So now that you all know how I got to and from New York are you ready for the story of why I went? As you all know from the stories about Toronto last year (I linked them in yesterday's blog if you are interested) I play an online game called MouseHunt and through the game I have met and made friends with people from all over the world. This trip to New York was to meet a group of them face to face.
MH New York was the group that formed to plan and arrange this gathering. James Cha and Kristijan and Kelly Spar made the plans, found a room for the gathering and set about making sure people knew about the party and were going to come to New York. Now the Toronto meet was all about the Nibbler party (sort of) but it was mainly an excuse for The Zoo to get together and wreck havoc on the city. The Zoo is a group of hunters (the people that play the game) that never met a boundary that they didn't want to push. Never read something that couldn't be turned into innuendo and pretty much just liked to have fun. MH New York is mostly made up of Page One Hunters (you should hear trumpets when I say that) or the Scoreboard Chasers or if you are being a little more cheeky when you say it...Point Whores.
Now don't get me wrong, there is some Zoo cross over action happening (like in calling themselves Point Whores) and this group is super fun as well, but they take the game itself a little more seriously. They figure out things like best hunting stats and return on cheese investment and maximum points and they are the top group of hunters in a game of hundreds of thousands. These guys are the gamers of the group. They are the ones who know where, when and with what you should be hunting. They don't miss a horn. They are active 24/7 with the spare phone batteries and vibrating watch alarms to prove it. And I have no idea how I ever got involved with them! :-)
I am the classic ADD game player. I cannot sit still in real life and I cannot do it in the game either. There are different locations you can travel to, you see, and I can spend just a few days in one location before I am bored and off to play someplace else. To be a truly good scoreboard chaser you must be willing to stay in the highest point location of the game and keep yourself active and online for days, weeks, months at a time. I tried for a two month period a year and a half ago. Quickly got bored and hadn't checked my place on the boards again until this weekend.
Part of this weekend was figuring out how I became friends with all of these hunters. Sometimes it was easy. Julie and I have been friends since almost the start of the game. We both recognized each other as "Moms", both quick with a joke, like to have fun, but at the same time the first instinct is to help someone out who needs it, to make sure if someone is feeling down you have a word of encouragement for them. And of course we came up with Blue Steel Cheese, it was a joke recipe we made for a cheese in the game and it was very funny. Trust me. Comedy Gold.
Shay I met in Zangetzu's Tavern. A long standing thread on the old boards where I probably met fully half of my friend list. She's a writer (like me except she is actually much more dedicated to the craft!) and has had as varied a life history as I have so we became friends that way. Glyn I knew from when the Acolyte mouse was the toughest mouse in the game to catch. Glyn had not only caught more than one for himself he had been the one to sound the horn to catch a few others for other people as well. I asked if he would do the same for me, he said sure and I will be damned if he didn't do just that! So hunting by the Marshall Plan has been my motto ever since!
Corrie, Skippy, Michele, JCS and Justin were in Toronto so not only did I know them from the boards but I knew them from the real world. Then it starts to break down a little. You look at someone and think, how did we meet? And everyone there is on my friend list through Facebook. In playing a game like this you add people to help you stay active. But I don't. I only add someone if I have actually talked to them on a thread, or know them through someone else in the game. I don't do random adds. Another reason I am a lousy scoreboard chaser! So let's see...Kelly I met through Julie, the same with Kat and Clare. Cat I am pretty sure I met through Shay. Kirsten I had to have met through status updates from mutual friends because she doesn't go on the boards. Paul and Kris got added through the spouse of someone I am friends with clause in my no random adds rule. And trust me they are random! ;-) James, Adrian and Steve came with the Spars and the number of PMs I was added to where we chatted. Eileen is a MHCC member and we were both chasing Halloween mice and both coming to New York so she was my most recent add.
And then once you figure out how you became friends with people you wonder how everyone else is tied together. Like I said, the main group was the scoreboard chasers. Kris is #2 in the entire game and quickly closing on #1. I believe we had 7 of the Top Ten there live and 8 once Anthony joined via U-Stream. It's hard to tell because the boards haven't been updated in a few weeks but I think that's the right count. But from there on out it's like a web. I know you from...we know them...we met on...we talked about...And then it gets kind of funny. MH New York was made up of East Coast of the US hunters, like you would expect. Me coming in from Oregon and Shay from Colorado so we have West and Central US covered as well and then...Canada (from Victoria to Toronto), the UK, New Zealand and Australia. How is that for variety? They do say New York is the Melting Pot of the Melting Pot right? :-)
So now you know how I got there and you know why I came and who was there with me. Tomorrow I will actually talk about the weekend itself. You know me, I never met a blog I couldn't turn into a series! (and yes I will finish the work series soon!!)