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Come for the games, stay for the awesome

Come for the games, stay for the awesome

Over the course of less than a week, I married a man named James whom I cheated on with the schizophrenic butler, Daffy. All the while we were being poisoned by the robot gardener, Daniel, who kept insisting we “try the tulips”, because they were apparently delicious. James wanted me dead anyhow, because he didn’t want me to divorce him and take all his money. It was sad because we’d loved each other once. This led to a spat between he and Daffy wherein Daffy was shot and promptly turned in to a zombie.

Oh, the dramas you can create using only your imagination and some spare time with a couple wonderfully humorous people. Such was my experience at the Icrontic New Year party (commonly abbreviated to ICNY).

It might sound weird, but I’ll just tell you what was said to me any time something weird, funny, or oddly uplifting happened to me here:

Welcome to Icrontic.
Icrontic New Year

Let me be honest; I am not exactly what you would call a “gamer”. Up until four months ago, my gaming wherewithal was more or less limited to Super Mario Brothers and Tetris. I will also admit to an on-and off love affair with NeoPets, but that is really neither here nor there. Recently, however, I was introduced to a gaming platform called “Steam”—maybe you’ve heard of it. The game “Portal” lived up to its name and opened up a new world for me, and from there an obsession was born. I tried my hand at several other games, including Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft. So, by the time I made it to Warren, Michigan on December 28th, three days early for the New Year Party, I was ready for the games. I was ready to play the games, and to watch the games, and by God, I was ready to be the games.

What I was not ready for was falling completely in love with every person that I met. I wasn’t ready to have Brian Ambrozy’s home completely opened up to me. I wasn’t ready for Detroit to be so beautiful. I wasn’t ready to have the most fun I’ve had in years. In short: I was not ready to have a completely life-altering experience.

Detroit is beautiful

Downtown Detroit on a cold and clear winter evening

If you’re like me, you didn’t really know what Icrontic was even after lurking the forums for a bit. I’d once asked my boyfriend (“Myrmidon” in the gaming world) what exactly this website was after he’d mentioned it a few times. He responded with a cryptic, “Oh God, how can I answer that?” Really, how could he have?

The truth is, what Icrontic has done is so unique that it does, indeed, defy conventional description. Even now, after having spent nearly a week with them, words fail me. This level and sense of community is so rare that seeing it up close was surreal. Like I said, I’m not a gamer. I’m just a girl with a laptop who signs on to Steam every so often to kill time and, sometimes, crazed super computers… but it didn’t set me apart from anyone. It didn’t make me an outsider. Near as I can figure, the only thing that could make you an outsider here is being a jerk, and I really didn’t meet any of those.

There is definitely something to be said about waking up at one in the afternoon and crawling over two dead-asleep bodies, dragging yourself up the stairs of a basement, and finding yourself in a room filled with laptops and happy faces. At ICHQ time didn’t exist, selfishness had all but evaporated, and people smiled when you called their name. It’s how I imagine walking in to the Cheers bar must feel like, except at IC there’s much less Ted Danson and far more alcohol. Everyone around me made sure I always had something vegetarian on my plate, they made me drinks for fun, and they took care of me when I was sick. When I expressed a fear of annoying people, I was merely told, “Everyone here is your friend, dude, and they want you to be happy”. Icrontians came and went in the days I spent there, and by the time the New Year rolled around there was such a strong sense of belonging that I’d almost forgotten I hadn’t known these people my whole life and that I lived a world away from most of them.

Love Icrontic: 33K8T-20A8K-V4YYXI think my last journal entry in Michigan sums it up rather nicely:

“I am terrible at journaling. I always write more about my feelings than my experiences. To that point, though, I have been happy, sad, excited, starry-eyed, awed, angered, flattered, and ALL the things in varying turns and degrees since I’ve been here… and it’s been mostly amazing. I’ve learned that TF2 is easier when playing with a great group of people, boys are exceedingly kind when drunk, and complete strangers can treat you like family. I’d say that speaks more about this trip that all the ‘I-ate-here’s and the ‘I-did-this’s in the world. So… there.

Terin Clyde
Warren, Michigan”

Keep it up, Icrontic. You guys do good work.

Comments

  1. RyanMM
    RyanMM It was awesome meeting you. Welcome to the Icrontic family!
  2. Pacifisto
    Pacifisto Man, I really need to make it to an IC event!
  3. Ilriyas
    Ilriyas Excellent article, really makes me wish that I had arranged to go to ICNY. (It sounded so /)^3^(\ )
  4. Chooch
    Chooch welcome to the family! =)
  5. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx It was great meeting you, Terin. I'm glad you could make it.

    It's funny, as you mentioned @myrmidon struggling to figure out how to describe what Icrontic is, I find myself after nearly five years of membership and more event trips than I can count having the same issues when people as me about it. What we have here is so astoundingly irregular on the internet, how can anyone outside of it possibly understand?

    I think the greatest thing you said about ICHQ was "At ICHQ time didn’t exist." What a statement. Time doesn't exist at ICHQ. It's like a vacuum. You know when to eat, but that's about the only cues you have to the time of day. You go to bed at 6-8AM, wake up whenever you feel like it, and do it all over again.

    ICHQ is a place in which the long fingers of time have no grip.
  6. WagsFTW
    WagsFTW I'm sad I didn't get to meet you. Your experiences of meeting the people of Icrontic remind me much of the first time I met everyone. I can't thank "Magic" enough for introducing me to these wonderful people. It truly is something incredible and unique, and you have made friends that will last a lifetime and beyond. The Icrontic community is welcoming, and events truly do disregard time. Everyone is a friend here. :) Welcome to Icrontic, Terin!
  7. RyanFodder
    RyanFodder Truely awesome ICNY experience this year! I never feel more comfortable than when I'm around all you guys.

    Terin, great article! I had fun with the imaginary soap opera as well :)
  8. SpencerForHire
    SpencerForHire A highly amusing read. I hope we see you at ICSP!
  9. Thrax
    Thrax Superbly written, and hauntingly accurate.
  10. NiGHTS
    NiGHTS One of us... one of us... one of us...
  11. Teramona
    Teramona Thank you guys for the warmest welcome in the world! It was great meeting those of you that I did, and I'm excited to meet those of you that I didn't. I'm glad that my experience mirrors everyone else's; it just proves my impressions right.
  12. QCH
    QCH I am always so happy to hear that people still find IC indescribable and appealing after they start poking around. Icrontic is like no place on the net. Honestly, other than my church youth group some 21 years ago, I have never felt so welcome and so at ease with all the facets of my complex life. I love Icrontic... I love so many of you guys and gals. I count many of you as best friends and I miss you the minute I leave ICHQ and look forward to seeing you.

    I... LOVE... ICRONTIC
  13. Myrddin
    Myrddin Happy you had an excellent trip. Who would've known we had such an awesome writer in our family. Welcome to the gaming family as well and thank you for inviting me to this charming site.
  14. Teramona
    Teramona Woo! Soon to be my one year anniversary of meeting you guys!
  15. cola
    cola I still look forward to the day I'll be attending an event who's main venue is ICHQ.
  16. primesuspect
    primesuspect I dunno! NF0CF-VV9KE-XJVQQ
  17. Teramona
    Teramona
    I dunno! NF0CF-VV9KE-XJVQQ
    Wat.
  18. Ilriyas
    Ilriyas
    I dunno! NF0CF-VV9KE-XJVQQ
    Wat.
    Gibe Code I no u as key now gibe
  19. Ivan
  20. Gargoyle
    Gargoyle Feature request: log of recently edited posts. :D
  21. Teramona
    Teramona
    I dunno! NF0CF-VV9KE-XJVQQ
    Wat.
    Gibe Code I no u as key now gibe
    Wat.
  22. Ivan
  23. Ilriyas
  24. Ivan
  25. Teramona
  26. Ivan
  27. Teramona
    Teramona What is happen?
  28. RyanFodder
  29. Teramona
    Teramona I'm writing a follow up to this piece. Thinking about naming it "Understanding Addiction, Icrontic, and You: My Year on the Internet".
  30. Thrax
    Thrax The article is simply a screenshot from Mint, indicating the total value spent on reaching and staying in the Detroit metro area.

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