Thursday, April 11, 2013

Girls Don't Game or "Are you a girl IRL?"

Since I was a little girl, I have loved playing games. Hide and Seek, Freeze Tag, Hopscotch, jump rope and jacks, chinese checkers, scrabble and rummy. Weekends of Risk and Monopoly marathons gave way to weekends of D&D and now we game once a month with friends playing D&D in a Dark Sun campaign. I don't know how to explain that this is a big part of my social life, but it is. I truly love it. Sitting around a table role playing and writing a story is hard to explain to someone - unless they have been there.

Another type of game that I have played (for as long as we had a system to play on) is video games, but I was not as good at the spinning fast, shooting and stunts that a lot of console games required. I found Morrowind and wandered there for a couple of years and have since played computer games like Skyrim, Rift, Diablo, and World of Warcraft. These I also have really loved playing, but mostly World of Warcraft. I've played most of the classes and in the end, played primarily a druid named Staar. For several years I played most days/nights and met a lot of really great people - many of which I keep in touch with now outside of gaming. For eight years we have logged in at various times - weekday or weekend - and found a place where people who have a variety of backgrounds and employment, age and location have become a very real part of my "real" life - many of which I might have never met in person. As people have married, had children and been hired into new jobs, or started new careers, we have shared in this together. To me, it is not any stranger than a room full of people who physically work together becoming friends and sharing life's experiences with each other.

For our birthdays in March, we ordered statues of our characters from Figure Prints and mine came this week. It's printed by a 3D printer and each is a custom made replica of the characters we play in WoW.

So Staar arrived on Tuesday =)  I fully expect that Warcraft will end one day and I wanted to have something to remember the character I have played.  It's so cool, and I don't know if the pictures will do it justice...

I have been writing a fantasy novel and posting in two blogs, working full time and establishing a perennial garden that incorporates the principles of Permaculture, but when I relax, I play games.  On Saturday our D&D group will get together and play. I love these friends, and they have become family to me. When I have free time in the next week, I will play Warcraft, and when Warcraft is done, someday I will play the new Elder Scrolls Online.  Have you seen it??  It looks amazing.

Something I have not shared with many people was the deep depression I was in - barely leaving the house and trying desperately to figure out what direction I wanted for my life. It was then that Rob starting playing and convinced me to try playing Warcraft. I remember telling him I didn't think I would like it...but, it's been eight years now, so I guess I ended up liking it. I met people that talked to me about things I had similar interests in - and it was like a jolt of lightening - the world wasn't full of people who were crappy, negative and had nothing in common with me. Here was a gathering place of people had a lot in common with me, enjoyed each other and were super creative and fun to be around. Would it be dramatic to say I don't know where I would be if this hadn't happened?

Maybe it is, but I'm not apologizing for the drama. As every event in life has the power to do - gaming has changed me and made me a more creative person, writer, friend.

I think of many cultures that have passed down mythology and lore for generations through the process of storytelling, and I have the desire to build stories with other people, and gaming gives me this outlet. Whether in person or in a fantasy setting MMO like World of Warcraft, it is fun to game together, and what may once have been an escape has now become an enrichment of my life and I feel very fortunate to have met the people I have met. I have learned so much from them.

To the people I have continuously had in my life - in person or not -when the days come that I don't feel inspired, I remember you and your friendship - you are the fuel of my life - the inspiration and help I need when I don't have access to the place of storytelling.

We are all writing a story every day - I feel fortunate to share mine with you... <3

No comments:

Post a Comment