Caught an episode of King of Queens during lunch today. Doug and Carrie had their bed break under them. So, for the period until the new one would be delivered, they got old single beds from a friend. Putting them together didn’t work because they were on wheels, so they ended up “sleeping in different beds”. And it turned out to be awesome! Doug could turn as much as he wanted without disturbing Carrie’s sleep, when they wanted to get husband-and-wife-ey, they’d “visit” each other and it would be exciting, everything was fresh, new and optimal. Suddenly they discovered that they are very happy with it!
Soon they went to the cinema and couldn’t agree which film to watch, so they got this idea – since it worked so well with separate beds, why not go in separate films? It’s dark in there and you won’t be talking much anyway, so what? And then they went to separate places to eat, because they have different tastes. And then they started thinking about going on vacation separately, because they have different interests. And so on.
“There’s nothing wrong with our marriage just because we sleep apart, don’t share our tastes or free time activities!”
No time wasted for compromise, for thoughtfulness. You do what you want, you make the best of your time, and if both make the best of their time, then together they’ve made the best of their cumulative time. A perfect partnership. Or is it? Of course, by the end of the episode they realised it just couldn’t work that way. Doing what you want just isn’t that much fun if there’s no one to share it with, if no one you truly care about is there to do things together with, even if they’re not the things you love doing absolutely most. They missed each other. Optimising everything for yourself runs the risk of ending up with only yourself for company.
So, they got their new bed and slept happily ever after. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to conclude what this has to do with WoW guilds (or any other game communities, for that matter). I’ll just ask: do you truly believe in the whole being greater than the sum of its parts?