I realised something this weekend, that has really caused me to cast some of the decisions I have made in this little experiment in a different light. See, I was under the impression that my increasing despair with the state of some of my hobbies was to do with disenchantment, time management and clashes of priority. The one thing I missed was the madness that is 'other people'
I've been away playing Raw Deal this weekend in Glasgow. OK, the RD is really just an excuse to see some friends, have a drink and get out of the house when Mrs Gow and the kids are away with the in-laws. It was awesome to see the guys (and gals) again and even though I didn't perform too well in the tournament, I had a good laugh. However, in the background, a drama was unfolding...
The UK Nationals are approaching and the venue for the nationals is always controversial. Generally, it should be central and big. This year, Reading was earmarked. Not really central but the player base of the game is skewed somewhat to the south so it's not insane to do so - and the southern players deserve a PPV. Now the manager from that area has known this for months, but like anyone else, he left the organisation of the venue to the last minute and then found out that it wasn't suitable. Now, there are a lot of people who are wanting to know when the event is happening - holidays need booking etc. and a new card set is imminent, which causes complications as well. Also, it cannot be too late as it causes a 'log jam' of PPV dates which can cause chaos. So, my successor as Commissioner, after chatting to me, approached a different venue in Shrewsbury who organised themselves in under one day. Good yeah?
Nope. The Reading Manager tendered his resignation (which was refused, because he really was being a drama queen) because he had let down the Raw Deal community. And then the manager from Southampton resigned because he saw the emergency change as a slur upon the southern players. Why wasn't anyone consulted? Why wasn't it put in Southampton? The fact that the Teams event later in the year has been rescheduled to Reading/Southampton (hardly twinned cities..) and another one is in Cardiff (a similarly deemed 'southern' venue) is apparently null and void.
Whether he is right or not, the entire thing has embroiled a number of people in long and heated conversations. Entire plans and counter plans have been talked about. Conspiracy theories, claims, rebuttals - oh for fucks sake guys, it's just a bloody card game! Stop being so bloody damned melodramatic. Nobody actually gives a flying fuck whether you resign or not, where the venue for a tournament is, or whether a group of self-appointed organisers are, or are not, consulted.
And this is the sort of small minded shennanagins that I have been living with for the last four years. Everyone double guessing everyone else about their ways of doing things, what the real meaning is behind what they are saying - it's really quite pathetic. Hell, the new Commissioner was asking me what sort of things he should and should not say to the creator of the game in order to curry favour with him because said creator is notoriously ... difficult! Duplicity, double talk and drama. Hell, Vince McMahon should really just hire these guys to write Smackdown! and it would be better.
Now, this is rather similar to the situation I had with the Dungeoneers. A lot of people getting very hot under the collar about the stupidest of minor things in a computer game. The mind boggles, I know...but the atmosphere was such that I really just found it easier not to be there. So I posted up a note on our site saying that I would relieve myself of the bankers duties in the guild.
So what do I get? A mail from the guildmaster - a guy I have known for years - 'hoping that we can still be friends..'. I mean, what in the blue fucking hell of shite made him think that because I didn't want to be an active part of his guild, it meant that we wouldn't be able to be friends! The week beforehand he was suggesting that his son and my daughters should spend some time together during the holidays. It's madness - utter utter madness.
To be honest, I'm glad I'm out of it. It's hard - I still have a lot of attachment to these things - especially the Raw Deal 'scene' - and when things are nasty, they hurt. These people are my friends. However, there are so many more important things in life. Whether it is the care and upbringing of family and children, participating in other socially valuable activities or simply appreciating that there are people in this world that don't know if they will be alive tomorrow - and we argue about what voice comms server we use?
My shining light through this is my roleplaying group. We missed one player last week, so we sat around and chatted about...stuff. And the conversation became, at times, 'heated' - but in the way that people who are totally assured of their actions in the presence of their friends can be. No-one taking umbrage at disagreements, no-one leaving the gaming group because of a difference of opinion. All people, I believe, who have some degree of grasp on their life's priorities. Sanity, amidst the madness.
I think I shall steer towards the sanity