I recently began playing Age of Conan and having heard many rumours of immaturity int he game I was far more careful this time around with choosing a guild to join. needless to say this was easier than anticipated.
Now you may be thinking, "Oh no, he is going to start on an AoC rant about how great it is," well I would love to, but that is not what the blog is about, what it is about is the way players manage to deal with their families while juggling the rigors of an MMO, and this is something I got a new insight into in the guild I joined.
The advantage of AoC when dealing with guilds is that adult gamers are not hard to find, with the adult themes and violence then many respectable parents will not let their kids play the game (or at least no knowing parents), this leads to numerous family orientated adults who in other games seem somewhat harder to find in the mix of youth. This was exactly what I found in my guild, a bunch of fathers and husbands.
It is an amazing thing to be in a guild where you suddenly hear on vent a little toddler ask his father for dinner, it is even more amazing when that father says he has to leave to have dinner, it is triply more amazing when the rest of the guild is not annoyed, and in fact encourage it. Hearing spouses, kids, and friends in the background of vent is something I have not experienced before, and it feels odd.
The oddity comes in that the guild family extends further than the game, when you realise that each player has a family, friends and spouses you think of the guild being much larger than it really is. While a good guild often looks after its members, a mature guild looks after its family, whether that be in the game, or encouraging them to have a normal life. Appreciating that the wellbeing of your guild also involves the relationships outside the game is something I think many younger gamers forget.
Or maybe those younger gamers just are not old enough to know what it feels like.