SotR: In the Defense of Raiding

Sometimes there are more dangerous things to tank then raid bosses.

Sometimes there are more dangerous things to tank then raid bosses – like ignorance.

I have long been a raider, and even longer been a gamer.  Defending my gaming life is something I have grown accustomed to.  I suppose you could say it comes with the territory.  Non-gamers just seem to not understand us.  I am sure there are many people (most of my blog audience, actually) who can empathize with me there.

When I took up raiding, I never thought defending myself would become more difficult and more prevalent, but it has over the past several years, by non-gamer friends and family who do not understand or respect the commitment that I have made to raiding.

I look at raiding as I would any extracurricular activity, or even a class – something that I commitment myself to, because I enjoy it enough to make such a commitment.  I would not ditch a class last minute just to go to dinner with a friend, a friend who could easily try and make plans with me later in the week.  I would not shirk my responsibilities with a real life weekly appointment just because a friend of mine is not considerate enough to plan ahead.  Similarly, I do not ditch friends in real life to whom I have made a time commitment if another friend asks me last minute.

I realize I am using the word “commitment” a lot, and probably will many more times before this post is done.  Honestly, I think that word and its meaning are the most important part of the point I am trying to express.  I think the other side of my point is the lack of respect shown by those who expect I will just cancel things at the drop of a hat to make other plans.

You would think the fact that I keep my commitments in a game would inspire hope in those around me that I would do so in real life.  Right?

Instead, I get the lecture.  Instead, I get the four ignorant arguments below without fail – ignorant arguments I am sure many of my fellow gamers can relate to hearing at some point.

1) “It’s just a game.”

Indeed, it is just a game.  I am not going to go all psycho sports fan nut on the subject.

That is why if I were just planning to run dungeons by myself all night I would probably go do whatever inane thing was just asked of me.  But the thing about online games is they also have this wonderful thing called “socializing”.  So more often than not, when I am playing WoW, I am playing WoW with other people.  When I play WoW with other people it is often through plans that were made prior to this very moment, unlike the last minute real life things that are usually toted as so much more important to my social life.

So needless to say, this usually leads to the next ignorant comment…

2) “They’re not real people.”

Really?  Is this really even a logical argument?  Apparently, all these years I have been surfing the internet and playing MMO’s with robots!  This is quite a revelation to me.  Especially considering all the people I have met face to face after meeting them online.

Yes, people on the other side of computers on the internet ARE real people.

Honestly, I think I have already devoted too much brain power and blog post to this idiotic comment.

3) “They won’t miss you for one night.”

First of all, see above and “commitment”.  Then, see “respect”.

Sure, my guild could probably get by without me for a night or ten even, that is why we run a roster of more than 25 people.  That is why we have a post out policy.  That is why raiders come and go eventually.  The point is, I have made a commitment, I have stated to 24 other people whose company I greatly enjoy that I will be there at X time on X day.  I would like to continue those people also liking me and enjoying my company.

4) “You can do that any night.”

Play video games?  Yes.

Raid?  No.

Just like in real life, it takes planning and commitment to organize 25 people in one place at one time.  Raiding is not something where I can just jump on at 8pm and say, “Hey, guys!  Let’s go raid right now!”  Even if 25 people are on at that exact moment, they may already have plans, either in game or in real life.  This is similar to how you don’t out of the blue call up 25 friends on the phone and say, “Hey, guys!  Let’s go club hopping right now!”  (And this is a really bad example, because to go clubbing does not require a specific number of people.  Maybe a spontaneous wedding or something might be more appropriate?  I dunno… moving on.)

There are only a few things I would actually post out or cancel for – holidays, scheduled events, and being sick.  By scheduled events, I mean a kid’s school concert or someone’s graduation or a theatre ticket.  These are once in a while things that I cannot really reschedule, and therefore, I make the occasional concession to not raid.  Notice these are also items that planned in advance.

I can be spontaneous at times, but there is nothing that irks me more than people who do not respect my time.  Popping something on me last minute, and then getting annoyed that I am either not in the mood or have other plans, is something I find hugely disrespectful of me.

I do not question someone else’s knitting or skydiving or nude finger-painting.  Please do not question why I raid.  Just respect that it is something I enjoy and something that I commit to doing certain nights of the week.

/soapbox

~ Effy

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20 thoughts on “SotR: In the Defense of Raiding

  1. Yeah, I can never figure this out, when my son-in-law still played WoW my daughter completely excepted his softball team commitment but would scoff at guild commitments. How in the world are they different? I just don’t get it.

  2. I agree – this is my hobby, don’t diss it! I don’t question your hobbies, this one is valid, social and none of your damn business, am I right? 🙂

  3. Overall, I definitely agree with you on that your time is yours to spend it whichever way you like and people should respect that – and it’s really silly that a lot of people don’t see gaming as a valid a hobby as say knitting or cooking or rowing or whatever. I used to be on the receiving end of the ignorant comments too and I have often had to explain that WoW is, you know, my hobby like theirs was something else. Unfortunally such is the prejudice against gaming still.

    On the other hand, it also really depends on when/ how often you raid a week. I used to be a semi-hardcore raider about a year ago. We would raid about 3-4 times a week, starting on Thursday – Sunday. These raids usually took place at night, which exactly coincided with my real life friends plans to go out. Because I loved my guild and raiding, I ended up cancelling on my friends almost every week, excepting birthdays and other bigger gatherings. It led to my friends being more than a little unimpressed with me AND the game, which, although ignorant from their side maybe, I can understand why they started to feel that way.

    I think not knowing what the game actually entails is probably the biggest problem. Showing people the game or a raid or letting ohers have a go of your character can sometimes help to help them understand why and what you like so much about it.

    I love your blog by the way, only discovered it last week but it’s great! 🙂

    /hug

    • So glad you found it and that you are enjoying reading it!

      Yes, the raiding vs. RL thing is double-edged. There has to be a balance, for sure. But when I have a number of nights available that are not taken up by raiding, it just becomes frustrating that people cannot be respectful enough of my time and interests to plan ahead. That is really all I ask.

      But I must admit, there have been stages where I have been too heavily engrossed in gaming.

      Perhaps you are right. Knowledge is power, and perhaps all that would really be needed is an introduction to WoW and a furthering of knowledge. Giving knowledge is definitely part of my purpose here. It is part of why I choose WoW as my topic throughout my Composition II class last semester, and the reason for posting each of those papers. 🙂

      ~ Effy

      • That’s really awesome about your Compisition class paper! It is really important that we gamers voice ourselves / educate people on what gaming actually entails, since so much of what you read on gaming tends to be so negative. It all contributes to gaming becoming more and more accepted as a valid pastime I think.

        Personally, I have had my family on my back bigtime when it comes to gaming. They still don’t fully accept it I think. It wasn’t until I showed my mum a lfr fight that she actually saw that it wasn’t such a scary thing at all! She still doesn’t entirely understand it but at least she knows what I enjoy about the game.

        I completely agree with you on just being able to raid on free nights without having a myriad of questions asked. People don’t get questioned on watching TV at night, yet when you do something that is much more active and in many cases a team sport (I think so!) you don’t hear the end of it. ^^

      • Hehe, yah, I have tried to show my mom WoW. She is understanding, but she tends to throw up her hands in regards to what the heck I am talking about or what is going on.

        Exactly, I do not question your hobbies. So please do not question mine. 😉

        ~ Effy

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