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Today my open beta Aion characters have been wiped.  I will get to start anew with them once it goes live, but this post is about something more than just wiped beta characters.

Forgive my introspective, reflective thoughts.  I've been mulling over a lot of different thoughts, feelings, and whatnot.  I know, the thought of a Warlock having feelings is… inconceivable.

But we all get those days where we take a step back and ponder…

Several posts around the blogosphere lately have certainly made me think more philosophically about how, even an online presence and persona, can truly affect others.

From Spinksville's The Power of Memory in an MMO:

If retracing our steps in the real world helps to relive memories, then it should be no surprise that virtually retracing our steps in a virtual world has the same effect.

From WoW.Com's Study: Playing in a guild actually lowers stress:

Researcher Huon Longman studied WoW players who played alongside guildies in game, and found that players often shared their real-life concerns with their virtual associates, which resulted in lowered levels of “anxiety, depression, and stress.” In short, it seems that when you build relationships and share emotions even with people online, it can help you deal with problems in real life as well.

From Gnomeaggedon's Soul Shards are people too!:

Syrana has a piece of my soul.

I dare say she has captured a portion of a lot of people’s souls… She’s just that kind of girl.

From Klepsacovic's An Online Service I'd Like to See:

When we're offline, we're just not there. Without the individual logging in and saying something, there's no communication. So getting back to the start, if I died, no one would know. It would be indistinguishable from me suddenly quitting blogging and WoW.

…. and there were more, but those particular posts seemed to hit me the most, for some reason.

People disappear from online for a variety of different reasons.  Sometimes we may know what they are.  Sometimes we assume.  Sometimes we wonder about them.

With just WoW alone, I've played with a lot of different people.  Some disappeared.  Some think I disappeared.

There are places in game that will trigger memories of past people I played with, especially back in my active in-game RP days.  Other times, it could be a joke cracked in guildchat that makes me wonder whatever happened to so & so? Are they all right?

memories - rp

These thoughts also come into play more lately as I log into Syrana.  The guildies I generally see online today is vastly different than a year ago.  Sure, there are still a lot of the same people, but the “core” group seems to have shifted.

I think a lot of these ponderings were triggered by a random email I received over a month ago.  It was from a guildmate in my old roleplaying guild.  It's been well over a year since I transferred and we barely talked for months prior to that happening.  I was shocked, to say the least.  They were curious if I still played and how I've been doing.  They expressed that they meant to contact me much sooner after my transfer, but hadn't for whatever reason.

Now I feel weird because I don't know how to respond and have yet to do so.

With IRL friends and family, it's always really easy to feel like you shouldn't let a moment pass you by to say “hey” and let them know you care and are there.  So why do we sometimes hesitate with our online friends?  And one could even take that a step further – not just in-game online friends… what about our blog and Twitter friends?

While Gnomer pointed out that I have a vast soul shard collection (which is entirely true, by the way), I sometimes forget who all has a piece of mine.

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  • From my twitter:
    Grade A post! <3
    Although I think that why we hesitate to truly connect online is we lack the physcial connection of RL. Once the RL connection is made then it suddenly validates that person as real and the bond is solidified. Kinda like what happened at Blizzcon with us all. We are all alot closer because we made a physcial social connection. I think it will be easier for the younger generations in the future but as we are a Hybrid of technology and social interaction, we are still based on analog Inter-Personal Connections.

  • General useless statement: RL and online are different.

    Less useless: If you see someone in real life, they might also see you. The connection is mutual, even without any actual communication. Also there may be a sense of obligation since you both know that you know the other person is there, so to not communicate at all would be a snub.

    Online you aren’t necessarily mutually aware; you might not be reciprocal on your friends lists and even if you were, you don’t know that for certain. So you might know the other person is there, but they might not know you are. That means that contact isn’t about both seeing each other, it’s more like seeing them from behind and tapping their shoulder. It’s more intrusive and one-sided and while it isn’t impolite, it is a little awkward to not have it as a mutual process.

  • I know how you feel when it comes to the guildies you see online now versus almost a year ago (I’m coming up on my WoWaversary in Novembre). Back then, TO was a hardcore progressive raiding guild. Now, with TO officially done raiding, all that’s left are… for lack of a better word, us. Those of use who enjoy five-manning. Those who aren’t just about annihilating the newest content. It’s more… casual. Which is kinda nice for a casual like me. ~_^

    Also, even if I may not comment on all the blogs I read all the time, I try and comment at least every once and a while, if for nothing more than to let people know that I’m still here, still reading, and still care. ^_^

  • Thank you for the feedback and comments (as well as post responses!) I’m not sure there is much more I can add, but I’m glad it generated thought and discussion.

    It was definitely a “from the heart” post that I needed to write. But now, I must redeem my warlock image. /meltsfaces



We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.

They've been gaming together since they met in 2002. Sometime after 2006, they both started playing World of Warcraft and did that for many years. They started this blog, originally called Sideshow & Syrana which has now transitioned to the new Stay-At-Home Gamers site, while keeping all of the original content.

Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!