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MarianFrae

A Thank You Letter

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I originally posted this on Facebook so some of it includes explanations which you guys obviously don't need. Ignore them. <3

Around the time I turned 11, my parents allowed me to become involved in some internet communities. I chose the handle "Marian Frae" because I was mainly doing roleplays with people and didn't want to have an internet handle, a pseudonym for publishing(eventually), AND a birth name.

The first few years of my foray into the internet didn't really produce much for me; I enjoyed a few weeks each of writing really stupid stories with strangers and listened to a lot of Yahoo! Music--mainly Avril Lavigne's Nobody's Home on repeat.

When I was 12 or 13, I started looking for a fun, inexpensive game to play; that search led me to Ahriman's Prophecy and a web-based community I would never have guessed would shape and change my life as much as it has. I wasn't very involved for a year or so, sheepishly posting on occasion and lurking in tons of comments and fan stories.

Interestingly enough, though there were tons of roleplays I could have joined, I initially posted in General Discussions--typically in the serious conversations about politics, education, healthcare, and tolerance of various people groups. These conversations and debates led to a greater understanding of world culture than American media and schooling ever *attempted* to provide.

Realizing my opinion could be valued and considered--not as a child's but as a peer's--by people I respected and were most often older than I boosted my eagerness to get involved. Amaranthia was the best community I could have possibly found at that age; it was open minded, family friendly, and based around a single, initial interest that bound us all together.

As I grew more comfortable, I dove into roleplays and posted a few original stories. I'm not the type to do fanfiction; tons of ideas and headcanons swirl around in my mind but don't really make it to written form. Amaranthians didn't care; anything with a good story that was remotely readable gained followers, suggestions, and *constructive* criticism.

Other people began reaching out to me for constructive criticism or to join their roleplay. While the attention certainly helped my self-esteem, I was humbled and honored rather than developing an ego. School friends and teachers had often told me I needed to further pursue writing, but they were a small sample size; this was much bigger.

Amaranthia hosts "guilds". These guilds allow users to find a niche and family within the community--basically a portal to become more involved with guidance and support. My choice between the guilds took an absurd amount of deliberation--both personal and public; I'm pretty sure a few people became convinced I was never going to choose.

At 15, Amanda Fitch gave me my first job; I wrote Amaranth Games' short, somewhat monthly newsletter. It mostly focused on her games and partners' games but occasionally featured exciting news from the community. I will never stop being grateful for that experience--however short it ended up being.

Shortly after that ended, I ran an unofficial site-only newsletter as the chief editor. My team consisted of people from something like 7 different countries. Even more than my original debates and discussions, this forever changed my world view.

The community--and its leaders--grew my belief in my own communicative skills and encouraged me to pursue my literary passions and goals. The community built up a great respect for game design and the positive impact it can have on several lives. Without Amaranthia, I would have never turned to game design for comfort and stability when I felt like my life was crumbling around me. I never would have met Legacy, ZackwellAesther, and literarygoth(from other websites) and so many others who continually contribute to my love of life and mental well being. I wouldn't be starting a game development company with them, and I would have no idea of the fantastic community we might be able to create.

Without Amaranthia, I wouldn't have the drive to polish and complete Exsors with RaineGryphon. In fact, neither of us would believe our story could possibly be as loved and popular as it was while we were still posting its very rough first draft online. We probably wouldn't have continued past the first few chapters.

I wouldn't look at the world with the ability to see past my environmental culture and realize both the faults and positives of all cultures.

I have no idea what I'd be doing with my life right now if I hadn't had such a supportive community growing me, comforting me, encouraging me so early in life when I was *so* incredibly insecure. I know where I wouldn't be. I know what amazing experiences I would never have known.

So thank you: everyone who was here with me and those who came after to keep it alive.

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That’s a very well composed and heart-felt message MarianFrae… thank you for posting and sharing your experience and years with us.

 

I look forward to reading your follow-up posts on your game development, stories, and comments across the forums.

 

Our community also looks forward to another generation of games from those whom have grown up with ours!

 

The internet is clearly a vast expanse of opportunities… I’m glad you’ve found our outpost and that it has served you as well as it was intended.

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