elf: Silhoette of autumn scene; one glitch sitting on a park bench, another leaping in the air (Glitch - Autumn Day)
[personal profile] elf posting in [community profile] glitchwidth
Glitch healed some deep hurts in me that I had forgotten even existed until they were soothed over and gone.

No bad. There was no bad in Glitch. No game mechanics for conflict and rivalry... I don't know how much that created the atmosphere of sharing and helping each other. I just know that I never felt lost or alone in Ur, even as a total newbie who hadn't discovered Global Chat. I wandered around and bumped into things and Stuff Happened (often with rainbows attached), and I collected achievements out of *nowhere* (I'd never played an MMORPG before; had no idea what these things were) and level advancement hit me at random spots for no reason I could discern, and...

I had fun. And I wasn't punished for it. Not even a little bit.

This community was exactly what I was missing in Glitch: a place to direct my energies, something to do with all the resources I'd been collecting since I started. I started churning out Earthshakers by the double-dozen, and Obvious Panini, when I wasn't collecting barnacles and fireflies for crystals to donate.

The announcement hit, and the Dreamglitch community mourned, and promised to all help each other do Nifty Stuff in the time we had left. I built a tower. Resources poured in to finish it; in a couple of days, I had my Purple Room.

It was awesome, folks. Everything I could've wanted and more. Bleppo gave me a Scion of Purple Cubimal to complete the room, and I will be grateful FOREVER for that. (Forever. Really. I had no idea what it was worth at the time, and it was PERFECT.)

I had people to cherish and beautiful things to look at and monotonous-but-pretty work to do (someday, someone should write a thesis paper about the core of Glitch being Sparkly Rocks), and Juju Bandits and Deimaginators to evade. (Second-to-last day, I finished a smuggling run. And then another. Wow.) Oceans to swim through; glowing plants to see; traps to spring; moons to leap over. I remembered how to look around and take joy from what I saw.

I got invited to parties. I have never been a person who gets invited to parties. I've been invited to the obligatory "hey it's a holiday and we're inviting everyone; you wanna come?" parties, but not the "we're gonna do something fun and we should maybe invite [elf]" parties. I came to think of myself as someone fun to be around, not just someone who could provide amusing sarcastic commentary.

I hung out on Global and helped people who needed things... I made wall segments for strangers, went to hi-parties, dug a lot of peat. I had only been playing a couple of months, but I was unemployed during that time; I had no school or job schedule to work around. I stopped thinking of myself as a mid-level newcomer player, lacking the resources and experiences of the people who'd been around since early beta, and started thinking of myself as someone who knew most of the tricks of the game and could help people enjoy more of Ur than they could have on their own.

I hung out with people I'd just met. I made piggie feeders and dropped them in homestreets with abandoned piggies. I spoke up on Live Help, and said, "yeah, that's a known bug." I announced the presence of Level 3-5 glitchen, and teleported strangers to lands they hadn't visited. I thought of myself as a part of a community, someone who could support others' goals without sacrificing her own.

I looked at all the gorgeous outfits and stuck with what I'd found before the announcement hit... I'd found *me*, and I was thrilled that I got to enjoy all the others without having to try them on myself.

I took snaps. Not enough. I visited lands I hadn't been to in a while. Not enough. I visited all the lands I hadn't been to yet, but kinda rushed through them.

I regret nothing.

I enjoyed every bit of Glitch that I could, and knew there were thousands of things I'd left undone, and hoped that somewhere some other glitch had enjoyed those parts.

I reminisced Autumn Day and cried.

From Glitch and its ending I relearned to cherish life, to appreciate all the small beauties and wonders which are granted to me, to trust that people *do* want to help others, even when they don't know or care about those others, and they'll do so, unstintingly, when they have time and resources and spoons.

I had forgotten. It hurt too much to remember. I was carrying scars of doubt and fear, reminders of old pains, so many I had not realized how much they stopped me from seeing, from feeling, what was before me now.

I'm not all-better-now. I still ache. Along with the sadness of the recent loss, I still have plenty of twitches and numb spots from past hurts. What is healed, what is regrown, is my awareness that it doesn't have to be this way.

Glitch was my "it gets better" campaign.

Night by Sara Teasdale:
Stars over snow,
    And in the west a planet
Swinging below a star—
    Look for a lovely thing and you will find it,
It is not far—
    It never will be far.
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