The goblin auctioneers of Booty Bay were kind enough to help me get the ring to Bepbep, though she was careful not to wear it. First we’d need a good, old-fashioned wedding on a pirate ship. Nothing less, Bep insisted, would suffice. This only hardened my resolve, my ironclad commitment to this enemy combatant I'd met minutes ago. Love at first sight – as unlikely as they come – between a human priest named Bepbep, and a rotting, jawless rogue named Hawtgrrlirl. Invitations were sent.
Bep’s boyfriend Space, sadly, would not attend.
It just so happened that a pirate ship was free, in a secluded cove to the South of the rolling hills of the Arathi Basin. Bep was beautiful, with her frilly blue pirate hat, white dress, and scimitar. I, the undead groom, wore a tuxedo and a Gnomish mind-control helmet. I invited a few friends: Recrimination, a Vietnamese-American living in San Francisco, and Piroshky, that old, reliable Russian main tank. Most of Bep’s friends came from a notorious social guild Horde-side: Zombie Puppy Fun Times; many of these players lived in her hometown. Bep’s Maid of Honor and real-life best friend – the particularly not-to-be-fucked-with attack hugger Nika – would, two years later, wind up being the first person from the World of Warcraft I’d meet in person. Bep's Horde-side friend Unctuous would preside over the seaside ceremony. Because many screenshots were saved – World of Warcraft making me both groom and wedding photographer – I know that the text looked a bit like this:
[Unctuous] says: We are gathered here in the sight of God and the GM's and in the presence of these witnesses,
[Hawtgrrlirl] says: afk bio
You are now AFK: bio
[Unctuous] says: To Join Hawtgrrlirl and Bepbep in Holy Matrimony.
[Unctuous] says: which is an honorable estate, instituted by Jeff Caplan in the time of Closed Beta, signifying to us the mystical union which is between Bep and Her RP'ing fetish.
Unctuous points at you.
[Unctuous] says: Hawtgrrlirl, do you take Bepbep to be your in-game wife?
[Unctuous] says: To Quest and to Grind, at Full HP or Out of Mana, to Level and Rank, till logging do you part?
You are no longer AFK.
[Hawtgrrlirl] says: Damn straight!
[Hawtgrrlirl] says: I do.
The rest of the ceremony was in Common, the language of the Alliance. At best a jumble. I recall one or two bits like:
[Preest] says: [Common] faergas ador.
Until she equipped the ring.
There were showers of flower petals: which players could save from Valentine’s Day events; as well, the guests cast wide columns of white light: holdovers from a Warcraft holiday based on Lunar celebrations. We stood together, an Undead Rogue, a Human Priest, in love, joined despite all boundaries. And since no self-respecting World of Warcraft funeral or wedding would be complete without a violent surprise attack from the opposing faction, Alliance players swept down on us like Valkyries riding from Valhalla.
The Zombie Puppy Fun Times players were the first to go, flattened like dough under a rolling pin. Fast as I could, I swapped out the tuxedo for some hard-won PvP gear. Recriminations was killed, then Piroshky. Because my lovely bride, Bepbep, was also Alliance, she could but watch as her festively dressed high-seas wedding guests one-by-one were ejected into the game's temporary afterlife. The tuxedo-clad groom brought down all but one of the attackers, and then was the last to be slain.
(7/17/2015) Pretty sure the blog is going to skip forward a few sections, maybe even to the parts on architectural space. I'm not completely sure whether it's disliking some of the academic bits, or just being really in love with the story bits. Community is a place where I've got literally decades of online game stories to share, seven years of WoW alone. I think that the wedding story captures it, and maybe that's the problem. It's really hard to one up a pirate wedding.
Maybe I want to write more - beyond what even got into In Play - about the little stories. These game friends pop up everywhere in the book, just like they popped up in League of Legends earlier tonight. I feel like there's something in the chapter that I failed to say about the power and the beauty of that.