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Drama Mamas: Time to man up

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we pretend to be a gender we're not. When we discussed boys playing girl characters before, we all pretty much agreed that it was cool as long as there was no deception involved. Roleplaying = yay. Experimentation = good. Hiding your true identity in a non-roleplaying environment = uh oh. Unfortunately, for One Big Liar, what began as experimentation and a wee bit of roleplaying evolved into a full-scale reputation for being a "real girl." Uh oh, indeed.

Dear Drama Mamas: I'm in need of some advice. I've played WoW for 2 years, first as a male Troll and now as a female Tauren. When I was playing as my Troll in the BC days there were no problems. However, since I started playing my Tauren female when Wrath came out, things have started to go awry. When I hit 80, I joined a new guild and started doing raids with them where everyone assumed I was female, like my toon was. Problem is, I'm not. I figured there wasn't much harm in not correcting them since I didn't have a mic at the time and figured this wouldn't get to be too big of an issue. However, now no matter where I go, guilds or groups or raids, everyone assumes I'm female since that's what I've never denied.

Now that I have a mic, this is a problem. They yell at me for not using it, but if I do they'll know I've been lying for the past year and I'm afraid I'd get scorned. This would also be the case with my guild and my friends.

Don't get me wrong -- I haven't been using my pretending to be female to get anything from anyone. I've acted like myself just throwing in some things that aren't associated with my gender. I just wanted to explore the idea. I'm wanting to use my mic and just get honest with everyone, but I'm afraid I'd lose friends, my guild and trust. So should I just keep up the facade or come clean? If the second option, any suggestions on how to do it nicely? Thanks, One Big Liar


Drama Mama Robin: Liar, you need to man up -- pun intended. You are tired of the facade and somehow it's going to get out... it always does. No matter how nicely you put it, however, there are going to be bad feelings about your deception. Here are some tips:
  • Start small: Tell your closest online friends first, then your guild leadership.
  • Don't get defensive: Because you threw in some things not associated with your gender, you did encourage the facade. So take your lumps and apologize.
  • Accept your punishment: Your guild leaders may gkick you, put you on probation or be content to just mock you mercilessly. If it's the mocking, be thankful they are doing it to your face.
  • See the humor: Your situation is funny. If you laugh along with everyone, you'll be able to get over the embarrassment much more quickly.
  • Give it time: No matter how unbearable you may find the scorn and ridicule of the first few days, it will pass. There is always bigger drama on the horizon, you just need to wait it out. If you find that the repercussions of your lie are just too much for you to bear, you can always change your realm (and name) and start fresh someplace else. But, as long as you're telling the truth that you didn't compromise anyone with your gender-bending, people will get over this and so will you.
When I realized my baby brother was going to be a dork like me, I started calling him all the names he was going to hear. Of course, I did it with affection and humor instead of cruelty, but I really think it helped him develop a thick skin. Perhaps our readers can do the same for you. Readers, leave jokes and snide torments in the comments, keeping it clean and in good humor, of course. Yes, I know that when this drama hits trade chat, they won't be so kind. But we really don't need to sink to their level. So help One Big Liar see the humor in his situation and get used to the mockery he will be receiving. You know you want to.

Drama Mama Lisa: As Robin said, your guild very well could freak out over this. Honestly, though? Don't build this up to be bigger than it really is. What about our old friend, humor? In a bubbly falsetto: "Now that I finally have a mic, it's been brought to my attention that some of you good people think I'm a female IRL, so I've been advised to keep things comfortable by carrying on my buxom Tauren persona."

If anyone seems seriously taken aback, try the real deal: the truth. Admit that your female persona was a simple misunderstanding that evolved into an intriguing experience for your Tauren character. Make it clear that you never sought to trick or bilk anyone. Explain how the situation became more awkward and embarrassing than it was interesting, over time, and that you became more comfortable simply allowing the issue to slide.

The clincher in this situation is giving your guildmates a reason to welcome the male version of you. Show them what you really are: an open, personable guy who enjoys this guild so much that he's ready to take the next step and get real. Say that outright, and show them that you mean it. I think you'll enjoy the results – the bonds of online friendships are one of the true joys of MMOs like WoW.

Drama Mamas Drama-Buster of the Week

Are you a non-officer annoyed by a new guild recruit? Just bite your tongue, turn your tolerance up to 11 and wait a couple weeks. Turnover during the app process tends to be pretty high for most guilds. No need to cause a ruckus over someone who ends up being a short-timer. Chances are, he or she is annoying others too and the situation will just take care of itself. Also, new recruits are often a bit anxious to fit in and try too hard at first. The guildnoob may turn out to be just fine after a settling down period. If the problem is still a problem after a decent waiting period (2 to 3 weeks), then you can try to deal with it. Otherwise, you don't want to be that grump who never seems to get along with the new guys, right?

Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Filed under: Drama Mamas, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves

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