It really all boils down to that. When you're running amok killing ogres or snowbeasts or spiders, or farming your crops, or gabbing with your friends at a nightclub, it all boils down to your friends and the portion of the community you communicate with on a daily basis. When you play in an MMORPG, you join a guild for the camaraderie, the help, and usually you make a few friends in there. When you're in a grid such as InWorldz, you meet people who help you out, you join groups, and you interact with people. These are the reasons you keep logging in. Sure, you may want to go kill 500 critters to get that neat piece of armor you need next, but you'd be bored silly doing so if you had no one to talk to (well other than those who are completely anti-social, but in current MMORPG's that won't get you through raids and such unless you join a PUG).
That community, is more than just a sense of being, it's of belonging, of friendship, of people you can rely on to help you out. And it's something we spend a lot of time fostering in our world. It's also something that drives us, as the Founders, to continue working as hard as we do every day, as many hours as we can, because we see our community, and how each and every single one of you reach out to each other. Like any big family, sure there are squabbles, sure there are disagreements, and sometimes things get a tad out of hand, but on the whole, our community is strong and helpful.
I touched on some of this the last blog I did, although not nearly in this route, but what it means to us to know our residents. But it also means for our residents to know each other, and us. So today, on my semi-quasi day off, I spent some time wandering our world and our forums. There's been one thread in particular I've been following: Disabilities - What are they? That's not the only thread I follow obviously, but it definitely caught my attention this week. I was amazed at how everyone in the thread opened up and let us all have just a small peek into their RL and what they go through. Thank you, every single one of you. What may seem to you as just a quick glimpse into your reasoning for being here, to us, it's a reason to keep going on each and every day. To bear with all the complaints, the bugs, to listen to all the upset and yet know, that every single one of you has your own special reason to be here.
The other thread I love to monitor is InWorldz Picture Album! - Share Your Photos Here. I love this thread, because it let's me see into your regions and builds (or silliness) that I simply do not have time for otherwise. Some of my favs (I've taken the liberty of just uploading them here):
|By Talia Fournier|
|By Emilie Autumn|
|By Amaranthim Talon|
|By Koshari Mohana|
|By Yvette Clavenham|
Well, I have a whole lot more than that :) I think, what's most amazing, is that no matter what you are InWorldz, be it tiny, dragon, furry, fairy, lover of fantasy, GOR, Anime, whatever you're into, that when you go to our welcome area, or hang out on our forums, there is always this incredible sense of help and belonging. Sometimes we lose our way, but I see our residents reach out a hand to someone and say, come back, or let us help.
While we tend to get alot of thanks from our residents, it's really us who should be thanking them. Without them, none of this would be worth it (and believe me when I say we never knew if it would be worth it). Without our residents retaining that strong sense of community and building on it and making sure it's given to every new resident and passed on, we wouldn't have this community at all. That, is worth more anything I can say here.
So, next week, I plan on putting some stuff out about some of our regions, both larger land masses and groups and smaller ones. I'm constantly amazed at what our residents come up with! See ya InWorldz :)