WoW Couples: Out of the Game and Into Real Life

Each and every day in the World of Warcraft there are millions of gamers participating in one crazy and intense online experience. The social aspect is central to the game, encouraging families, friends, and complete strangers to get together in one big melting pot of questing, raiding, and PvP.

With so many people spending so much time working toward common goals, it’s only natural that relationships would form. Casual, serious, and even sometimes deceptive, these relationships can be as powerful as those in Real Life. Some even blossom into something real and lasting, creating what’s come to be known as a “WoW Couple.”

It can start with casual questing every now and again; a common interest shared between friends. WoW allows you to be the best version of yourself, free from the normal social hang-ups of Real Life, and it’s easy to see how playful flirtations could grow into a loving bond.

And for some players that bond bridges the gap of time and space, existing and persisting outside of the game world. Maggie Carter is one such player, and this is her story of love among pixels:

Dear Lilpeanut,

I have nearly always been a gamer. From the mid-1980s when I first held an Atari 2600 joystick in my hand and navigated the dangers of “Pitfall,” gaming has held me in its grasp. I fell in love with Link and Zelda on the Nintendo NES system. Likewise, I spent countless hours maneuvering Jill through the zombie-invested mansion in Resident Evil on the Playstation console. Video games, like books, provide an escape for me from the pressures of the real world. Unlike books, however, they also give me a way to feel confident, powerful, and in-charge.

But that’s not what I want to tell you about. I’d rather talk about how World of Warcraft gave me a real life.

In 2006 I was a moderately successful accountant in her 30s. I had a teenage daughter, a pre-teen stepson, a newly built home in a nice subdivision in Oklahoma, and a serious gaming habit. Unfortunately, my marriage fell apart that year for unrelated reasons.

I had been playing a lot of the Elder Scrolls game, and members of the gaming message board where I liked to hang out recommended World of Warcraft. I created an Undead Mage and within just a few hours, I was lost. The next time I looked up at the clock, it was after 1 a.m. I had been hunched over my own laptop on the coffee table and didn’t even realize I could no longer stand up straight. I posted on the message board about my new love and provided a character name and realm, in case any of them should choose to join me.

During this period, one of my friends from that board — we’ll call him “Sam” — created a character on my realm and we quickly developed a solid friendship. Sam had recently split from his wife and spent most of his non-working hours in game, as well. We quested and dungeoned together nearly day, usually while chatting on Skype.

Meanwhile, my friendship with Sam had deepened considerably. The only bad part of this was that he lived a thousand miles away. In the interest of avoiding broken hearts, we resisted meeting. In early February, Sam finally changed his mind. He bought a plane ticket for the weekend of Valentine’s Day and flew a thousand miles to see me. I booked a nearby hotel room and picked him up from the airport on Friday afternoon.

From the moment I first saw him walking down the jet way, I realized I was already in love. Apparently, the feeling was mutual. If it hadn’t been for WoW, we never would have developed such a deep friendship and we would never have fallen in love. We spent the whole weekend together, breaking only once for a dinner out to meet my daughter. We didn’t log into WoW. On Sunday, Sam suddenly looked at me in panic. We couldn’t maintain a relationship of this distance — what on Earth were we going to do?

It didn’t take long for me to decide. My daughter graduated high school that spring and went off to college, and there was nothing holding me back. In July 2007, we spent next three days driving a moving truck back up to Michigan, where we recently bought a house of our own. Sam and I were married in April 2008, and we still play WoW off and on.

There have been many periods where only one of us is playing. When it’s Sam, he’ll play WoW on his laptop in the living room while I’m on the Xbox 360, reading, or crocheting. When it’s me playing, I’ll game during the day while he’s at work. Together, it gives us a mutual hobby where we can each play to our own strengths and where we can function as a healing and tanking team. We have made some amazing friends in the game and we can log in and just hang out with them, if we like. It’s now only one of our shared hobbies, along with pen and paper RPGs and SCA. We’re far happier in our continuing real-life adventure.

- Maggie Carter

So often we hear the stories of inevitable heartbreak: Real Life couples finding comfort in the virtual arms of a stranger; ending relationships that just need a little bit of work in favor of pursuing someone who may not be what they seem. But it’s important to realize that for every story of abused trust and manipulative friendships there’s a Maggie and Sam out there, finding love thanks to a wonderfully social game.

Thank you for sharing your story, Maggie! And if any of you reading this would like to share your own story of how WoW brought something precious into your life, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!

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13 Responses
  1. /cheer for wow couples IRL :)

    my main tank is my irl sweetie and we raid lead together side by side and of course spend every waking non-work minute together irl :)

  2. Karegina says:

    While we didn’t meet in WoW, my husband and I play together all the time. He’s my tank and I’m his healer. I love it. It’s frustrating as hell sometimes but worth it. Unless he’s trying to tell me how to heal. Then I have to kill him :)

    • Laurie says:

      HAHAHA Karegina my hubby and I have the same set up. He’s the tank i’m the healer. We also run our own guild and raid team. What I find funny is if you look at the rolls irl hes also the tank and I the healer. I think that most people tend to play the classes that relate to them the most in life.

  3. Navimie says:

    I love WoW couple stories! I hope more people share their great stories so we can read them lilpeanut ;)

  4. Tzufit says:

    What a lovely story! It’s amazing to hear how many people (myself included) have managed to create lasting, real life relationships from friendships that began in WoW. Thanks to Maggie for being willing to share, and to Peanut for posting her story!

  5. Lilpeanut says:

    Thanks all for your comments! I have a contest in mind to encourage others to share their WoW couple stories. Stay tuned :)

  6. Krystina says:

    I met my fiance in WoW. Or better yet, I re-met him in WoW.

    My dad took his life in January of 2009 and I launched myself in WoW as a way of coping with his death. I was pretty heavily addicted, to the point of forgetting to eat, drink, sleep, and foregoing my classes. I joined Chris’ guild soon after and we clicked immediately. I was involved with someone else at the moment, and so was he (in fact, he was in the process of planning his move to Canada to be with his other half). We raided and dungeoned together, RPed in our off time, and just talked with each other, often times late into the nights. In one of our discussions, we discovered that we went to the same elementary school for 2nd grade (where there were only two classes that often participated with each other) so we knew that we had known each other before. We has grown so close we were, quite literally, finishing each other’s sentences over Vent and in chat.

    Fast-forward a few months. I left the guy I was with because of his emotional abuse and Chris’ move to Canada fell through. We consoled each other and vented and one night while I was in heroic Gundrak, he asked me to hop into Vent because we had something that we needed to talk about. At that point, he spilled all his feelings for me, and I did the same. A week later, I packed everything I could in two suitcases, booked a one-way ticket to Minnesota, and dove head-first into a cross-country move and a new relationship.

    Nearly three years later and we’re still together. Although we don’t play WoW anymore for personal reasons (I’m still involved in some forum RP with my guild on WrA) we still bond over gaming. WoW did a lot of things for me, but leading me to Chris was the best one.

  7. Jack says:

    Hello, I have been playing WOW for many years now as well and I started playing shortly after a divorce that Iwent through that was very bad as she started doing extensive drugs and drinking and racked up 3 child endangerment charges as well all shortly after the divorce. During this time I played out of anger more then anything else knowing that she had put our 2 girls in that much danger as everything that I was slaying in the game was a part of her and the wrong that she caused our 2 girls and I for so many years. I went on to get full custody of my 2 lovely daughters and the divorce that I filed is now finished.
    Then I had met another woman online while playing and she moved to California from Wisconsin and after 2 years we got married which was a mistake as she to had a drinking habit and had a online affair with another man as she also made herself out to be a lady and age that she was not. As I feel that I should have caught this I simply went on to divorce her as well. Now each day I awake I find my self more blessed then the day before as I have the most wonderful time with my daughters and family. I now play WOW with a very special lady in my life that I have known since childhood over 34 years ago and we have the best time playing together. We are both Seventh Day Adventists and we lead a very strong life of honesty and communication with each other as I treat her as a queen and she treats me as a king and with so much love between us as the Lord is on our lives I couldn’t ask for more.
    I have also started a family guild that now has 19 members in it. Through out the years I was thinking about quiting WOW because I thought it could be an addiction and / or a crutch for what I was going through in my life. But now it is very enjoyable for me to play just as a game should be.
    I have 18 Druids, 3 Pallys, 4 Mages, 2 Priests, 14 DK’s, 3 Hunters, 5 Warriors, 3 Rogues, 2 Shammys all of which are geared up nicely, level 85, and all of them are “FOR THE HORDE!” rofl. I have never had a Ally to this date and I don’t have a desire to for I am loyal to my gaming faction, family, and friends. I love you all and God Bless You!

  8. Katia O-L says:

    A really good read, so many similarities in my life to name. Wow has brought me many things, good and bad. The latest my wonderful boyfriend, whom I met and fell in love with on WoW. Im so glad I’m not the only one this has happened to.
    Almost 5 years of playing….glad im still here

  9. Ratshag says:

    About two years ago I posted this about how Julie and I met in WoW, and how that led to our real-world relationship. In the time since then, I am very happy to say that she completed her cancer treatments and we have gotten married.

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