In my own little group, I have met three people from the ls:
1. My own boyfriend (duh)
2. Hiroshiko; I grew up with him since he was a wee little ankle biter
3. Reiokyu during Sakura Con 2010
Well, make that four:
4. A friend of Kiln’s who was in my Chinese History class at the University of Washington and whom I remember fondly as the guy who turned in his final paper just minutes after the final had started.
Other than that, I have known players to live close to or around the area, but have never really met any of them. Then in comes Maiev who isn’t even from Ragnarok and whom I have only played briefly with during my brief stint on the Fenrir server. I’ve known the guy mostly due to the fact we are bloggers (go go blogger community!) and at one point we were on BBM and working on FFXIVblog.com together.
Last Saturday we met in downtown Seattle along with Nomnom from the Dalmatica Network. It was fun listening to stories about Ragnarok then and of course now, and then talking about the state of XI as it is now. Its a conversation piece that seems to be prevalent in many circles I am in, but one I will not explore here since its now isn’t really the time. But it made me think of just how much more fun the people I meet online are than those I know offline. It has been a realization I have come to when talking to people I know locally, because although they are great people… they just aren’t as full of super-duper awesome sauce as the more competent players I’ve met on FFXI (cause the dumb ones are just that: dumb). Sure we’re talking bits of code and digital data, but… even so, a lot of people had a lot of passion for what they did. Its always fun to see that passion in people’s eyes and in their intonation when they speak. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly is all there and you can’t help but relate because part of you has also experienced that to some degree.
I guess what doesn’t help me at all is that a lot of my friends in real life are mostly, um, older ladies who have a spouse and kids. Ring on finger? Nope. Carrying a child for nine months and popping them out from between my legs? Most definitely no. Sure its hard talking to others about my gaming life, but… when I actually do talk to these people who understand, its like a whole new world of excitement and joy.
I guess that’s why I can’t seem to be thankful enough that I got TeamDerp on my side and was able to meet Maiev and Nomnom in person. They get that part of you that not many in the “real” world would, and are much easier to be yourself around because, hey, we’re all dorks/geeks/nerds/whatever anyway, right?
Now if only I can think of a cheap way to get the rest of TeamDerp onto the west coast for a convention get together.