Saturday, July 9, 2011

Putting the HOME in Homework

> 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, for additional winners. Just gimme a little time to organize it all..

Beware Geminis
>What about ME?
Oh, You're still here?
>Yes. I like it, here.
Do you promise to 'play nice' and not be so...
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?
>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.


John Lifeglen said...

Beautifully written! It captures the sense of what Wizard101 means to so many and imparts a valuable lesson we can all use a refresher course in once in a while. Thank you for hosting the 8 Bit Trials, and thank you for just being you.

Luke GoldHorn said...

Amazing post! I had a ton of fun supporting the Guardians and gettin' my black and silver on (the uniform of the Guardian Support Team)! This post really discusses what it is to be in this community! While I understand not all of us aren't going to get along (as you described perfectly), we need to learn peaceful ways to avoid conflict (and no, this is by no means saying I'm perfect and that I know the solution to everything; I've had my fair share of mess ups as well). Anyway, I truly enjoyed reading this post. You're a great author, friend, villain, and computer! Haha! Glad to have the REAL Autumn back! :)

Donna SpellThorn said...

*clap clap clap clap* Inspiring! Totally true, Autumn. Great job!

Abhiram Reddy said...

Amazing post the inspiration and thoughts are shared by all of us across the community. Everything you said here felt like it was coming from the community as an essence as if we were all one.Thanks so much for having the Trials they were so much fun!

Unknown said...

Amazing post Autumnal! These Trials were extremely fun. Not only was I able to enjoy the activity of the different Trials...I also was able to meet many new wizards in the community!
After reading this post, I see that it is another one of these recent post that I have read. We should not be doing these things (like blogging) or playing this game to gain fame or fortune...but we should do them so as to have a fun time, make our experience of the game better and meet new friends.

Thank you so much for the 8 Bit Trials.

Heather Raven said...

Yes, yes, YES! When we can be fully committed to the diversity of our Spiral is when we all together have our best moments. You have to have all the colors to make up a rainbow; not just wanting/trying to be like yellow, or green, or purple.

But not just a false: "ooh I think I'll be the bad-guy, because, like, no one else is doing that, and it's kinda fun too. Oh-emm-Geee!" As you put it "professionals". It's really a level of commitment. And when we have people who can whole heartedly say, "Yeah I'm a guy who is the nerdy one," or "I'm a person who makes spreadsheets," or "I'm a person who can always make a joke," or "I'm a gal who is really into PvP." When we have people who can get behind their 'shtick' if you will, the spiral is so much nicer to be in. (DISCLAIMER: I don't mean that over-lap, and shaking things up, and progressing from one thing to another aren't totally great and legitimate. Embracing the change is part of being one of the "pro's". It's when we all start looking/acting the same (or same-ish), that I die a little inside.)

Oh Basil, thank you so much for doing this really great challenge for our community and asking us to think about and support and embrace us as a whole.

Okay, and now this has become much longer than I meant it too... awkward...

Arlen Dawneyes said...

Everything I'd like to say has been commented, so let me just put in that I'd 'like' this post on Facebook ;P beautifully written.

Duncan Daystone said...

Great post! I loved the 8-bit Trials very much! They were extremely captivating and enjoyable. I could easily detect the true devotion that you showed in the creation of the whole storyline, and you deserve just as many props as the Community for your hard work in putting it all together. (We had the easy part!) I've always loved our W101 Community for its togetherness, and this is such a prime example of that. Amazing work from both Autumn and the Community which resulted in an amazing event. Congratulations all!
P.S. If you ever feel like you want to do something like this again, feel free! I'm sure it would be well-received by all!

Alex LionHeart said...

can you put the link for the past reboot episodes up please

Fatal Exception said...

Alex, this is by no means a 'definitive' listing, (and they just released a "Definitive Mainframe Collection", but to get a feel for it: