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June 23, 2006 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Love in the MMORPG world can be something of an odd topic for those that haven't spent countless hours playing one of these online games. Virtual marriages in the game and online relationships that became real life married couples are odd to the average person. Especially when the consequences just go too far.
posted by cleverusername (40 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
On a personal note, my fiance and myself play WoW at the moment, but did not meet through that.
posted by cleverusername at 7:50 AM on June 23, 2006


I've met almost all my partners on-line before meeting them in person. I had one 11 year relationship that way and am working on another 10 year relationship now.

I was not gaming when I met these folks. Generally I was either working or socializing through a computer when I met them. My current partner and I, in fact, met through a mutual enemy. He'd forcibly subscribed us to his ego mailing list and we met by commenting each other on good flamewar strategy.
posted by kalessin at 7:54 AM on June 23, 2006


I hate teh escapist in general, but that flippage story was somewhat intresting, if pointless.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 AM on June 23, 2006


I haven't played any of these MMOGs since I was in high school, but I thought the escapist article was thought provoking.
posted by justkevin at 8:08 AM on June 23, 2006


When I played MUDs in high school, I once married someone in-game so I just could kill them and take their sweet weapons.

But I'm OK now.
posted by xmutex at 8:20 AM on June 23, 2006


Love in the MMORPG world can be something of an odd topic for those that haven't spent countless hours playing one of these online games.

and I love the escapist.
posted by shmegegge at 8:22 AM on June 23, 2006


It's not entirely unheard of to use MMORPGs to celebrate weddings, either. I've done so personally.

In the MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing, there's an area called Whitey's Grove where in one random encounter, one of the items you can find is a single peice of wedding cake.

My fiancee (under the player name Jadra) and I (under the player name KrunkTheBold) thought a neat way to help our friends from the game celebrate our real-life wedding would be to give out the item "peice of wedding cake". Then I got the even crazier idea...

...what if we gave a piece of wedding cake to every player account in the game (which was a little over 100,000 accounts at the time)?

We started in November of 2004 and collected right up until May 2005. The entire player base chipped in. The player-run radio stations did "State of the Cake" updates. People dontated time, farmed for cake left and right. Suprisingly enough, I had just about the 100k mark the week of our wedding. So, I sent all the peices of cake (via k-mail, an in-game email system that lets you attach game items)
to the creator/admin of the game, Jick.

And on the day of our wedding, May 28th, everyone that played Kingdom of Loathing and logged into their account got a peice of wedding cake.
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:24 AM on June 23, 2006 [4 favorites]


I am writing my congressperson right now to let them know that there is an assault on marriage going on. These "gamers" are getting married online. Next people will be marrying tutles.
posted by ND¢ at 8:25 AM on June 23, 2006


AWWWWWWW *dabs eyes*
posted by wheelieman at 8:27 AM on June 23, 2006


not at ND
posted by wheelieman at 8:29 AM on June 23, 2006


This is nothing. There are still a lot of people who get married without even meeting their new partner. It's total insanity.
posted by nixerman at 8:32 AM on June 23, 2006


Wwow, you're the wedding cake guy. Huh.

Plz s3nd me meat! Plz Plz Plz!!!
posted by GuyZero at 8:32 AM on June 23, 2006


Plz s3nd me meat! Plz Plz Plz!!!

*sends you a meat vortex*
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:36 AM on June 23, 2006


That was you with the cake, ShawnStruck? I feel nerdy for having two online timesucks overlap like this. Tell me that you wrote Minesweeper and we'll have the perfect trifecta of work distractions.
posted by Gamblor at 8:54 AM on June 23, 2006


The description of the male-female interaction in these virtual worlds is always interesting. I was especially struck by this articles' description of the almost chivalrous care the males give to newbie females -- and the exageration of classic m/f gender roles (tittering females and macho males).

This kind of virtual encounter remind me of the "Promise" that is described in 'Sweet Potato Queens' and the way it upholds the same exagerations of gender (the queens are 'uber-female characatures). Basically, both of these are examples of women who like to revel in their 'power' over men through a 'charade' (one that is pretty much accepted by -- if not welcomed by-- the male targets). No surprise that males would want to gender-switch to experiment with this kind of manipulation of power. Although, it still confuses me that women would want to perpetuate a charade which, in the end, actually demeans (and can even disempower) the woman. I suspect this is an indication of how many women perceive that they really do lack power (access to power) in this society -- in spite of all the 'propaganda' insisting that they have achieved 'equality'.

'Flippage' (in his 'charade') broke with charade-game of the uber-feminine female online, maintained a caring "m-f" relationship and continued to play in the game with the aggression and skill he showed as a male player. It sounds like he was experimenting with the "no gender" potential of a virtual world. Props to him/her!
posted by Surfurrus at 9:04 AM on June 23, 2006


Just in case you haven't read it: The Art of Warcraft at SomethingAwful extolls the dangers of love in-game, through *ahem* investigative journalism. No pornographic images, but not exactly safe for work.
posted by steelbuddha at 9:06 AM on June 23, 2006


My WoW guild has 3 generations of 1 family playing together, My wife and kids play as well.
posted by Mick at 9:15 AM on June 23, 2006


How many of the "female playes" were really female? And how many of them were just flirting to try to get guys to give them stuff? :P
posted by drstein at 9:18 AM on June 23, 2006


I often play female characters in MMOs. I don't do it to get free stuff, nor to intentionally deceive other guys into cybering. I'm amazed by the number of gamers who are freaked out by the fact that heterosexuals can comfortably roleplay the opposite gender without having some ulterior motive.

I may not be a girl in real life, but I'm not an immortal elven necromancer in real life either. And I have a lot more IRL experience with girls to draw upon.


Having played many characters of each gender, I'd also have to say the free stuff notion is highly exaggerated. Maybe it depends on the game though, or maybe you have to go over the top with "tee hee I'm just a girl but I sure am cute, won't you help me?" bullshit. My only "cute" female character is also batshit insane, and is based on Delirium from the Sandman comics :)
posted by Foosnark at 9:34 AM on June 23, 2006


Although, it still confuses me that women would want to perpetuate a charade which, in the end, actually demeans (and can even disempower) the woman. I suspect this is an indication of how many women perceive that they really do lack power (access to power) in this society -- in spite of all the 'propaganda' insisting that they have achieved 'equality'.
That's the view of most of the women I've known who really take the time to look at the issue. Choosing NOT to use those mechanisms is basically a self-limiting investment in womankind: you're choosing to opt out of a system that could give you greater influence, because you feel the long-term effects hurt your gender as a whole.
'Flippage' (in his 'charade') broke with charade-game of the uber-feminine female online, maintained a caring "m-f" relationship and continued to play in the game with the aggression and skill he showed as a male player. It sounds like he was experimenting with the "no gender" potential of a virtual world. Props to him/her!
I'm not so sure, honestly. Maintaining a female or a male character in a roleplaying game is one thing. I've done that, as has almost everyone I know. I like to think I did an okay job; getting hit on was annoying. But I was always clear with the folks I RP'd with that I was a guy with a female character. I've known people who justified maintaining elaborate ruses by saying that 'lamers can't keep characters/players separate, so I have to tell everyone I'm a female IRL', but I'm not comfortable with that justification.

A friend of mine fell for a woman that he played an RPG with, and spent hours a day chatting with online 'out of character.' As one of the administrators on the site, I knew that the 'woman' he'd met was a guy he knew elsewhere in the game. I told him. I was kicked out of a game I helped build for that, but I couldn't in good conscience stay silent.

It's a complicated thing when deception is 'required' for a particular 'learning experience' or 'experiment.'
posted by verb at 9:39 AM on June 23, 2006


Next people will be marrying tutles.

It's Buttle who is in real danger.
posted by jdfan at 10:05 AM on June 23, 2006


... choosing to opt out of a system that could give you greater influence, because you feel the long-term effects hurt your gender as a whole. - verb

Yes, excellent summary -- and this might also apply to the males who dare to gender-blend without guise or 'charade' -- they dare to confront the homophobia of males in the game (which is - ultimately - costly to the male gender as a whole). Both Flippage and you paid the price for being upfront/honest about gender. It is only an issue to those afraid of experimenting. Our culture has a long way to go before condoning authentic individual gender expressions, but it seems that the online world provides some the best opportunities for more explorations ... and perhaps even more honesty.

It's a complicated thing when deception is 'required' for a particular 'learning experience' or 'experiment.'

'Requirements' are just censorship and we all know that censorship online is simply treated like any other barrier/virus ... ppl will find another way around it to get to their goal.
posted by Surfurrus at 10:09 AM on June 23, 2006


Great story ShawnStruck. I love stuff like that, and is why I got into MMOG's to start with. I didn't know such communities even existed anymore.

I performed several weddings as a Counselor in Ultima Online (Atlantic server). I know of 2 couples that I married in-game that married in real-life. I participated in one wedding in Dark Age of Camelot and one in Star Wars Galaxies, but it wasn't at all the same. So far I've not seen a wedding in World of Warcraft.

How many of the "female playes" were really female? And how many of them were just flirting to try to get guys to give them stuff? :P
posted by drstein at 11:18 AM CST on June 23


A lot on some games, not so much on others. In the early days of Everquest, something like 40% - 50% of the in-game avatars were female, but 90%-95% of the accounts were held by males.

So, yes, some guys were cybering with people who were not what they appeared. :-)
posted by Ynoxas at 10:09 AM on June 23, 2006


On the other hand, if you were a woman role-playing a female character, it would make very much sense to play a male meta-character, so when you get hit on on-line, you can just say, "I'm a dude in real life."
posted by noble_rot at 10:22 AM on June 23, 2006


And on the day of our wedding, May 28th, everyone that played Kingdom of Loathing and logged into their account got a peice of wedding cake.

I still have that piece of cake on my account.

I wonder how many people from MeFi play KoL? I've been playing since August of 2004.
posted by SuzySmith at 10:30 AM on June 23, 2006


I wonder how many people from MeFi play KoL?

I just got my Three-Tiered Trophy today.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:50 AM on June 23, 2006


My current character in World of WarCraft is a female. Why? Not for the free stuff -- as my guild banker, I give away far more stuff than I'm given -- but because of the game mechanics. The game is played in a third person perspective, with the camera following the player. I didn't want to spend hours at a time staring at a dude's ass any more.

(Admittedly, there's a first person mode for the game, but it's broken beyond playability and makes many tasks much more difficult.)
posted by majick at 11:12 AM on June 23, 2006


This kinda makes me wish I could fit more than one person in my ship.
posted by hellphish at 11:14 AM on June 23, 2006


Nothing new.. people did this back in Ultima Online. Before that, people meet in IRC and formed relationships. I knew people who _only_ wanted to have a relationship online (and not in real life).

And, for a slight derail...
HOW I MINE FOR FISH?
posted by triolus at 11:33 AM on June 23, 2006


Outing myself as a total dork, I guess - I'm marrying my Secret Online Boyfriend (SOBF) from EverQuest on August 19 (in real life, that is). We finally met up after being in-game friends for a year and a half or so, I moved in with him a year later, and now (another year later) we're getting married. We planned the whole in-game wedding, but never did it. It seemed unnecessarily goofy at the time. No more unnecessarily goofy than the real wedding has turned out to be....

Anyway. I thought these articles were pretty interesting, but the escapist one was weird; I had a hard time following. He was a guy, playing a guy char, pretending to be a girl playing a guy char? Wha???

And to comment on the 'girls get more free stuff' - I call bs. Well, kind of. I met my now-fiance in game because he came up and gave me and the three girls I was with 100 plat each, which at the time was the most money I'd seen. But as we play together now (WoW, most recently), I know for a fact he just runs around giving money to everyone, male or female. Bastard. That's my money too!

Lastly, I loved KoL - but I stopped playing for a little while and when I logged in, my account was gone. Boo.
posted by jennaratrix at 11:37 AM on June 23, 2006


Next people will be marrying tutles.

It's Buttle who is in real danger.


There you are... and here is your receipt for your husband. And here is my receipt for your receipt.
posted by shmegegge at 11:55 AM on June 23, 2006


I know for a fact he just runs around giving money to everyone ...

Oh, does he?

Which realm?
posted by grabbingsand at 12:01 PM on June 23, 2006


Investigative MeTa.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:25 PM on June 23, 2006


majick : "I didn't want to spend hours at a time staring at a dude's ass any more."

Damn straight. My second char in WoW was female for this exact reason.
posted by graventy at 1:34 PM on June 23, 2006


Have I pointed out how annoying the Escapist's design/interface is this last month?
posted by signal at 1:45 PM on June 23, 2006


I'm sure someone has. It might be better to bitch to them.
posted by graventy at 2:39 PM on June 23, 2006


I once saw a guy say he was in Iraq, being a computer guy for the Army. Within two days he had every item and rare in the game.

Guess a lot of us feel guilty. Want to Support Our Troops and all.
posted by merelyglib at 2:50 PM on June 23, 2006


I also got a Three-Tiered Trophy Today. Happy Feast of Boris, everyone!
posted by UKnowForKids at 6:17 PM on June 23, 2006


Never playing a male character in WoW again. Doesn't affect the game mechanics except that consistently female characters = smaller targets in PvP. I could care less about the gender issues.

damn gnomes
posted by spiderwire at 7:29 PM on June 23, 2006


Steelbuddha, I laughed my ass off at those SA articles.
posted by adamrice at 7:58 PM on June 23, 2006


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