Virtual Marriage
, Fairy Tales or Nightmares


By Niborea

 

 


Who doesn't love
to hear stories of couples falling in love, virtual or real? Are they
all lovely
stories with happy endings or are some more like something from a bad
dream? I believe like anything, there are the good and the bad.

When
I read the news on our guild message boards of two of my guild mates
taking their virtual relationship offline, it was like reading a favorite
love story. When they announced, after having met in RL and getting
to know each other better that they were engaged, I immediately created
a 3d image of the male (Ogre) proposing to the female (High Elf) as
a gift. This past summer they made it official and exchanged marriage
vows in real life.

All
weddings, virtual or real, tend to hold the same elements. They both
have a bride and groom, although once in EQ it was a bride and a bride;
a married couple in RL, who both played female characters, decided to
take their virtual vows. It was a very touching ceremony, knowing they
were there for each other in real life as well as the virtual one.

Generally
a guild leader or cleric stands in for the "priest" to perform
the ceremony, as the rest of the members of the guild, which is like
an extended family, and friends gather to celebrate. Vows are exchanged,
and emotes a plenty ring out from the crowd, ranging from tears of joy
to cheers for the happy couple.

Receptions
always follow such an occasion and are no less "real" than
its non virtual counterparts. Wedding Cake was generously distributed
among the guests, the bakers spending hours in preparation or trade
skill points. Elven wine flowing freely, causing some to drink too greedily
and the all too familiar distortment of "reality" and slurring
of words ensues. One very memorable reception involved several of the
drunken guests "skinny dipping" in the South Felwithe pond,
which was a favorite reception site for an early guild of mine. I chuckle
as I fondly recall these treasured memories.

My
own virtual wedding was no different, but the relationship ended up
being something of a nightmare.

When
I first entered Norrath I took much more time to role-play my character,
as did so many other people around me. Marriage of ones characters seemed
to be a common thing and after a considerable amount of time spent with
the same hunting partner, a wizard, I found myself walking down that
virtual aisle.

We
held the wedding in Felwithe, considering we were both high elves it
seemed very appropriate. Our guild leader preformed the ceremony, standing
at the alcove that sits just outside the Paladin trainer hall. I had
polished my armor just so and he wore his best robe. After very simple
generic gaming type vows we set about to celebrate with a reception,
with plenty of cake and wine, then off we went on a hunting party in
Crushbone.

Over
time the role-play aspect of the game dimmed, not just for me but many
others around me. Not that I didn't enjoy it, it was just not the focus
any longer. So to say the least, especially since I was married in RL
and had made that very clear up front, this virtual marriage and relationship
was just that…virtual; at least in my eyes.

My
wizard "husband" however saw things differently and it soon
became apparent to me just how differently. I tried to explain it to
him. He did not take it so well, resorting to all kinds of pleas, not
just in game tells but messages on our guild boards. It had gone too
far and in the end I had to resort to /ignore and playing alts for awhile
before he moved on. My nightmare was over.

Will
Vanguard support marriages with GM's or a NPC priest? That is yet to be
determined but regardless I am sure there will be people who perform there
own ceremonies and while I will be more than happy to attend and celebrate, but
I won't be walking down that virtual aisle myself.





Artwork created by and copywrite of Niborea, used with permission




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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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