Blaugust is winding down and I've been saving my best story for last. In keeping with the personal gaming experiences theme I started the month off with, I thought I'd share the most personal one I have maybe.
For those that I do interact with on Twitter or in a game, you may have heard me say something to the effect of "It's all fun and games until your wife leaves you for some rogue in Nebraska."
When I first started playing online games in my early 20's, I thought it would be a cool place to meet members of the opposite sex. Gemstone was full of people who would go off to the local inn in game, lock the door, and roleplay their encounters. You can get extremely descriptive in a text based MUD!
One story from Gemstone in particular has stuck with me all these years. There was a mature woman living with a comfortable lifestyle in Boston who was married with two kids who had graduated college already. She fell in love with this teenager from New Orleans. After a time, she left her husband, and paid to relocate this guy to Boston. He had never seen snow before and was awestruck by it. She helped the guy to get a real estate license and they struggled to make it all work. It was a struggle too. I'm not sure how that story ended, but I'm certain many of you know of similar cases.
Fast forward to my own experience. My first wife, we'll call her 1.0, had never been a gamer. Never seen an online game. Most of us feel it would be cool if our spouses/SO's played games with us. When we met, I was playing EVE a lot and I knew this would not be a game for her. A new game was about to come out and I was in the beta. World of Warcraft it was going to be called. I'd played the stand alone PC game and loved it. Blizzard makes the best cut scenes!
Once I showed her WoW, she fell in love with it. We were sharing the computer, so when I was not playing, I was showing her how to play. She had decided an undead mage was her favorite, and she just chose the first randomly generated name that popped up. "Olis" it was. Thus wife 1.0's gaming identity was born.
We get a second computer so we could play together at launch. Took time off the first few days to play a lot together. She'd found a guild for us to join prelaunch and I was OK with that.
Fast forward to 2006ish, I'm bad with dates. A lot had happened in our lives since WoW launched. We'd lost a child, got married, I'd found a new job at Dell that would turn into a nice 8 year gig.
We were just not the same people after losing the baby. Understandably so. She began to spend ALL day in WoW, and was not going to work due to medical leave. She had became an officer in our guild and took on a leadership role. Pretty soon she was talking with guild members over the phone that lived across the US. Chatting about strategy and guild drama.
One day I came home from work and she informed me she was leaving. Moving to North Carolina to live with a friend of hers that lived near the beach. Being near the ocean she felt would help her find herself again. All I wanted was for her to be happy and whole again. If being by the ocean was what she needed, by all means, go do it. I knew she was leaving me and I would never see her again.
We did argue about it, I fought for her to stay. After all, she was the only tie I had with the child I lost. Losing her was losing that tie.
Then she did something strange. 1.0 packed up her car with all it would hold, including our dog, and drove away. That was strange because she left about ALL her clothes, personal effects, furniture...just left it with me.
A few days later I began getting mail about the checking account change of address for her. It was in Nebraska. NEBRASKA. Who in their right mind would move there under their own free will? Besides, she TOLD me she was going to stay with a friend near the ocean. My very limited Tennessee public school education had taught me there was NO ocean in NEBRASKA! This upset me greatly to say the least.
After some lengthy phone discussion with her I was able to drag the story out of her. All of her time online in WoW she had bonded with a guy playing a rogue in our guild. I knew him a little from the game but not well certainly. She had essentially packed up her car with all it could hold and moved to Nebraska to be with him. Her plan included me packing up the rest of her stuff and shipping it to her. LOLOLOL After informing her if she wanted those things she needed to come back and get them herself, she resigned to leaving them with me to do as I saw fit.
Over the long distance we worked out the divorce. It was a fairly painless process. I'd later discovered she fed the same "moving to the ocean" line to our marriage counselor. That really let me know how invested she was in working things out.
I could go on but that's a great overview of the situation. My current wife, 2.0, is not a gamer. Will never be a gamer, but I did try to turn her on to it despite my past experiences.
If you are curious, 1.0 and I still speak from time to time on Facebook. It sucks far more energy out of me to hate someone that it does to forgive.