> Oh, Autumn, you ARE naughty, aren't you?*giggle* Should I *giggle* tell them?
> I suppose you really *should*.It's just the idea...such smart wizards..Code Masters..*giggle* intently rolling dice *giggle* across their monitors..Bwah-ha-ha!
> Oh, you're just awful! I like it!
Yes, truth be told, The Game was over at Level 8. But you all seemed *so* focused...*giggle*
Well, peeps, it's finally over! No more of this viral foolishness. Your Guardians have fought long and hard, and guess what? THEY WON! That means I owe the rest of you an 'unlock', huh? It'll be next month, but I'll give you a hint: the post title will be "Magic Trick".
Now, getting on to business, each of our surviving Guardians receives a $20 W101 Gift Card, to do with as they please. Don't worry, though, I'm putting together a "Base4 Second Chance" via random.org, for additional winners. Just gimme a little time to organize it all..
Oh, You're still here?
>Yes. I like it, here.Do you promise to 'play nice' and not be so...
>Playful?Well, I was gonna say 'annoying', but 'playful' works, under the circumstances. And Thanks for your help
>Oh, like I said, you guys are fun.So you'll keep your antics to a minimum?
>Yes, I'd like to participate in your little "Magic Trick", later.Okay, then Hex, you can stay as HiaG's, uh, "anti-virus" monitor, or something.So "Hush, now"
>Maybe just *one* more thing?What?
>A closing musical number?Sure, why not? Let us bid 'Adieu' to the 8 Bit Trials in a manner most ReBoot:
Okay, then, here's the debrief:
You've heard me say it, time and time again: "W101 has the best Community of any MMO. Period.", and I mean it. I've taken this opportunity to hopefully entertain, educate, and play with you. The Trials were a labor of love, and in any other community, players would be asking for prize details first, but nobody asked for loot details during the ENTIRE event. People were more interested in getting into The Game, than "what was in it for them". Amazing. Couldn't happen in any other game community.
In addition to everyone who voluntarily subjected themselves to my trickery, (and beat me quite soundly, I might add), there were others, like Jessica Fire and #WizardsforGuardians. That's Community Spirit, right there.
I chose ReBoot as the story metaphor because it held (for me) the same type of magic that W101 does. It was like Tron, for kids. I grew up on it. Not only that, but the 'Guardian' metaphor is a multi-purpose one. Sure, it's useful for throwing out P.C. maintenance tips, but (as usual) , I prefer a "layered" metaphor. ( Thank you, Grandmother Raven!)
Our Spir@l is growing ever larger. I'll wager that 20 Million is only a milestone. I still remember when "12 Million" was news. With that, what was once our small village is now a sprawling metropolis. The same as a Guardian in a computer serves to ""Mend and Defend", so , too do we as wizards need to be Guardians of our Spiral.
Now, I'm not calling for Player Moderators, or some sort of Vigilante Militia, more of a Community Spirit, like the fine wizards of #WAC who take time out of their gaming to help make Our Spir@l better for everyone. With 20+ Million, you can reassured we'll see more Trolls, Onis, and Gobblers. I'm reminded of a quote, which I'll re-phrase here :
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil in Our Spiral is that good wizards do nothing. "
I use "Our" instead of "The" with full intent. It is OUR Spiral. It's not (just) some collection of bits on a KingsIsle server. It is, quite literally "Where the magic happens". Take possession of it. Own it. Our Spiral is not a static thing, it is US. It's you, it's me, it's our friends, (including the ones we haven't met yet).
I'm not saying there's any looming threat, like some Epic Evil waiting for us, (we'll let KI supply those), but I have noticed, over a span of time that little 'viral outbreaks' have been happening with increasing frequency. I'm not talking about any one particular event, but if I said "Did you hear about the drama over 'X' ?", I'm pretty sure your brain will auto-complete the sentence in your head. Part of it is the vast volume of wizards, part of it is the nature of the Internet Social Media Beast, but it's mostly "the human element".
Think, for a moment, what IS it that makes W101 such a fun game? Sure, the actual 'game elements' set the foundations, but what would Our Spiral be like if W101 was a "hack and slash" game? Or a game with 'factions'? It'd be an ENTIRELY different game, (and none so endearing as it is now). Not because of the game mechanics, but the play it would encourage. We play by patience, and strategy, and Teamwork. We have to think. The typical "Party Roles" of the 'traditional' MMO don't truly fit as well here. W101 is a Chess game, with cards.
We have many Community Leaders, both "Official", and otherwise.These we normally attribute as 'Guardians', after a fashion. None of them are in it for fame. They're not in it for money. They invest their own time, and resources because they see something special in Our Spiral. There is a joyful innocence and safety to be found in Our Spiral that is, unfortunately, all too rare in this day and age. There are many, many parents in W101, and we, across the bar, all want Our Spiral to remain the safe. clean, and fun place for our children, like a beach where you don't have to worry about stepping on broken glass.
You don't need 'status' to be a Guardian. You need HEART, and CONVICTION. I witnessed this in a recent post where caring wizards stood firm, amidst incoming flak, and held their ground on behalf of another. The idea of "Well, it's not MY kid" never crossed their minds. Being a Guardian isn't a title, it's a firm belief, and actions, in defense of what makes Our Spiral special, without violating those same principles.
In the Trials, I played many, many voices. Guardian, The User, Hexadecimal, Daemon, ect, ect. ect.(Good thing I'm a Gemini, huh?). Being a "professional villain", I knew from the beginning that I had to lose. It's what the proper villain does. A protagonist can't be a Hero without some sort of antagonist. Believe me when I tell you that had nobody "stood up" to my Trials, there would have been nothing. No follow up. I would have just kept my usual postings (which I'm actually looking forward to). However, Good Wizards did NOT do nothing, so as a professional, I played my part. Sadly, there are far too many amateur villains, and not enough professional ones. Amateurs don't play by the rules, so we need ever more Guardians to decide to Stand Their Ground. ( Insert a Merle Ambrose "Uncle Sam" recruiting poster here " I want YOU ")
What is a Guardian, in Our Spiral? There are no Generals, no uniforms, no chain-of-command. No titles, no banners, and no recognition.It's a Club of Making The Right Choices. It's a volunteer's life, where the duty is it's own reward. It's a fine balancing act between Upholding the Foundations without becoming Thought Police. Imagine, if you would, if Daemon brought "The Word" in game? Ravenwood would be like a monastic Boarding School.We cannot possibly all be the same. We need diversity. On the reverse side of the coin, we wouldn't want Hexadecimal running the show, either. It's a fine balance between Order and Chaos. With the Human Element being what it is, "the lines" will not *always* be so clearly drawn, Sure, we want Guardians to keep Our Spiral safe, but we don't want a Police State, either. All we really need is enough good wizards to NOT do nothing.
But if the Trials taught me anything, it's that this Community has all the lifeforce it needs. Our Spiral will live to see 40 Million, and more. We, here and now, will impart the 'Guardian' ethic into the populace, by our own example, and when "Doing the Right Thing" is the Norm, we can expect no "Game Over" for W101, ever.
Be Well, Guardians.