Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up and I figure a post like this is appropriate. It was inspired, after all, by a conversation with a friend of mine, to whom I asked, “So, got any plans for Sunday night?” She replied, “Me? Hell, no. Just a date with World of Warcraft.”
This got me thinking…what if we could date our MMOs? What kind of relationships would they be?
Before I go on, let me just preface this post with a disclaimer. The following comparisons are based loosely on my real life and personal experience with these games, as well as some of the more general/popular opinions that you can find out there in the MMO community. While there are some aspects I agree with and some that I don’t, the thing to remember is that this post was written purely for fun. It is certainly not meant to offend, so if you play any of the following games, please don’t get your feelings hurt. On a similar note, if you happen to be one of my ex-boyfriends reading this and find that some of it sounds a little familiar, I assure you these accounts are completely fictional and any similarities are purely coincidental…but should you still find yourself offended, well, in that case, I frankly don’t care.
Aion is the super hot foreign guy who roars into town wearing expensive designer clothes and driving a fancy sports car. You jump at the opportunity to go out with him because he’s just drop-dead-gorgeous, and you figure dating him would be a nice and refreshing change. Things are fantastic for the first month or so until it finally hits you: the two of you have absolutely nothing in common. Sure, he’s still very nice to look at, but a pretty face only takes a relationship so far. You begin to find it more and more difficult to establish a connection to him, even when the two of you get together to share stories about your lives. Whenever he talks, you find yourself doing a lot more nodding and smiling, rather than actually paying attention to the things he says. On top of that, you find out he’s a commitment-phobe. You begin to work overtime trying and get through to him, but the guy is stubborn and progress is nerve-wrackingly slow. Finally, you wake up one day, realize you’re not getting anywhere, call up him up on the phone and say, “Listen, we have to talk…”
Champions Online is the guy who catches your eye from across the room, the one who cuts a great figure and says all the right things. So when he finally asks you out, you readily agree. What could go wrong? Dinner on the first date is a pleasant experience until the cheque comes and he pats his breast pocket and goes, “Oh crap, I think I forgot my wallet. Damn, this is so embarrassing, but can you spot me just this once?” Fighting the urge to let your jaw drop to the ground, you think, okay, just this once. It’s not often you get to meet a decent guy like this, after all. So you give him another chance for now, especially since he assures you that the next date will be entirely on him. But when that night comes, you find yourself shelling out for popcorn at the movies and think, what gives? It gets worse until the day finally comes when he asks you to help him with his car payments, and that’s when you snap your checkbook shut and say, “It’s over.” (Apologies to Cryptic, even though I’m thoroughly enjoying Star Trek Online right now, I just couldn’t resist!)
Age of Conan is your overeager and somewhat awkward high school sweetheart. Your first couple weeks together are a little shaky, thanks to the unstable nature of teenage relationships (“I call and he never picks up! Why doesn’t he ever pick up?”) but the two of you manage to overcome the awkwardness to share your first kiss. In your naivete, you convince yourself that what you’re feeling now has got to be true love! And certainly, things are fresh and fun for the most part immediately after that. A few months later, however, the two of you are sitting restlessly on the couch at his place trying to decide just what else there is to do besides making out like the couple of horny teenagers you are. You turn to him and go, “Dude, you need a car.” Chances are, the rest of the world will likely open up once he gets his license, but until that happens the two of you are stuck watching the same movies and playing the same video games in front of the TV in his basement.
World of Warcraft is the popular motorcycle-riding, leather-jacket-wearing bad boy that you meet at the local nightclub. The two of you fall madly, head-over-heels in love with each other and the dates you go on are hot, heavy unrestrained nights of wild abandon. Despite its whirlwind start, you are delighted to see the relationship solidifying into something more stable and long-term. Things are getting really serious, and one day he tells you he’s decided to work on settling down a little. Good idea, you think to yourself. After all, we all have to grow up sometime. The thing is, he ends up mellowing out a little too well. One day, you look across the table at him in his khaki slacks and pastel sweater vest and you can’t help but wonder, “What the hell happened to the man I fell in love with?” On the bright side, everyone including your parents loves him now.
Star Wars Galaxies would be the sweet, down to earth guy you’ve been happily and steadily dating for years…up until the alien abduction that changes his entire personality. Enough said.