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Chambers of Love: Valentine's Day 2--Electric Boogaloo Edition - The White Wolf LiveJournal Community
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Chambers of Love: Valentine's Day 2--Electric Boogaloo Edition

Hey, gang. I’m back from vacation, all bright tailed and bushy eyed, with another installment of Chambers of Love. Has it already been a year I’ve been doing these columns? Appropriately enough given the title of my column and that it’s the anniversary of my original Valentine’s Day entry, this week we’re going to talk about love and romance in gaming, both within the roleplaying games themselves and around the table between the players.


I know a lot of people who are perfectly fine roleplaying romantic encounters and even full-on NC-17 sexual situations, but I’ve got to say, it’s always made me uncomfortable. Then again, I’m not exactly an extrovert, nor am I demonstrably affectionate in public, raised as I was by robots. Still, it impresses me when done well (well, the romance does anyway—scenes of getting it on always seem to come off creepy), since when you think about it, love is one of the prime motivators (if not the prime motivator) of storytelling. From Homer through Shakespeare and right up to modern storytellers such as Joss Whedon, love has been used to drive tales forward and to heighten drama. If you can pull off a moving love scene around a gaming table in someone’s living room or basement, it can be just as powerful as it can be in the theater or at the movies. Again, as something I’m not good at myself, it just serves to impress me that much more.


Now, when it comes to love that blossoms around the gaming table itself, I’m a bit more in my element. My wife and I met at a friend’s Mage: The Ascension game, and we first fell for each other around that same gaming table. I’ve known a number of people who’ve had similar experiences, and it’s no wonder. If you meet someone in that sort of situation, you’ve already got something in common (assuming the person wasn’t just pressured to play by another), and with hardcore gamers, who are often quite passionate about their hobby, finding someone else who “gets it” can be tremendously gratifying. In addition, gamers are oftimes forged by the same sorts of other interests and backgrounds as well, so gaming is seldom the only thing two will have in common.


But enough about me and my experiences. How about you folk? Do you have either a powerful in-game romantic scene that you’ll never forget or someone you met through the hobby who has come to play an important part of your life? It’s Valentine’s Day, people. Time to share the love.

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mordicai From: mordicai Date: February 11th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
It depends-- on whether or not you allow drinking in the session...
incandescens From: incandescens Date: February 11th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, two of my friends who met at an In Nomine campaign I ran ended up getting married and now have a daughter. I'm still mildly smug about that. (I was a bridesmaid at their wedding, too. :))
sixswordsamurai From: sixswordsamurai Date: February 11th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I met a former girlfriend through a really cool Werewolf the Apocalypse session, where she played my characters Kinfolk wife. It was really really cool. we cared about one another a lot. There was some mild reality/fantasy de-localization, but that was taken care of my explaining that while I'm a bastard, and mean like my character, I actually had her best interests at heart (where as my character would have discarded her character if she'd ceased being the almost perfect assistant)

We broke up later, but that was amicable, we found we wanted different things out of life.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I met my wife back in high-school (~17 years ago) at a D&D game. Soon after we discovered V:tM and LARP. After ten years apart we found each other again and are now married, and playing Exalted together...
zodiac_kitten From: zodiac_kitten Date: February 12th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I met my husband 3 1/2 years ago online. I didnt even really know what paper and pen rpg's were. He invited me to hang out with him and his friends to play V:tM. I agreed somewhat excited to try something new only to realize it was nothing like online rpgs. I made the character and didn't even get a sentence out of my mouth I was so frozen from shyness. Months later he called me up and asked me out, and shortly thereafter I managed to negate my shyness and get heavily into role-playing. Just recently we celebrated our 2 year anniversary by playing Exalted :)
jlburgos From: jlburgos Date: February 12th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your story truly touched me and put a smile on my face. Wishing you both all the best.
ladypimpernel From: ladypimpernel Date: February 12th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
My boyfriend of four and a half years and I first spoke in a long conversation where he convinced me to join his Vampire LARP. (He says he gets girls into gaming, then dates them.) We proceeded to fall in love over the course of a Mage game and a Changeling game. I knew he was the one during a particularly awesome scene in a Mage game. It was at that time in my life the most intense storytelling I'd ever had, and I knew I would never find something that good with anyone else.
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morganweeks From: morganweeks Date: February 12th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Shotguns and Car Chases

I met my wife of now three years at a Feng Shui game that I was running. She was a shotgun toting gun bunny with a penchant for hitting everything except her targets and having high speed car chases around the city that would make even the most jaded Burnout player shed tears of joy. This all earned her the nickname Collateral Damage and, well, how can you not love that?
filamena From: filamena Date: February 12th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
This is so cute! I could read these stories all day.

I met my husband on a World of Darkness chat, (not THE world of darkness chat. We weren't cool enough for that.) There were vampires and mages and werewolves all over the place but we just so happened to both be playing really mundane mundanes. I was on ex ballet dancer/recovering heroin junkie turned stripper (one of my upbeat characters!) He was playing a nerdy computer guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. I seem to recall using and abusing his poor character pretty badly.

Then we got married and had a baby. (I think some other stuff happened, but who cares, right?) Amusingly enough be both happened to be playing characters very opposite ourselves and so there was never any confusion about our relationship vs any in game thing. (Plus, you know, we're adults, but hey...)

I think since I started gaming I haven't been with a nongamer. I can't imagine trying to explain all of this to someone who wasn't interested. (Of course, I guess I couldn't imagine explaining to my husband why I was seeing a nongamer, so that's convenient.)
morgan_gw From: morgan_gw Date: February 12th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Always happy to share the love :-)

I met my husband of 11-years-this-Saturday (yes, we were married on Valentine's Day) through a more-or-less PBEM that started in alt.callahans. We got to be friends through our characters, then carried the friendship out of the game, and managed (despite both of us thinking it was crazy) to fall in love entirely over email. It took three months from friendly commiseration over other relationships not working out, to meeting in person (we lived on opposite coasts at the time), to him moving to California, and about six months after that to the wedding.

That was the short version of the RL story, here's an in-game one: Since most of our RPing is just the two of us, it's fairly common for our characters to get involved. In our Marvel Saga game, my character, a new super who'd joined the Avengers, had ended up dating Tony Stark (they both knew each others' secret identities, since he was one of her "sponsors" on the team). I was prepared both in and out of character for the relationship to come to an eventual end, this being Tony Stark after all, but when the character expresses a strong opinion on something, sometimes the player just has to accept it and see where it leads.

Brief switch back to RL: we both just sort of knew early on that we'd eventually get married, so by the time my hunny had the chance to actually propose, I saw it coming a mile away(I even slipped my engagement ring back to him, none soo smoothly, so he'd have it in his hand instead of already on mine *g*). It's still a fond memory, but he hardly had a chance to surprise me.

Jump forward again about two-ish years real-time to the Avengers game: Tony had invited his girlfriend to Avenger's Mansion for New Year's Eve 2000 (she played up not having been there before since there were some team members who didn't know one or the other of their SIs). As they stood on the roof waiting for the ball to drop and the temporal odometer to roll over, Tony (aka my hunny the GM) pulls this little box out of his pocket -- a universal signal to just about any woman raised in this culture :-). This caught me as much by surprise out of character as in, and my hunny says the look on my face is one he'll always treasure. Tony popped the question exactly at midnight, and of course she said "Yes." That game eventually faded into the background as it was replaced by 7th Sea, and then by our current Exalted game (*lots* of opportunities for romance and such *g*), but we still revisit our Marvel characters from time to time.

Oh, and having gotten to know each other first through alt.callahans, we still primarily call each other by the names we chose for our virtual selves in that PBEm/collaborative fiction -- in other words, the characters we were "playing" when we met :-).
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Always happy to share the love :-)

From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
wow... so, combined do you and your husband weight more than a pack of hippopotamus...? 'cause you sound kind of fat and pathetic.
razorwolf From: razorwolf Date: February 12th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
You fail at the Internet. Please kill yourself now.
sim_james From: sim_james Date: February 12th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I've known plenty of people who dated people they ganed with, and a decent number of gaming marriages. Gamers around these parts tend to socialise in the roleplaying "community" so this isn't unusual; I don't know how many relationships have emerged from an actual game, though.

Relationships and romance within a game is more unusual, but not unheard of. I've played with a group that includes routinely romance between PCs (and sometimes NPCs, though this is frowned upon); they tend to play it for melodrama. Not much is more melodramatic than a love triangle when you're already fighting for your life.

I once GMed a Wraith campaign in which one player pursued a genuinely romantic plot with an NPC - originally intended to be a sage "infodump", he became a recurring character. The player enjoys romance anime, and that's the kind of romance she played in the game... origami love hearts hidden in coat pockets, that kind of thing.

Sex never came up (the PCs were all Risen) but it was a nice and sometimes poignant development. I initially felt a bit odd roleplaying romance with another person's fiance (especially as she prefers characters similar to her actual personality) but I'm really glad it was part of the game. It contributed to an emotional realism that everybody enjoyed.
jackob From: jackob Date: February 12th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC) (Link)
My wife first became interested in me at a con, we first really met at a Vampire LARP campaign and we hooked up after a Vampire one-short LARP...
From: ext_71735 Date: February 12th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I met my wife at a Werewolf LARP, so... yeah. These things they do happen ;)
razorwolf From: razorwolf Date: February 12th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC) (Link)
In my groups, romance is always present at the table, both in-character and out. Several of us date (or are married to) other players, myself included. Things certainly have the potential to get strange when you're involved in a romantic scene/plot with a friend's SO, but no one has taken offense to date.

On the in-game side of the coin, one of my groups has been playing an Exalted game for four years, and love is a major part of each character's life and adds a lot to the drama of the game. The Zenith pines for the Dawn, but he isn't over his (dead) dynast love. The Twilight is currently in a state of crisis over possibly losing his Lunar wife to Ma-Ha-Suchi, while my deathknight tries to keep his Deathlord and everyone else in the dark about his wife and child. These all make for intense role-playing and killer plots.
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