I realize that it’s been over 3 weeks since I’ve updated this blog which really is a UH-OH! moment for myself – time has flown by at ludicrous speed with hardly a moment to myself to formulate a thought outside work. On the gaming front I haven’t spent a single hour on anything, although Portal 2 sounds great and so does the Witcher sequel. But I’m not sure I will play either. Rift is a lovely, solid game and I’m still subscribed, but for the moment at least that’s off too.
The truth is that a lot has changed these past weeks and months. My new job has considerably increased in responsibility and is challenging me in exactly the right ways. A big chunk of it is event and personnel management with lots of communication and translation work involved, which is exactly in my alley. It’s also reminding me loads of past officer duties and the role I used to have in World of Warcraft, it’s almost funny. I couldn’t have had a better training – the difference being maybe, that people whine less and payment is (literally) better. On the downside I get to teamwork much less and there are not those shared moments of epic win like when you’re killing that big ugly together for the very first time. But I’m having a good time while our accountant leaves me alone and I got that “itch” of ambition again to throw myself against new challenges. It’s never felt that way back in school when I was still teaching.
Adrenaline is going to celebrate its 3rd birthday really soon. There’s been a big exodus of oldtimers these past weeks and some of the parting certainly wasn’t easy – not on an emotional side and not on an organizational one. But Stumps is still fighting the good fight with the current team of officers and fresh people have joined the ranks to fill the multiple gaps created. It’s good to see that what we began in 2008 is still standing the test of time and I know which people currently are to thank for that. I still keep in touch with closer friends and ex-guildies via mail and the guild forum, although it feels a little weird to find more and more strange names there than known ones. A bit like visiting a home you used to live in that is now inhabited by other people.
I feel like the blogosphere has changed during the same time too, not just in terms of mass-exodus but overall a change of theme and atmosphere; maybe also due to some of the discussions (and drama) having transferred so much to twitter. Things on Raging Monkeys have certainly changed, with both me and Grumpy Dorf having quit WoW and Stumps putting focus on his own career and keeping raids going for Adrenaline. I’ve been blogging by myself for quite a while now and felt it increasingly difficult to place myself after so many changes – and also, more and more restricting in terms of topics. The future of the MMO genre and design is still of great interest to me, but as Wolfshead said to me in a short exchange of Emails, right now it feels like we all keep repeating ourselves and all that can be said has been said.
That said, the blog isn’t going anywhere – but I don’t know how frequently I will update for a while. Raging Monkeys was first and foremost a place to ramble about online gaming and also, keeping in touch with close friends. The few other humble “goals” I’ve had on a personal level have all come true much faster than I ever dreamed and I’ve had a real blast, getting to know many great people. But when I get home in the evenings these days, I’m tired from work and happy to get away from the PC. I feel like writing, but not about games and there’s a lovely spring out there, many books to be read and glasses of wine to be had among friends. I’ve also taken up a new TV series which the fans of George R. Martin among you will no doubt know about, “A Game of Thrones” – the popular fantasy series put on screen. There’s 4 episodes out now and while the pilot left me somewhat skeptical, it’s a long way off from series like Legend of the Seeker or worse, Xena and Hercules, so it’s all good. Sean Bean is cast in a major role and no doubt adds to an otherwise okay lineup. Heck, beggars can’t be choosers, we know the tube isn’t blessed with this particular genre.
Why the 60ies are like vanilla
I’ve also started to listen to more music again and find myself getting to know Rock better, not as in Rock’n Roll but the Hardrock of the 70ies, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple at the top, but also early Aerosmith or Thin Lizzy. I’m such a horrible music noob and I always feel embarrassed when listening to my partner and his (all horribly music-savvy) friends debating bands and the evolution of the music of the past decades everytime they come to visit us on weekends. I’m so deeply into all kinds of visual arts and literature, but when it comes to music I’ve utterly missed out on education (I blame my parents!). I’ve always listened to contemporary music, Pop and Soul mostly, with some classic music on the side. So I’m slowly picking up the trail of where and when “the real shit”, that shaped everything after it, changed the world.
And I realize that for many music lovers, having missed the 60ies and 70ies is a little bit like WoW players having missed vanilla; the thought came to me when listening to some of their chats and the feeling of loss for not having been there when Woodstock happened, to hear Janis Joplin or Jimmy Hendrix live and being there when one band was as groundbreaking as the next. There’s simply no going back to such a time when everything is being re-defined. What comes after is great too, but actually having been there when it was all born is another matter. And that’s what connects veterans and always will when they share a nostalgic moment, leaving newcomers to that slightly wistful longing.
Each time I think of WoW, I’m so so glad I was there for vanilla. And yeah, TBC was good too and WotLK was great in places; but we were there when the days were young, with all paths wondrous and new and everyone in the same boat of “whoa”. If you missed vanilla, I’m sorry, what can I tell you – you missed the 60ies, friend.
And that’s the whole veteran topic in a nutshell, although no doubt some will cringe at the analogy. The truth is that many great experiences are simply about a strong, shared feeling among a group of people.
But getting back to the blog now and closing this rambly wall of text: que sera, sera. I’ve never been one to keep up things for the sake of them, but I’m also not the one that simply disappears and quits on a good thing for no good reason. That sort of fatalism belongs to the young (*enter wise voice*).
Things are simply a bit quieter right now and that’s the whole of it, although there’s a handful of unfinished posts waiting in my post box and all sorts of other ideas (curiously enough a lot of them about comics) fighting for space in my head. Until I have found peace to sort them out or come to some other conclusion, I hope that you are all well out there, those still reading these lines and going about their own lives, wherever that may be.