Hoom-ings: An IronCon Confession

This post is about recovery [1].


I haven’t really done much in Lusternia in two-ish years, maybe even longer. It isn’t like I haven’t done anything; I have done some things – mainly small stuff. But in comparison to the other volunteer administrators, and probably in relation to the work I am expected to do, I haven’t pulled my weight in a long while.


Maylea wrote a beautiful blog post about the reasons why this happens. I could write and bemoan my school career. I could just say I was busy. But really, neither of those are the reason in its entirety. Definitely, they are major contributors, but not the whole story.


I haven’t been doing much in Lusternia because I have just lost a lot of interest in the game. It is a sort of depression, an impasse that has been a really difficult to overcome [2]. And believe me, Lusternia is perhaps one of the hardest things to get back into; you have to re-learn progging, find the inspiration and energy to build rooms, and do not get me started on patron duties, Order interactions, and generally wanting to be around. It is a lot, and I have seriously considered stepping down several times. It is perhaps only the long attachment to a game that I so enjoy and the people I work with that keeps me here (I am especially looking at you Shikari and Isune!) [3].


Which is why I was extremely intimidated with IronCon this past weekend. Not only would I be interacting with Estarra, my fellow Lusternian volunteers, colleagues from other games, but also players? This was too much.


However, the “too-much-ness” turned out to not be too much. I was pleasantly surprised that, while we talked about our respective games, there was not a lot of interrogation about my presence, my output, or my role. It was really freeing to realize that a lot of these worries were not really worries per se. I think this became really apparent for me when I formally met Kelly, Knorrith, and Xena.


During IronCon, I was pretty much the chauffer of the people. I planned to do this, and in fact, I really wanted to drive everyone around. Not only had I brought my car (I traveled from LA, a short three-hour drive), but I also wanted the freedom of movement brought by said car (I was previously on a six-week trip to India and there was a severe lack of maneuverability for me that I greatly missed) [4]. I went to the hotel that many of the administrators and players were staying at to pick up a handful of people and I met those three. To be quite honest, I didn’t really know who they were. I knew Kelly was from Celest; I could recall Knorrith’s name; and unfortunately, I had no clue who Xena was (despite being the Warrior Princess). These three were incredibly kind and friendly. We didn’t talk much at that initial meeting, but throughout the weekend we would have the opportunity to talk with one another.


In full transparency, these three would encourage me to interact with a player in my Order [5]. I was not planning on doing anything that weekend really, just to enjoy the experience of IronCon (perhaps one of the only times I would be able to attend). Normally, administrators love doing this; this is how we keep going, deriving some enjoyment interacting with players. However, until this time, even that was Hard Work™ that I just didn’t want to do. Yet, these three kept encouraging me and I relented. After this interaction played out, I quickly learned that it was greatly enjoyed by this player. I didn’t feel like I did my best (and to be honest, I was minor-ly intoxicated at the time), yet everything about this chance moment was fun. It was a refreshing experience to say the least.


What I am trying to get at is that these four (Kelly, Knorrith, Xena, and Avurekhos) really helped me [6]. I would like to thank you each in helping me breach this agonizing apathetic-ness I’ve been experiencing. It is an altogether different experience when you have people explain to you face-to-face how someone enjoyed himself or herself because of something you did (and then later, that someone raving about it). Anyone administrator who has had a player (or players) straightforwardly tell you in-person who they enjoyed working with you can tell you how rewarding it is, far moreso than just reading it or overhearing it somewhere. Not to get all grandiose, but it has definitely re-charged and re-committed me to this game.


This is the small but mighty power that you players have. I think we talk a lot about the negative when we talk about player-admin relationships. We talk a lot about miscommunication; we talk a lot about burnout. I definitely don’t have treebark for skin, or at least not yet, so getting this moment to recover was greatly needed and appreciated.


So there we have it – thank you all! Especially those three Celestians and my awesome Order member [7].




[1] I am currently reading a book on depression. I was heavily influenced by it when writing this. Unfortunately for me, this book is a “critical memoir” (and therefore really personal); I try not to be personal in real-life, so imagine the difficulty of writing this! This is draft 3.


[2] This is a direct reference to said book on depression. I am sorry – grad school is making me think constantly in academic tone. I have come to quick realization that the only mode of writing I can deploy at any moment is some bastardized version of a critical essay. Hence, endnotes.


[3] I am calling out these two in particular because I have consistently talked to them about these feelings. Nonetheless, I want to give a shout out to all my fellow volunteers: Maylea, Zvoltz, Raezon, Valtreth, Terentia, Mysrai, Nocht, Viravain, Calythan, Iantoc, Oshea, Roark, Estarra, Sior, Iosai, and all the unnamed ephemerals – you are all wonderful people, and I am glad to know you!


[4] Hence my recent disappearance, Serenwilde! But in the end, it turned out that I was able to log in on occasion. Indian internet is just plain weird.


[5] Thankfully, just in the nick of time before said player disappeared for a month. Hurry back, Avurekhos!


[6] And four is not quite correct either, because during my little visit Avurekhos was talking to his in-game sister Zouviqil, so really five!


[7] And the other players from Lusternia who attended IronCon: Ixion, Xenthos, Shuyin, Krellan, Wuylinfe, Skye, and anyone else who may have attended that I do not quite recall!