I have been thinking a lot about the place that Azeroth takes in my life. This tends to happen about the same time I watch thousands of people go to meet each other and drink heavily in Anaheim: for most, this is now their yearly chance to become part of something more than they possess alone. Blizzcon, however, remains part of a far larger, more complex equation for those only capable of watching at distance. ‘The Community’ as a concept gets thrown around so much of late, but to truly understand the significance requires your own critical self-assessment.
Ironically, it was someone else’s actions that brought circumstance into sharp relief a little earlier than usual this year. Having realised, accepted and moved on from my own aspirations of using Azeroth as a stepping stone in a particular direction, I was ready to definitively step away from that path. However, the desire to write about what I play remains, amazingly, undiminished. That realisation, for a while, caused a bit of a Dilemma [TM] until I asked people this week why it was they are still following me on Twitter.
It appears, despite web stats to the contrary, that this Blog may still have relevance.
For the first time last month, my other web portals outstripped the interest generated here. There’d been an unspoken understanding in my own mind that when this happened, I’d probably be better off shuttering the space and focussing on what mattered more… except that feedback exercise brought to light the realisation of just how much of me is still stuck in Warcraft. Even if I’m not playing, the people who are important to me consider me a player. They have come to learn me from this starting point: even people who don’t play the game at all accept this fact.
I am, for most people, indivisible from this place. On reflection, that’s truer than I’d now like to accept, because the assumption had always been you had to be all in or all out. Being utterly casual used to be unacceptable because unless you’re part of a Guild or a Blizzcon group or a Discord posse, you don’t get how the Community works. Except this week, the biggest revelation of all took place. I made this a community. It isn’t a big place or a particularly significant part of how all of the rest of it works. The fact remains, however, this blog matters to far more people than I previously realised.
Knowing this has thrown a lot of my planning out of whack. I’m still processing the revelation if I’m honest. As I do, I am now determined to find ways to give back to the wider Community going forward. That starts, this month, with a copy of the upcoming Expansion:
It will mean that going forward, the Motivation quotes will continue well past 100. I’ll find other, smaller ways to give back that don’t mean I’m diverting my focus from the true goal I have to become a writer. I’ll make sure the monthly giveaways keep happening, and if that allows others a chance to get something they could not have? It is a start. What happens after that will require some work, but I won’t make the same mistake as the last time I tried to return the sense of belonging that others had given to me.
This is a way to make a fresh start with everything, and I am very grateful.