Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This post kind of makes me seem like an asshole, but I'm really just awkward.

Compared to IRL, my rules for socializing within my guild are quite different, especially when it comes to fellow raiders and especially in a 25-man guild. When I'm out at a club or a party or even just standing outside of a building having a cigarette, I'll interact. I'll talk to people and find out what they're about. If someone turns out to be a douchebag, I can give the polite smile and incrementally edge away. But if we have similar interests and a good rapport, we can totally be facebook friends.


However, when it comes to guildies, I've always kept a policy that I like to call the "office cleaning lady." That is, I'm my usual amount of friendly to anyone who wants to speak with me, and for anyone who does not, I'm just a person they see every day and that's it. It's not to be an anti-social jerk or because I particularly hate people. Rather, it's a strategy I utilize to minimize the situations in which I end up realizing that I spend almost twenty hours a week with someone I probably couldn't stand in real life. Sure, that happens outside of gaming too, and working anywhere inevitably involves being courteous to people one wouldn't necessarily invite to a birthday party. But in WoW, it's highly more likely that I could run into someone who thinks "God hates gays" or asks stupid questions like "If plants had feelings, would you still be vegetarian?" than I ever would in the protective bubble that I've created by living in NYC for years and then never leaving my apartment after moving away. Somehow, the raid environment feels more volatile than the real-life workplace, and every personal relationship or spat of drama has the potential to create toxic tension that makes raiding unbearably uncomfortable or to even dismantle the entire team.

That's not to say I don't develop and value friendships in game, because I definitely do. However, after years of semi-success as an office cleaning lady who manages to befriend one or two of the pencil pushers and trades a "good morning" and a "good night" with several others, I've somehow found myself willingly attending a convention at which almost thirty of my guildies from all over the continent are gathering and sharing the same house...

It's time to pull out my rusty social skills and polish them with some alcohol. I'll be back with some Blizzcon swag, embarrassing photos, and of course all the big convention news because RP Your Life! is heading to California this weekend.


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