And people seem to be trusting me with it.
Since about April, I got involved in the TF2 (Team Fortess 2) gaming community. It started with joining the failing Team Play First Community, and getting pulled into the staffing because someone found out that I could play with computers and get them to do what I wanted them to do.
It was a 3000 person community, but thousands of them weren't actually that active. It was also falling down due to a really famous guy that left in a really bad way. And being a group mostly made up of teenagers and early twenty something highly competitive men, it wasn't exactly the most stable of situations.
Anyway. I got involved, and pulled in deeper into the whole staff thing by May and June so that I was spending a lot of time on the community, the game, and the people involved, and one of the things that fell out of it was that one of the high tier players said that I should probably try out competitive game play. It's more highly structured, the communication has to be really good between the team members, and everyone has to understand both their strengths and weaknesses. Only the really good players actually play it, and it's a quick way to learn how to get much better since you're nearly always only up against players that want to get better than they can get against the common run-of-the-mill players.
I've also learned how to be a TF2 medic, which isn't as simple as it first appears, especially as a 53-year-old female. *laughs* I have had countless people tell me that I couldn't be that old. It's... flattering in some sense and interesting in others. But there aren't that many females to begin with, and then there is only one other person I've met so far who is involved in all this who is over 30. And he's considered ancient. *laughs*
It's eaten my life in a lot of ways.
I'm playing more than eighty hours every two weeks, and I'm well over a 1000 hours in the game, and about 170 hours just playing medic in all of that. And I joined a team in October, which wasn't going that smoothly? I loved the people involved in it, though.
I also got involved in a splinter community that is mostly NA, but has enough Euro connections that I still get to play with all the people that I made good friends with back when TPF was still going. I've gotten involved enough to pay for a server, do a lot of stuff for them, and get people playing together whenever I happen to play. It's just fun to play with everyone. And the other day I got made on of the high ranking officers and administrators for the group.
I also got onto a competitive team in the United Gaming Clans league. Our team leader said, yesterday, that he was moving on to do higher tier competition, he put the whole team into my hands, gave me all the keys to all the technical stuff to get the team going; and has stepped out of the way.
I've only played one match; and I've only done three scrims. And lost nearly all of them. *laughs* Which isn't supposed to be the point of a scrim in any case. And I got a taste of how good it can be to really work as a team in this game. But still... I have so little experience, but I understand interfaces, and I understand management and administration and getting things scheduled and getting people together and giving them some warning as to what's to come and when it's going to come. He also had me talking with a lot of people to try and get them to be subs on our team, and I ended up having to tell them that it just wasn't going to work out. He'd been the one driving trying to get two teams up and going, and without him there was just not going to be the leadership to actually get the second team going.
... and they were okay with that. It was only fair to tell them what was going on, and I think it turned out well. Some of the guys left good rep things on my profile, don't know if that's always going to happen, but it's a nice thing.
In any case, it was kind of overwhelming in a way. I had to talk with all the people I'd talked with to tell them that the team thing wasn't happening, and then I had to talk to the rest of the old team to see where they stood. And then I had to figure out how to talk to the people we wanted as subs, and to work with them on what they were going to do in the long term.
I know how to do communications.
So that was all to the good.
I guess I can be trusted with this side of things. The good thing is that the most experienced player on the team is willing to do the main calling for the team, and he and I do well together and talk well together. I really like that, and I think that the stuff we've talked through together has been useful.
There are several more experienced players on the team who have taken me under their wing and tried their best to teach me a lot of stuff, which has been really good both for them and for me. And there are members of the community that I'm involved with who are happy to help me out with the management side of it all, and are willing to help me figure out who to scrim with and against as teams. It's going to be all right, I think.
I kind of belong to this community now, and I hang out with a lot of the guys and gals on a pretty constant basis, and it's been good for me and for them. Several of them have come to me for life advice, and they seem to feel safe with me, even if they sometimes don't like each other, they moderate themselves around me. That's been useful, and the Mom voice is workable at times.
It's been a very interesting several months, as I seem to be, once again, doing the leadership stuff that people seem to need someone to do.