I changed my Twitter handle at the start of this year. Part of it was because of the connotations ‘Alt’ had picked up in the years leading up to that moment. Most of it however was because of creepy guys who thought that because I sounded sexy on podcasts and had a nice smile in the selfies I posted, I was somehow their property. Being a woman on the Internet remains a fucking mug’s game.
However, these people no longer have any control over my existence.
Then there was that time when someone persuaded me to shell out several hundred quid to server transfer all my characters to a server they then upped and left when it became apparent I wasn’t interested in building a new Raiding Guild. I’d been very clear for a long time on intentions: on reflection, this one is probably down to me. What it did however is almost permanently sour my relationship with Azeroth.
Let’s be honest, it has hardly been a banner year for ActiBlizz in the first place. Far more morally sound people have left this game in a) far more bright and noisy fashions and b) over principles the company still refuses to adequately address. 15 years of playtime has been exploited to within an inch of its life this year: all you beautiful people, in perfect families and communities, all created by Azeroth. Bless.
It makes people like me feel even more alone and exposed. Without X you aren’t a proper player. If you’ve not done raiding to Heroic, who even are you? It remains slightly incongruous that everyone bangs on incessantly about how great a Community this is right up to the point where they have to actually support the people that have legitimate criticism of the way things work.
This is why I’ve decided to continue working alone going forward.
I’ve always been a cynical, objectionable cow and yet in the last few weeks, I have been called some lovely things. The one Guild I did belong to, and ran for years, was the only place I truly felt comfortable in because, I now realise, it was where I could truly be myself. Now I’ve managed to remove the people from my life that make me feel uncomfortable, and there’s a chance to start again, I’m gonna give it a try.
If I don’t like something, I’ll say so. That’s always been how this works, so if you’re idea of family and community is rounding on the unbelievers, we should have a lot to discuss. Yes, this game remains as just pixels, but occasionally it does ridiculously dumb stuff. It doesn’t think through processes. Crucially, it uses emotional blackmail and often crude signposting in an attempt to keep people interested.
Tell you what, how about going forward we concentrate on engaging gameplay, proper narrative and genuine innovation in an attempt to try and make people like me enjoy their (very limited) playtime, which should mean that you’ll only have to put up with me complaining once a week… That would be great. Just keep me playing, and make it worthwhile.
You can do that, right?