Or, “The Great Innuendo: Mid-Atlantic Guild Meet-Up of 2012”
I’ve written many love letters about and to my guild; I’ve also posted about the fantastic thought-provoking and intelligent conversations I have with my awesome guildmates. After endless discussion about a guild meet-up and so on, my husband and I decided we’d spend our vacation time on an epic road trip to meet some of our nearby guildmates.
You see, we found out some time ago that a few of our guildies actually live near one another and, on top of all that, near a cousin and aunt of ours! What a happy coincidence!
When we made our plans and told them to people, we got one of two reactions:
1) “That’s really awesome! Hope y’all have fun!” (Usually from fellow guildmates.)
2) “So you’ve never actually met these people?” (Usually from non-gamers.)
It’s hard to describe the friendship and bonds that form between guildies, especially those who have played together for years. We’ve waged a virtual war together as virtual soldiers. While none of our wounds or adversaries are real outside of the game, the camaraderie that manifests as a result of our teamwork is very real and tangible.
When we all got together last week, it was like we’d known each other for years— because, frankly, we have. The only difference was that we were meeting up in our human forms instead of our characters. Given all of the bear hugs and bro-hugs, an outside observer probably couldn’t have noticed we were all physically meeting for the first time. Think of it this way: If you were meeting someone for the first time, you’d usually shake hands or something else equally warm, but mostly detached or neutral.
We didn’t miss a beat, however. In fact, one would think that we did this sort of stuff regularly. Commuters on the train had a hard time discerning which of us were locals and who were the out-of-state tourists.
Even my super-shy daughter caught on that these people weren’t strangers, just by observing our actions and reactions. Young kids are the masters of mimicry and imitation; they see and absorb a lot more than they let on, and will often look to their parents for social cues. Within a few hours, the kids were all laughing and playing together because all of the adults were laughing and talking, too.
I’m really fortunate and blessed to know these folks. They’re kind, generous, and giving of themselves in so many ways. We all had a great time, and the HelCat now has a new friend to look forward to visiting.
Will there be another Great Innuendo Guild Meet-Up? I certainly hope so— with even more guildies, if luck is on our side.