Ever since I was young I’ve played video games, both competitively and recreationally. It’s just part of my life, who I am, and no small part of my self care.
One of the biggest online games I ever played was World of Warcraft (WoW), it’s a fantastic world with no shortage of things to do, from questing/leveling to Player versus Player, an in game economy, and the really big draw: Raiding.
Now when I started playing, I was coming over from a Player Vs. Player Driven MMO I was incredibly serious about – I was also very good at it. I tackled WoW with the same optimization fervor that I had in my previous game. I spent a whole day researching what Race to pick based on the Class I wanted to play to get the best synergy I could.
I started playing and leveling with a friend, and quickly realized the closer I got to the raiding and “end game” that I was woefully ignorant of mechanics, Gear and other things that set the “serious” players apart from the casuals. So I sought to inform myself, I read a lot, I did a lot of trial and error, and I sought out guilds (groups of players with a common purpose) with a heavy focus on raids and raiding. This is where I found my First guild: Advent Children. I met some of the oldest and longest Friends I ever had there – From Kithus the surly fucker from Boston, to Lecithin the (then) 14 year old girl who was one of the top players in the guild. These people and Samma (my mentor) basically elevated my knowledge, game play and became some of my closest friends. Over the years some left, some came back, and we found new people that shared similar goals.
This might seem an Odd thing to write about in a BDSM context, however, I have to admit as a I progressed in my years as a newbie, to a veteran raid leader, to part of a top 50 world progression guild. I learned a few life lessons too.
The Great part about MMO’s as well as communities is that you have so many people inhabiting the same spaces, however for different reasons. There’s PvP’ers, Raiders, achievement whores, Auctionhouse superstars, The list continues. As a raider I sort of stood apart from the rest of the community, My entire existence online was focused around my Role as a raid leader. Farming materials for raids, reading fight strategies and watching video’s, and showing up for 5 hour raid nights 5 times a week. Because of this I had very little in common with many casual players or other inhabitants of the game world. I rapidly out grew people I started playing with, along with members of other guilds on our server.
The Same can be said for the kink community. I want to explore, I want to do next level shit with others who want to do next level shit. Because of this, there are people I (or we) outgrow, or never connect with. This too, is OK. Social circles change, we progress around a different path, or simply take a different direction from those we were once close with.
Another thing I learned in my time in WoW, is that people will hate your successes, not everyone mind you, but enough. Let them hate – we used to have a saying “Are you paying for my subscription? No? well when you are, you can tell me how to play”. Over the years I was accused of everything from cheating, to running illegal programs, to bribing people to “carry me along” with real world money…. For the most part, your haters know fuckall about you beyond the story they’ve made up in their heads about you. Do you, the people who want to do epic shit with you WILL find you or vice-versa. The ones who choose to pick at you from the shadows or whisper in ears are generally just unhappy, jealous or just plain incapable of compersion of any sort.
In the end We, as members of this bdsm collective, are all here to participate in the amusement park of activities available to all of us. We all share common problems, issues, and interests. However, we don’t all get to be porn-stars, hardcore BDSM “legends”, or Fetlebrities, what we do get to be is anything we desire, why not gravitate towards people who will help you along that path, or at the very least let others who are doing what they want the fuck alone as long as the behavior isn’t damaging.
Politics, Influence peddling, and snide remarks aren’t going to enrich the culture we inhabit, Compersion and focusing on your own growth and journey will. You just might get lucky enough to find a guild, tribe,family that shares your passion for improvement.