Welcome to MMO couples

Every one who is familiar with MMOG's (massive multiplayer online games), knows the stories of people who are so addicted to playing these games that it costs them their real life friendships and relationships. There are also stories though of people who meet in a MMOG and fall in love, like my boyfriend and I. 'MMO couples' is a tribute to our lovestory, but also an invitation to share your story and experiences with others.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MMO Couples has moved!

Starting today, all new articles and lovestories will be posted on:

MMO COUPLES

See you all there!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to contact me

I have gotten a few comments from people asking how to contact me. If you click on my picture, you should be able to see my profile plus the possibilty to contact me through email...

In case this does not work, you can send your stories to:

mmocouples@gmail.com

Please let me know if I can publish your story, or if it is for my eyes only.

With warm regards,
Gabi

Saturday, May 2, 2009

To Be In Two Minds - the online flirt at the wrong moment

It has been a while since I opened my MMO mailbox to check for messages. Last night before going to bed, I decided to have a look. There was one message from one of my readers waiting for me, a private one. The content kept me from falling asleep.

MMO couples is a blog meant to celebrate the wonderful mystery of finding the love of your life, or a very special friend, through a MMORPG. Of course it is not always a pretty story, especially if other people - like the partners we already have in real life - get hurt. Maybe it seems I have been 'promoting', i.o.w. giving preferences to exploring the virtual flirt over working on the real life partnership. I want to make clear that is certainly not my intention, so I have decided to give you a few thoughts on dealing with a situation like that.

Unless you believe in happy, so called open relationships in which polygamy is not an issue, meeting someone else while having a partner is in my opinion a very important eye-opener. You have come to a crossroad and need to decide which direction you take. Consequently you are forced to reflect on your relationship, and on yourself.

I truly believe people stay in unhappy, unsatisfactory relationships way too long. Why? Because it is easy and convenient. Because people are scared of being alone, of not being able to find someone else. Because people don't like change. And because people don't believe true love really exists. We rather stay in a situation that is maybe not making us happy but that is known and familiar to us, than take the big, scary step into the unknown and maybe find the happiness we have been fantasizing about all our lives. Life is not making it easy on us though, and so we meet other people who can turn our lives and loves upside down. They will come when we least expect them, when we - maybe secretly, maybe not - hunger for them and when we are vulnerable.

If you find yourself standing at the crossroads, you can come to three possible conclusions:

1. you know you are happy with your relationship, but you find out you are not the monogamous type/you can love more than one person.
In this case, obviously, you need to discuss this with your partner and find a way to deal with it without hurting him or her.

2. you have come to realize that your relationship is not making you happy at all, you know it has bled to death and repairs don't make sense anymore. It is time to end it.
For me it was like this. Therefore I did not feel confused, sad or guilty - I know this sounds hard but what can I say. Meeting my hunter helped me see what I was ignoring and looking away from or many years.

3. you love your partner, but there are problems that make you unhappy and therefore susceptible for something, c.q. someone else.
When this is your situation, the online seduction is probably even more dangerous than a real life one. Because of the safe distance it is a lot easier to get carried away, to go in a way further than you maybe would with someone flirting with you at the pub:

"I can flirt with him and say certain things I otherwise would not say that easily, for he/she lives in another country/state and can't reach me anyways."
"Cybersex is innocent, I am not really being unfaithful."
"It is just a game/it is just online, I can't get attached to someone like this (or he/she can't get attached to me)."


Don't think you can fool yourself; it can start simple and superficial like that, but the heart works in mysterious ways. Don't forget you can't control the person with his/her emotions on the other end of the cyber line either.
Lacking lots of real life information, your imagination and curiosity also make it a lot more thrilling - not to mention the possibility to flirt at home under your partner's very nose, and the fact that it is easy to get it, for you only have to switch on your computer and log in.

Being in this situation, I can imagine the confusion and mixture of feelings raging through your body. All I can advice you to do, is to take distance from your MMO lover or flirt immediately, take a good look at your partner and the relationship and ask yourself the following questions:

What exactly is making me unhappy?
What is lacking?
What do I want from a relationship/him/her?
Do I truly love him/her?
Do I really want the relationship to work?
Do I think solving the problems is possible?

If you can answer those questions, it is time to talk. Maybe you two can solve the problem(s) and find that the relationship has become stronger and better than before.
Maybe it won't be solvable and that may hurt, but at least you have the opportunity - a new chance - to find what you want and need. Both ways, it is a gift.

Don't stop believing!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Follow-up results of the MMO Couples Questionnaire nr. 1

I recently decided to see if more people had found their way to my questionnaire. To my pleasant surprise, another 13 people have filled it in, making it a total of 46 participants. Here are the results:

1) Gender of the participant
Female: 73,9%
Male: 26,1%

2) Sexual orientation
Heterosexual: 87,0%
Homosexual: 0%
Bisexual: 13,0% (all female)

3) Age of the participant
< 20: 8,7%
20-25: 34,8%
25-30: 26,1%
30-35: 21,7%
35-40: 2,2%
40-45: 4,3%
45-50: 0%
> 50: 2,2%

Most female participants were between 20-35
Most male participants were between 20-30

4) Gender and age difference (5-10 years or more)
Older man with younger woman: 34,78%
Older woman with younger man: 21,73%
Man and woman in the same age range (less than 5 years): 43,47%

5) Being in a relationship while getting to know the MMO lover
One was in a relationship: 43,5,8%
Both where/are still in a relationship: 10,9%
None were in a relationship: 45,7%

6) Gender and taking initiative to pursue the online relationship
Female: 19,56% (mostly European and Canadian women)
Male: 17,39%
Both taking initiative at the same time: 63,04%

7) Use of other media to communicate
39,4% started using other media within less than 1 month of knowing eachother
The telephone was used most often: 37,0%
E-mail: 19.6%
Skype: 15,2%
Webcam: 8,7%

8) Cyber- and telephone sex
65,2% of the participants had cybersex/telephone sex

9) The first real life encounter
50% of the participants met for the first time in real life after 6 months or more of knowing each other online
6,5% met in less than 1 month

10) Knowing what the other person looks like in advance
67,4% shared pictures in advance
21,7% used the webcam
8,7% had a blind date

11) First time having sex in real life
50,0% had sex on the first date
28,3% had sex after a few dates
21,7 did not have sex yet

12) Living together or planning to start living together
32,60% of the participants is living together now
52,17% plans on living together in the future
15,21% of the partcipants have no plans to start living together

13) Of the participants who plan to move together
62,5% will have to move to another country or state
40% of the couples in question are still debating on who is going to move; 46,66% of the couples decided the woman will move; 13,33% of the couples decided the man will move.

14) People who live together (15 participants)
73,3% of them have been living together for 1 year or longer
33,3% of them had to move to another state or country

- 13,1% of the participants have married their MMO lover; 39,1% are not married; 47,8% of the participants have plans to get married

- 84,8% consider their relationship to be successful; 15,2% are not sure if the relationship will survive

- About 76,1% of the MMO couples are both still playing the game in which they have met, or have started to play a new MMOG; 4,3% of the MMO couples stopped playing MMOG's; in 14,4% of the results, one of the two is still playing the game (5 men, 4 women).

- 63,04% of the participants live in USA; 26,08% live in Europe and 10,86% in Canada

And last but not least... in which MMOG did the relationship develop:

World of Warcraft: 63,04%
Final Fantasy XI: 17,39%
Everquest: 6,52%
Guild Wars: 4,34%
Half Life FPS: 2,17%
Warcraft: 2,17%
Asheron's Call: 2,17%
Counter Strike: 2,17%

Thanks you all for taking the time to fill in my questionnaire!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gamer Boys: nerds or studs?

After having written something about the enchantment of Gamer Girls in online games, it is only fair to also shed some light on the Gamer Boy. In general, the Gamer Boy is not perceived to be or have been the most popular guy in school who has had all the girls and was the number 1 in sports. Most people will in fact call the Gamer Boy... a nerd. But is he really?

According to Wikipedia the first time the word 'nerd' was documentated, it was in a Dr. Seuss's book called 'If I ran to the Zoo' (America, 1950). Here it was used as a name for one of the creatures Gerald McGrew wanted to collect for his imaginary zoo ('.... a Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker'). If you are thinking: "Who is Dr. Seuss?", maybe the books 'A Cat in a Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham' ring a bell...
In the fifties and sixties, the word 'nerd' refered to a dull, square person. It was in the seventies that its meaning changed into being socially inept. Nowadays the word 'nerd' still describes an introvert person or someone with poor social skills, who is not involved in or even excluded from social activities, but who is intelligent with either good technical or scientific know-how as well. Especially people who are passionate about everything having to do with computers are often being stereotyped as nerds.

Are the online Gamer Boys nerds in this sense of the word? Yes when it comes to their passion for games, and most of the time also yes because of their profession or education. But are they also socially inept? I think not. Playing in groups, raiding and being a member of a guild requires the player to be socially active and communicative. Therefore good social skills are a must. That some male gamers are introvert and shy in real life, is probably true. But of all the Gamer Boys that I have met, online and in the real world, I would say 95% of them have a very active social life with many friends, are not only into computers and games but also do sports, go out and party, make music or are otherwise engaged in creative activities. Apart from its setting, an online gaming community is no different than any other community. It is merely a reflection of every day society, with the gameplay as the foundation to keep us all connected.

I think it is safe to say that the term 'nerd' is being used falsly too often. Online Gamer Boys certainly do not fit the description. Because of all of the above, they are in fact interesting. Once you get to know them on a more personal level, they also open up more easily than the regular guy at the pub. And they turn out to be great at flirting as well. Gamer Boys know how to balance macho behaviour with being charming, funny and sensitive, making them... well, let's not overdo it, almost perfect. Those of you Gamer Boys that are shy, don't need to be worried: with the Gamer Girl generally being the more agressive huntress in online games, you are bound to be won over one way or the other :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Are Gamer Girls Really Hawt?

Girls who play games are cool and 'hawt'. At least in the male nerd's perception. Hence all the attention girls get in online games. Of course, the online environment offers great opportunities to show off and impress; in my almost four years of playing World of Warcraft I have met quite some girls who exploited their hotness ratio by combining their nerdiness with excessive flirting skills. Being more 'agressive' in her approach than the regular girl, plus the safety of virtual distance and the shared interest in games, makes it easier for her to connect with the nerdy male cutie and sweep him off his feet.

The question is if we Gamer Girls really are so cool and sexy outside the virtual world as we pretend to be. Who are we, what do we like about games, and: what do we look like?

A couple of Gamer Girls recently came up with the idea to create a Gamer Girl Pin Up calendar. You can read more about it on bezerkraccoon, a blog by a friend of mine, that will also include a Gamer Girl column. The project is young and in the stage of development, so some patience is required. But being part of the team, I can tell you it will be worth the waiting! Next project would have to be a Gamer Boy Pin Up Calendar. Any volunteers?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MMO couples R.I.P.?

After quite some time of inactivity on MMO couples, I suspect that by now you are more than wondering if this blog is resting in peace or if there is still more to come.

The truth is I am kind of stuck when it comes to new content. I have been trying to get my blog known in the Asian gaming community, to see if there are any love stories to be found there. Unfortunately, there has been little response. I am not much of an expert when it comes to gaming cultures, but I do think there is a difference between the Asian and the European/American one, theirs being more focussed on achievement than the social aspects online games have to offer. I might be utterly wrong here though, so feel free to correct me.

On the other hand, it could very well be that I have reached about all the MMO couples there are. Or at least the ones who want to share their tale of love with the rest of the oh so curious world. It is unknown how many failed MMO relations there are, or how many people are keeping their online relationship a secret. In general, people still think it an odd way to find a partner. To openly talk about one's online crush is not something everyone wants to do.
For others it can simply be satisfying enough to keep the relationship at a (safe) virtual distance; maybe because it makes it more exciting, maybe out of fear the relationship will be disappointment in the real world, or maybe because they are in a relationship already.

All in all, I am out of ideas and tips. I also have to admit that I am giving almost all of my spare-time-attention to finishing my first book, in which the story of my Night Elf Hunter and I will be featured in more detail :)
And: I am leveling a new character in World of Warcraft as well, hoping to reach level 70 with my Tauren Druid before Wrath of the Lich King comes out. Yes I know: I am a bad girl! (I don't want to know how much played time I have.)

I promise though, that as soon as the feeling of eureka, new stories, tips, suggestions and new ideas come my way, I will blow a fresh wind through MMO couples. That reminds me: how about a Vice Versa MMO relationship:

A friend of mine will be leaving the country next week to start his new job in France. But what happened just a couple of weeks earlier: love knocked on his door. Fate as is seems does not care about good timing. But to keep in touch, he convinced his girlfriend to start playing World of Warcraft. That way they can spend time together, eventhough they are miles apart.
I think it is a great idea :) Good luck to you two, J. & A.! And make chars on horde side so we can roam Northrend together!

For now I wish all of you lots of fun and love in both the virtual and the real world. And remember: anything is possible. Even falling in love with a Gnome!