It’s been quite a while, and I finally have some space to play and to write. The past 6 weeks I’ve played some with the new guild, and managed to become a bit more integrated socially. The group has gotten quite large, actually, and a lot of the folks don’t really interact. But I have managed to become somewhat of a presence there – I guess I’m not surprised.
It’s certainly not a social guild, though, and although many of the members are old friends, there is nowhere near the kind of closeness I experienced in SAPS. The social dynamic is completely different. Overall, the guild is much more focused on raiding. As a raiding guild, to be expected.
The differences make me think a bit more about Yee’s motivations for play. In some ways, I take issue with them because I think context-dependency is important in examining why people play. Some days I play for achievement, some days for the social, etc. Or perhaps even some moments?
In other ways, though, it seems the atmosphere of the guild has a significant impact if not on motivation, then surely on fulfillment of needs – in the sense that even when I’m logging on to just chat with folks (yes, I do that often, still) I don’t quite get much social. Well, not as compared to SAPS, at any rate.
People are fun and funny periodically, but not as close, and so the chat isn’t as intimate, not as flirtatious, not as … well, not quite as open. I have been having some conversations with people in whispers, but very, very few. In SAPS, over time, I was on a “whisper” basis with rather a lot of people. Here, I think it would be a bit odd to do so with most of them, unless it’s for organizing purposes.
So in all, it’s sometimes harder here to have those motivations fulfilled. So, does that affect what motivates me? Research on this would have a pretty tough time identifying causal direction, but my own self-analysis suggests that my motivations are capable of shifting to accommodate what the game – no, what the specific context in which I play – is able to deliver. Interesting.
A big part of this is, I think, losing a close friend. When Lloyd was playing with me all the time, the game itself took on a certain character, was associated with both him, this intimate space, and the social focus. When he left, I had to adjust a lot of my perceptions about my role, my interests, my reasons for being there. Being able to shift to more achievement-oriented play helped keep my mind off this dramatic social change (and being sad about it), but I do find myself wishing I had more people like the SAPS crew, just in terms of my connections there.
That said, the folks of this guild with whom I do chat and whatnot are really quite fun. And above all, the leadership is amazingly impressive. More on that later, perhaps.