For the privacy of those involved, the names have been changed.
Two teenage girls had a unique date in World of Warcraft.
It’s common when you play WoW to run into couples who play the game together and maybe treat the game like a date night event. But out of the times I witnessed and even participated in romance in Warcraft, I never thought I would be the chaperone of the date between two 16-year-old girls.
How did I wind up there?
I was once the member of a Horde guild for two entire expansions before the guild leader transferred servers. I made a lot of friends that ended up staying in contact with, one of those being the guild’s raid leader, John. Over the years since adding him, he would occasionally chat with me and invite me along on some raids. This connection to John eventually leads to me receiving a peculiar invite from him. To help him prove the might of his teenage daughter, Stacey’s new girlfriend, Sarah.
I have played the game with Stacey before, her father inviting her along on raids and dungeons when I was present, but it still felt rude. I won’t deny my interest was piqued about how chaperoning an in-game date would work. John explained that Stacey and one of her classmates were dating for the past four months, and despite how close he was with his daughter, John had found some difficulty in getting a chance to meet his daughter’s girlfriend in a relaxed manner. This problem actually was just another side effect of Stacey growing up. John was having a hard time still connecting with a daughter he used to be close to. Asking his daughter if she and her girlfriend would like to hand out, was awkward to a middle-aged gamer geek like him. The only way he could think to do it was by sticking to what he knows best, a raid.
You see Stacey like most gamers was dating someone she had fandoms in common with, one being World of Warcraft.
I liked the plan and the chance to help a father not crazy intrusively spend time with his daughter and her girlfriend. The two would have an in-game date during a raid before heading out to eat, post-raid.
So I joined in.
The Stage is set.
With the plan ready and enough participating members, the day was set and the raid chosen. I entered the discord channel created by John specifically for the event and was greeted by 10 people with a message being passed to me that John, Stacey, and Sarah would be joining us soon. A lot of the participating members seemed to have the same feelings I did. That in some capacity, this all felt awkward, but its intent was good, and the space could be welcoming if we kept it that way. It put me a bit more at ease to hear us all agree on that.
And there was the sound of John joining the channel, his mic picking up the sound of Stacey and Sarah who were in the same room as him.
They had arrived. John gave his greetings, Stacey quietly gave hers (she was always kind of shy), and Sarah enthusiastically said hello to everyone present. Sarah proceeded to learn everyone’s character names and gave a bit of background about how she ended up playing, explaining that she plays because of her older sister. It alleviated my last worries about making the girls uncomfortable, seeing the newcomer to the situation be so vibrant and happy about it.
The raid was normal difficulty Uldir. John was one of the tanks on his Warrior, Stacey would be one of the DPS on her feral druid, Sarah would be the other tank on Demon Hunter, and I would be another DPS on my Rogue because I am basic and refuse to ever play another role. The rest of the participants rounded out the other roles.
Raid buffs cast, potions distributed, soul fountain out…
IT WAS ON!
I decided heading in that the interactions between myself and the girls would be minimal beyond the game. Not just because I am 28-years-old, but because I didn’t want to make it weird for them. To make them feel intimidated by the whole situation. That was until I heard Sarah, again breaking the ice. She managed mobs, performed fight mechanics, gave tips on each specialty mob and boss, she even included a few jokes that made Stacey giggle (which you could tell was a heartwarmingly sweet way of checking on her significant other mid raid). The entire raid was having fun and a lot of that was carried by Sarah. By the time we got past the third boss, the entire raid was truly having a blast. I got to see the exchanges between Sarah and Stacey and the happiness in Johns’ voice as he enjoyed hanging with his daughter and her girlfriend.
We didn’t finish the raid completely but by the end, the shy Stacey was joking and laughing so much more, and Sarah had endeared herself to the entire raid group.
We agreed we would try to finish another day, with Stacey excitedly saying she would love it if Sarah could come along, something that no one disagreed with!
Despite the fun I ended up having. I get that the whole event was a truly unique one and probably wouldn’t work or should be a normal chain of events for most people. In the end, a dad found a way to connect with his daughter and her girlfriend, but the amount of anxiety I heading in makes it clear that this shouldn’t be attempted often.