This is one of those mornings where you are going to have to suffer one of my dreams.  I had a fairly weird one last night… or at least the last dream I dreamt of the evening was odd.  I was at some sort of a video game convention along the lines of Pax…  because really that is the only one I have first person experience of and as a result in my brain all video game conventions look a lot like Pax South.  Pax has this whole bring your own computer area where folks do just that and set up camp for the weekend, and I believe that is one of the cardinal draws of places like Quake Con in Dallas…  the promise of a giant LAN Party.  In my dream this convention went a whole new step and sorta allowed people to set up camp for the week literally.

For whatever reason I was there with a mix of people from my work and people I know from the internet and a few people that I only recognize as faces I probably saw on youtube.  We had commandeered one of the corners of a large building and literally had vehicles parked creating this box of sorts to denote the boundary of our camp like some sort of a protective wall.  There was a space where the cars didn’t completely meet together in the middle and that is how we got in and out of the encampment.  Inside the area we marked off were a bunch of sleeping options and a cluster of desks making a computer lab of sorts.

Some folks were sleeping in the backseat of vehicles, others in hammocks…  a few people in a pickup bed…  and a few more on the roof of the vehicles as well as a few traditional tents.  Now mind you…  this is inside of a convention center building with its high ceilings and soulless utilitarian walls.  None of this makes any sense at all, especially the next bit.  These are folks from my work…  but none of them are aware of the whole “Belghast” thing and the blog or the podcast…  yet I am trying to sneak time to cover the convention for said blog and podcast.

Towards the end of the weekend one of the people that I don’t actually know who they are… but are apparently part of this madness finds out and keeps it on the down low for me.  The convention eventually ends and and we have to start breaking camp… and the first thing to move are the vehicles.  One of which apparently has lost a fuse of some sort and while they were able to get it out to the parking lot were not dead in the water.  So the last thing I remember before waking up for the alarm this morning was sifting through piles of tech debris looking for a fuse.

None of it really makes sense but I think it hints at something weird about my life.  I don’t tell anyone I know in my actual life about my online persona or any of the things I do with it.  I am weirdly secretive about it because I am not really sure how “normal people” would react to such things.  It is just weird to have this thing in my life that I don’t feel like i can really talk about to anyone except people I may never actually meet from the gaming/blogging community.  There are a lot of things I have done or accomplished that I should feel proud about, but that I don’t really feel like I can…  because I don’t think people would actually understand any of this.

I wonder how much of my anxiety and general dysfunction centers around the fact that I in essence have a secret life.  I mean obviously I share it with my wife and she supports the nonsense that I do here…  even if she does not fully understand it either.  There is a general angst about being “found out” even though I really don’t have anything worth hiding.  Everyone has a thing in their life that isn’t quite like what folks would expect.  One of my co-workers is super into model trains… and somehow that feels way more normal than anything I do.  I realize this is mostly an age thing and I grew up in a generation where gaming was an affliction to grow out of and not something to be embraced other than among your closest circle of friends in a dimly lit room somewhere.

This is an odd post, but it is the sort of things I have been mulling over in my head this morning.


One thought on “Encampment

  1. The keeping different lives separate thing is interesting. Also how it relates to age. Where I work we have a very wide mix of ages. At 59 I am right at the upper end. We have people at every point from there back to around 20. Pretty much everyone treats everyone else as though we are all the same age. I went a long time without mentioning my interest in online gaming and blogging about it but eventually I stared to mention it and over the last few years I have mentioned it as and when it seemed appropriate in conversation. I have been surprised by how un-weird it’s considered by most people. I now know that several of my colleagues, including one of my managers, are very active gamers, which I hadn’t known until I started talking about it. I definitely think that if I had come out as a model railway enthusiast that would have been seen as a lot weirder!

    Even so, I haven’t gone as far as to let people know what my online identity is called or revealed the name of my blog. I don’t think anything negative would happen if i did but I do still feel more comfortable with clear blue water between the different worlds.

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