Emo means emotional - and trust me, when I first started playing this game I could not believe some of the things that caused laughter as well as tears. For this post, I want to write about some of that. If you are familiar with online gaming, perhaps these same things have happened to you. If you are thinking about online gaming just be aware of your vulnerabilities.
Playing WOW puts a person into a "child" state. Your inner child gets a chance to shine. What that means is that things are so stinking big sometimes that they can feel overwhelming. Immaturity is the theme of the day. LOL!! And in the world of online games people can pretend all kinds of stuff they would not do in real life. For example, I am not really a warrior. I am not a priest. I don't really do magic and I am not as beautiful as the toon that I play.
As I allow my "childself" to play, my adultself has to be on guard constantly against letting the unreal world of the game hurt me or others. WOW is like sitting down to a game of cribbage with friends -- and with strangers. It may involve conversation and gossip, and maybe insults about playing style - only difference is anonymity. People say and do stuff in an online game they would never do or say IRL. (In real life)
Sometimes I expect people in the game to be nice, honest, real, and of the same moral fabric as myself. I wonder why? Since the people I meet IRL aren't all just like me, why then do I expect the gamers I meet to fall into a certain narrow category of humanity? I do not know. I am aware of debauchery, idiocy, rudeness, hate, contempt, and such -- these exist in the game as well as real life. After all, why should the people playing the game be any different than the real world?
If you do not want to deal with meanies, rudies, naughties, emos, and haters just play your game and ignore the chat window. Isn't that cool? Hopefully along the way though you can pick up online friends. Just like in real life there are risks to that as well. Even more risk really, as a "friend" can suddenly disappear from the game (for whatever reason) and you never see or hear from them again. And you don't call 911 because they aren't there anymore. There is nothing you can do. Sometimes they quit playing, sometimes they are banned, sometimes their computer died. You worry.
If you are a social player (I am) and love to role play (RP) it is very easy to take the game theatre into your heart and be really hurt by events that are just part of the game. Because it "feels" very real. Remember to separate yourself from the drama. For example, you might walk into a tavern to find others there making fun of how you are dressed or something. It's a game!! It's called role play. Play along and react with your toon. Try to not take things internally. This takes energy. If you don't have it, don't RP. I've had to cut WAY back. LOL!
You might develop what you feel is a "real" friendship with someone in game. They; however, might just be there for a bit of fun and not for commitment to the real you. If they get tired of playing they may leave the game and you may never hear from them or see them online again. It happens. And if you internalize the game, you will hurt. You will find yourself looking constantly for him/her and you might even worry that real life has harmed them somehow. Just because you really like rp-ing with someone doesn't mean they have to continue.
If you aren't a social player I must say you will miss out on some really good stuff, funny, friendly people abound. Joining a guild with people that feel about the game like you do is very much a bonus! You will make friends if you try. I am not a guild hopper, but I will say that I left a guild because of guild drama..."they did this to me, they did that to me", and found a guild that does not have role play as a major part. The guild I belong to has wonderful chat log times, wonderful dungeon runs, and the people are courteous to one another. There is a chat room for adult language and innuendos (over 18 please) and the guild has a website for keeping up with all that is going on.
Sometimes the guild chat is quiet, sometime full of funny stuff, sometime serious discussion about gear and instances and about the mechanics of the game. What I really love about my guild is - they are accepting of various kinds of folk, young, old, marrieds, singles, silly, and serious folk. It is a great guild. I personally cannot imagine playing the game without belonging to a guild.
My husband and brother-in-law; however, find that guild life is distracting and confusing. They do much better ingame just soloing along and mostly ignoring (not noticing) what others are doing.
They enjoy the game as much or more than I, and I enjoy it far too much!! I know I spend too much time wondering how everyone is and what everyone is doing. I am this way because growing up, I was so shy I never had any rl friends. We moved at least once a year during my school years until I was a sophomore and that is not conducive to someone with my personality making and keeping friends. I am not shy now, but I am somewhat immature in my dealings with others. I am working on that. WOW bring out the child in me. The child that wants others to accept and like me. I admit it.
The fun and good stuff FAR outweighs the pain - so don't be scared off.