Guild drama. The call of “wasted time” for the hard-core, the required outcome of bringing together a group of real live actual human beings. Especially ones who are seeking some kind of goal.
The summary of our guild drama would be the outraged cries of, “when did this become a couples guild?!” D. and J. started this call when they both suddenly stopped talking or doing things with other guild members (see my writings of May 13), and I confess my relationship with C. made this worse, along with Cherry and Pyrez’s relationship. We were all, indeed, more interested in questing and chatting alone than interacting with the group.
Partly this is because of how isolated WoW is when leveling. For both me and J., having company in all these tedious trivialities was wonderful; for Cherry and Pyrez, leveling was a way to separate themselves from the general activities of the guild in order to have that private time (they both were leveling alternate characters at that time).
The issue is that separating ourselves out in such a small guild leaves a notable hole, especially for those, like D., who have important roles with their characters. As the guild’s only “tank” (a role difficult to fill with strangers), he had a lot of pressure to perform in instances and raids and the like.
“Drama”, therefore, comes from these romances, break-ups, hurt feelings, and general social negotiations that affect the smooth-running of the guild. Unavoidable, of course, as people have relationships when they spend time together, but also oddly less expected in some ways.
There is a pervasive notion that the goals of the guild – especially the organized activities like raids – should override any interpersonal issues. A very rationalist approach that attempts to cleanse interactions from the disruptive emotional content.
Again, very boy-world, here.
My own experiences with drama have been largely internal or limited to one person. My strange interactions with M. starting with those flirtations of my early days and culminating with late night phone calls baring his soul about Cherry and Pyrez, were mostly between us; few know that we even spoke, let alone how much he contacted me. Similarly, no one in the guild knows anything about my true relationship with C. – although of course they group us as a “couple” because we are always together when online.
What, then, are the norms around this delicate balance bewteen genuine friendships, sharing, and bonds and the need for drama-free guild activities? It is unclear to me in some ways. Obviously, when individual relationships interfere with or spill over into guild matters, guild conversation, or guild goals, that drama is rejected. But at the same time, all in our guild clearly value the authentic bonds formed in sharing intimate information.
More on a specific guild drama event in another post, I think.