Between work, home and play, it sometimes seems like we spend more time with our virtual families than with our real ones. Predictably, the first knee-jerk response to this statement that a large percentage of readers will have is:
“OMG GAMER WIDOWZ, GIT A LYFE U LOOSERS”
Which not only sums up the leading cause of divorce and family instability in a clear and concise manner, but paints the portrait of social decline in vibrant color. Of course by that I mean, people who text-type regardless of the medium like they were possessed by the spirit of a bejeweled iPhone using 14 year-old girl, and not those of us who seemingly ignore our families to play video games online.
During the week, spending more than a couple of hours at night with your children or spouse can be an almost impossible task. Conflicting schedules, interests, bed times and television shows involving orange colored handicapped people from New Jersey can put a harsh limiter on what most would deem “quality time”.
Those worlds are always there, and they’re populated by a group of people all focusing on the same agenda as you. More so, because of the time that we spend in these games, those players that we regularly group with can become a real extension of our somewhat dysfunctional family unit.
And like that funny Aunt, technologically befuddled Grandmother, or weird Uncle with the inappropriate tongue kissing that ruins Christmas, in game guilds often contain the same character types that seem destined to repeat, regardless of game or genre. Which brings us to:
“Coyote’s List of Every Guild Member That You’ve Ever Encountered”
The Jilted Lover - The Jilted lover has been hurt in the past and the event was so traumatic that they've never been able to enjoy a video game since. No game will ever live up to the quality of the game that they remember before the change that ruined their life.
There is no aspect of the game that doesn’t cause them pain, and they’ll point out the smallest of issues as if they were an undeniable game breaker. And in the rare event that they can't find anything wrong? They’ll turn into Debbie Downer and offer a half-hearted "sure it’s fine now, but they’re just going to ruin it.”
ALTon Brown – This guy has more alts than max levels. His entire version of game play appears to be centered around character creation and the first few noobie safety zones. Like the guy who keeps showing up to high school parties, even though he graduated seven years ago, he seems almost afraid to move on.
The Sarlaac Pit - This one applies to the female gamer who uses her lady parts to suck everyone she groups with into a pit of guild drama and despair that promises to slowly devour them over the next thousand years. She dislikes and constantly belittles all other female gamers and tries to put herself in the Alpha Female position, which oddly enough resembles “doggy style”. On the plus side, you'll probably get to see her breasts as they come standard reply with every private message or innocent generic greeting.
Also, the pit refers to her vagina because no one understands how those things work, and we suspect that they may have teeth.
The Loader - The Loader has never played a video game in his life. This absence of gaming doesn't stem from a lack of want or interest, but from the fact that he was apparently cursed by gypsies.
Whenever they attempt to play, the game will refuse to install, load, or immediately crash to desktop. They will encounter every common, uncommon, rare, and legendary bug known to man and these errors will encompass every aspect of their system. Days and weeks of frantically searching the forums and troubleshooting guides for remedies will leave them so frustrated that they'll eventually give up and move onto another game.
Which will then refuse to load, or cause their O/S to blue screen while the ghost of a white eyed old woman cackles in the background*.
*Except WoW. World of Warcraft will literally load onto anything at this point in an effort to stop the flood of canceled subscriptions. No no, Kung-fu pandas are a GREAT idea, really. You should run with that.
PWNer of a Lonely Heart – The PWNer falls in love with the perceived power that any “Officer” position in the guild brings, and more importantly, with those who have that power. More often than not they’re a self-appointed “rules lawyer” and will happily report any infraction, real or perceived, in hopes of furthering their own application towards an “officer” position.
More often than not, if this person is female, she will turn into the Sarlaac Pit after the first time they attend a convention. If male, they will give every person they meet at the convention syphilis.
The Battered Housewife - No matter how many glaringly obvious issues a game has, they’ll claim that it doesn't affect them, or take away from the game’s enjoyment in the least. They’ll stick up for sudden crashes, repeated glitches, and being basically unplayable because they know that it is going through a rough time. They’re so in love with the game or genre that they refuse to acknowledge any problems and stubbornly insist that the game will get better or change, if they just stick with it.
**NOTE** We know that spousal abuse is a very real and very serious thing that we in no way condone. We are of the unshakeable belief that if you are going to beat a woman, you do it before you marry them, as anything else is inexcusable. Kicking and some types of elbow strike are permitted when applicable. **ENDNOTE**
Puxatony Phil - Phil shows up about once a year to remind us all that he actually owns the game. Everyone is so excited to see him, and overwhelmed with the memory that "Hey, he exists”, that they send him a ton of gear and in-game cash in order to get him caught up.
Spooked by the onslaught of attention that his sudden and unexpected presence brought, Phil will then disappear back into his hole for another 12 months or so before timidly popping his head back up.
Neo - Neo is never not in game. Poorly constructed double negatives aside, it doesn't matter if it's 3 AM on Sunday, noon on a Monday, or during the scheduled hours of his own mother's funeral…
…he's always online, and you've never seen him log off, even when the servers go down for maintenance. Even if there is a server crash and you quickly log back in, he’s still there - in the same zone as if it never happened.
Temporal Flux - The moment that this person joins a group, they will immediately request a quick "AFK". Two hours later, after you reluctantly booted them from group, finished the instance, and completed the quest line they'll show up ready to play.
Disgruntled and offended, they'll accuse the entire group of being "impatient", bemoan the fact that they weren't gone in "that long", and quickly disconnect in order to reap the most sympathy possible from those who have just logged in.
Doogie Howser - Like NPH, this guy is legend…
He seems to have a handle on everything and the answers to even the most daunting quests. He's helpful, dedicated to his class, and understands dynamics of the game that you didn't even realize were in place. He quickly rises through the ranks of your guild and becomes a core component to every raid or difficult encounter.
Then he gets into vent…
…and you realize that he’s 11 years old.
One the plus side, he will quickly trade epic gear and in-game cash for the many many naked pics of the Sarlacc Pit that you no doubt have on hand.
Guy On The Couch - He's that one member of your guild that no one seems to really know. Looming in the background of every group, the Guy has been around forever. He interacts with everyone including you by name, but no one knows who he is, who invited him or what his connection to the rest of the group is. No one wants to ask him to identify himself because he's been around so long that any realistic window of opportunity that wouldn't offend him has long since been closed.
So you welcome him, greet him, and laugh as he teases you about things in your life that you know you've never told him without ever asking him who the hell he is.
Because just like that one “cousin” who always shows up to family reunions but isn’t related to anyone on either side of the family: asking just feels awkward.