I just had my first World of Warcraft marriage proposal. It was utterly un-charming – I was in Warsong Gulch, a battleground where ten Horde players battle ten Alliance players, each time attempting to capture the other team’s flag. It’s a fast-paced and very exciting part of the game, but unfortunately I was stuck doing defence, looking after our blasted flag while the rest of the team was off slaying night elves and gnomes. Even more unfortunately, I was not alone. A level 39 orc hunter was with me. He started off with an unusual but affable enough “I like you”, escalated a second later to “pretty troll” (huh?) and then started spamming “i love u”. I tried to fight back by roleplaying the impatient bloodthirsty troll with no time for this love thing, just wanting to get on the battle field, but he kept going. I made use of the “/slap” command and got angry with him (in character) and he proposed: “plz marri mi”.

Resounding laughter was the only response, from both Jill and my troll, and I arranged a swap so I got out of the defense job and out of range of this orc. But can you believe it the guy kept at it, whispering “i love u” and “marri mi plz” to me every split second, spamming me so I couldn’t see what the raid leader was saying.

I considered telling him I was a 57 year old man, but decided a simple /ignore seemed wiser. It was really unpleasant, though, being stuck defending the flag with such a harrassing person. Especially when he started whispering instead of using /say, so that the other people who were occassionally present couldn’t see (“hear” – /whisper sends words only to one person, /say broadcasts them to the room) what he was doing.

But what IS that? I mean, most guys seem to think all female characters are played by boys anyway – though about 30% of WoW players are women. So did he assume I was male and want to “marri” my troll anyway? Did he think it would lead to some kind of WoW-sex or something? Maybe his tactics sometimes work? Or did he just want to annoy me? And does his behaviour count as harrassment? I mean, it was certainly unpleasant, but it occurs to me now that I could have asked him to stop in the /raid channel so everyone would know what was going on – and I could even have reported him to a gamemaster, though I don’t think he quite warranted that. I probably should have asked him publicly to stop, though. Conceivably he actually doesn’t realise how unpleasant that kind of behaviour is.

[Edit: Turns out he was proposing to the other female troll in the battleground too. And still whispering to me when I logged in again. I guess he’s just one for the /ignore command. But will that make me not hear what he says even when other people present hear it? How weird.]

6 thoughts on ““plz marri mi”

  1. Esther

    Urgh, how unpleasant. I’ve been playing ‘I blame the patriarchy’ when people do things like this..

    http://crystaltips.typepad.com/wonderland/2006/03/i_blame_the_pat.html

    Amuses me, makes them go away, but it is odd that /ignore simply cuts you off and the ‘knowledge’ that this may be still going one elsewhere is odd. Retrospectively, telling him off in /raid may have done it, but then hindsight is always 20/20…

  2. Jill

    Oh, I might try that one 🙂 Also, just thinking out a few In Character strategies for getting out of this kind of nonsense might help.

    I think I actually will report him to a gamemaster. Not in a “please ban this player” way but in a “a lot of people may have experienced this kind of harassment from this player and if so, well, add my drop to the ocean” kind of way.

    Oddly enough when I checked him out at warcraftrealms.com his player only showed up two days ago, though he’s elvel 39. Maybe he levelled extremely fast?

  3. Linn

    This is interesting. It’s a perfect example of griefing – yet not really waranting suspension or a ban. Although I wouldn’t trust a GM to have thorough look. This is why I absolutely adore when griefers are punished in-game, like getting trapped in a desolate corn field (Second Life) or crusifixions (Roma Victor). I can definitely relate to the unpleasantness of the situation, because it is REALLY uncomfortable, violating and annoying to be spammed in such a way.

    I find it odd that he only showed up 2 days ago and is already a level 39, though. Hmmm…maybe a way to get GMs off bots and goldfarmer’s backs is for them to be ‘married’? Interesting.

  4. Anonymous

    I made these to comapre the way gender and conventional qualities of (sexual) attractiveness influence WoW game design:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/leighwoosey/202267006/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/leighwoosey/199139420/

    As a male player I am as much frustrated by the masculine traits essentialised in the gender models in the game as I am by the female equivalents.

  5. Jill

    Hey, great job with the cross-dressing, Leigh – it really shows how ludicrous the gender differences in “the same” piece of armour are. Thanks for the links. I agree that the representation of men is horrid in WoW, too. It would be nice to be able to customise characters more.

  6. Linn

    Read some Nick Yee today, which reminded me of this session!!

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