Window Shopper

As you no doubt know (since I recently reminded you), I /flirt with all the long-haired blood elf men ever to see what they will do.  Most of the time, I get ignored.  This is most likely a consequence of being short and green unconventionally attractive.  (If we’re going to be sensible here, it’s also a result of WoW being a game.)   Occasionally, the flirtees will /flirt back, or tell me /no.  Every now and then I’ll come across a real gem, like the guy who told Alexalis he was a bit out of her league because of his amaaaazing hair.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s just for sheeyits and giggles – an experiment for laughs, if you will.

I was in a Terrace LFR a week or so ago on Electrika, testing out my new wireless router.  After we beat the Sha (uh, adds?  Anyone on adds?  Seriously, anyone, please kill adds), I spotted a likely test subject and shot off a /flirt right before he dropped party.  I didn’t think a thing of it.  It’s not Serious Business to me, and since blood elf men are a dime a dozen, I’ve been ignored before.

When I dropped the group and zoned into the Shrine, however, the guy actually slapped me.  This was a new reaction!  How interesting!  Then this gal messaged me:

Flirting With Disaster Might wanna roll on a PvP realm next time?

Flirting With Disaster
Might wanna roll on a PvP realm next time?

Which brings me to this question: how should real life relationships be reflected in game and subsequently be treated by others in WoW, if at all?

I’ve only ever dated a couple of gamer guys, and both were more into console fighting games than MMORPGs (though I did drag one into a short-lived Ragnarok Online addiction).  Generally, I’m of the stance that as long as things don’t get hot and heavy (the partner in question doesn’t ERP, get emotionally involved or actually meet the person), then things are cool.  I don’t particularly care if some random player /flirts with his avatar or not, since for all I know, the person doing the flirting could be a 50 year old guy living in a different country.

Yet this chick (and her guy) obviously had a far different take on the issue.  To her, the /flirt emote always has intent to pursue behind it, and the intent itself is offensive.  She finds that it puts her and her relationship on the defensive, which is tiresome, even more so because it (apparently) happens regularly.  I suspect that she is tired of being flirted with specifically because she is female, as well.  This further contributes to her irritation when I flirt with the wrong guy.

In real life, it’s much, much easier to pick up on “we’re in a relationship” cues than it is in game.  Then there are general “rules” that are followed by most – such as, you can look, but you can’t touch.  In the digital realm, however, these cues are much harder to come by and uncertainty poses a challenge – how are people supposed to behave if they don’t know?  If we continue to distinguish between “real” and online game life, should others respecting your relationship even matter?  After all, in that case, it would have little effect upon the real world.  Should /flirt be considered an innocent transgression by the unknowing, or a romantic aggression by someone who does not care?

21 thoughts on “Window Shopper

  1. radiatic

    I wouldn’t have thought that a /flirt could cause such a reaction. ._. If anything it’s a short green female hitting on the virtual avatar of someone else, or maybe just on the person this character would be in the game, not the human behind the screen.
    A reaction like that implicates more worrying things for the relationship than anything other people could do, if you ask me. 😀

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      Indeed! It leaves you wondering if “something” has happened before, since the guy had to take an action to “prove” his loyalty while the gal was fed up enough in general to say something. I was surprised by both reactions, because one of the nice (or depressing) quirks about an online environment is that if there is something you do not want to deal with/acknowledge/confront, you literally can just let it go. Yet they both felt compelled to actually expend effort to prove something to each other and myself.

      1. Leit

        My brother’s wife is a bit like that… letting it go isn’t good enough, there must be an affirmative defense. It’s kinda sad.

        1. Prinnie Powah Post author

          Perhaps she feels better about herself for having “evened” things out.

          In this case, I suppose she could justify it to herself because she both 1.) stood up for herself, and 2.) her partner saw that she took action against a perceived threat. If she was hoping that I might change, though, the effort was ultimately wasted. I just don’t take it Seriously enough to care, so I’m not chastened by any means, and I’ve /flirted with others since.

          1. Leit

            Like the Terminator, but with cheesy /emotes. “She can’t be bargained with. She can’t be reasoned with. And she absolutely will not… what’s that? Ooh shiny!”

  2. wowstorylines

    Awww, don’t feel bad. I have one character that would get slapped on a regular basis for just saying “hello” to women. Long blond hair with a goatee must be – hit him, he’s an animal and shouldn’t be spoken too kind of thing.

    You’re correct in your assumption that there is no way to tell if someone is in a relationship in-game unless they have it plastered all over their MRP on a role playing realm. All of my characters are currently on Wrymrest Accord as well. I think some of the Blood Elves may take their relationships too seriously sometimes.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      Maybe it’s how he’s dressed! Got any shirts with deep necklines? Shorts? Does he go about in his underwear, dancing on mailboxes? No? Huh. Poor guy. Since you’re on WRA, if he ever gets sad and wants a gal to /flirt with him instead of /slapping him, look me up. Maybe one of the goblins could invent the automatic doubleslapback machine for him or something.

      Isn’t part of being a blood elf taking things too seriously sometimes? Scratch that, it goes for pretty much every race but gnomes and goblins, since we’re the comedic relief.

  3. kamaliaetalia

    Clearly, the solution should be to allow the engagement and wedding rings to be transmogrified over normal rings, so that when one /inspects a characer, one can see whether or not the character is in a committed relationship.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      I’m suddenly picturing a dramatic scene …

      Girl: If you loved me, you’d get me that blinging engagement ring from heroic Dragonsoul! It’s only Deathwing.
      Guy: Honey, I do love you, I just hate Dragonsoul!
      GIrl: You hate Dragonsoul more than you love me! /sob

  4. Leit

    Meh, my wife and I don’t respond to /flirts, and it isn’t a big deal if someone does try to start something… because we *trust each other*.

    That said, the approach on the PvP server we’ve been on lately seems to be… uh… different. Wife’s received a few messages on her female toons along the lines of “i can smell your *****, when last did you wash it” – which is just unpleasant.

      1. Leit

        Yeah, quite. She’s reported a couple for language, which seems a bit arb since they generally asterisk out half of their obscenities, but there doesn’t seem to be a report option for “makes one feel the need for a bath and possibly a home orbiting Jupiter”.

        Players in general on PvP realms seem… less refined. Less considerate. Less likely to think of other people as people. It’s godsawful. Instance runs are… gah.

  5. Matty

    I am..nonplussed. She may want to roll on a PVP server indeed: what was she thinking an RP server was?! Baby girl, you flirt with me anytime. Short, green, halitosis? No matter. Love makes the World of Warcraft go ’round.

  6. khizzara

    I would have told her that it’s an RP server and my character is a flirt and it has nothing to do with real life. LOL

    OMG people take things so seriously.

    I was seriously hit on by some guy in Thunder Bluff while my husband was right there. I just said, “I’m flattered, but I think my husband might not appreciate it.” And /pointed at my husband. The guy apologized and we all moved on. My husband didn’t care because, you know, he TRUSTS me.

    A couple of guys in my raid group are constantly joking about how they like to mount me (in travel form) and making other flirtatious comments. I always tell my husband because I think the jokes are funny, and I know the guys aren’t serious. In return, the rest of us joke about how creepy the guys are, even though they aren’t really creepy at all. (They would never make such comments to girls they didn’t know. Part of the reason they can joke like that with me is because I’ve known them for years and we all know that we aren’t interested in each other.)

    Did I mention that some people take things too seriously?

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      “A couple of guys in my raid group are constantly joking about how they like to mount me (in travel form) and making other flirtatious comments.”

      I can’t help but ask if you’ve tried the Shrinkah to be a tinystag around them.

  7. Pingback: Suggested Reading: Of lore speculation, Garrosh Hellscream, faction identity, and much more | Kor'kron 501st

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