Friday, 27 February 2015

Geek - Thankful February - I Love my Guild!

Hello! This is me.  In my level 100 paladin form.  And this is me, taking a picture with my newly acquired S.E.L.F.I.E. camera by my war table inside my garrison.  I am a Blood Elf.  And if you've seen my earlier post, a rather murderous one.  But that's not the point of this post.  Today, I'd like to take a moment to introduce my Guild, the Outlaw Stars.

The Outlaw Stars

  I first bumped into the Outlaw Stars in 2006.  There we are, in City of Heroes hanging out under the statue of Atlas in Atlas Park.  That's me, in the middle sitting down.  R's character is sitting on the left in the hat and J's character is the big fellow sitting on the right.  City of Heroes was my first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Play Game experience.  I'm not typing that again, it's way too long, so let's just call it an MMO.  In 2006, I was totally new to MMOs and the only person I knew on City of Heroes was R.  In that game Guilds were called Super Groups.  It's the exact same thing; a large group of people all affiliated under the same name and logo.  They're a social function to allow like minded players to chat while they're playing and make it easier for them to find people to team up with that they enjoy playing alongside.  In 2006 I didn't have any kind of social group online.  Then, one day, a very large chap sent me an invite to his Super Group, saluted me and darted off.  Up until that point, I'd turned down every invite to a Super Group as they'd been sent with no greeting message and normally the name just totally put me off.  But, I liked the name "The Outlaw Stars" and I liked the simple gesture of saluting me.  So, I thought what the hell, I can always leave if they're a bunch of weirdos.  They were a bunch of weirdos, but they were my kind of weirdos and years later, I'm still logging into to see them.  We're not on City of Heroes anymore, but that doesn't matter, it's just like finding a new pub to go for drinks in.  When you move game, you quickly find your home.

J and I in our Super Group base
As a group of people we've stuck together ever since.  There's R and J of course, also Tyl, Breed, Bal, Snowy and several others who've been with us over the years who are missed.  You know who you are!  Mostly, we've stayed together because we're a bunch of nutters who all enjoy talking about and doing the same things.  Although, it may be because no one else would have us!

  People will dispute it, but we're friends just like any other group.  "But how can you be real friends with people you met over the internet?"  It's easy.  You talk to them.  If you don't like them, you don't spend time with them.  If you do, you lurk together in the same places and end up with an endless list of in-jokes.  Just like every other group.  Sure, some things you take with a pinch of salt in the beginning, but after you've been with a group of people for going on 10 years, seeing them most days, you know what's what.  Just like any other group.

I Love the Outlaw Stars

Left to Right: Tyl, Me, J, R
Duck face test S.E.L.F.I.E.

  There we are again.  This was from Wednesday night.  I won't lie.  It was a very hard day at work.  One of the hardest in the 9 years I've been there.  I logged into World of Warcraft in the evening, mostly because a new set of content had been released.  I was miserable and 90% certain nothing was going to cheer me up.  I completed a mission.  I earned a S.E.L.F.I.E. camera.  Ugh, I thought.  Why the hell would I want a stupid selfie camera in World of Warcraft.  This is just an excuse to get us to put screenshots on Twitter for free publicity.  5 hours later, I was having the most fun I'd had in ages.  That group shot above took ages to coordinate.  It still looks a bit special.  But when I look at it, it makes me smile, just like a real photo of my friends would.  With that silly camera, I had the most fun I'd had in ages and I forgot all about my day.

Yes, those are birds on our heads
And that's it in a nutshell really.  I love my Guild.  The Outlaw Stars are a great group of people.  They're crazy, funny, clever and downright bizarre at times.  I wouldn't change them for the world.  Guilds like this are the life blood of the Massively Multiplayer world.  We're not special in how awesome we are.  There are thousands of Guilds full of awesome people, all crazy in their own way, who spend time together in a world full of pixels as if it was any other place in the real world.  When people find it strange, I tell them to give it a go.  Having a group of online friends may seem odd, but it's a great thing.  A good Guild is something everyone should experience.  But of course my Guild isn't just a good Guild.  They're the best Guild.

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