This weekend found me nervously sitting on a train running through the glorious Oxfordshire countryside on the way to our alliance/ guild meet in Bath. The weather was fantastic. Lambs bounced around in fields, pale blossoms studded the darker trees, the grass was that particular vibrant shade of green that you only get in countries that have a lot of rainfall, and the train was full of people travelling to visit friends for the long holiday weekend. It probably would have smelled nice too if it hasn’t been for the diesel fumes.
England can actually be very pretty if you catch it on that one sunny day in late Spring. But that still doesn’t excuse Wordsworth (I still have issues from having to study him at school). Bath is also beautiful, all built from the same sandy-coloured limestone and elegant Georgian architecture. On this occasion, we were there for the company and for the beer. Both of which were consumed in abundance.
There is no word for the feeling you get just as you walk into a room in which there will be several people you know very well even though you have never met in person. Maybe in the past it might have been like this for people who had spent years as penpals, pouring out their hearts to each other on paper. In the internet era, it happens more and more often.
There’s a brief pause as you look over at the guys in the corner (do they look geeky enough? do you look geeky enough?), then suddenly everyone is talking at once and you sit down — among friends.
Maybe it crosses your mind briefly as to whether people look the way you were expecting. Some will, some won’t. But miraculously, about 30s after everyone starts talking, it completely ceases to matter. I’d love to say more about what we actually talked about, of course much of it was about the game, about our alliance raids, about our character, and then it drifted and we were talking about ourselves,the news, the beer, and I just remember looking up to see that suddenly it was eight hours later and we were discussing what to do for supper.
More things I learned from the guild meet:
- People often will gossip about the guys who aren’t there. But if you aren’t there you will never know if you were the one they were talking about, so it probably doesn’t matter.
- It is very difficult to resist the temptation to poke the raid leaders for raid leader gossip.
- People are much more relaxed when they have been drinking.
- You will never be angry at someone online again after you have hugged goodnight drunkenly at a guild meet. Well, not until the next time anyway.
- You will feel closer to the people you have met iRL.
- If you get a chance to go to a guild meet, do it!