My First Experiences Writing On Medium: A Look Into What Comes Next For Sword
Medium is a blogging platform for expressing opinions and thoughts. Simple statistics allow you to gauge reader interest, showing a read vs. view rate.
As a writer who has exclusively posted to discord and platforms without this ability, I’ve always felt as if my voice wasn’t be heard or read. Even when I told large stories, and knew I had readership- it wasn’t fulfilling like I wanted it to be. Being able to curate and collect my thoughts on this simple platform gives me a great sense of fulfillment and peace. My thoughts are presented openly.
My ability to tell stories has benefited me already in this space. There are some downsides — I’ll admit that it’s difficult for me to type in a business format vs fantasy novel writing that I’m used to. In my years of experience, I’ve detailed great dragons, fantasy realms, heartbreaking stories, and great heroes. Years of writing fictional stories has changed how I present my words.
The “Dragon of the Shifting Sands” adequately describes who I was before this. In human form, with keen eyes and sharp features, the players of the game where I came from immediately took notice as I’d travel through the trading districts. There are many who tried to imitate, but none were able to do what I did. Hardly any had hundreds of days to devote to playing games.
There is a subset of players in the World of Warcraft that are more prestigious and harder working than any streamer or gaming personality. We are called roleplayers, and we walk through the towns and world, taking on names and identities, networking with each other to build guilds and tell stories. We use dice systems much like dungeons and dragons. Its a game where authors win.
Designing lore that grows overtime, we commissioned artwork and spent our evenings writing. Instead of “playing the game” in the traditional sense, our motives are often social. We spend hours and days typing back and forth to each other, telling stories, creating even great depth for the characters we are playing. I began my full-time journey as a roleplayer around 4 years ago.
“And now, take a look at what I’ve become,” Sword asserts aloud. He rises to his feet, stretching his back, as he looks down from the cliff side where he’s setup camp. To the east, there’s a forest of dead trees, to the west a thick thriving jungle. Above him is a sky of twisting purple clouds; below him lies a deep ravine where once a river flowed. He sees a shooting star. How familiar. Soon, he may not be alone. He sent a message: “Find me at the source that powers the Otherside.”
These type of interactions, typing like this, are how roleplayers communicate. We tell stories, including details that grow the world around us as we do. Two people doing this together creates great magic, as they type and write to each other, journeying together on great improvised adventures. I’ve always looked at it, and taught it, as being a form of performance art. It’s not easy to do.
Infact that was my primary form of communication for quite some time. Nearly all interactions with me, as I trained many players, were in the form outlined above. This included good mornings, conversations throughout the day, love and sex. It was incredibly difficult, but there were many who thrived, as they disconnected from talking about monster trucks and real life troubles.
One fascinating aspect of roleplay was the ability to become another gender. And truly my favorite experiences, was to teach male players how to properly roleplay as females. We’d stand in front of a mirror or dance at a ball, writing stories together where our female characters try on dresses. Often they had never experienced these feelings and emotions before; it was beautiful to see.
They never knew my name, they never confirmed my gender, and we never spoke in voice or about our real lives. Each day our interactions were based around our characters, becoming better authors and storytellers, developing our relationships and love connections. It was all done under anonymity, and rightfully so, as real life things could effect or harm our immersion in RP.
For me, Sword is the first male online persona I’ve taken on. It’s the first time I’ve gotten into voice, speaking in Twitter spaces, or presented myself as a male online. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m gay. That doesn’t particularly label me as a catfish or a liar. Instead I was immersed for four years as a female quietly writing stories about my World of Warcraft Character. Make sense?
While I have no plans to add more played time to my World of Warcraft character, especially after reaching the 170 days played mark, there’s many lessons that I’m carrying over. Perhaps even I’ll bring a flock of friends with me. Imagine, if you will, that currently there is only one Sword-type in this twitter sphere, and soon, there will be two, then four, then twenty of us.
Mass adoption of blockchain gaming currently has a major kink, a problem that perhaps is being overlooked by even the greatest of minds in the space.
I cannot bring my flock here yet. The reason for that: The cost of entry. There’s another reason, even more difficult to overcome: They will get distracted and lost in the many small projects being presented. While I can find ways to buy their entry into the space, they will surely become distracted by all the small projects and hype. To their own downfall, they’ll scatter instead of focus.
Once the Otherside is released, I can direct my people to a central space. We can meet and rally around the same projects, increasing the value of the land that we call home and occupy. There’s little that I can do before that, it’s best that they aren’t here in the Wild West, as they’d surely get lost without clear guidance on where to call home. Soon, I’ll be able to light the way for them.
I held perhaps the highest of unpaid positions in the World of Warcraft as a roleplayer and storyteller. Hundreds and thousands of individuals on our realm followed people like me. We taught and trained, spreading our culture and values, teaching our forms of communication and social normality to newcomers in the roleplay space. We’re coming to the Otherside now.
I’m currently the first on the ground here. I’m looking for ways to blend online storytelling, metaverse personas, with communications that span beyond text typing. Somehow, between talking live in spaces and writing, I’ll find a new ways to captivate audiences. Blending all of these elements together takes practice, and soon I’ll start releasing writings about my character Sword.