First of all, let me make it clear that I am not a Christian by any means. I am not really anything, being that I believe that any of them could be right or wrong, for all I know.
Other than that, I like traditions. They can be mostly fun, earmarks on our time, representations of time passing and of our growth. For that same reason they can be a little bittersweet, reminders of times passed or of time drawing even closer to the end. (Damn. Debbie Downer?) But that's how, I think, they are supposed to be.
We are always supposed to be aware of our good fortunes. Now, don't get me wrong, me and Leala are not rich and don't stand to inherit millions of dollars. We have to work hard to maintain our life-style of gaming, travel and experiencing all we can. We have had nothing handed to us, Leala especially, so we are proud to say that we make our own decisions and spend our money how we want.
But we never forget that we could have it so much worse. In fact, it's something that bothers me to no end. It's probably the reason why, over the last year of increased activity and involvement around here, I have begun to feel a little...strange...when dealing with some gamers.
With the recent Vanguard announcement, I would think that at least a handful of the participants in the forum threads would have expressed some concern for the developers that (at least I am predicting) might be worried about their jobs. I saw none of that, but plenty of extremely mopey posts about not receiving a certain promised patch, or not being able to now experience hours and hours of grinding out time in a new dungeon.
The whole experience has left me really, really disliking some aspects of this community.
Now, I know that almost any argument about entertainment can be stopped by one side simply saying "It's just a game, there are starving children in the world, right now, and there are animals being tortured..."
But see, that's the truth. It is just a game.
The reason I enjoy gaming is because it let's me explore someone elses art, some new creation dreamed up by someone other than me. I spend enough time writing my own stories and making my own art, so I enjoy getting inspired by someone else. And while I, of all people, know the value of being immersed in a game, it never trumps the fact that I exist in a real world with more real issues than any video game world can ever have.
In other words, I don't use gaming for an escape, I use it as a celebration of creativity, story-telling, and of community.
While I do know people that cannot physically leave their room or their very bed, and how important gaming is to those people, I am also witness to how balanced many of those gamers are. They are very aware of what they are escaping from.
So, I don't know. Maybe I am feeling a little down-ish because we can't go see the family because of snow and ice. Then again, I am happy that we are going to have a white Christmas!
I hope on this holiday, whatever holiday or tradition you partake in, that you remember how lucky you might be. And next time you hear one of your favorite games announce changes that might mean the release of some of the workforce, try to forget your promised dungeon for one day.
After all, it is just a game.
We hope all of our readers, and all of the members of MMOvoices, and all of our friends in the industry and in the fan-base have a wonderful, safe holiday. Log into some games and enjoy the virtual holiday decorations, say hi to your guildies that might be all over the globe, and enjoy the fact that technology has allowed us all to get to know each other.
Beau and Leala