Monday, December 13, 2010

Shared Topic: Real Life Intruding on Game Life

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is brought to us by DragonRay at Azerothian Life.

Do you think your real life job affects how you see people/situations in game and do you use the same methods in game you would use at work to diffuse situations? For example are you the type to just boot people/leave guilds because this is a game or would you try and sort it out considering you wouldn't just fire someone/quit your job if someone/or situation was being nasty?
The post on this, as well as other takes on the question can be found here

To me, the title of the topic and the actual question could be two completely different things.

The Question

I think the actual question here really boils down to how a person views him/herself. We each put forth different personalities and different faces for every situation we are in. We may have a different mask for work, than the one we show to our family, than how we act when we are alone. All are facets of our one true self, but some are closer to the reality than others.

To me, this question almost seems foreign to me (or backwards). My work self is definitely not the true me. I feel much more at home and willing to be myself in game than I do at my workplace (or anywhere else out in public). The methods I use at work to diffuse situations are more likely to be adapted from things I have seen or done in game or that have worked in family or personal situations, than for my work behavior to migrate home. My true identity lies closer to the gamer than to the employee.

In the true sense of myself, I am a polite, friendly, honest, but passionate and stubborn person. This is projected into everything I do, whether it be work, the game, or this blog. I would not "just leave a guild" because one person pissed me off. The time I have spent guild hopping, I have agonized over each decision. Sometimes I don't communicate my concerns to guild leadership or others, and then perhaps it appears that I am "just quitting." The reality is far from the truth.

I do think that when it comes to guild management that some of the lessons of corporate society can be beneficial. The use of applications and interviews is one of these, but they are only useful up to a certain point. The bottom line, the game is just that, a game. You are not paying people a salary to show up on time and prepared for raids, they have to want to do that, either as a benefit to the group or for themselves. For that reason, the work analogy simply breaks down at a point, and it should. Afterall, who wants to come home from work just to go to work for their guild?

The Title

Real Life intruding on Game Life.

What does that phrase even mean?

Do these terms even mean something different?

Sometimes I think that I am living on some other planet apart from what "normal" people experience. Maybe it's because I am a shy introvert. Maybe it is something else, some misfire in my brain that makes things slightly skewed.

Personally, I don't find a lot of difference between Real Life and Game Life. There are jerks in both parts of my life that rub me the wrong way. There are friends in both parts of my life that make things wonderful. Is one better than the other? Is Game Life less real than Real Life? Obviously it is to the extent that it is virtual, but the connections we make with other people, the emotions we feel, the joys and the disappointments... Are these less real than Real Life experiences of the same things?

I could keep digging, because the feeling I get from other people I speak to about this, is that I am mentally disturbed to be so entrenched in a game to feel this way. I'm not talking about interactions with NPCs though, I'm talking about the other players in the game, the connections we make with them. This, to me, is the heartbeat of the MMO genre, and I think it is beautiful.

I've felt this way since I stepped into my very first BBS. The internet, since it's inception, has been breaking the barriers of physicality. Sometimes the connections we feel for people in this virtual world seem far more real, simply because we don't have to worry about all of the physical signals we might get by being truly with that person. We can dig deeper, see more clearly, learn more, by pushing past the judgements the world places upon appearance.

The danger of these connections is dishonesty, and it is out there. I'm one of those that is willing to brave this possible disaster than limit myself to my own corner of "Real Life" and miss out on so much more of the world.

In the end, my Real Life intrudes upon my Game Life, and my Game Life intrudes upon my Real Life. Both, to me, are really just my Life.

Are you with me, or am I just insane?


  1. I am definitely with you but then I’m another shy introvert so we may both be insane. I am exactly the same person in-game or out. The people I meet in-game are as real to me as those I meet outside the game. Great post, it’s nice to know I’m not the only insane, shy introvert in Azeroth.

  2. Thanks a million for commenting. It means a lot to me to know I'm not alone.

  3. I find your repsonse to this absolutely delightful....maybe not the right word in all hoensty, however I have always felt the connection to the poeple in the game are just as important as my real life ones and yet I have battled so many of my close friends thinking the opposite. They don't know the in game person, so they feel they can as nasty as they like with no consequence.....I have never understood that - sort of takes away the entire purpose of an MMO if you are not going to connect with other people....

    You are definitely not alone in your thoughts :D

  4. I couldn't agree more, DragonRay. Thank you for linking to me on your blog, and thank you for sharing this topic and sharing your thoughts and feelings.