Friday, 12 May 2017

Beginnings

A beginning is a time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. Yes, I totally just stole that quote. Points for correctly guessing the reference (not many points because if you found your way here then you are totally a sci-fi and fantasy geek just like me; otherwise, you are very lost...).


Know then that it is the year... ok, stopping now.


The quote is apt, though, as I think we have all struggled with beginnings. They are so pregnant with possibility. Yet also fraught with danger. What if this new thing is not what I expect? And, let's be honest, this is the internet. What if this new thing is not what others expect? The last thing anyone wants is to be exposed to the full brunt of the internet's collective bile on a maiden voyage. What's that you say? There are nice people out there, too? I'll reserve judgment on that one for now.


It is important, when talking of beginnings, to understand just how things actually began to begin. That sentence got away from me a little. This, then, is the story of how I discovered MMOs in general; and Star Wars: The Old Republic in particular.


I read somewhere (don't worry, I have original thoughts, too... I promise!) that the key with starting a new story, or other literary endeavor, is to start with the saddest story you know. Then you will have your audience's sympathy and can go from there. While that sounds very poetical (and who can argue with the literary brilliance that is Alan Moore?), it is also a little depressing.


So, let's start with a moderately sad thing, mix in a little self-deprecating humor, and go from there? All in favor?


An MMO is a strange beast. I have always been a gamer. For many years, however, World of Warcraft was the only MMO I was aware of. And, my gamer buddies and I were clear that we did not like such things. So, I avoided a worldwide phenomenon out of ignorance.


Somewhere in 2008 or 2009, I discovered an awesome web series called The Guild. And the brilliant Felicia Day. While watching this, it gradually dawned on me that these awkward, dysfunctional MMO-playing geeks were my people. And, then... very little proceeded to happen at an absolutely glacial pace.


It is relevant to this story that my younger sister is possibly the most awesome person in the world. We are very close and I like to believe that the whole being in awe of my big brother thing was a contributing factor in her dawning geekdom. Can I take partial credit for that, sister?


Despite our closeness in an emotional sense, my sister lives very far away. Like, in a galaxy... So, we rarely get to see each other as much as either of us would like. Then, she got married and had a kid. So, I had to make a plan to see her and her new family. I made a plan. Seriously, don't ask. Technically, some of the actions I took to get to her quadrant of the galaxy may technically be illegal on some planets.


So, I hitched a ride on the TIE interceptor as it flew through that Stargate, engaged in a slingshot maneuver around Jupiter, and finally arrived at their home. My sister's new husband was a huge geek. I, of course, immediately loved my new brother in law. Then, I discovered he played WoW (and my sister had also started playing), and I was momentarily skeptical. In my usual, calculating way, I examined this MMO thing with great care and from many different angles during my vacation. And always, in the back of my mind, I remembered Felicia Day and her guild of misfits. And, as an added bonus, it would allow me to spend more time with my sister.


So, I bought and played World of Warcraft from early in the Cataclysm expansion (from early 2011) until shortly after the release of Warlords of Draenor (early 2015). Sadly, as these things tend to go, our little family guild slowly eroded over this time. We were still wanting to spend the time together, but the financial realities of life and gulp the demands of raising a family (seriously, gratz on the unlocked achievement there, sis!) took priority over our shared gaming time.


I therefore launched myself onto a quest to find a free-to-play MMO that was worth a damn (to at least alleviate the financial crisis). There was some overlap here, so we need to jump back to mid-2014. I found this post, about Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play. Then, I proceeded to get sidetracked by reading the blog.


As previously mentioned, I tend to be very methodical and slow to adopt new things. I do my research. Eventually, it was a combination of Shintar's awesome blog, Going Commando, everything I learned about the game online (while raking through the usual stream of hateful "this game are ded" comments; oh, internet... we love you) and the simple, glorious fact that it is Star Wars! won me over.


Reading Shintar's blog also reminded me of something I think I had forgotten. My love of reading and writing. I am the great unpublished novelist. I have hundreds of the things lying about which have never seen the light of day. Did I mention I have a crippling fear of rejection? This post (and numerous others... and indeed Shintar's blog, and the others in her blog roll - especially Calphaya and Ravanel) made me think: Maybe I should try my hand at this? Perhaps the rejection isn't guaranteed?


The rest, as they say, is history. Or, since this is the beginning, the rest is the future!


This blog will be primarily about my lifelong love affair with Star Wars, the SW:TOR MMO, literature and the occasional deviation into other #geeklife. Thank you to my sister, Blizzard, Felicia Day and Shintar (seriously, check out her blog; it's awesome) for their contributions to my journey thus far. And to the ongoing Jerzy's Journeys.


- Jerzy 12th May 2017

2 comments:

  1. I only just read this one; you make me blush with all your praise! You should post more often. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favorite blogger just commented on my blog! /swoon

      But seriously. All praise is richly deserved.

      As far as posting more often is concerned, I feel like I am still in that awkward beginning phase. I have so many ideas, but many of them don't work for one reason or another (other bloggers have done them already and I have nothing to add, for example). Also, I have tried several times to start a series about the class stories and, while some of them are obviously fantastic, some are less so, and I am trying to avoid negativity. This is, after all, the internet, home of negativity. And I have no wish to add to that!

      That said, I am not done. Not by a long shot. Expect to see more, really soon!

      Delete

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