This is something that has been on my mind lately.
Ever since the stray thought popped into my head:
I raid, but I am not a raider.
Or at least, I don’t really consider myself part of that illustrious group.
Sometimes, I feel like an outside observer looking in, an immersion or gonzo journalist perhaps, or an anthropologist engaged in cultural immersion.
Sometimes, it’s the same sensation as an expatriate warmly welcomed by their host country and openminded enough to immerse. You go deep enough to be part of said country, a part of you will forever remember the good memories in that country and will probably miss it dearly if/when you leave, you might even be changed enough that reverse culture shock might be an issue…
…but no matter how long you stay, there is always a tiny niggling feeling that you’re an outsider, that you don’t quite -belong-.
This is not specific to raids, by the by. It just so happens it’s the thing I’ve been doing most lately, and the thought just hit me that way.
I WvW (from time to time), but I am not a WvWer either. (Or I don’t consider myself one.)
I PvP now and then too, but I would really hesitate before describing myself as a PvPer.
This is me, just a couple weeks ago, discovering that they’ve put in a match history at some point in the past, and admiring that my last played game was on the last day of 2015.
There have been some 8-10 more matches added since, sating the sudden desire to try out a warrior in PvP and attempting to cross over to the next tier out of Amber, but I dunno, I’ve got like 6 pips and there’s 9 pips to go and I don’t know if I’ll ever find the time or urge before October ends.
I play fractals and dungeons, as and when the whim takes me, but I am by no means a fractaler, or a dungeoneer.
I can roleplay, but I definitely don’t do it as a matter of course, and cannot be said to be a roleplayer either.
You could argue that some of this is semantics. If you do something (verb), by definition, you are a (noun form of that verb.)
But it seems to me that there is a small unspoken psychological or conceptual gap in there that is about identity.
(There is some research that seems to support this perception. Are you a “voter” or merely “voting” in this election? Are you a “chocolate-eater” or merely “eat chocolate a lot?”)
Then I start thinking about why I am willing to accept some things as part of myself and my self-identity, and why I’m not willing to accept other things.
I am quite happy to say that I am a GW2 player, for example. I think that obsession is kinda undeniable.
Call me a generalist, an explorer, a soloist, I’ll probably nod and agree, even if I don’t embody those things 100% of the time.
Things like AP hunter, or node miner, or collector, might get 50-75% agreement.
It’s not really primarily frequency – I raid twice a week, if not more when asked to.
Preference maybe plays a bit of a part, but not entirely? I’m not sure.
Some of it has to do with perceived community belonging, but not all.
(ie. Many people rejected the notion of being a “gamer” after Gamergate somewhat tainted the label. Me, I find I play and collect too many games to be anything but. So that label in my mind is still valid, even if I may not identify with the entire gamer community or a subset of the gamer community who feel like they speak for the entire.)
It’s a mildly interesting exercise in other aspects of one’s life too.
Am I a blogger? Yeah, I think I would claim that as part of my identity, even if my frequency sucks lately.
Am I a writer? Possibly.
Am I a Pokemon Go player? A Path of Exile player? (Pst, PoE had yet another crazy update lately. I -so- want to play but have no clue where I can find the time.) An Evolve player? A Minecraft player?
[Maybe. Want to be but probably am not. Not really. On occasion. In that order.]
No easy answers.
Just more “Who am I?” questions.