Updated: Apr 26, 2021
I do not play a lot of video games but there are always a couple of games on my phone to pass the time when the need arises. When I got my first iPhone, I downloaded 3 games, Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds and Marvel Contest of Champions. All were highly rated but the ability to play a game using some of my favorite Marvel characters made the last on that list an early favorite.
Like most free to download games it had a lot of aspects that could be unlocked or speed up by purchasing upgrades. This is not my style but luckily with enough time and practice plus some luck you can still get there. The first few months I just played a little each day to unlock daily prizes and level up my collection and once I got to level 30 I started to get invitations to alliances. The game is setup that some aspects and rewards are only available to those teamed up with others.
I joined up with one that had members around the size and strength of my account. They weren’t very active though and so I bounced around till I got invited to one with a pretty silly name, “Groot Ate My Homework” or just GAMH for short. They were active when I was (Central) and together we grew our accounts to level 60 (the max). There is a chat function for global (lots of weirdos in there) and for just your alliance. I got to know the folks in the alliance chat and it turned out, to my surprise, a lot of them were people my age. Most of us had kids, a career, and other shared interests. While many of us were in the US we had active players on 5 continents. The fun of the game and the sense of community drove me to play more and more.
Eventually I had one of the strongest accounts on the team and was promoted to the leadership council then eventually to the head honcho position when our long-time leader had to quit. We eventually expanded to “Line” a separate app for communication and this made it easier for us to develop strategies (and share memes). We created documents with attack plans, assigned routes, made recommendations on teams to use/upgrade and created dues of in game currency to expand and level up individually and as a group. We assigned roles like treasurer, team leads (3), and a website admin.
After playing with the same group for more than a year (two for some) we became friends on Facebook and would chat about non-game related things sharing highs and lows in our life. One member of our leadership team was suffering from depression and sadly took his life, we only found out because his brother also played and gave us the details. We all changed our FB and in game profile pages to a picture of Groot in his honor.
Eventually we reached the top level of alliances and created a farm team, Rocket Stole My Nuts (not my vote). Members could float between the two teams depending on their strength and available time to play. The game and alliance continued to grow but eventually it was too much of a demand on me and I stepped away. I passed the mantel off to my friend Spicer33 (Todd) but am still friends on Facebook with several folks I met through the game.
I downloaded the game to get some screen shots for this blog and see that both GAMH and Todd are still active and going strong. I really enjoyed the experience but am happy to have put my efforts into other things. Then again I do have it on my phone now… hmmm.