There's something funny about playing these MMO's. Something strange in the way you just log in with a name and password and you can instantly text, video and voice chat with people from all over the world.
It never ceases to amaze me.
And the more people I meet, the more I like meeting people. On the day of my death I hope to have my funeral (well, the spreading of my ashes) beamed across screens all over the galaxy, directly into the virtual living rooms of friends from afar. But, I do have a confession.
I don't remember all my friends. Well, I should say that I do not remember everyone that I have met.
Most human beings don't remember everyone they meet, either. But I am talking about the people that I have met through the last 10 years of gaming, and even though that's a Helluva lot of people, you would think I would remember more of them. But I don't. Granted, there are fantastic people I have met and still consider good friends, and still have relationships with. But once in a while I will get a small sense of deja-vu, or a bit of nostalgia for some reason (a commercial? a segment of music?) and I will suddenly remember someone that I had met, or some place I had virtually been.
The other day I suddenly remembered, in vivid detail, playing the game Earth and Beyond. Trying to remember what I remembered at this moment is hard, and in fact it feels like it does when you wake up from a dream that only moments before you were ALIVE in, one of those dreams that you could have never woke up from again, and would have never known. But, when you wake up, the details fade so fast that all you can remember is that you just did something very cool and very real.
I can still almost see the ship I flew, but mainly I remember the steering, the flipping over and dog fighting. If I am not mistaken, this wasn' t so long ago and the graphics could not have been that great. Here, let me google something real fast. Here we go:
Hmm, cool...doesn't look so bad after all. And looks like it shut down in '04. 6 years ago. I also have strong memories of flying on a planet..shooting at mobs? But I also remember meeting someone that showed me the ropes. We must have talked quite a bit, but now I can't even remember their name.
And I remember Shadowbane, which seemed like forever ago.
You would click to run I thought, and I would always rotate my camera around in a paranoid fashion. Of all the time I put into that game, I can only remember running by buildings on fire and thinking that it was kind of silly looking.
Also, sometime during our stint with City of Heroes (we still play it off and on), I remember a woman that favored the ice/fire tank and, although she started out very cool, later turned into one of these players that constantly reminds you that either she thinks you should THIS or that you should be doing THAT. I just couldn't stand her, and we stopped hanging around her pretty quickly after she changed into some kind of MMO know-it-all.
Strange, how many people I have possibly met in just the last 10 years.
And I remember the first time I tried Ryzom. Not only could my PC not handle it, but it looked damn awful, too. I mean, WINDMILLS? But now I know how pretty the game is and how incredible the community is. There are players in that community that I have now played with for 2 and a half years. And recently, during this Tower Live Event, I have made even more friends. They are generally the most mature community I have ever met, besides the community inside the Vanguard game.
While I know for a fact that I will not remember them all, there are so many in that community that will always be frozen in my mind as 2 inch tall digital people. Some of them I have never seen a picture of, and I have this very distinct picture of them inside my head.
And they have shown me during this last event that they can work together so wonderfully..a dozen or so of us hung out until that tower was built, talking and goofing off until it popped into existence. I had to go to the store and walk the dogs, and they stayed. It was nice.
Anyway, think back to some of your old guilds. I bet if you relax and let your mind unfold some of those old memories you might be surprised at who you have forgotten.