written by Alastrom
I began playing online games when I was thirteen years old. My very first MMORPG was a game called Dark Age of Camelot and it existed in a time when the genre was still new and trying to find their own way. I remember wandering past the verdant forest of some distant land, scattered with ruins and monsters. A dusty path twisted through the winding maze of ancient oaks and, for an apprentice sorcerer not yet skilled in the ways of combat, danger lay on every side. As the overgrowth cleared and the world was revealed to be more than an endless labyrinth of dark earthy colors, I found a bright pasture of abundant possibilities. But as all adventurers will tell you, every great quest has to start somewhere. This one just happened to be a cozy tavern with a group of wanderers inside. It was there that I learned that friends can be found in the most unexpected places and that was when the true journey began.
I’d spend years traveling the online world, from kingdoms at war to galaxies far far away and no matter where I went, one constant remained. The people I met became my friends. We told each other our stories, bonded through our adventures and then went our separate ways, never to see one another again. It was at this crossroad where friends depart that an idea dawned. Why should friends have to say goodbye to one another when their time is coming to a close? How could we break the cycle that so many of us had gotten used to? At that very moment, our community was forged and since then, we’ve sought to change the way that online relationships are built through gaming.
The idea of a gaming community seemed abstract at best. Where once we were players, rallying around a game, now we were people rallying around a cause that we didn’t fully understand. We knew what we wanted out of a community and that was a place to call home in the online world. What we didn’t understand was how you turn a group of relative strangers into something more. This all happened at a time where the idea of “internet friends” was still young and developing. I’m not even sure I had a social media account at that time and I certainly didn’t see a way to keep in contact with people after the game was closed down. We were fortunate to congregate in an online voice chat service that seemed to have some permanence of stability. Those early days were filled with stress, always wondering if that server would be available for one more week. It was the only thing keeping us all in one place and I knew if it were to vanish, so would our community.
“…I remember all of those that I’ve fought alongside to slay dragons…”
That was something many of us struggled with at the start. If our newly formed community were to fracture and fade into obscurity what would we be losing? All of us were gamers and surely we’d keep gaming in the future, so on a personal level, nothing would change. We’d meet new people and enjoy new experiences with them until of course, it was time to say goodbye once more. What we’d really be saying goodbye to is each other and by that point, it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. We had formed bonds together that were not so easily broken. That’s a way of looking at it that I had never done before. I don’t remember the people I’ve met in passing, on a plane or in a coffee shop, bookstore or restaurant. In many ways, they were all friends of the moment. We enjoy our time together and then go our separate ways. But I remember all of those that I’ve fought alongside to slay dragons or storm beaches.
Reforged Gaming didn’t set out with a goal in mind. Instead, we had a belief. We believe that the bonds formed through online mediums are just as powerful as those found through more traditional means. We believe that when the right people come together, you can create experiences that transcend the virtual world and maybe, just maybe, bring a little more joy to everyone inside of them. None of us know where this road leads but as we’ve all learned, every adventure begins somewhere. And it’s one that we hope you’ll join us for.
Forge Onward my friends!