I've previously blogged about our guild The Left Claw's plans for real life meetups, which we've brilliantly named Clawcon. Our Clawcon-West is next weekend in the Seattle/Bainbridge Island area. And yes, Shmoo, its really happening! Get your Canadian ass ready!
Now for those who can't fly out to the west coast, a date for Clawcon-Midwest has been set in August, to be hosted by yours truly in Chicago. Thus, I've had a lot of discussions lately around planning for both Clawcons.
I've blogged before around wondering what we'll call each other. Perhaps once we meet and hang out, it may change, but honestly I can't see myself calling folks by their real names. At least not until the second day? I guess I've very much separated my real life self with my toon self. When Jess wants to bug me or freak me out, he calls me by my real name. And I twitch. For some reason, its just wrong to me when he calls me anything but K.
Anyways, I think Shmoo is unsure about us publicly calling him any one of the myriad of names we call him. Apparently he made the case that his toon names are all more embarrassing or weird than Jess and I. Well we'd be calling Jess, who we've previously established here is a he, by a female name. And folks would be calling me K, which if overheard would be assumed to be Kay. Which is fine I guess, though I associate the name Kay with a 70 year old grandma with white hair and frosted pink lipstick.
I think some people are also not necessarily nervous, but pretty curious about how we'll interact in person. Will things be weird or awkward? Should we come with paper bags with our toon images on them so that people feel more at ease? Should we put our headsets on to talk so we feel more comfortable and can pretend we're on vent? Will folks click the way we have online? (I do think that there is an element of chemistry, even in platonic relationships).
Overall though, I'm not really worried about this. I guess I feel like we already know each other really well. I mean is it naive to feel that we are all just good people and would get along? Maybe. But I guess I kind of feel that we'll just be able to fall into comfortable real life friendships.
I was joking the other night about whether I will boss Jess around as much in person as I do online. This got me to thinking about the fact that there is a part of my personality in game that is a bit different than how I am in real life. I was saying to some others that in real life groups, I'm actually a bit more shy and reserved than how the guild has come to know me. The guild likes to joke around about my take charge and bossy f'bomb dropping attitude.
But I would say that I'm much more outspoken and bossy in game, everywhere from our 5v5 arena matches to when we raid. Now I wonder why that is? I think part of the appeal of WoW is that you can be anyone you want to be. Not only in terms of a fantasy character you play, but also in terms of how you act and are perceived in social interactions with guildies and in game friends.
So did the anonymous aspect of the game enable me to say and do things that I would be more cautious about in real life? Thus, do my guildies have this picture in their mind of how I am? Will they be surprised when we hang out and see that I am a shy shy gentle wallflower? (Ok I exaggerated that last bit there).
How will other guildies be different than the impression I have of them from the game? Will they be more outgoing or shy? Funnier or more serious? I'm sure there will be surprises. Who will be the most surprising?
Though to flip this around a bit, I also wonder whether the experience of being the bossy tree in game has affected how I am in real life. Could it be that I have become more outspoken in real life because I've picked this trait up in game, one that I was able to hone and perfect in an environment with much less risk than there would be in real life? Hmmmmm.
Ok, where was I before I went off on some confusing real life vs in game personality tangent? Oh yeah, Clawcon. Anyways, its pretty exciting I think that I am planning to attend two weekend guild related gatherings this summer.
Oh and I am also hoping to meet up with Beruthiel at Clawcon-West as well to talk very very important tree stuffs. So I'm meeting up with people I play a game with AND a friend from the WoW blogging community. How crazy is that? I've never played with Beru, but we've chatted and traded emails for a while now and as Tam correctly predicted, we get along famously. You have to come hang with us Beru so we can make fun of our tanks together!