By Drayco, as a contribution to HSM
Families on Home are more than groups of friends who hang out together. They are family.
A relationship with a fellow family member is more than just a friendship. Family comes first, and if you don’t agree, you shouldn’t be in one.
Family is forever. You can’t choose your family and then leave because you view or see another that you might like. You work together to resolve your issues and stick together, no matter what. It’s the idea of true friendship, no matter how large or small the family. From a family of five to a family of five hundred, they can both hold the same quality. Quantity doesn’t matter; rather, it’s the caliber of the people whom you have by your side.
When you run a family on Home, it’s like shopping for the best food at the supermarket: you pick through the apples at the store to find the ones that are ripe and unbruised. You choose the best of the best, and toss the rest.
If a particular Home user in your family doesn’t care about you or the others in your group, why have that person take up a slot on your friend list? Show of hands: I’m sure some of you reading this have gone through your friend list at some point and thought, “Who is that person?”
When you’re in a family, you shouldn’t have to ask that question. You should know, the moment you look at that person, if he or she is a real friend. Otherwise, it’s simple: delete them. And if they send you a message and ask you why, then tell them.
“I obviously haven’t spoken with you often, but if you would like to get to know each other better, we could add each other back,” is my usual line. Apologize that you both never speak, and that friends should talk. If they say no, then don’t worry about it. Or, if they say yes, the worst that could happen is you decide, after getting to know this person once more, whether or not you get along or have anything in common.
Conversely, if the deleted party doesn’t add you back (or doesn’t send a message at all), then they didn’t know you or didn’t care enough to send you a message. Onward.
Clubs in Home can be generally defined as three different things:
The first type of club is a common space for just an elite group of friends, thirty or less, to hang out together without the interruption of outside users. These people congregate at a clubhouse to just hang out, have small parties or meetings, or discuss and plan possible multi-player gaming events on other PlayStation games.
The second usage of a clubhouse is as a meeting spot for the larger families in Home, where multiple clubhouses are prepared by different family members to hold thirty of the members on each. This allows for the members to “belong” to something rather than just being called a member and having no meeting space.
Usually, the top ranks in a family are on the leader’s club list, and each of those own a clubhouse as well so that the higher ranks have a place to meet. The leader himself (or herself) would be on five of the club lists, seeing as you may only belong to five clubs.
The third type of clubhouse is just a party club, where different types of parties or gatherings are hosted, with random users passing out promos and listening to tunes. Typically such party clubs get a DJ to play music for the people who show up for a good time, and patrons type their chats in order to respect the mic of the DJ.
Every so often, though, you meet a club that’s a little different. In some cases, a lot different. And in this issue’s column, I want to spotlight one of the most interesting and unusual families I’ve ever met: the Brotherhood of the Reapers. Check out their website at www.playstationhomereapers.com if you want to see more.
The Reapers could be one of the most elite groups of people on Home that I’ve ever encountered. After speaking with BLACK_DOOM, the leader of this group, I discovered that being a part of this club is more difficult than finding something that no longer exists. Like searching, as a child, for that fallen star that you saw…and you search and search, but little do you know that it burnt up before it hit the ground.
The Reaper virtual outfit, from Infamous, is something you could only receive via special pre-order of the game title. Only then could you receive the code needed for your Home avatar. Some people, of course, sold the code on websites for cash or trade; if they never went on Home, at least someone would get something from the code, and the seller would receive a bit of money in return.
During our discussion I was told that the codes sold privately for anywhere from $25 up to $75, depending on how close to expiration they were. Yes, these special codes had an expiration date. Just like when we were younger, and we could win free drinks or collect codes with the plastic in the pop bottles. You would be so happy you’d won, or you would laboriously collect the points, just to either end up losing them or going to cash them in and finding they had expired.
Honestly, out of all the codes that people get on bottles…very few get entered, and thus many people probably win without even knowing. So we miss out. As I can imagine so many others that had preordered had the code and went to use it only to find out they should have used it sooner. Missed opportunities are a sad and sometimes heart-breaking thing, but that’s also what makes this item so special. You can’t buy it, hack it, or make it; it is what it is, and if you do have this Reaper costume you could have access to a very elite group of friends.
While hanging out with the Reapers, I was able to learn quite a lot in regards to what they do and their purpose for being on Home. It was like stepping into a totally different experience than what I’ve grown used to with other fams, groups, clubs, crews or clans.
The Reapers hang out a lot together and set up games tourneys between different people within their family that have the same games. They even created a giant board game out of different virtual items in the Toy Story Crib. DJ Tenchu mentioned it in a previous article, and had the pleasure of trying the game out. Personally, I would love to get a chance to play the game myself, in order to see how it works in greater detail.
This particular group also holds occasional public events. One in particular is called “Walk Among Reapers.” Also known as W.A.R., they gather at their club and vote upon which locations will be visited for other Home users to view the event.
When they first arrive at the designated location, they all stand at attention in a line and wait for instruction. Once given the word, they all walk around the entire space, showing off their elite gear to all the other users in the space. After they have walked around the space – and attracted a ton of attention – they make a circle or line in the middle of the space and all rock out together.
I had the pleasure of seeing this back when the MotorStorm public space first came out. I’d only been on Home for a few months; I’d purchased some clothing, but hadn’t learned very much about the various fams and clubs on Home. I was dancing at MotorStorm with my best friend, Levi, having a great time…when, next thing you know, we’re surrounded by people. The Reapers. There were so many of them! All rocking out and being very respectful, having a good time with everyone. Needless to say, it was certainly a unique experience.
Levi seemed to know who they were, but I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing at the time. Nowadays, I can say I truly know who the Reapers are, and what and why they do what they do.
(They also mentioned that, for fun, they will get one of their members to dress up as Cole – the game title’s protagonist – and run around while they all chase that person. It’s really funny.)
The main purpose of a W.A.R. party is to show everyone in Home who the Reapers are, and hopefully meet some new people with the same interest in Infamous and in possession of the elite gear. They are definitely an exceptional example of one of the most interesting and respectful clubs on Home.
Having such a close bond with digital friends (or, heck, even friends in real life) is rare, and it’s nice to see that this club is dedicated to something far greater than needless drama and fighting. Sure, every family has its past, and sometimes things need to change in order to gain respect back within the Home community. The Reapers are not immune to this; they are also are in the process of recovering from a turbulent past, rebuilding trust and relationships with other clubs.
(Don’t get me wrong: not all of the families on Home fight and cause drama, but there are a few out there that seem to have nothing better to do than act like children, fighting over things as childish as what people wear — or even going to such horrid lengths as dedicating themselves to overt racism. I have no doubt that Sony has its ears to the ground and is dealing with the truly inappropriate groups that have unfortunately sprung up here and there.)
When all said and done, The Reapers are a very kind and respectable club on Home. I want to thank BLACK_DOOM for a wonderful evening, taking the time to show us me this incredibly rare and exclusive fraternity. I would recommend to anyone who has the “Reaper” gear to contact this group and give it a try. Like chasing Cole and catching him, the Reapers sure caught my eye, even though joining them may be impossible.