Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Matty Unmasked

Brown Demon Hunter, sneaking around Azeroth...
Not really. Well kind of. Not really though, right? Yes? No? Maybe? I don't know.

Today is going to be a long day, but not bad. Just--one of those days where I'm not totally prepared, again, but arranged to have the right transportation, the right shoes, and an alarm set. I still need to go to the grocery and drug stores, and clean the kitchen; all in due time. I'll be in a waiting room for hours, so I'll take my notebook--not a laptop--because when I take the drooling, anesthetized mess of a young man back home, I'll need both arms to steady him to the car.

Look how much information I just gave you, my dear readers. You can make all kinds of inferences! Am I going to the zoo? No, not likely. Am I getting my hair cut and colored? Probably not. Preparing to meet Cthululu for coffee and strudel? I am, but not this morning. I could spell it out, and I might, but prefer folks drawing their own conclusions.

Godmother has a wonderful theme in her writing: anonymity and kindness, or lack thereof, in game worlds. There is no way I cannot agree with her when it comes to the point-of-fact people should follow the golden rule at all times, in real and virtual worlds, because those worlds are not so disconnected after all.



But....but what if in the virtual world I want to /pinch a troll hunter who's dancing around me while I'm looking for Arcturis? What if that node my druid and a human raced to was truly a tie, should I acquiesce? What if I do the asshat thing, like answer the door during an LFR and hit the tranquility button so no one dies? But more importantly -- what if I still want to create flawed, heroic, idiotic, misstepping nincompoops in Azeroth, and not give a damn? I DON'T WANT TO BE GOOD ALL THE TIME.

There. I said it.

The issue I'm tangling with right now, right here, is if folks know me in my real world and make judgements about my play time, or vice versa. Those who know me in game, and then find out who I really am will naturally judge - all of us do. We can't help ourselves. We have to form opinions and taxonomy for the people in our worlds otherwise we'd never get anything done. From our infatuations, deep loves, frenemies, enemies, abiding friends and colleagues: they all think they know us, and we them, and then add a layer of fantasy on top of that cake-which-is-a-lie? Sweet baby murlocs, what is that therapist's number?

Look: here is the reality -- we all need imagination, fantasy, and creativity to survive equally as much as food, water, and a fabulous tree house. When we know each other's real identities, we have power over that person, more power, and potential for trust and friendships, than we can ever have solely in Azeroth. We learn from each other, change each other. Does Lois Lane learn more about her relationship the Caped One is Clark Kent or Superman? Is Cat Woman's anagnorisis more poignant during the dance, or when she loses a claw? When the witch demands Chihiro's name, she enslaves the girl. Having one's real identity is a sacred trust between gamers, and this trust is where the heart of the community and do unto breathes. There are hundreds of people with my "real" name (which has also changed over time and circumstances), but only five Mataokas.

Something to think about.

Theme movie: Cue apocalypse, please:

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