Everywhere we look there are all kinds of Independence Day celebrations happening today. Friends and family create some pretty awesome under-the-sun-traditions to commemorate this federal holiday, like having barbeques and family reunions, or going to carnivals, baseball games, and festivals, with those spellbinding firework shows to top it all off.
For those of us who live thousands of miles away from family and friends, our holidays aren’t always booked so thoroughly. Thankfully, MMOs offer a way to create new holiday traditions with our blood brothers and of course with our guild brothers, too, who inevitably become family.
The closeness MMO families share still surprises some people. Maybe because it’s too difficult to describe how it feels to have fellow players rally around each other, supporting one another when we need it most. Or maybe because it’s a magical connection never meant to be explained.
Last year, on July 4th we got to conjure some of this magic for one of our raiders. The story goes like this: Our beloved raider, Rak, loved to talk about Independence Day. Every year, even as early as January he’d start chatting about all that he had planned for July 4th and we’d of course begin teasing him accordingly. He’d clear his throat and say, “I know, I know, but I gotta tell you… This year is gonna be even bigger than last year.” He’d explain to anyone who would listen how he and his brother had made it a tradition to take turns flying across the US on the 4th to see each other at least once a year.
They’d do all the traditional stuff including grilling out the tastiest food, catching the local festivals, and seeing a ball game and fireworks show. For months we’d listen to his excitement as July got closer and closer. A few weeks before the trip, Rak found out his brother had to cancel. For the next few raid nights, Rak was pretty quiet. So our raid group concocted a plan, and on July 4th we went to work. We filled his email with friendly notes, jokes, holiday pics, and I’m pretty sure a papier-mâché penguin even made it to his doorstep, too.
He logged into vent cheery and chatty, and when he appeared in game, we swarmed his avatar and performed an on-the-spot parade, well, more like a really sloppy conga line. It wasn’t much, but it was the least we could do.
They’ll be times when holidays come and go without even a glimpse of those childhood traditions. But I wouldn’t want to miss a single second of the gaming holiday stories that we’re creating instead.
Over to you! I’d love to hear your holiday gaming traditions. And if you’re skipping the IRL fireworks tonight, make sure to tell me which video games have the coolest CG fireworks.
Happy 4th everyone. <3
Every week, Holder’s Dominion author Genese Davis opines about MMO gaming, the issues the genre faces, and the power of shaping online worlds.
Check out more columns by Genese: Collectable MMO Statues, The Trailer, AMMOnition, MMOs at Expos