PlayDiary: Loosely, on MMOs and My Disconnection

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I have trouble feeling connected to things. In individual instances I want to blame the things I can’t connect to, but history shows me that it’s probably me.

A couple of weeks ago I finished up my work travel “season”, which had culminated in the month of August having maybe six days during which I was at home. At the end of this, knowing that my suitcase could sit empty for awhile, I set about picking back up things that I normally enjoy but had lost hold of any semblance of a routine with. Going to yoga class on Mondays. Making really badass salads. Accepting social invitations. Going to see Joey at the bar. Playing Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn.

It’s hard to pick back up an mmo. It’s hard to pick up games in general after a hiatus, but the social aspect makes mmo resumption harder for me. I essentially stopped playing Guild Wars 2 out of glorified social anxiety/difficulty resuming play when I no longer knew anyone at my level/admitting to myself that id done a horrible job connecting to others in the game. I just felt awkward for a while then eventually stopped logging in. I like the game. I still get reminded of it sometimes and long to revisit it.

This time, after settling back into my own time zone, and rolling my eyes at Thom’s resumed WoW playing, I had the thought that I don’t want to be done with FFXIV. I still feel compelled when I play. I still feel like there’s a world there to be explored, goals open to me. Yet I found myself starting at my character, wondering what she and I were supposed to be doing now. Names scroll by in my Free Company chat, people I don’t know. Most of the friends who bought the game with me are gone now; possibly I’m partially to blame for not paying often enough, not helping everyone feel a part of something. I realize that Thom isn’t going to connect to this world (because WoW) so I am here alone. Any links I need to make, I need to make myself.

So there’s not much more to say, except that I’ve started an experiment to see if I can get more out by putting more in. If I play more consistently, talk more consistently, make myself run group content more often, can I feel more connected?

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