My first gaming guild, I joined because I was reading guides for Everquest. The class I was playing, there were a few really boring guides and there was one really kickass one that made me actually want to play.
And I did.
I sent the author an email as a thank you and he said I seemed like a cool guy unlike most of the people around, maybe log in on his server and see how people are.
I did. I rolled up a monk, the class guide he was known for. Called the monk Whiff (because I missed every time I tried to hit anything) Dirtnap (because I always ended up dead).
That monk never went anywhere because I had terminal alt-itis. Whiff is still on the Erollisi Marr server sitting at level 37 or whatever other insulting level it was. The toon was unimportant. The friendships I made most definitely were not.
A few years later I went to Las Vegas for a guild meetup. It was exactly as legendary as such things would expect – I have an epic story I retell to this day of a Russian gangster and my total inability to throw a roll of craps – but my patron was not there. He sat it out – he was busy. I never met him.
I never will.
We make contacts through these pipes that carry an absolutely insignificant amount of emotion. Do not ever let anyone tell you they have no meaning. Do not ever let anyone tell you the friendships you make are not real. My only contact with Richard Stark was through his online postings and his tales of online gaming and stock trades. We never met in person. And we are all diminished with his passing.
(I still absolutely am horrible at playing MMOs. That I started making them doesn’t change this.)
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