*sigh* I’m back to talk about Knights and Dragons again. I’ve finally realized what I meant when I kept saying that leaving my second guild in this game “felt like a breakup.” Basically, the experience contained these two parts:
- My guild had become a significant part of my life because I don’t really have a social life any more, and they really were the only people that I got to talk to on a daily basis (besides my husband).
- My guild expected things from me that I wasn’t comfortable with, but which I tried to accommodate because they were significant to me.
So, it was a big loss when I had to leave them because they finally asked for too much. I immediately joined another guild because it truly benefits my character to be a part of one (better rewards, access to more events, etc.). I had encountered one of its members earlier and the guild’s name (Life Happens) gave me the impression that there wouldn’t be many rules about participation levels, spending real money, and so on.
At first, there weren’t. It was pretty good for me, and I got to grow much stronger. I earned a promotion, I got to influence guild decisions, and I enjoyed being with them. I had boundaries this time, and I kept them. No one got to text me directly. I got to choose how I would spend my gems. Until we became successful. At that point, the top members of the guild decided to join an alliance, which is a group of players who spend a lot of time and money on the game.
They wanted me to reinstall the chat app so that they could text me. I wouldn’t. I left silently and changed my name. It hurt less this time.
Now, I’m in “Spikey Ninjas,” which has lived up to its motto thus far. No one has demanded that we sacrifice our real lives or money for the sake of the guild. It’s working out pretty well, but I’m still wary. It only takes a few people to decide that the whole guild needs to change, and if it happens again, I’ll leave quietly.
I miss having friends. Real friends. But for now, virtual communities are about all that I can have, so they will just need to be enough. I guess.