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?
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.