You know the Barrens, right? That place in World of Warcraft where people are forced to grind to reach a higher level and then finally get the hell out of there? I hated it. It’s desert-y with those random giants you never hear bounding across the landscape to step on you. I had a tank drag me across there once to help me level, but I still found it boring. And when I played WoW during successive times of being enticed back into the game, I unfortunately had to visit again.
It was there I met Jaime. Or as she was called in the MMO, LordofDarkness95. She was a high-level Tauren who enjoyed slumming and going to that pit where those dwarves beat the crap out of you. Jaime was very good at playing WoW while finishing her Art Institute homework. She found her coursework boring, so she logged online to play while slogging through it.
Jaime is not very nice when she’s bored. She’s cruel with a jokers’ smile. She can give you a coquettish greeting and then pk you while typing “lol” and lessthanthree. One day I was attempting to kill those dwarves in the pit again, when she came bounding down the incline and into the pit. Into the fight I had started, and straight towards me. I thought she was trying to help me, so I typed “thanks!” and moved over. Nope! She did a one-hit-kill and ran back up the incline to get out of the pit again.
I thought that was rude as hell.
“This is all a lie,” Jaime will tell me later. We never met this way. It was in another game we met, she will insist. I don’t know what she’s talking about, so don’t listen to her. Here’s more of what happened.
Jaime had complete control of the Azeroth server. She had several dark knight alts in which she singlehandedly ran the auction market. She yanked prices for common items up and down to watch people im her and beg to set them back to normal, just so they could continue crafting. For those times, she replied with polite insistence that she be paid for the trouble. For someone so small and amiable in real life, her online persona was that of a tyrant.
After finally getting through the hell of the Barrens, I made my way back to a city hub in order to access the market. Jaime had messaged me earlier with a supercilious apology for killing me, followed by a smiley face. I told her to fuck off. And then, lo and behold–I open the auction hub to buy something, and she’s the only seller!
I messaged her and told her that her prices were way beyond what was the average for other servers. She just typed “lol” and continued to ignore me. In order to avoid her, I traveled to other cities to access their auction hubs instead. Turned out she controlled those too.
There was no way I was going to get around doing anything without her interference, so I decided to confront her about her behavior.
Jaime and I run a small press together now. I don’t know how I got here. I think we started writing together after she sent me multiple threats over Facebook. Everything I’m writing currently is absolutely true, including the part where I managed to round up a bunch of players on Azeroth and start a protest to get Jaime banned from the server.
They called it the Million Avatar March. Have you ever seen a bunch of angry online people dancing around in a line that’s designed to block people from getting in and out of the city? That happened one day. Look it up in a wiki. I staged it. Everyone Jaime ever picked on was there, the group of angry nerds tired of the school bully for beating us up for our lunch money.
Jaime showed up to our gathering about half an hour into the protest. At first she didn’t seem to know what was going on, because she approached us and started dancing. Then she stopped when we began to type insults at her, backed up a little, and watched us from a distance. She didn’t move for an hour. I was afraid she was planning something. She told me years later that she just got bored and decided to go play Pokemon instead.
The admins never answered us, but silently banned me the next day for “instigating a market crash”. As if I were the one causing problems! Jaime then sent a message on the WoW forums, with “…” as the subject title. Finally, I thought! An apology! You know, a real one. Like what normal people give.
But when I opened the message, all it said was “lol bye”.
Wow. What an asshole.
Jaime has been smiling a lot at me lately. I can tell when she wants something more than normal, because she adds extra hearts to her sentences. I think she plans on getting a present for her birthday this year. I keep side-eying her and avoiding the subject.
I mean, I guess she’s okay. We talk about the future sometimes and say we want to go to Paris together, or at least a Latrice Royale performance. And when I get hurt and retreat to a private space to cry, she immediately gets in touch with me to ask if I’m okay. And then she shows me pictures of cute rabbits to make me feel better, because she knows that always works.
She says she went overboard with presents this year and mentioned sending me something. Yes I know you want presents this year you brat. But things are tight lately. But then I think again and surmise she might just be missing when we used to exchange letters and candy long-distance.
She’s come a long way from being an online bully, admittedly. Her family and I sat her down and got her some help. Her boyfriend bought her this book called “23 Ways Not To Be An Asshole”. She does a 12-step program thing. She’s on step five. She had a relapse once, but we don’t bring that up with her, it’s a sore subject.
Most of all, we keep her away from WoW. Hiding her activation key is the best thing we’ve done for everyone’s well-being.
Some people don’t need to play online games.
Happy birthday, Jaime. ♥