Posted tagged ‘talking about wow in public’

WoW on the First Date? A geeky chick’s take

September 11, 2010

My guildie Redhawks wrote a post about dating as a WoW player a few days ago. I’ve always found the stereotype of the WoW player who can’t find a girlfriend (or boyfriend! let us not be sexist or homophobic) to be silly in itself, because, as a singleton WoW player, I’ve encountered way, like WAAAY more players who are romantically committed than players who are single. The rare fellow singletons I’ve met tend to be either very young or, like me, too overwhelmed with life to have energy left over to give another person.

It’s been so long since I’ve had the urge to be completely silly. And what better way to be silly than to exaggerate one’s misadventures while exploring Western (and other) society’s 2vs2 team ideal. Smug marrieds (the term, as well as the term “singleton”, belongs to Helen Fielding but is so appropriate) can feel even more smug about having married their high school sweetheart at the age of 18 (because, you know, EVERYONE was attracted to other people and had a sweetheart in high school! …there were a total of 2 remotely attractive guys at my high school and I was too shy to talk to either of them) and other singletons can feel satisfaction in the fact that, no matter how hard they fail, there’s always someone failing harder.

The UI Theory

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty open about gaming. I’m just as open about my other hobbies. My rational is that we’re either compatible or we’re not. 98% of the time, I’m very satisfied with my IRL default UI. If I’m going to download an addon for it, it better meet my system requirements. No point in risking a wipe by teaming up with someone who’ll send my real life FPS through the roof.

And from what gamer guys say, you’d think that, as a girl, uttering the words World of Warcraft on a first date would equal instascore. To illustrate this, I’ve unscientifically guestimated the following statistics:

Yeah, you’d think that, as a girl, uttering the words World of Warcraft on a first date would equal instascore.

I won’t lie and say WoW’s never gotten me anywhere. There was that one time I crashed at a WoW friends’ house while on trip a few years ago…he offered to show me his WoW, I showed him my WoW, one thing led to another. What can I say? Neither of us could resist a well designed UI. I’ve also had a number on longstanding non-romantic friendships in real life! come from gaming discussions.

Buuuut, in general, WoW hasn’t gotten me very far.

This summer, it dawned on me that I was about to turn 26. I had a couple of collegues who were 26. They often talked about their husband, their children (yes, with a ren on the end), their permanent residence and their year-round job. Forgetting for a moment that I don’t even want any of that (ok, I do I want children, but pregnancy is NOT my thing, I’ll adopt, tyvm…and a year-round job would be pretty nice eventually, I am sometimes curious as to what it’s like to live above the poverty line), I panicked: “Oh noes! I haven’t even dated in years! I should give it a try again!

The WoWophobe

You’d be amazed what you can find on Craigslist.

Next thing I knew, I was face to face with someone who was slightly too young for me, but not enough for it to be creepy. He was cute, we had mountain biking and hiking in common and we were both casual about other outdoorsy sports. Then I cleverly brought up WoW.

Me: I saw the Prince of Persia movie last week. It actually reminded me a lot of the game.
Him: Yeah, movies based off of video games are pretty cool.
Me: I wonder how the World of Warcraft movie will turn out.
Him: My buddy had a girlfriend once who used to play World of Warcraft for like 9 hours a day. All she did all day was was play the game.

We awkwardly stared at each other for moment as we watched our rep with other person go down.

He did send me an email that night, but I never heard from him after that. I suspect he found my Twitter account and subsequently, my blog. (If you’re reading, hi!)

The WoWoholic

Of course, not everyone associates WoW with “crippling time wasting addiction”. Sometimes, the opposite happens.

Me: I play video games.
Him: Me too. I mostly play WoW.
Me: Awesome! I play a pal-
Him: I don’t really have a main though. I raid with one of my hunters, with my shaman and with two of my druids.
Me: Oh, I just raid with my pal-
Him: I’m not finished. I also have a level 80 rogue I used for pvp, and an 80 shadow priest, dual specced warrior, DK-
Me: Oh, I-
Him: and a 78 mage, and two warlocks that I’m levelling through LFD.

Jerk didn’t let me talk AND HE DIDNT HAVE A PALADIN. Like WTF.

The Geekier-Than-Thou Attitude

Sometimes it’s also hard to have both WoW AND other hobbies in common.

Me: That’s so cool that we both play WoW! What else are you into?
Him: I deeply appreciate extreme left wing eastern european cinematography.
Me: That’s interesting! I love learning about new cultures and languages.
Him: Negative, I possess no desire to aquire such knowledge, my primary concern is despair determined from the failings of our unscrupulous and inadequate politicians. I firmly believe in the revolutionary power of anarchy…
Me: Zzzzz.

Ok, he used way more words than that, but I kinda fail at bullshit speech. Besides, I lied in that description. My game crashed (read: I fell asleep) way earlier on. (I can’t be too critical though, I talk boys to sleep fairly often too.)

There’s also the geek who took his geekness a tad bit too seriously. He didn’t like that I played WoW, oh no. Apparently, WoW is to gaming what Lady Gaga is to music and what Twilight is to literature. Since I rather enjoy dancing to Lady Gaga and haven’t read Twilight, I’m not sure where he was coming from.

Sometimes it’s not you they want anyway

By the end of the summer, I was pretty discouraged. As lovely as a real life default UI can be, IRL guildies tend to pressure you in to getting relationship addons and nastily hint that maybe the reason you haven’t even had a fling in a year and a half might be because there’s something wrong with you. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since there are a whole lot of ugly and not very nice people who are blissfully married.

Fortunately, I randomly met Gropey McGroperson one day. He wasn’t a gamer, but really didn’t care whether I was or not. He didn’t care about much, now that I think of it.

Him: Here, come stand closer, I can’t reach you.
Me: I like to play video games.
Him: You wanna come over to my place? My family’s gone for awhile, we’d have the place to ourselves.
Me: Oh, you probably shouldn’t put your hands there, it’s a little awkward with all these little kids running around. Anyway, yeah, I’m really into raiding, but I haven’t had a lot of time to play lately.
Him: You have such a nice ass, I can’t believe you don’t have a line of guys hitting on you already.
Me: I have 3 paladins. Um, no, don’t undo that button, we’re in public and it holds my pants up.

He got a little offended when I didn’t let him stay the whole night and wasn’t interested in seeing him again.

Him: But we have such a good connection!
Me: Sir, you and I have at least 4k latency. At least. That is NOT a good connection.

On the bright side, that probably extinguished my sex drive for the next year and a half. I’m no longer worried about there being anything wrong with me and I’ll certainly save on batteries.

As usual, Candace Bushnell has the answer

In the introduction to the edition of Sex and the City I read this summer, Candace Bushnell talks a bit about being single, dating, fantasies and eventually concludes that deep down inside, those of us who are single are single because we want to be.

I don’t think mentioning WoW makes a difference in dating either way, regardless of gender. All of my experiences have just reinforced my notion that we’re either compatible or we’re not. Human beings are way too complex to just be classified as WoW player and non-WoW player. To me, though, having a lot of common hobbies is really important so I still have no issues with bringing up WoW on the first date, whether it gets me anywhere or not. And not getting anywhere makes for better stories anyway.

Shared Topic: Eavesdropping WoW Conversations IRL

March 12, 2010

Overheard while in line for coffee at the University Center:

Guy: (to friend) I got my warrior tank defense capped!

My ears perked and I wiped around.

Me: (in an annoyed voice) It’s not a cap, it’s a minimum.

Ok, I lied. This never happened. And the fact that I fantasize about these kinds of conversations says a lot about me.

Anyway, this week’s Shared Topic was suggested by Oath from Dressed to Cuddle and it’s all about overhearing conversations about WoW in the offline world. Most of the stories shared so far are quite funny so I suggest you check them out by heading over to the Shared Topic forum at Blog Azeroth.

As open as I am about my gaming, I don’t come across other WoW players too often. When I do, it’s usually planned, as in, ooooo you should meet my friend/brother/cousin/dog, they play WoW too! The only random conversation I recall overhearing was, in fact, an unpleasant one. I was studying at the coffee shop when my ears suddenly groaned in pain.

Girl 1: So, my, like, boyfriend, is, like, playing WoW with his friends right now? Like, I don’t get it? Like, why would any want to, like, play a stupid video game for, like, hours?

Girl 2: I dunno, it’s, like, so stupid? Like, people get, like, so obsessed over a, like, game? They, like, starting playing and, like, that’s all they, like, do? I’d rather, like, have a social life?

No, I’m not exaggerating their speaking style. Their brain spasms probably retained my attention way more than the fact that they were mindlessly bashing WoW.

I could have jumped into the conversation. I could have told them that playing WoW is a hobby, no different from taking guitar lessons, or playing volleyball on Mondays, or watching TV on Tuesday nights. I could have told them that the average WoW player is an average person, with a social life no different from non-WoW players.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t see the point.

I hate arguing. I like discussion. I like being corrected, I like firing back with my train of thought, I like coming out of conversations feeling as if I’ve grown as a person. Arguing does nothing of that. When I argue, I quickly realize that I’m getting nowhere, that nothing I say is going to matter because the other person isn’t listening. I just get heated up and leave the conversation angry and feeling stupider than I was before.

The problem with preconceived notions such as “WoW = not a fun game, an obsession and must be aquired by trading in your social life” is that they’re not based on anything reasonable. Based on anecdotal experience maybe, based on “I heard that…”, based on old stereotypes. Trying to reason with that wasn’t going to get me very far.

I was reminded of a colleague I had, in the summers where I worked at a camp for children with ASD. There were other camps on the site, one of them was a DnD-style camp. The kids ages from about 9 to about 12, wore medieval costumes, beat each other with foam swords and acted out adventure stories. The type of thing I would have loved when I was 9. I told my colleague how much fun it that camp must be for the kids. She gave me this haughty look and replied with the most disgusted voice: “Really? I was just thinking about how stupid their camp is.”

Again, no reason behind it. She thinks it’s stupid for 9 year olds to get dressed up and play make-belief. There’s no point in arguing because she’s not going to hear anything different.

I was also reminded of this really weird guy I ran into at a party once. One of the first things he said to me was: “By the way, I hate your province“. Being a homesick expat, I tend to be very patriotic. I asked if he’d ever been there. His answer? “No, but I don’t have to be kicked in the balls to know that it sucks.”

I was stunned for a second, stuck somewhere between wanting to burst into tears and wanting to punch him in the face. He was obviously one of those guys who like to talk politics without actually knowing anything about politics. (He, also, sadly, was a WoW player, the type who reinforces the stereotype of the 20something scrawny looser with a bad haircut who can’t hold a job and lives with his mommy. When I meet WoW players like that, I kinda forgive the two coffee shop girls.) I just gave him a pity look and turned away.

So back to the coffee shop girls with the cliched notion. I just shook my head and wondered how many hours they’ve wasted on Farmville.

Sorry guys, I gotta go, I have a raid in about 30 minutes

November 30, 2009

The race to finals debuff doesn’t just eat your brain and your soul, it lowers your sleeping skill by 60%. So instead of wasting my time by telling myself stories in the dark, I’m going to waste my time by writing a blog post in the dark. (On the bright side, I’m almost done immunology and did 2 tough chapters in therapeutics. I’m on a rooooooooll.)

So the other night, I was attending this recruitment casino fun night thingy for school. I try to get out of “social chores” as much as possible, but being a poor, starving college student, free food means I’ll show up. Free drinks are a bonus. I was even enjoying myself, winning at pretend Blackjack because our (kinda hot but happily married) dealer was cheating in our favor. It started getting late though, so I excused myself.

Me: Sorry guys, I gotta go, I have a raid in about 30 minutes.
Female classmate: Did you say you have to raid in 30 minutes?
Me: Mmhmm
Female classmate: What?
Male classmate who often plays WoW with me: She plays World of Warcraft and she has to run ToC tonight. Someone’s gotta heal it.
Kinda hot but happily married dealer: Oh, one day she’ll be one of those really attractive women who write game reviews.

I found that absolutely hilarious. The free wine probably had something to do with it, but I’m sure I would have found that insanely funny under worse circumstances. The image of Veronica Belmont (who, by the way, looks nothing like me) flashed in my head and I laughed even harder. It took me a few moments to compose myself, then I fled the scene.

I’ve mentioned before, a long time ago (which means 3 months), that playing WoW is like picking your nose and you should never publicly admit to doing it. Yet, I’m becoming more and more open about my WoW playing. I think blogging has something to do with it: I never realized how much fun it was and now I want to talk about it all the time. I spend a lot of my time in coffee shops (which I’ve always done anyway since I have nowhere else to study), surrounded by other caffeine addicts who have wordpress open. Sometimes they look over my shoulder and talk to me.

Them: Oh, are you using wordpress?
Me: As a matter of fact I am.
Them: What a coincidence! So am I!
*awkward silence as they smile at me*
Me: So, um, what do you write about?
Them: *insert very intelligent words that are beyond my meager grasp here*
Me: That must be really interesting!
Them: What are you writing about?
Me: Video games.
Them: Oh cool. I played guitar hero once at a party.
*We resume our silent tasks*

And thats the usual reaction I get when I say I play WoW. “Oh, cool” Not, “OMG you must a weird crazy freak with no life!”, no “OMG you pollute our green air with your lowly hobbies!” Just “oh, cool.” Really, no one cares.

Well, except my parents. They care but they’re getting better. I wasn’t impressed when I discovered they were telling family friends that I did nothing but play WoW all the time. I wasn’t impressed because that happened was while I was trying to get in pharmacy school and did nothing but study all the time. At least wait until I’m indulging in my bad habits before you accuse me of doing so, tyvm. I haven’t gotten any hassle for well over a year now, though, which is nice.

Even my being a girl rarely causes much commotion. Other girls usually give me “oh, cool” followed by “have you seen the new Twilight movie?” When I say no (I hate movies, sitting still for 2 hours is torture and I refuse to pay 10$ to be tortured), we run out of things to talk about and the conversation kind of dies. While I used to have tons of female gamer friends back in high school, they seem to be hard to come by now… A few female friends of mine watch The Guild, but that’s about it. It gets lonely. WTB IRL BFF who also plays Warcraft.

Guys who game also give me the “oh, cool”, but they add a “!” at the end. Yet, generally, after comparing our classes and roles, the conversation moves on to other games and music and whatnot.

It just seems so…anti-climactic. Here I am, revealing a naughty, naughty secret and I can rarely get a good story to tell from it. What a waste of a dirty secret.

I know there’s still a lot of gaming misunderstanding. You see magazine articles warning you to not reveal playing WoW during a job interview. Every now and again, you’ll hear sad stories proving that gaming will cause you to flunk out of school and/or destroy your relationships.

But in every day life, I find that it’s rarely as big a deal as I expect it to be. Oh, maybe the people around me think horrible things of me because I’m open about my WoW hobby. If that’s the case, they hide it very well.

It’s almost disappointing.

It’s so shiny!

August 30, 2009

cheer
I finally broke down and bought a new computor. The wireless card and the power supply in my laptop let go within hours of each other and since I had been already struggling with limited RAM and my flickering screen, I figured I might as well. Pressed on time, I only had about 2 hours to shop before leaving for work for two weeks.

“I want a laptop with a good graphics card so I can play WoW.”

Playing WoW is like picking your nose – in public, you shouldn’t ever admit to doing it . But being short on time, I figured I might as well be upfront with my needs. It’s like going to the doctor, the more honest you are, no matter how embarassing, the more they can help you.

I’m quite positive each one of the salemen played. After all, who doesn’t play Wow? Still, the reactions I received were mixed.

“Word of Warcraft? Is that a really demanding game?”

Yeah, right. I soooo believe you don’t know what WoW is.

“*whispers* WoW, um, yeah, *looks around nervously*, this one has a graphics card that would have no trouble handling WoW.”

It’s ok, talking WoW graphics with a customer shouldn’t hurt your future sales too much…

Not one asked me if I played a paladin. NOT ONE! Seriously, what kind of computor salesperson doesn’t want to talk about paladins?

Moving on, I quickly made my restore disks (OMG the store wanted to charge me 90$ and take 5 hours to make restore disks! What the hell? It takes 5$ worth of blank DVDs and an hour to do it yourself.) and installed WoW. I discovered that if you spend your life travelling between two corners of the world and you left your Wrath CDs at the other corner, you can still install WoW! I’m probably the last person in the world to discover this, but just in case, I want to spread the good news that you can do it via your account management page:

downloadwow

You can also scroll down to your account information and click on that link:

downloadwow2

I ended up downloading and installing Wrath and the patches while at work, so I don’t know the exact time it takes, but it was done by the time I finished my shift and it went very smoothely.

Once I could get into the game, I did what everyone with a new computor does: I turned my settings all the way up and ran around Dalaran. Quite frankly, I was disapointed. Not with my computor, but with Dalaran. Not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it was along the lines of angels signing with glowing lights and stuff. In reality, its not that much different. Having a shadow is kind of cool though. And I had really missed the climate feature. The gentle snow falling on Storm Peaks as my mage grinds her Sons of Hodir rep lightens my mood significantly. I had to turn some of the settings back down to run addons, after all, this is a laptop and I’m poor, starving student on a tight budget, but I can still keep my favorite settings high.

Since I’ve been away at work for two weeks, I have yet to see 25 mans raids on a computor that can run them, but I look forward to it. Since Wrath, 25 mans = slideshows. The test will be tonight.


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