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.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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    […] posted an insightful article regarding gender identification in WoW, using the story of the high school girl in Washington State who was apparently stalked by a […]