Editors note: World of Warcraft is an online role-playing game. WoW's 11.5 million monthly subscribers engage in battles, complete quests and interact with other users in a computer-generated world.
I could have been a World of Warcraft widow. Instead, I became a Dranei Hunter.
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If I were single, I'd never play any kind of online game. Let's face it, I'm a 48-year-old woman who likes sewing and shopping and playing with my pets. But since both my husband and my son have multiple characters on the online role-playing game World of Warcraft, I put on my boots and bracers and entered their realm.
I'd been content with my laptop, but when my husband "surprised" me with a new desktop computer that had the latest, greatest, video and sound cards and a screen that stretched across my desk, he didn't have to say why. He wanted a second honeymoon, and he'd made reservations at the Lion's Pride Inn (a WoW hotel). If he'd loved fishing, I'd be wearing waders and squishing worms on hooks. If he'd loved bowling, I'd buy my own shoes and a yellow, swirly-patterned ball. But I married a true knight who cannot let a quest go uncompleted, so I wander misguidedly around the Exodar as a labor of love. Wither he goeth, I go.
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Frankly, I don't know why his character leaps and dances when he meets up with me. I'm a terrible player. I have trouble reading the map. I can never remember if I'm supposed to right-click or left-click so I'm constantly dropping weapons in the middle of a battle. I'm squeamish about killing things. But my on-screen persona is drop-dead sexy and there's something erotic about gasping, "I'm putting on Aspect of the Beast, honey!"
Most of the time I just trot after his character, admiring its tail ring and cleaning up his victims by skinning… skinning... skinning. Once, we thought it would be easier if we used the "follow" command and invisibly linked my character to his so I wouldn't get lost. Hysterically, he'd go dashing around a building and I wouldn't clear the corner. SPLAT! I'd be frozen against the side of a building unable to move as our invisible umbilical cord stretched tighter and tighter. Oh, my man, I love him so.