So I was talking to Jeff Ward today (Teh Deville) about many things. Hockey, Olympic pigheadedness, the state of PTC RPing (he agrees with me, for what it's worth) and then why he quit. He gave me his reasons. It was mainly a mental thing on his part. I'm not going to be specific, but there's a lot of stuff going on inside his head, and he felt that getting out for now would be best for him. Probably because at one time, I felt like he did.
Once upon a time, I almost quit e-fedding. Back in 2002-03, I started to get really, really fed up with politics and OOC feuds in A1E. Many of the readers here who were around that scene at the time know the details, and I'm not going to get into them because a) I'm ashamed at my actions and about some of the things I got pissed off about and b) it's neither here nor there.
But I really had a lot of stress going on that I couldn't deal with, and I was burning out hardcore. I mean, I still liked the idea of e-fedding, but at the time, A1E was just unpalatable, MBE had closed and the FW.com world was not an option because of all the ignorant acrimony I had towards them at the time. So I quit.
I never really lost the itch though. And a good amount of time later, I wanna say six months, but now that I think about it, it could have been longer. But anyway, later on, I had an idea for a character that I was only doing for my own personal amusement (and for the amusement of anyone else who thought he would be funny). I didn't care if he won or lost. I just wanted an outlet to make people laugh like I had used to with Jericoholic and an outlet to satire the hell out of folks who I thought were taking the hobby down the wrong path at the time. (Oone of those guys was Brunk... and now he's one of my closest and trusted confidants... now that's irony folks!)
So Roderick McRatrick was born, and at the same time, so was Squiggy Jackson and eventually every one of his Band of Merry Scumbags, like Rusty Joe, "Rodney McRipped," Wigglytuff McDipoleson, Stoney McGanjaman, Lord Tophattington, the dueling disembodied voices, Helga and of course, Lindsay's favorite, the Ghost of Steve Guttenberg.
And I really didn't care whether I won or lost with him. Really, I expected to lose nearly every match I had with him, but I guess he clicked with the voters in instances where my opponents would show. He had a fairly good winning percentage, and according to Jenkins' ENN 250, Roddy hit #8 in 2003 (or was it '04?). That was a whoa moment for me.
But despite all the success he had, I really didn't care if he won the matches or not. And that was a liberating feeling. Not going into matches with your stomach churning whether you win or lose. I discovered the true meaning of e-fedding.
Handling Roderick McRatrick definitely changed my view on the hobby, and without him, I probably wouldn't be where I'm at today. I might not even be e-fedding.
Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't totally care about wins and losses. I do, but it's not as bad as it was in my first A1E run. I mean, I still wanna be the A1E Champion, and I wanna win titles wherever I go. But it's at least sharing the front seat with putting out a compelling storyline and writing amusing or compelling segments for each show.
I think the lesson for everyone here is that this hobby is only partially competitive. You should be in it for your own enjoyment, and if you're not getting enjoyment out of it, well you should think of another way to get it, or just quit.
But I would advise against quitting for too long.
And how can you get enjoyment out of the hobby?
Well... join an angle fed.