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Breakfast Topic: The charity friend

Much as I love gaming, I have an eerie habit of choosing games that involve guilt. From my Harvest Moon days ("no, I can't come to dinner yet; my chickens are angry!") to my time in World of Warcraft, thar be guilt-trips afoot. In fact, I have a friend who fell asleep once while tanking, because it can be difficult to say no. Many players even report feeling obligated to do their dailies, and guilty for skipping them, even though they hate them; and after all, who exactly would we be offending if we skipped them once in awhile?

Enter the charity friend. This is often a person that you coerced into playing in the first place, and is likely to be a close friend or, if you're lucky, romantic partner. Unfortunately, you spend about four times this person's /played each week, and they've fallen behind you, even though you started an alt specifically to rendezvous with your bud. It happens; you enjoyed the character and you just had to participate in Brewfest, and one time you saw an LFM on LFG that was tempting and you switched over....

When your charity friend actually comes online for some play-time, you feel obligated to drop whatever you were doing, and go play too. You may also be struck with the urge to help finance this player's endeavors, run this player through content for gear, teach this player some tricks, and let the loot fall to them, whether they need it or not. Every mount that you have saved up for may have been delayed because of your desire to help and accompany this person.

As a fellow sufferer of the charity friend phenomenon, I recommend some /time spent IRL. You just mailed them those BOE epic bracers (ahem; or maybe that was me). The least they could do is buy you a coffee! Alternatively, if they happen to be your wife/boyfriend/etc, I submit that they owe you more than caffeine.

Do you ever feel guilt-ridden by, or obligated to, something, or someone, in WoW? Do you ever find cause to laugh at yourself when you realize that just what it is you're feeling guilty over? Do you have trouble saying no, even in the virtual world?

Filed under: Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Leveling

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