I wrote this for an article spot I'm starting on my portal through Stratics. Thought I'd share it with you guys. I hope Nathan sees this. I game because of him. =)
Since it's my post, I'll tell you why I play!
I once played on the Sonoma server of Ultima Online, back when it first launched. For a while I played Tovin, an anti-pk. Then Tovin became a role playing tailor. She mostly stayed in town, and one day I was scammed. I was outraged and I reported the scum via in game reporting and a Counselor appeared. Dressed in a pretty blue robe he explained to me that though I had technically gotten the short end of the stick, the guy had used no real bug or exploit, but had just been smarter then I had. I decided then and there that I loved that blue robe. So I went out to find counselors.
I hung out at the counselors hall for days, and found no "smurfs" for a long while. But the Counselors Hall becamse my home.
I met players, helped them with answers, and more importantly, showed them where they could go to answer their own questions (more often then not, I showed them UO Stratics). I placed games and books and food. I GM'd healing and spirit speak so I could assist the ghosts that came in and couldn't figure out how to get a rez.
I placed chairs, made clothes for people, gave out gold, food, advice and regeants in amazing numbers. There were few counselors during that time and I became, of my own accord and with no blessing from the GM's or counselors, an asset to the new players of Sonoma.
One day a counselor appeared, and I felt vindicated. He explained to me that there were only 3 or 4 counselors at the time, and that they were truly outnumbered in their duties, and that my help was greatly appreciated, since there was no in game assitance to people who weren't sure how to proceed. I fell in love.
I stuck around and made the hall as homy as I could. I was often griefed. Players would steal the chairs, games, food, clothes, and regeants that were left out. They'd claim to be newbies and when I'd spend my own gold to assist them, they'd don their own suit of GM'd armor and wander away with my hard earned cash. But I persevered.
One day, I wandered in and found the Hall had been renovated. Chairs were locked down. Tables heavy with food and drink that were useable but unstealable had been put down. Carpeting and decorations had been placed. My influence had been felt.
I had caused this. It was my work, and dedication to the community of Sonoma that had such a great influence that the GM's decided to help me in my duty. Counselors were hired and more and more they'd stop in to wave to those of us who'd made manning the hall our gametime. We were thanked for our influence and our dedication. But it was me that started it.
That's why I play. It was MINE! No one can ever take that from me. Counselor Halls, even to this day, are still decorated with my original plan for helping people. I had an impact on the community, on the game, and on my fellow players. That's a heady feeling, and one that keeps me involved in gaming even today.
I've long left UO. But as I wander the MMO world looking for a home, thinking of my original love, it was worth it.
Every blank hour sitting there by myself and helping only one person who'd wander in and wonder how to skill up on something......Or rezzing that ghost who couldn't figure out how to come back to life.....That made my day.
Now, I volunteer with a media site that covers games. I hope that even one of my guides, or interviews has helped make one persons gaming career a little better, easier, or nicer. That is why I play. This community we're a part of needs us.
Are you willing to step up?
Why do you play?
Tovin - Retired Tailor of Yew
Sonoma - UO