How did I miss this post?
Simply fun to read http://wowhats.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/shamanism-and-me/
I wish we could name our feral spirit wolves. Maybe I will make an introduction macro.
Last night and for the better part of today, I’m getting my restoration gear dusted off, gemmed up, enchanted, and tailored, er, reforged. I went to see the wizard, Ask Mr. Robot, about what I should have, and golly gee, are there a lot of points for intellect. This seems counter-intuitive to me, that spirit, like GO TEAM-level spirit, would be more sought after. I am sure, SURE, my mentors in the game can and will clue me in on why intelligence and mastery trump spirit, until my eyeballs roll back in my head.
Speaking of wolves, I wish, I wish, I wish I could call them out anytime. That would be sho-kewl.
Yesterday I went home sick with a bad tummy ache, the kind where the flu may be trying to crash the party. It was a very distracting feeling, and though I could have muddled through just fine, didn’t want to risk it, or get anyone else sick.
I’m not feeling too good about a few things right now. Nothing major, just little problems behaving like uninvited house guests who pee in the pool. If I had a pool, that is.
Considering my lackluster performance on Thursday night’s raid I may be causing my own proverbial waves. I had switched from Confirmed to Tentative earlier in the day, because of changes and curve balls in real life. I ended up being able to go, but I am slightly ashamed to admit my head wasn’t completely in the game. However, I did succeed in managing to wipe the raid once – I moved right when my GM wanted me to go left, even though he said right: but that is exactly his previous point. Paraphrasing, his desire is that I need to know the fights well enough to think for myself and react accordingly. I don’t know what it is, but somehow my mistakes feel bigger than other’s. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
|Beavis and Butthead in a reflective moment…|
This recent opinion piece came out from one of my favorite blogs, WoW-related and otherwise, posted by Shimm from Planet of Hats. This quote resonated deeply for a few reasons:
There was an interesting interview titled “The Hero Factory” on Eurogamer last week with Chris Metzen, otherwise known as the voice of countless Blizzard characters and the grand Loremaster of Blizzard’s fantasy worlds. It was illuminating stuff. Chief among its observations is that Metzen’s heroes are unambiguous, uncomplicated, chiselled ‘ideals’ embodied in the form of strong white men, exercising their virtuous power through application of force. What especially sprang out at me was this quote of his: “as a dumbass kid from California, I certainly am not cosmopolitan enough to know what all these paradigms are.” Paradigms, eh!
Because of my background, my context, as I’ve grown up I’ve had to confront and struggle with all sorts of issues relating to stuff like race, gender, social class, wealth, ability, sexuality and so on. And because of my field of study, I’ve had the opportunity to explore many such issues in some depth. Not everyone has these kinds of experiences, and not everyone who is offered the opportunities they represent acts on those opportunities. Maybe guys like Chris Metzen have never had to encounter or wrestle with these sorts of issues in a personal context. Maybe they have, and the childishly* simple representations of games like Warcraft are their way of dealing with them. There’s a certain appeal, in a confusingly complicated world, in creating an uncomplicated fantasy in which to escape.
Dumbass, indeed. Girl, please. Don’t play ignorant with that hefty cajones-sized ego we all know you have, Mr. Metzen. With all due respect, the time for polarization and polemics of divisiveness is past and should be long buried. This struggle to maintain shaky footholds and filling up the moats around ivory towers in a wired world is a hill I don’t think any of us want to die on. Of course there is an appeal to create uncomplicated fantasy worlds–many of us do want simple recreation time without being constantly reminded of the negativity in the world. (But, and this is a big counter point: that level of avoidance and apathy is dangerous–we should never be totally comfortable…)
So here is my question/dilemma:
Can I support playing WoW if I know that its creators are, intentionally or not, causing rifts, cliques, and rewards to the Beavis-es and Buttheads of the real world? (And when I say “reward,” the constant “For the Horde!” that comes from Metzen’s pie hole, or having Corpseginder twist and shout hate ditties, supports and gives a winking nod to, what’s the word, oh yeah: sh*t.
There is no story without a conflict. Life just becomes a big sloppy mess of flavorless blancmange. I guess the answer is, I’ll go into my real life trying to fight the good fight, to be inclusive, welcoming, and kind to all. In the virtual world, I shall endeavor to do the same.
And get out of the pool and not expect someone else to check the chlorine levels.
|Luperci throws her troubles away on the fire…|
No one knew why the area felt safer somehow; but, she knew she had done her best with this place. She resigned herself, though, when she smelled the scent of finger clippings and unwashed hair on a fire pit a few weeks later, and the rise of public grooming practices increased. Ugh. She shrugged. For all of her powerful spells, she chose to ignore the trolls: just too many bridges for them to hide under. Starving the pests, cutting off their food supply, was the wisest course.
|Wildhammer Diamond Import Business, (and who are you calling a ho?)|
It’s off to work I go.
Here is the big question: When does play become work?
My impulsive comments (Backpeddling Powers: ACTIVATE) on my “1%” post drew some attention from my guildmates. (Told you I would hear about it later.) I’m still a little fuzzy on some of the bullet point targets my GM was trying to shoot, but that is not his fault, but mine, since I am a woman and have no logic or reasoning facilities. That was left at the apple tree at the beginning of time. It’s probably baked in a pie somewhere: Mmmmm! Serve that logic up ala mode!
Anyway, the discussion centered around this comment:
Answer: No, no I don’t. In my defense, I have a million and one things on my mind, always. I have not devoted the time to watching every fight over and over, and anticipating every scenario that can come my way. I screwed up. Won’t happen again. I was so used to the shard dance, I forgot about the other fight mechanics. If I did spend that time, to raid leader level, of understanding and studying all fight mechanics, there are many players who wouldn’t listen to me anyway. Kind of seems pointless at this stage of my life. Yes, I want to contribute, yes, I will do what I can to do so, but I cannot and will not overturn any more of my life to this very fun avocation.
His point, if I understood correctly (see Diagram A, subsection xiv, paragraph 3) was that indeed, I do have time. What I am doing is making choices about that time.
Let me just analyze the avocation that is WoW in my personal life:
Currently, I have two accounts, three if you count the trial one I used to try to get a friend a rocket. I need to clean that one up, and possibly go back to just one account. Between the two main accounts, I have Mataoka, and on the other Haanta, Luperci, and Zeptepi. Those are all my level 85 toons. One comment that struck me during a more lengthy discussion with my GM was that “back in the day,” a player would have their main, and any other alts were truly just that: alts for something to do, something else interesting to play, but would never get the care, feeding, or grooming like the main show dog. The alts don’t get to play in the raids, don’t get trotted out much, and do not get the resources as the main does or would.
All right. Fair enough.
I did not heed the gentle warning of Manalicious’ blog post, “How Alts Ruined My Raiding” because I was not there yet, still getting used to my metaphorical training wheels being taken off. In other words, I wasn’t so sure I would even be raiding on a regular basis–I just kept showing up and being allowed to go.
In general, a theme for me personally has been I went from a control-freak to not, or at least relatively. I used to think that if I organized, listed, prepared, anticipated, front-loaded, etc., that somehow I would control the future of myself and those I love. I learned, harshly in some moments of despair, that that is not the case. So the control pendulum swung to too much letting go. That hasn’t worked for me either, and now I am seeking the balance.
How this plays out during my leisure time playing WoW may come down to this: I cannot be fixed on a “main,” and I believe that my GM will and does respect my choice, as long as I do some of my homework. His point was that I am not expected to know everything every role does for every fight, but to yes, know my OWN role. Agreed. How could that personal accountability be anything less of that expectation? It can’t, and there’s no justification or rationalization. His other key point was that all of us should never be of a ‘fixed’ mindset, but of a ‘growth’ mindset –learn from mistakes, adjust, flex, progress, and well, duh, grow. (See the work of Dr. Carol Dweck.)
But the conflicts of choice come into play: Another player chooses to leave the guild. Another player choose to play only one main. Another player has scheduling conflicts that affect everyone else’s life schedules. Accommodations and compromises are made. And that is where I do not envy a GM’s role. GMs make choices constantly about their own management style. And if we all had a gold piece for every time this has been said, “GMs don’t get paid,” we’d all be snorting Vials of Sands off of gnomes’ heads. We don’t spend our leisure time in the pursuit of money, that being the only goal. For those of you who have jobs that are both fulfilling and pay the bills, you are the truly blessed. (Mine doesn’t pay all the bills, unfortunately, but I do love it.) For every player, there are their own reasons why they play.
|Snow White faints from over-thinking.|
And in the time I wrote this post, I could have been watching the Bale’roc fight again, or brushing up on my Alysrazor. And I will watch videos again-but I’ll also just jump in there and get my maces dirty and play, cause they’re not the bosses of me.
Okay, here is some useful information: http://rhida.ch/2011/10/24/blizzcon-prot-paladin-recap/