20 year old pretends to be woman to go after 16 year old high schooler in WoW

Now this story merits a double post today. Judging by the source, it occurred down south in Tacoma, Washington (not far from Vancouver, I don’t think). Allow me to provide you with a shortened version. If you have time to read, here is the long version.
This guy travels across the US/Canadian border to go to a high school to meet this 16 year old girl. What she doesn’t realize is that they’re Guild mates in the game (A Guild is like a recognized group of players who play together like a team).

When the student arrived at school that Monday morning, she was called to the front office and told a man was waiting to talk to her about college. It was Gregory-MacIntyre. The girl had no idea who he was.

“ustin introduced himself as Greg, and told her he was Vera’s best friend, the affidavit states.

The student knew Vera. Vera was the Canadian college student she’d met on Warcraft and MySpace, the social networking Web site. Vera was in her Warcraft guild. She was the friend who talked about fashion and Calgary College and how much fun it was to party there.

So the guy hands her a bunch of gifts which includes his car keys, a tank top,”The OC” season one DVD box set and a brand new laptop computer.

It turns out the guy masqueraded as his friend Vera. His Myspace picture is that of a woman. That’s a pretty stark deception right there, if you ask me. It was one hell of an elaborate deception. It’s been done before in the past in various stats involving IRC, chatrooms, and other forms of sociality.

Furthermore, Vera had problems with someone pretending to be her on such social web sites. Go figure, eh?

My Response

I don’t think there would’ve been a problem if the guy comes out in the open and says who he was honestly. If they wanted to meet, that’s okay as long as it’s in a public area with a lot of people (like a shopping mall). It would have been even better if the girl went to meet the guy with a few of her own friends who might be football players or wrestlers.

Hell, if I wanted to meet a female player in real life, I’d say lets go get some coffee then hit up a LAN center or something. But that’s just me.

But to pretend to be a girl? What the hell is wrong with you? Is he really that desperate? Way to make us all look bad. By us I mean Canadians and WoW Players. No, not just WoW Players, ALL GAMERS. The media already seems to have a negative stereotype of gamers. NOT ALL OF US ARE TWENTY YEAR OLD GUYS WHO PRETEND TO BE GIRLS TO PICK UP OTHER GIRLS.

Two years, less a day, in my opinion. But honestly, society has some serious wackos out there. There’s a reason why I’m studying Criminology. There’s a reason why I chose the path I did. I could’ve gone into sciences or business. There are three things in the world that seriously piss me off:

  • Sex predators
  • Child stalkers
  • Pathological liars

A few days ago, I read a few posts by Kestrel about girls existing on the internet. That’s fine and dandy. We live in an age where male dominance over the IT sector is slowly beginning to dwindle. Dungeons and Dragons just ain’t for guys anymore. But even if you have a picture of yourself on the internet, I will still cast serious doubt. With the existence of social networks such as Myspace and Facebook, it is no longer difficult to rip off a friend’s picture and use that in a deceptive fashion.

In my Criminal Justice courses, we learned about the concept of the presumption of innocence. In a nutshell, you are innocent until proven guilty. It’s one of the few foundational principles in most western democracies. Similarly, I operate under a gaming doctrine of the presumption of masculinity. You are male until proven otherwise. Unless I can HEAR your voice and compare it with your actions in game, you’re still a man. I think most people can tell the difference between an 8 year old kid and a 22 year old female gamer. If you want more credibility, put it on your facebook profile or Myspace that you’re a WoW Player along with your character information. Frankly, the more evidence that leads to your femininity, the more likely skeptics will be convinced.

Why is gender such a big deal anyway?

I think it’s because of this dominant belief that not a whole lot of gamers are women. Ten years ago, games used to be the domain of men. Arcades would be flooded with male gamers playing street fighter. Counterstrike and Quake 3 public servers would be filled with guys fragging each other.

Until a girl would say something in game.

Then it seemed that the world stopped. Guns dropped to the ground. That all of a sudden, there was this goddess that was sent by the heavens to help light the way for all geeks in their never ending quest for supreme nerditude.

Then some guy would walk up to a female gamer, open trade, put in 20 Large Prismatic Shards, and hand it over free of charge.

Why?

Cause he wants some.
That stuff (Prismatic Shades) doesn’t come cheap anymore. To offer it so freely, I think, is akin to buying love. Even when I played Guild Wars, I’d get whispers saying “Hi, I’m a girl, can I have some Platinum?”

I don’t care if your reproductive organs are on the inside or the outside. You’re not getting my gold. I don’t think there should be any special treatment allowed of anyone because of their gender.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against girl gamers. I absolutely LOVE girl gamers. I think it’s great that girls are getting into gaming. But what I DO have a problem with is girl gamers who use their sexuality to exploit other players and Guilds. I can see why Nihilium doesn’t allow women into their Guild because it would cause too much drama. Hmm, guess that wasn’t true after all. Thanks for the correction MK.

Look, I treat all my friends and guild mates equally with respect and dignity. Treatment should never be based on gender because it’s not fair. Why does she get her repair bill paid for when she was AFK for half the fight while I have to some how come up with 35 Gold on my own busting my ass for flasks, pots, and ensuring the MT was alive? If I were to show favoritism or special treatment of any kind, I would base it solely on performance. Nothing more and nothing less.

Thanks for reading, and I know that this sounds a lot more aggressive than usual, but nothing gets me more riled up than reading stories like this. I also want to reiterate that not all female gamers act in such a manner. I’m in no way trying to paint them with a bad brush.

Blizzard wastes no time on Patch 2.3

Update: 9/27 (Thanks Kirk)

All priests get Fear Ward!

Drysc wrote:

Fear Ward will be available to all priests at level 20, but there are some changes in addition. Current plans are to reduce duration to 3 minutes, and increase the cooldown to 3 minutes.

To give the dwarves and draenei something else to even it out, they’ll see a new ability called Chastise (also given at level 20) which will cause holy damage and incapacitate the target for 2 seconds.

Drysc clarifies the numbers for converting +healing to +spell damage as a new mechanic for healers.

Drysc wrote:

No, it’s about a third. So 1500 +heal would give about +500 +spell damage.

Priest
Nethaera on Pain Suppression and Meditation improvements!

 

Nethaera wrote:

For instance, Pain Suppression is getting changed a bit to have more utility beyond personal use. You’ll be able to cast it on a friendly target and it will do a couple of things. First it’s going to reduce the target’s threat by 5%. and next it’s going to reduce the damage that person takes by 40%. The cooldown is also going to be reduced to 2 minutes. The intent is to give it more utility while still making it viable for multiple targets. When you’re trying to protect an AoEing mage in a raid, this could become a very useful tool.

Meditation is also going to get a bit of a bump up and it will increase to 10/20/30% mana regen as well.

Nethaera on Power Word: Shield.

Nethaera wrote:

On the survivability end, we’re going to be having Power Word: Shield gain additional benefit from spell damage and healing bonuses. Base absorb values for ranks 10, 11 and 12 have been reduced though to go with that as a balancing factor for it. Unfortunately I don’t have any concrete information on what the values will end up being right now.

Shaman

Eyonix on Shaman buffs.

 

Eyonix wrote:

An example of one helpful adjustment surrounds shamanistic rage, which will also reduces all damage taken by 30% for the duration of the ability (30 seconds), in addition to its current effect. Spirit Weapons will also reduce melee threat by a total of 30% rather than 15%. More improvements should be expected as well.

Eyonix says improvements will be made to all talent specs.

 

Eyonix wrote:

There will be changes that benfefit the elemental and restoration shaman as well. And yes, more enchancement improvements are absolutely going into patch 2.3.

Shaman can train 2-handed axes and maces without talents!

 

Eyonix wrote:

Yes, all shaman will be able to equip 2-handed axes and maces (proper training required of course), without having to spend a talent. In it’s place, a seemingly solid replacement talent called elemental focus. Basically, what it offers is this — after landing a melee critical strike, you’ll enter a “focused state”. The focused state will reduce the mana cost of your next shock spell by 60%.

Frost Shock no longer subject to diminishing returns!

Eyonix wrote:

You’re welcome. No changes to those abilities, and while not the same, in patch 2.3 frost shock will no longer be subject to diminishing returns. This should prove useful.

Source: Curse

Lots of more things to look forward to especially as healers. That top change will raise many eyebrows and I suspect that the converted healing bonus to spell damage will draw some debate.

Late for Stats… more on this later as well as the next series in Loot Management. Thanks to all the birthday well wishers!

Keys to Success

The keyboard is the most important tool in any gamer’s arsenal. It’s important to bind keys to abilities because you can react quicker to keys then to mouse clicks. Ask any player you know, and they will tell you that no matter what platform you compete on (RTS, FPS, MMO), it is absolutely essential to have a quick reaction in order to survive.

I remember back in the old days of Starcraft and Warcraft 2, I would manually click on the build icons to construct whatever units and buildings I need. Not so anymore. As time progressed, I started to slowly adapt to using keys. It was a gradual process at first, and I found I had to mouse over and figure out what key corresponded to what unit. Now it is simply second nature. However good you think your hand-eye coordination is, it cannot possibly compare to a player who is aware of where their fingers are placed and what they need to press.

This essential skill doesn’t even have to apply purely to gaming. Real world applications like Outlook or Word have built in keyboard shortcuts as well. Sure it might take 3 or 4 seconds to press the save button or bold a word. But if you deal with multiple documents all those seconds start adding up. Some of these keys are universal as well.

* Ctrl + S = Save
* Alt + F4 = Close program
* Windows key + D = Show desktop
* Ctrl + B = Bold
* Alt + Enter = Full screen (Some programs)

Those keys are universal. Back at my old job, I noticed the office folks were busy using the mouse clicking and clicking instead of using shortcuts. I guess it’s one technique which they can use to run the clock, but efficiency just goes down the drain.

When you’re mapping your keys in gaming, however, a majority of the time your keys will revolve around your left hand. This restricts the amount of keys you can bind since it would be too troublesome to constantly reach across the keyboard from one side to the other with only your left hand. The key’s that are within reach are: Q, W, E, R, T, A, S, D, F, G, H, Z, X, C, V, B, `, 1 – 5. Throw in the shift and ctrl keys and you get three times the options.

Typically, a player’s movement keys are the W, A, S, D keys. That’s considered the point of reference. With fingers rested on those keys, everything else is within striking distance.

My Shaman’s keys were a mess so I decided to completely reconfigure them. After much discussion and theorycrafting, I narrowed down the list of spells and abilities I would need for PvP.

Nature’s Swiftness
Heroism
Eartshock, Rank 1
Earth Shield
Windfury Totem
Grounding Totem
Magma Totem
Chain Heal
Frost Shock (Rank 1)
Flame Shock (Rank 1)
Frost Resist Totem
Purge
PvP Trinket
Lesser Healing Wave
Healing Wave

The list doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re under pressure from an opposing team, actions needed to be decided quick. So I had to set them up in a priority order spreading outwards.

Anyway, don’t discount how important it is to map keys. Precious seconds could mean the difference between life and death.