I play Guild Wars with a guild called Dragons United Knights [DUK] and while we are a small guild, we try to get together on the weekends to play. It’s hard with half of us in America time and half in UK time. Tonight we decided to do something none of us had tried before, and take part in a community sponsored event. To be honest, I mainly wanted to go for the costume contest, as it sounded cute. We all thought it was worth a try, and if we got bored, we’d go kill something.
We got there a bit early, played around with synchronized dancing and chatted with each other on a conference call on skype. None of us was quite sure what we were in for. Then the games started.
It was amazing to experience the effort that the hosting guilds went through to put this event on. It was like they’d practiced for months just to time everything right and to know who should be where and when they should say what. The crowd of players listened (for the most part) and played by the rules set out by the hosts. Everyone had a great time.
There were games, trivia questions, random prizes… the hosts entertained everyone with jokes, rhymes, and audience participation… there was in-game drinking, as every party should have… and there was schwag… oh yes there was schwag. //carefully pets my new miniature shard wolf//
The entire guild stayed for the whole event, and even for about an hour past. We were profuse in our thanks to the hosts. Although I’m sure they got a hundred messages of the same from the other attendees. As I sit here now, my avatar looking out over the bonfire in the middle of the Ascalon City square, there are STILL people partying. It’s been a great night and I haven’t killed a single mob.
This is what community is about in games. This is what makes the avid MMO gamer sit at their computer for hours on end talking to pixilated versions of people. The hosts of this event didn’t get things to give away from the game publishers, they collected them from players that wanted to give back to the community. They gave freely for no other reason than to make people happy.
I watched my guildmates have a BLAST tonight. One of the best nights we’ve had in ages, and it was because of the spirit of the people that play this game. It was because of the spirit of giving and camaraderie that Guild Wars is filled with. This is a community that I am happy to belong to.
The future of MMO gaming is not just building a better game, it’s building a better community. I realized tonight that as a game designer I must build that ability into my games. A game is a lifeless thing, but when you allow the players to take it and build a community out of it, it becomes a force that can change people’s lives. There are hundreds of smiling people tonight because of the efforts of a few wonderful people.
My thanks go out tonight to the Myth And Legends [Myth] and Sweet Misty Fire [SMF] Alliance. There were many players that contributed to this event in their ranks and I can’t list them all, but you can find them here: Masquerade Madness
I want to put out a special thanks to those in charge of the district that we celebrated in… Trust Finland, Holy The Masked, Baneling Altreides, and our bartender Amsel The Forgotten. You guys made it wonderful.
All My Best