Monday, September 5, 2011

Time to Collect My Payment

This morning, I awoke to the second of 2 articles accepted by WOWInsider. What a delightful weekend!

Breakfast Topic: Is a guild leader's age just a number?

Older player with knitting
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

The issue of age in WoW has been debated in this column before. Some guilds have age requirements. Some do not. We have discussed whether it matters that the progression raid you find yourself in is led by a 15-year-old or a 25-year-old. For some, it does. Maturity and language are the usual reasons given for age restrictions. For others, if the person does his job, who cares if he is 13 or 33? A 33-year-old can be more immature than a 13-year-old. As this topic has been debated before, that's not what I'm going to explore. What I'm curious about is, does the age of your guild leader matter?

Leading a guild is, I believe, first and foremost, a labor of love. Essentially, you get very few thanks and an awful lot of "waaaaah." It's not unlike being the leader of a small country. No one thanks you for spending four hours putting together a schedule for the month, but they are quick to complain when the right complement of people doesn't log on, so a raid has to be postponed. You find yourself dealing with inappropriate behavior from all levels. You have to call people on the carpet for something they are or are not doing. They pitch a fit and leave in the most drama-provoking manner they can. You look at what you, personally, would like to do and schedule one event to, say, get that last Burning Crusade raid done for the meta -- only no one shows up. There are all sorts of people online, but they are off doing their own thing. Three days later, someone says, "Hey, how come we never run X?" ... which just happens to be the raid you wanted to run. Bang your head on the desk much?

Scott's Officers' Quarters column has been an invaluable resource for me as I lead my guild. I've learned, over the 3+ years I've done this, that some things I feel passionately about don't matter at all. Some things I couldn't care less about have eight people wanting. I'm the guild mom, the confidante, the ego-builder and the cheerleader. I don't remember seeing all those things listed on that charter I bought.

I am the oldest player in my guild. I have kids in my guild who could be considered grandchildren to me. Most hover around the age of what would be my children. It can be hard, sometimes, to see them as peers, particularly when they are doing stuff that is the product of that youth. But I wonder, does it matter when leading a guild, if someone is older? If someone has a vision and is determined to find like-minded people to fulfill the vision of his or her guild, does the fact that they are 22 and a senior in college matter if you are 42 with teenagers still at home? Do you ever wonder if the guild leader has to negotiate with Mom for more time to finish the raid or if the guild leader is the mom, telling the kids to get lost until the raid is over?

I don't think being older grants you a certain wisdom of the ages. I've done some dumb stuff as guild leader. I'm curious what those who join guilds think. Does the age of your guild leader matter to you? Why or why not?

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