We wear uniforms at school in Australia, and in school my group of friends were concert age when Alanis did her Jagged little pill tour – we were lucky to get into the mosh pit and it was pretty amazing to be so close to the artist we adored, and who’s every lyric we had memorized. After the concert It started a trend among my friends – we would wear out school jumpers inside out and back to front. I thought it was silly so initially refused – until I was told I wasn’t a big enough Alanis fan then – hint can’t hang with us . I folded, felt stupid, but we got over it pretty quickly – and our jumpers resumed normal position. I did it so I felt like I belonged, and people do all sorts of things to feel excepted or part of a group. There are other types of peer pressure , and a jumper is a very mild version of the choices put towards us on a daily basis. In the scheme of things of a group of friends doing something that was harmlessly stupid that contributes to group cohesion ( and doesn’t involve something incredibly stupid or dangerous or harmful – yes I had to add that disclaimer) is ok.
When you join a new guild participating in guild activities and your interactions in guild is one way of finding your place in its social hierarchy, and to feel like you belong. Sometimes it might mean wearing your sweater on backwards for a little while.
You also participate in ‘bonding activities.’ You might find a new interest in Arena, try to catch the guild after Raid for the holiday quest, or do the LFG random, premade BG groups, Go on retro raids, answer a request for someones alt wanting a carry, or even join a 10′s team. All those things I have done to some degree, not because I want to – or that it suits my interest or goals, or even that I am going to have fun, some of it has been obligation. No I did not want to heal through Sunwell, but it means we get to go as a group. I don’t care about a stupid mount ( but others do), ect.
These things I think are as important in ‘bonding’ or fitting in as actually turning up for the scheduled raid times. As much as think I am my own player, and will jump servers because I can, as well as chose my own ‘fun’ – I want to be a loyal guildy - I like ‘team building’ when individual agendas do not rule or run the show, because I think it creates a bond beyond ‘ just a green health bar you keep topped up occasionally, I want to play with people not npc’s.
Professional sports teams do team building activities, they don’t just play and train with each other, they also let their hair down. ( sometimes too much) They see it as helping players form bonds with each other, like each other, and therefore work better together, we don’t have to be friends, or invite each other over for barbeques, but the better the team works together the better your results says an old management adage. It’s why teams go to lunch together, or after work drinks together. Some guilds organise special in-game events. Guilds have Fancy dress competitions or even like one guild I was in did a Cow race with Taurens in Pink Tabards it’s all about fun, and bonding.
However – I don’t want to get confused because a building a working relationship and ‘lets be best buds forever’ is different. It doesn’t matter how many times you run Sunwell or TK for someone because they really wanted that mount – they will, and you will walk away as easily as it to server transfer or G quit – and it’s easy to feel betrayed because someone left you. So keep that in mind whenever you go out of your way for someone elses goal, appreciate the bonding, but don’t get walked all over and used. Wear your sweater backwards on occasion, but also never be afraid to stand up for the big things.