Matters of Etiquette

I found myself in an unusual position last night (no – not that sort of position you dirty minded so-and-sos!) While on the train home, I noticed that a guy with a laptop sitting across the carriageway had an embroidered logo which identified him as obviously being a fellow WoW player and also a fellow member of the gnome munching Horde.

Conundrum: do I make it known to this total stranger that I a) recognise the logo b) that I also play and c) I, also, am a member of the superior Horde. This is Britain – strangers don’t talk to each other. That’s just not the done thing. On the other hand, just like public school oldboy networks and esoteric and obscure societies like the Freemasons and Aston Villa supporters, being a stranger was second to being part of something larger. Just because you have never seen the person before in your life does not stop you being siblings becauase of your shared experience.

I did have a secondary concern which was this: the logo was embroidered on the back pocket of his jeans. Saying something about it would imply that I had been looking at his arse¹.

In the end, I figured what the hell. He was the one wearing the logo and why else would you do that if you didn’t want to announce your interests and allegiances. Even if he did say “WTF? Were you looking at my arse you pervert?” I figured I was never going to see him again so as we were getting off the train, I simply said “Horde for life, right?” He looked askance at first then grinned and said “Yeah. I tried Alliance but I couldn’t stand it.”

“I know what you mean” I replied and then legged it for my next train as fast my legs would carry me.

What about you? Would you talk to someone because you recognised they played the same game as you? Or has someone stopped to talk to you because you were wearing your favourite Green Linen Shirt?

¹I want to try to explain but that’s just digging a hole I won’t be able to get out of so just trust me when I say it was entirely innocent and circumstantial.

12 thoughts on “Matters of Etiquette”

  1. I once chased a guy down the street because he was wearing not just an EVE sweatshirt, but an EVE Fanfest sweatshirt. He didn’t seem to mind, and I’ve spoken to him in-game a few times since.

  2. Hehe, I totally would have done the same. Despite the fact that I was playing an Alliance shaman before I unsubscribed from WoW (blasphemy, I know), I too am a Horde girl and always will be. There’s something so primal about the music in Orgrimmar that gets my blood pumping.

  3. I used to enjoy running into people who played MMOs. But then I realized most of them weren’t like me and played the bad games, had the newb knowledge, or just weren’t the kind of people I’d like to hang around. That said I live in a relatively small city, so its only a matter of time until I find a sweet dude that likes my bawls.

  4. Yup. The “Gamer Secret Handshake” has been an issue for years for the roleplayers. Always looking to sneak a little gaming reference into the office so you can attract other gamers without drawing too much attention.

  5. I once overheard a Warcraft-themed conversation in the subway, about “the new raid instance that is SO awesome”, the “phat lewt for my twink mage” and the “stupid guy we ganked for an hour”.

    And the boys talking like that were maybe twelve years old. Naturally, I smiled to myself and ignored them, save for the occasional puzzled look all the other passengers gave each other.

    Of course, if they’d been around my age, I’d probably joined the discussion instead of ignoring the kids talking nonsense. Ah, vanity.

  6. Next time I go to England I’m gonna go to a match and introduce the new “Ooooh! Ooooh! Villans are arse-gazers!” chant at the appropriate game. :)

  7. I have a shirt that I designed the art for when Phaelia was running a contest over on Rest4Life. It’s obviously WoW inspired if you’re familiar with Druids, but there’s no text or anything that screams WoW. I have yet to receive comments about it… but I’m curious to see what it might do. I guess I should go prowl around in the mall or something. I’m afraid of the emo crowd, though.

  8. I /might/ have said something, but then as you say – it’s Britain. I once felt very conspicuous about my Wicked travelcard wallet when someone was wearing a Wicked T-shirt, but they didn’t notice it – phew. That being said, if someone commented on something I was wearing, I’d definitely strike up a conversation about it. I was stuck on a train at Rugby once (a long time ago) and ended up chatting about MUSHing with the guy opposite me – and we discovered we both had chars on the same MUSH. That was a bit freaky, but very funny.

  9. I have been in that situation a few times. It always seems to end disastrously. Either:

    – The person looks at me in horror and moves away. Indicating clearly to all and sundry that a dirty old man has just made a pass at them.


    – They start gushing enthusiastically talking as if I am their new best friend for life and inviting me home to meet their parents.

    Even though I am Irish I have to admit that their is a lot to be said for British reserve.

  10. Consider.
    Of all the places he could pick to show his allegience, he chose his buttocks.
    Now, thats not a comment on the honour of the horde or any such thing, but if a person willingly uses their bum as an advertising board, they probably don’t mind people looking at it.
    Just the opinion of an outsider with unlogo-ed buttocks.

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