Romancing The Gnomes Leads To Happily Ever After In Warcraft

Cutting-edge trendspotter The New York Times today tackled the phenomenon of MMO-facilitated romance, noting that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft is six times that of Match.com.

To explain the phenomenon, the Times turned to Ramona Pringle, who studied MMO romance as a producer for the PBS news magazine Frontline. Pringle enlisted the animation director from James Cameron's Avatar to be her World of Warcraft guide and, remarkably, found herself getting a crush on him.

The two have never been romantically involved, yet when Mr. George told her that he would be her knight in shining armour, "I have to admit, my heart skipped a beat," she said, "even though we hadn't met in person."

Other chunks of the feature explain why so much love is in the air in Azeroth.

• It's convenient: "You can say ‘I love you' and then run away," said one woman who found her husband through a Warcraft relationship. "That moment - ‘Should I tell somebody I love them?' - it's a big deal, right? So to be able to say it and then to disappear is pretty great."

• It's accessible - for the women. The Times notes that "more than 40 per cent of online gamers are women, and adult women are among the industry's fastest growing demographics, representing 33 per cent of the game-playing population." In other words: Welcome to Texas A&M.

• It satisfies a fairy-tale fantasy. "There's something magical about falling in love with someone just through writing and then waiting for a reply," said one player, Tamara Langman, "a busty gnome with three blond pigtails" in WoW, as the Times describes her. "It's evocative of ancient romances where pen-and-ink love letters were delivered on horseback. Just the kind of forgotten world that Warcraft seeks to recreate in digital space."

Or it could be the last resort for 4.8 million foreveralone.jpgs. Anyway, if you like to cry at weddings, read up.

It's Love at First Kill [The New York Times]


Comments

    During my month long time playing wow I never got any friends, nor did I want any. This is a game, not a dating service.

      That's genuinely sad.

      I have made several friendships via Wow. I have been with my guild since my server opened and I would dearly miss those if I lost contact.

      We play other stuff besides wow and I find them to be the gamer friends I cannot seem to find in person.

      I don't see why it can't be both. Some people have different perspectives on gaming, socialisation, and their intersection, or lack thereof.

      Coming from the experience of a lonesome, single, gamer, WoW was too effing boring for me to sustain anything longer than half a night's investment. Killing 25 boars for their tusks? Really? This is what people leave their babies to die, and forget their own nutritional needs and die of exhaustion for?

      Really?

      why this romance stuff happerns is a side effect of the community, only 14 year olds try to find girls on it.

      its been explained over and over again that when you tend to spend a large amount of time with people in stressful situation you tend to become good friends

      Then you're really missing out. MMOs are all about being social. As much as the image of a loner sitting on his computer killing sheep for 1xp a million times a day comes to mind (and is in a lot of ways accurate) the core of any MMO is social interaction.
      Without it they're just crappy treadmill games. If you play World of Warcraft again find yourself a guild, talk to people and play the game with them. It might take a few tries to find the right guild for you but when you do the game gets a whole lot better.

      My guild for example is full of police, department of defense, etc. They hang out talking about all sorts of random junk. Raiding for us is like playing a casual game of basketball. We do pretty well but we mostly just have fun. These are people I legitimately enjoy hanging around with. I'll be playing other games and still log into the guild vent channel.

      I'm not the sort of guy who seeks romance in games but friendship and people to talk to while I play? Why not?

      @coverage I strongly agree with everything you said even thou I don't play world of wortcraft.

    Of the girls I've met in real life who play WoW. And by 'play', I mean, actually have aa 70/80/85 character who raids and knows what they're doing... They (for the most part) don't look too great.

    Plus, factor in the heavily skewed towards male demographic, and age (mid/late teens), and you'll realise why this is completely unfeasible.

      I also know a couple of girls with a few 85 alt who DO look great. Moral of the story? Don't generalise.

    When I first started playing I thought talking to other people in the game was gross. 3 years later I now have found the love of my life, both of us never thought it possible to fall in love though a game. My sister too found her guy. It might be a game, but it doesn't mean the social interaction is any less real.

    I thank god I don't play this garbage, that is all.

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