Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Who is Alachia?

Who is Alachia? I ask myself all the time actually.
But it's a question I keep getting asked more and more often now. I don't think people want to know who I am in RL or what I look like in RL to judge me. At least the people who are asking don't seem like they'd to that. I think it's more about furthering connection.

I'm like that too. I want to see a real life visual connection to someone I'm talking to. It's as if we aren't socially trained to accept a PURE meta relationship. We need that grounding totem. :) We need the physical existence to help validate the connection. "oh yeah, she's human, she's flawed, she's real"

The problem with a pure meta existence is that your persona automatically has a guassian blur filter applied to it by default. (graphic filter that applies a smooth, slight blur across an image) It makes it easier for people to just "fill in the blanks" as they perceive you. It makes it easier for you to hide your flaws as a RL person and just present your completely controlled meta self.

I like being just "Alachia" to the WoW community. The other me...she's complicated, messed up, deviant, manic depressive, self-loathing, reserved, self-conscious, unsure, and confused. The podcast is simply an "expression of myself" and in no way reflects me in totality for sure. It's one aspect of "me" that loves to delve into my obsession with WoW, the things I observe about the Meta, and my questions about the WoWverse.

I'm guilty myself. Whenever I hear someone on a podcast or a radio show, I immediately try to find a picture of them. I long for the real-ness of people.

I guess the coin is still up in the air and I haven't called heads or tails yet. A part of me just wants to be like, okay, this is me so people won't feel the need to ask but then there's a part of me that still wants to hide underneath my meta-rock. :)



Vino said...

Maybe you should try a videocast on the side. If you listen to The Instance, Scott and Andrew do Extra Life Radio, and Scott does Extra Life TV, which I personally really like. I know you do videocasts of your Arena matches, but maybe you should do a videocast about your WOW party. It would be pretty cool.

Maclort said...

When i hear a podcast I always search for pictures :)
Who here hasn't searched for Alachia's picture?
(ME) <--- Guilty

Not that I'm annoyed that you don't have pictures up or vids, nor do I expect you to have pics. And i'm not quite sure why but as you said... it lets you sense the person better. If i'm making any sense.

But on a lighter note, when i seen your edited picture
I instantly thought you looked like one of the girls out of smallville in a poster i recently saw... Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk)


So for me, when I hear you... that's how I see you. And that's good enough for me :D

(I must learn how to create hyperlinks in this comment bos...)

Vino said...

wait......that picture was edited? I feel like a dumbass now.....

Matt Tan said...

Maclort, that's just creepy 8P

I have the same problem in the game, when I come swooping in with Heals and Mindblast, followed by mindflays, all those newbs struggling with Hogger will ask ... "who are you?"

to which I reply ...

"I'm Batman"

Sometimes, the visuals are a distraction. Not knowing what someone looks like (say in a phone conversation) means I have to make a connection through listening.

Unknown said...

I have to admit I searched constantly for a picture of you. When I finally found the one you put up with you at the Video Game World Series with a happy face over yourself I realized my fault and that I should stop looking. The point of it is that the connection through the podcast and the reassurance that other people who listen to it think like I do is enough. So thanks for it and I totally get where you were coming from. P.S. This is Ligon from your METATALK...keep up the good work, see you Thursday.

Moonknight said...

Alachia I think for a lot of us the connection with the voice and the face is one that makes our experiences listening to your thoughts and feelings more real.

I admit that I have been curious for some time now about what you looked like in RL, but I do understand why you would want to keep that part of yourself to yourself.

Pie said...

It ate my comment :(

Anyway I said not to post a picture, because it messes up my mental image of the podcaster. Don't post a picture.

By the way you make links like this.

Unknown said...

This is a very interesting post, considering this weekend I met up with a fellow wow player from my guild, from the UK no less (I live in the Netherlands), for a weekend of RL 'fun' ..and by that I mean exactly what your dirty little minds think it might mean ;)

What so interesting is that in building a relationship with this girl, we both, over the course of the last weeks and months, slowly shed more and more of the "guassian blur filter", both because we wanted to know more about eachother, and also because we both understand that, as of right now with this level of technology, we cannot achieve the level of relationship we want with the tools available to us.

For example, more that once in the past week, I felt the strong physical need to give her a loving hug, as we talked about personal issues and whatnot. At that moment, the limits of MSN and Webcams become some very very obvious.

Humans are physical beings, and our entire way of operating, especially when it comes down to physical intimacy, both sexual and not, relies and far more imput that what current technology can provide.

I bet it differs per person, but personally for me, the relationships I have with 99% of the people I know, are "shallow" enough to maintain at the same level virtually, over chat or webcam/skype/phone etc.

But at some point, with some people, you feel a longing for more, sometimes -far- more.

Taking a step back now, and looking at you, Alachia, and this podcast.

I myself am of course also guilty of trying to find out more about you, a picture at least, if anything. The interesting thing here is that I find myself asking the following question:

- Do I want to find out what Starman looks like?
- Do I want to find out what Ranata looks like
- Do I want to find out what the cast of Extralife/the Instance look like?

When I try to awnser these questions, I cant escape a very very obvious bias toward females.
In all cases I can think of, I wanna know more about the -female- podcasters than anyone else.

The reason for this, and most likely for my fellow commenter's here, is probably quite straightforward. Our Heterosexuality (in the case of most males of course), naturally gives us an incentive to get to -know- females. Its almost instinctive, or at least very low level stuff.

Now add to that the fact that you, as a person, share a lot of geek sentimentality, and your ideas about the Meta, about life and about our gamer culture are gonna be in line with most guys who listen to your podcast, and who I would expect, make up the largest part of your listening audience.

My advice is to keep this in the back of your mind when you read these emails you speak of, and when you consider if you want to reveal more of 'you', to lessen the "guassian blur filter", as it where.
What I mean, is that its not just 'intellectual' curiosity at the root of those emails you recieve.

I have known examples of female wow players who are very reserved about revealing too much about themselves. The reasons are pretty wide, but more often than not its concerned with the gender issue.
Some female players simply do not want to be meassured by the concious and unconcious biases of other male players.
Others seek to avoid the 'male attention' factor that -always- comes when people find out "z0mg she's an rl girl lollerz!!"
And some actually revel in the attention, if they know how to handle this. My newly acquired relation is an example of one of those kinds of people, Teza from WorldofRaids is another example.. as evident by the Avatar picture she uses.

Please be very careful. If you are not prepared for it, you could become more of an object of attention that you bargained for, and perhaps for the wrong reasons, or at least very different reasons than you had in mind.

So in closing, the "Meta-sock" is not a bad place to be. Though your reasons for crawling out of it are inspired by a true wish to be more open, at least thats how I perceive it, never forget those basic truths about males and females, and how the internet is place to this unnatural disparity in percentages.

Mercot said...

/agree with Jemimus. Gotta be careful about RL pics and personal info these days.
Actually, I've always just had the human female avatar in my mind when listening to the podcast, since you seem to use the same one with most of your characters. :)

Alachia said...

Jokes on you guys. I'm really a boy. You didn't know??? :)

Ah yes, I totally agree with Jemimus. There is a certain degree of curiosity about the female sex over the male sex. I've said before, females are just nicer to look at imo. And there is a raw sexual urgency underlying the male/female or even female/female interaction.

And you're absolutely right that sexuality has nothing to do with my relationship to the podcast or wow.
My pondering comes from numerous questions lately regarding revealing how I appear in RL and also more information about my personal life. "Renata and Kirn have shown their pics!"

hahaha. The point is that I'm not really trying to hide or anything. I'm probably more thin-faced than most podcasters so it's probably a good thing that I maintain a lot of secrecy regarding my RL self.

If people cut me down just for my thoughts, imagine what they'd do with more. :(

I've always been "one of the guys" since I was 3 years old. My sexuality is kind of moot when you're interactions are with other guys who treat you like you've got a squiggle between your legs too. hahahaha.

I feel my personality is mostly genderless really. And I'm pretty okay with that.

The last thing I'd ever want is to destroy the ideas of WoWcast because someone thought they found a pic of my boobs like in the Teza case.. lol.

sooo not the point of WoWcast or MetaTalk. I want to reach into your minds because that's what I'm most attracted to...discovering ideas and thoughts and creativity..

and WoW is just the beginning to discovery..

p.s. I'm creepy too. I did some pretty extensive searches for Kirn's and Renata's pics as well as Eloy, Cromley (sexy voice), and Starman. I wasn't succesful at any attempts. So I was quite happy when they finally all posted their pics. Funny, it didn't change any of my perception of them.

I've made a huge print-outs of all of them and burn candles while doing chants every night. lol!!

Maclort said...

Yeh when i saw the photos of the taverncast crew i thought... yeh you sound like you look.

if you know what i mean.

Maclort said...

(sorry not really the place for it)
But thanks for letting me know how to make links, Pie :)
I tried to thank you on your blog but you've got nothing i can write on.

Zuotekk said...

heard you show for the first time today. I thought it was brilliant. I'm from Australia and have worked long term in community radio mainly doing political shows. Have just started exploring the wonders of the metaverse and your cast touches on many of the issues that have been bouncing around in my head.Its so important to try an reveal the essence of things. Once again your show is simply excellent and touching.

Alan / Falcon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan / Falcon said...

Heh, I tried to find a picture but only because I thought I might run across you at Blizzcon! For a while I was looking for your < jae > shirt, but then I realized that involved looking around at the chest of every female wearing a black T-Shirt, and gave up. :)

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