When I started writing a post on in-game gift giving/receiving, I didn’t expect for it to be this long. Obviously, this is part 2. To see a proper introduction, please refer to part 1. Otherwise, do keep reading!
Let’s talk about receiving
The idea for this post was actually sparked by a comment by Jel on my series on the Treatment of Women in WoW.
One thing that I wanted to bring up was something that a commenter alluded to and I wonder how other women handle it. How do you deal with guys giving you gifts in wow. Flowers are a nice sweet offering, but I have had guildies give excessive gifts to me. Like top of the line crafted gear that I know took quite a bit of effort to create. I try and politely refuse and or try and get them the equivalent in some fashion but it isn’t always feasible. I would love another’s perspective on it.
There are a lot of ways we could look at these kinds of situations, but what it all comes down to is this: if you feel comfortable accepting, then accept, if you only feel comfortable accepting in exchange for something else, then do an exchange, if you’re not comfortable accepting, then don’t accept.
While a giver’s intentions probably influence how you feel about receiving something from them, in the grand scheme of things, they don’t matter. If you don’t mind having stuff handed to you, then by all means, enjoy it! If acquiring your gear or achievement items are part of what makes the game fun, then declining the gift (or at least, thanking the person while ensuring that they’ll never do it again) is a wiser course of action.
A Bossy Pally perspective
In case someone was wondering how I, personally, react to gifts in game, they’re in luck! (I didn’t think anyone was, but you never know. People wonder about strange things.)
Unless I suspect that someone is feeling desperate (note, it doesn’t happen often!), I don’t really associate receiving practical gifts with being a woman. As was pointed out to me in my Women in WoW posts, I might just be very dense, but whatever. I see the guys help each other out all the time and I don’t see it being any different when they help me out.
Yes, I know that when I’m on a lowbie and a stranger gives me food/drink or green gear, then it’s probably because I’m playing a female character. No, it doesn’t bother me. Yes, I find it weird. No, I’m not going to turn it down. It’s food/drink and a bunch of greens. Not a big deal.
Back to friends helping me out, sometimes I appreciate it, sometimes I would rather do things on my own. When I’m in a “do-it-myself” mode, I just won’t let anyone know what I’m doing so they won’t know. The times where I do accept a gift, I’ll make a mental note to be more generous the next time they need help with something.
I don’t see gifts for events like birthdays or Christmas to be problematic. Unless, as mentioned earlier, there’s a desperate undertone. After all, I’m a huge sucker for holidays and I love to give out presents, so I’m not shocked when others return the favor. They might regret it, though, because I get all “YAY A BESTEST BEST FRIEND!!” and follow them around everywhere. I’m told people don’t like it when I do that.
But yeah, I’ve saved every single flower I’ve ever received in the game. The more personal ones, I keep in my bags at all time like the sentimental sap that I am.
So what about that desperate undertone?
Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often that someone is after more than casual in-game friendship. But for whatever strange reason I can’t begin to fathom, it has happened once or twice over the years. And if it has happened to me, it must happen to players more graceful and eloquent than I as well. It’s important to keep boundaries, to be polite but straightforward. Not everyone in WoW has wonderful social skills so being very direct is often the only way to be understood.
Final Words on In-Game Gifts
WoW is a social game and, just like in real life, gifts play an important role in the interactions between people. Acts of kindness strengthen friendships and generosity between teammates accelerates guild progress. But giving too much can result in burn out or being taken advantage of. When it comes to receiving, people have their boundaries. Officers typically don’t like members trying to “buy” privileges with presents. (And here I have to add, I was an officer in a guild for a year and a half and *no one* ever tried to exchange presents for privileges! I’m very insulted by that.) Players of either gender may or may not appreciate feeling “hit on” by other players. Many players don’t like others “doing things for them” since the farm or the grind is part of the fun for them. When receiving a gift is uncomfortable or unpleasant, it defeats the whole purpose of the gift, so being able to say “thanks but no thanks” without being hurtful is a useful skill.