The other night I was sitting with my good friend who introduced me to VMK back in December of 2005. We got to talking about VMK because were going over the trade values of stuff in the game and were remembering what it was like to create offers for inferno that were basically a room full of quest. Or remember how the Cowboy outfit was the most difficult costume to obtain. And even Magic Mirrors were the obscure item.
The conversation moved into VMK, as we were sitting in my guest room and players came and went and added their own thoughts to our conversation. It was basically a night of remembering. And it was fun.
Through the course of these converations, I began to realize some things. I sometimes deny it, thinking its not true or if I do believe it, it will go to my head...but one of the topics that came up constantly was my popularity and ability to retain so much stuff, whether it was infernos, beta or even just a lot of buyables. As I sat there talking with these players, I realized that I see VMK in a different way than a lot of them do. For the most part it's a way to relax and forget life. VMK is a virtual vision of the actual Disney parks. And the purpose of the parks were not just a form of entertainment for the kids, but where adults could share in that entertainment and be kids themselves.
Many of my friends notice that I tend to act like a little kid a lot...letting humor and sarcasm run wild. I guess it's just a way for me to let go and be free. It's about just having fun.
It's evident when I play mini-games. Honestly, my best Jungle Cruise scores come from when I'm just playing around and not trying to score high. When I do try to score high, I just end up messing up so often that I get frustrated and play even worse. Same goes for Pirates and Fireworks and Mansion. It's when I'm just having fun that I'm doing my best.
And when it comes to obtaining stuff, it's the same. It's a lot of work to build up an inventory like mine but you have to have fun in the process. Players like to collect and collect, but what do they do with the stuff they get? Stash it away usually. My motivation in the beginning for getting all my stuff was based on what I needed to build my rooms with. I love to design and create. I love to build. When you view it in terms of why you need the item rather than just going after the item just for the sake of having it, it's a whole other story.
When I started, I was blessed to have a few good friends early on. Friends that helped me learn the ropes of trading and were generous enough to get me started. I have always believed that what goes around comes around. These friends were examples to me of how much generousity can inspire and motivate. After picking up the fireworks game, I moved up with a few weeks to being able to get the scores needed for winning the magic. It became easy enough that I was winning a pin every other day. But I would find myself in lobbies where other players were sad because they tried and tried but couldn't get to that same point. That became my chance to give back by giving some fireworks pins to these players. It surprises me, because even to this day, players come to my room and ask, "Do you remember me? You gave me a fireworks magic pin once." More than a year ago and they still remember.
Another thing that came up was the question of when I would create another quest. My biggest problem right now is that I don't have stuff I feel is worth putting in the prize slots. Of course the usual thing people tell me is to "be like everybody else, just put buyables." But I can't do that. My quests are another way of giving to those who haven't had the same opportunities as I have. That and if you're going to do my quest, the prize should be worth the trouble. (If you've done one of my quests, you know what I'm talking about. Heh!)
Others talk about me, mostly because of what I have. But of all the things I've gone through in the time I've spent on VMK...everything I've talked about above, the thing that I remember the most are the friends I've made along the way. So many people, I've come to know, respect and trust thanks to the trade circles I've walked in. Spending day after day going from trade room to trade room and them right there with me. The players who I've randomly just given something to without knowing who they were and months later they come back and remind me of what I once did for them. The players who come to my rooms and give me feedback on them or my quests. And then genrously donate their time to hang out and keep my rooms full and open. Or to help answer questions when I get tired of repeating myself. I can't tell you how many friends have been made under those circumstances.
Lately there's been a lot of talk about VMK coming to an end. Well, I for one do not want that to happen. I could care less if I lose all my stuff. It's all 1's and 0's. But what I do care about are the relationships...the friendships, that have been created over the last year and a half. If I lost that, I wouldn't know what to do with myself.
So here's to all of you...my friends (you know who you are)! Hoping for many more days of laughter, excitement and craziness on VMK!