Our guild is in the process of planning a guild meetup this summer. We had originally planned on doing it last summer, but it didn't quite come together. But this year its really happening! This July we are having Clawcon/Clawfest/Clawlapalooza in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
The latest estimate is that there will be at least 8 of us there, with as many as perhaps 11 folks. I think having 8+ people come is pretty good considering that we are a 10 man raiding guild! We'll even have a couple of crazy canucks drive down from Canada! My plan is to fly out to Seattle from O'Hare, where Sam will meet me so we can begin the craziness on the flight over.
There is going to be a lot of interesting things for us to discover and learn at Clawcon, including:
* Will we call each other by our real names or toon names?
* How much salad can Shmoo really eat?
* What kind of yummies will the boys cook for us? (I have declared that the girls are doing nothing this weekend!)
* What happens when you lock Sam and Nkm together in a room overnight?
* Will we need the medical services of our personal medic Nico?
* What will happen once Shmoo finds out what the M is Nkm really stands for?
* Will Kal flirt with all the ladies in person like he does in game?
* Will K give Jess as much crap in person as she does in game? (Probable)
* What happens when you bring guildies, most of whom have never met before, under one roof with an abundance of alcohol?
Hmmm, important questions to ponder. The whole bit about wondering what happens when you bring guildies under one roof for a weekend sounds like MTV's The Real World, Left Claw style. Will there be drama?
Jess joked that if things get weird or uncomfortable, we can all bring our headsets and put them on to pretend we are just talking to each other on vent. Haha. Though somehow I don't think that will be necessary. Sure, its hard to know if people will click in person, but I have a feeling that folks will get along just fine.
I'm actually very interested to see if we'll call each other by our real names or not. Even though I know the real names of many of these folks, I just don't think I will be able to call them by their real names. Perhaps others will use real names, but for me these familiar and recognizable voices on vent are in my mind tied to their toon names.
But it will be interesting to see how folks may be different in person than they are in game, or as they are perceived by others in game. People have mentioned to me that they are much more shy or outgoing in real life. I personally am much less bitchy and opinionated in real life. Er, maybe. Though in all seriousness, I am not as talkative in real life as I may be in game.
I do think that the online vehicle of the game allows people the anonymity or space to be different than they are in real life. Or perhaps people are even different in game without realizing it themselves! How will all of this play out in our get together? Hmmm. /ponder
Then there's the whole thing of knowing what each other looks like. Jess and I did the facebook thing over a year and a half ago and a lot of other guildies have followed suit. There has recently been a rash of facebooking (Sam calls it a facebook orgy) within the guild, perhaps to prepare us for Clawcon. I have to pause here to publicly call out Nkm for still failing the rest of us on Facebook.
Anyways, I think it's very interesting when you see what someone looks like when you've had no idea for so long, which will be even more interesting when we meet face to face. I mean you've established some level of a relationship with someone over a period of time. Even within strictly platonic relationships, how do physical appearances affect perceptions or the relationship itself? Do they? Hmmm.
The last thoughts I have around Clawcon are how things will be afterwards. Will hanging out for 4 days with each other make us a stronger guild? Yes, I can see the bonds becoming stronger. But will it make it harder if someone leaves the game or the guild? Yeah, I'm sure it will. Will having somewhat of a relationship outside the game make it harder if any issues come up within the game? Perhaps.
Damn, I've been philosophical and deep today. Lots of questions. At the end of the day though, I have no doubts that things will be an absolute riot (perhaps dangerously so) and that we will have a great time. Clawcon 2010 baby!