My clan has always been my passion. For years, I encountered problems, difficulties, and odd situations. Though negative surprises were around every corner, the members of my clan made the environment bearable.
It started when my sister began playing a computer game called Neopets, in which you could adopt and care for a virtual pet. She was only five or six years old at the time and eventually forgot about Neopets, but a couple years later she began playing again on a new account. Day after day, I watched her play Neopets and became envious. She finally let me create an account, but it was shared with my brother. The crowd-pleasing television show, Dragon Ball Z, was favored by my brother and me, so we decided to create a screen name related to the show and thought of Dbzruler. But when we tried registering it, someone had already taken it. Because Dbzruler was not available, Neopets offered altered versions of the name. Among the long list of suggestions, my brother and I settled on one of the modified versions: Dbzruler72.
After a month, October approached and my birthday followed. My sister told me I would be allowed to own the account myself, and my brother, Ian, would use an account of his own. On the day of my birthday, I got rid of my brother's Neopet (a dismal moment), and my brother created his own Dragon Ball Z-related screen name.
My sister had found some other Internet games. There are three I remember. One was of a castle (when logging in, the camera angle would circle the castle), another was called Treasure Crypt, & one of my most favorite ones was called the Bottomless Pit. These games were created by a company called JAGeX (Java Game Experts). While my sister was playing, a friend of hers told her of a new game JAGeX released. The game her friend showed her was called RuneScape, and she started playing it. After half an hour of watching her play, I yearned to follow in her steps and create an account. I tried the screen name Dbzruler again, hoping the screen name was not taken in this game also, but, like in Neopets, my atrocious luck persisted. My sister suggested that I use the screen name I had on Neopets and agreed.
The three of us would play, alternating every hour, while the other two watched happily. Even though playing RuneScape consumed much of our time, we still played Neopets quite a bit. In 2002, I hungered for a greater goal than simply just playing. I wanted to make a guild so that all Neopet players could enjoy talking with other 'Scapers. Creating this guild was hard work, especially for a ten-year-old. A certain code had to be used in order to display text on the guild; it was called Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). At this age, learning HTML was an immensely confusing matter. Knowing where to place signs and memorizing commands forced me to think beyond anything I had done before.
I had forgotten about RuneScape for a few months & was moving into the sixth grade at school. There, I met someone named David, & he asked me what games I played. I mentioned Neopets, Need for Speed: Porshe Unleashed, Tiberian Sun (we talked about that for a while), & then I remembered RuneScape ("Oh, also RuneScape."). He was excited that I played RuneScape because he did as well, & after school, we were on RuneScape. I had finally started RuneScape again. I raised my Attack level to 20 by training on Monks during this time.
Two months before my creation of my Neopets guild, I created a clan in RuneScape. I brainstormed some names for the clan with my brother and sister one promising night. We came up with a very appealing name: *-P.K.Masters-* . (PK stands for Player-Killing.) At school the next day, I told a friend named Neil about the clan, & I showed him the paper with all the possible clan names. I told him I favored *-P.K.Masters-* & asked him to join. He accepted & became the third clan member. The day after that, I asked some other friends & my best friend (Justin Ruler) to join. Progress was slow at first. Perhaps I was too young and sophomoric to be leading anything, much less a clan--but I stuck with it. For years I toyed with my clan: just recruited my friends, engaged in activities which would be called "newbish" nowadays, but I was content with the small, but happy community. Judging by my experience, other clans were just as small and playful as mine. It was not until years later, in 2005, that I learned of the "real" RuneScape clan world.
The once quiet game grew into an overly popular community enjoyed by millions of people of all ages. Many fan sites had been created, giving advice, guides, and large amounts of useful information. Exploring RuneScape through search engines, I came across one of these fan sites and headed to its forum. Looking in the Clan Discussions, I was numb with shock. Pictures with literally hundreds of players warring, all wearing the best type of armor, obviously not afraid to lose it, filled every thread. In addition, the true meaning of honor showed itself. In the clan world, there were two types of PKing clans: Honor and No Honor (self-explanatory). I compared this to my clan, which consisted of about ten members. A veil of embarrassment and insignificance crept over me. Before the feeling could engulf me, I broke out, inspired by all the clans' success, and wished to become like them some day.
But the real barrier was time. Beginning in the sixth or seventh grade, my parents had begun to limit my time on the computer. During middle school, I was allowed only one hour a day. Once high school started, my time restriction increased to two hours. Although this increase of time helped, it was no where near close to what was essential. The confinement propelled me to use my time wisely. Play time was over. With time forcing me, I worked on clan work off the computer: making tables, charts, notes, and ideas for when I could get back on the computer. This new advance helped tremendously, yet I still was not able to do all the work I had to do. In spite of time, I gave different leadership positions to spread the work. Because of this fresh path, the once heavy anvil lifted from my shoulders--but only slightly. Even with all the changed courses, all the colorful passages, all the reassuring shortcuts, time was short.
To this day, I still struggle in doing clan work because of time constraints, but my clan has wizened my mind. I have grown to love it, cherish it, and given it a higher priority than even school. I have gained knowledge for different situations, whether hectic, calm, or pressured. It has given me a great deal of experience to use for later life, which I believe is doubtlessly the greatest gift of all.