Why I'm a Realms Event Holder
Written by Alysha Metcalf for The View from Valehaven
Originally ran anonymously as part of a week-long series of articles by female members of the community
I was asked to write an article describing why I choose to be an Event Holder. I knew early on in my Realms career that EHing was, eventually, something I wanted to do. I had (and still have) a lot of respect for EHs; these are people who dedicate a tremendous amount of time and energy to creating the venues that enable our game, and our community, to exist. I wanted to be a part of that. When I decided to take the plunge, it was because it seemed like the next logical step in my Realms career. I had already been on staff for, or involved in the planning process of, multiple events. I had NPCed even more events than that. But I wanted to take everything I had learned and challenge myself to actually throw an event.
I tested the waters by throwing a tournament as my first event. It went smoothly overall, and I learned numerous lessons that would serve me well for throwing future tournaments. Fortunately, I also had an excellent support system to lean on for help. As nerve wracking as the prospect of being a first-time EH was, I can't imagine what the experience would have been like without the assistance of some veteran EHs. Having a solid team is essential to throwing a successful event.
While I liked throwing a tournament, I don't think I fully appreciated the event-holding experience until I was an EH for a weekend-long questing event. Talk about pre-event jitters; I've never been as terrified as when PCs started showing up on that first Friday night. The idea for the event was a result of one of those "wouldn't it be fun to...?" conversations that you never really believe will come to fruition. The fact that it did is still a point of pride for me. It also represents one of my favorite aspects of event-holding: taking an idea and making it reality.
I truly do enjoy all facets of the event planning process: from the initial ideas and brainstorming, to designing encounters, to creating props and costumes, to that last-minute prepping in the wee hours of the morning the night before the event. But the real enjoyment starts with that exhilarating moment when the event goes live. Watching all those hours of plotting and planning unfold, often in different and better ways than I could have anticipated, is beyond satisfying. Seeing players grab onto and get invested in your plot is especially thrilling, even when they do they unexpected. Creating memorable moments for players is another wonderful aspect of event-holding. While the logistical process of executing an event successfully is rewarding in and of itself, receiving positive feedback from players provides validation that all the effort was also worth something to the community. If I can enrich even one player's Realms experience, then I feel like I've done something good.
When I'm knee-deep in event prep (literally, wading through props in my living room) it can be easy to forget that I choose to be an EH. I sometimes question what I was thinking, getting myself into such a massive undertaking. The weeks leading up to an event especially feel like having a second full-time job. But it always ends up being worth the effort. The added stress, the late nights, the fleeting moments of doubt-none of these things compare to the immense gratification of seeing my ideas, my plans, and my passion fully realized, and feeling that I have made a positive impact on the Realms community.
Why We Ran Anonymous Articles This Week
Written by Jennifer DeNardis-Rosa
Written at the end of that week, summing up the week's worth of anonymous articles.
The article series this week was meant to showcase the many different reasons why individuals chose to become involved in the various facets that the game has to offer. Although these articles were written by specific individuals, they were purposefully written with a broader, more general scope, in the hopes of making each article accessible to our community. As you went through the narratives this week, were you able to identify with some of these writers? Did you see yourself, or aspects of yourself, in any of these pages? Or have you been hovering on the edge of getting involved in any of these things? If so, maybe reading these accounts will help give you that extra push you need, or provide the helpful little spark. One of the purposes of this series was to help make getting involved in the wider aspects of the game more relatable to other players.
You may also have noticed that each article was published anonymously. This was done on purpose as well. Now I want to ask a question - as you were reading, were you trying to guess the identity of the writer since there was no name on top? Or did you read each one with a voice already in your head? Let's take this a step farther - was that voice male or female? Or did it differ depending on what the topic of the article was, or who you are? Or did the articles just read in a neutral way, with no distinction between the different voices?
To that end, the View staff would like to officially recognize and thank each of our "anonymous" contributors this week. Each of these articles was, in fact, written by a woman in our community; the goal of each article was to show why each woman choses to do what she does, how she feels it benefits the community, and the satisfaction she gets, both personal and community-wise, from doing so. This series was collaborated and published in honor of the Huntress Guild and as a way to recognize women in our game in the week leading up to the annual Huntress Guild tournament, the Tournaments of Artemis.
Why I'm a Realms Event Holder, written by Alysha "Kyntela" Metcalf
The main purpose of running these articles anonymously at first was to help illustrate the idea that each person in this community has the ability to make meaningful contributions to the game - and many players do - and that these contributions are made regardless of whether the player is male or female. All players have the capacity to have an impact on the game and our contributions can take many different forms, as shown by the articles above. So to ask the question again - who did you see in these stories as you were reading through them? If you tried to guess the identity or the gender of the writer, were you correct? Hopefully you can see that those things don't matter as much - male or female, everyone in this community has a lot to give.
The other purpose of this article series was to reinforce the fact that there are many strong women in our community that can, and do, put in just as much effort and work just as hard as any other to help make our game succeed, and that there is no shortage of female role-models within our game. These are examples of women choosing and excelling at different facets of the game, and these ladies serve as both an example and a reminder of what is possible for all women in the community.
This series also serves to showcase the important and varied role that the Huntress Guild plays in terms of women in the Realms. Combat is another aspect of the Realms, but even those that are leaders and major contributors in other aspects of our game can find combat to be difficult or challenging. To that end, the Huntress Guild is an important resource that helps to train and support women in combat. It should also be pointed out that there are many veteran players, both male and female, who are willing to help teach and train newer (and older!) players as well. But just as there is more to the game than fighting, there is also more to the Huntress Guild than just promoting females in combat. The Huntress Guild aims for the support and promotion of females in all aspects of the game, and this includes staffing, spell-casting, feast-o-crating, event-holding, NPC'ing, and beyond. Every woman is a Huntress, and through our support of each other, we make each other and the Guils stronger. As illustrated by the talented ladies above, one does not have to be a strong fighter to be considered a leader, a contributor, or a strong woman in this game.
An important note - while this editorial primarily deals with the role of women, this of course is not limited just to females. These same opportunities for contributing and getting involved are open to men as well. As was previously stated above, each person in the community has the ability to give of themselves to improve and enrich the game - but everyone must start somewhere. You just need to take the first step!