in fact and did because someone was kind enough to ask what I was up to since I had been so quiet), I mentioned that I had an alt that I was playing with to see if I liked before deciding to bring in to the guild. That was one of my first mistakes because people decided that apparently it was a silent challenge from me to guildies to track me down. Several people have worked hard to track down the identity of my “secret” alt and gleefully share that they have “outed” me, so I guess it’s time to talk about it.
I’ve continued to leave that alt out of our guild for several reasons. I’ve shared before that I started playing WoW to deal with the incredible and sudden loss of my father in 2007; a loss that occurred a mere 17 days after the loss of my last remaining grandmother. In 17 days, my mother lost her 93-year-old mother and her husband of 50 years that she had been with since age 14. And my siblings and I lost the father that we adored and that held us all together. That period changed our family forever and is something that we all continue to struggle with on a daily basis.
I started playing around with the game because I needed something to escape into when the pain got too bad. I had always hated the game with a passion. I can’t tell you how many fights BBB and I had about his time playing “that damn game” (as I referred to it back then). When I started playing, I played solo until level 69 when I finally joined our former guild with BBB, and honestly I joined mostly because I felt bad having him bring his guildies in to do instances with me when I wasn’t a part of their group.
My style is to be a loner in the game, focus, get things done and go on unless it’s an instance or group quest. And in those times, I’d ask BBB to bring one of his max level characters to slaughter the instance while I joyfully gathered up all the loot.
Over time, I began to play in more social ways and to talk with people, especially after we invited others to join us in forming a new guild that would be different from others. But there are still many days that I don’t have the energy to handle anything else other than my own thoughts and continued grief. It has nothing to do with not liking people or not wanting to be a part of the guild, but instead, it’s about trying to keep my sanity and figure out how to go on day to day in the changed family and reality that I have now.
In the past month, two people have gone to the energy of looking at what lower level/old world zone BBB happened to be in, deciding that he must be there for a reason and that they have a right to know what that reason is, doing a /who in that zone, and identifying the character that had a similar name to my others (since I created the character my second week in the game and abandoned until a few months ago). And having that secret knowledge on their own wasn’t enough, one whispered me and said “gotcha secret alt!” and the other whispered BBB to comment on how high a level my secret was already.
The amount of effort people seem to go to in order to track our every movement is something that bothers us more than the reality of someone knowing the name of my secret alt. It’s the feeling of intrusion in to our lives at a time that we clearly wanted to be alone and playing with just the two of us that really saddens (and ok, angers us as well).
I know both people probably thought they were just joking around and having fun, but the reality is that it wasn’t fun for us. The first one, to his credit, did come back and apologize after BBB went off a bit on my right to privacy.
But it still took a little bit away from the game for both of us. We’ve already on bad days in the past few months considered shutting down the blog and even walking away from the game for many reasons including:
* Those people who track our every movement and who comment/judge either in game or on their blog or other people’s blogs about every guild decision that we’ve made and what they personally think about it (without offering any solutions or what they’d like to see instead or taking any initiative to make things better/different/etc)
* Those that feel they have the right to second-guess, correct or otherwise be obnoxious about each and every raid leading decision BBB makes on a run
* The constant reality of knowing that if we go on an instance run or raid, our every action will be watched, judged, posted on a blog or two, and that if we make any mistake or are in any way not perfect, it will be commented upon, remembered and brought up endlessly to point out how we failed or didn’t do our job that one time.
As I told the first person that “outed” my alt, the feeling of living in a constant fishbowl day in and day out gets draining at times and takes away from the enjoyment of our game time.
So why do we go on? Why not just walk away or transfer somewhere else where we can be totally anonymous?
The reason we keep coming back to is that we’ve met some incredibly great people during our WoW journey. People that aren’t great because of how they play the game or how high their DPS is in a raid, but because they are truly nice people; people that we would love to sit down with and chat totally outside of the game. For example, people that have already responded to BBB’s post about Child’s Play with incredible donation offers for a raffle event to benefit a charity we love while giving fun stuff to people they’ve never met. It’s because of the wonderful people that we haven’t said “screw this” and shut everything down because of the smaller minority that are negative or downright nasty in emails, chat, behaviors, etc.
That’s something that we have to deal with since we do put ourselves out there publicly and because we chose to start a guild (something that grew much larger than we ever imagined it would and that has it’s own stress/issues in our lives – but that’s a post for another day.)
Whether it’s a game or not, I think we all need to remember that we are dealing with real people out there that have real emotions and thoughts about interacting with us, and think about how we are portraying ourselves in those interactions.
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for taking the time to read about what’s on my mind!