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Reader Comments (47)

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:14PM nimzy said

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Any opinions on how this differs from Recruit-a-Friend syndrome?

Other than the fact that most of the time you start by being left exposed on some mountainside as an infant and expected to survive on your own.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 4:31PM fallwind said

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@nimzy I don't think it does differ.

I've had this done to me once or twice, Im always careful not to do it it to others. That said I think there is a big difference between what the author described and using a higher lvl, experienced player to reduce annoyances. A friend of mine just joined Rift and I bought her 4 18-slot bags and sent some plat her way to buy all her souls. It was a drop in the bucket for my main, but will REALLY help get her funds rolling, and the bags reduce one of the greatest frustrations I had at her level. I don't suggest how to play, give her builds or tell her were to level... but I did use my funds to make her early levels more enjoyable.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 9:32AM shmegger said

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@nimzy
Maybe its the same thing, but I read this article just in time. Last night my wife said she wanted to jump in EQ2 with me. Hopefully now I will avoid treating her like a satellite.

Also, she is not much of a gamer, though she soloed a druid through much of eq1. When I told her that the starting levels of eq2 are now extremely easy, she was annoyed. I guess when you cut your teeth on a game with naked corpse runs and no mini-maps or quest indicators, new mmo's seem like child's play.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:15PM Feathers said

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Applies way beyond partners - I managed to get a friend into the game, and then spent a LOT of time biting my lip/sitting on my hands to stop myself trying to play the game for them. It's worth it though, as they're now more hooked than I am :p

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:17PM Nandini said

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If you had called this "Sidekick Syndrome" I might have been more inclined to take you seriously. What's that? Oh, 1980 called and they want their sexist gamer stereotype back.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 8:24PM Azules said

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@Nandini Is girlfriends more than any other demographic. Differences between player gender demographics does not = sexism.

Cry about it. And while you're at it, I'm hungry.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2011 9:41PM Nandini said

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@Azules

And just because colorectal cancer is more common among men doesn't mean we call it asshole cancer.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2011 9:50PM Azules said

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@Nandini hoho, zing.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:05AM JuliusSeizure said

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@Nandini

Now who's being sexist? /rolleyes
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:45AM Nandini said

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@JuliusSeizure

I was merely following the previous argument to a logical (if absurd) conclusion, using a contrary example that lent itself to a humorous play on words. (Yes, I'm a guy. And as you can clearly see, sometimes I'm an asshole.)

I don't blame the author for coining the term "Girlfriend Syndrome" as it relates to gaming, since it's been around since at least the late 1990s ( http://www.magespace.net/rat/female.html ). I just think there may have been better alternatives than perpetuating it.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:19PM godot9 said

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This also happens to recruited friends that come late to the game, regardless of sex.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the I'm-too-elite-for-this buddy. They INVITE you to game, then never respond or help because they are too busy hanging out with their level 85 guild-officer friends. Need help killing an elite or completing a class quest? Too bad. Can't get a pug to complete some low or mid-level instance? Busy! Suddenly it feels like you're soloing because the guild doesn't have time for you while they are raiding end-game stuff.

-Sweetfang

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 11:31AM Kalex716 said

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@godot9

Yea but wasn't that the point of the article? Friends, loved ones, and spouses that open the doors to a particularly new game for us are not doing us any favors by trivializing content in that way.

If you really like the game, the best way is to go at it alone and tackle and engage it for what it is. Sure, use your contact for questions or help from time to time, but expectations of hand holding is only going to prolong the conclusion that maybe you don't really like this game enough to be bothered with it anyhow?
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Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:30PM (Unverified) said

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Let him/her play on their own! Don't baby them! That's definitely the best advice from this article. Let them find their own fun.

My introduction to WoW from the bf was just like this. Spent first evening explaining how the controls work, some basic ideas. Then he left me alone to play and enjoy the game on my own. Very hands-off approach. He and his friends had many various levels of dungeon groups, and as I reached their level, I'd come along and learn how to play in a group. But mostly he let me find my own fun in it. We would chat about various mechanics but he never pushed me or over-geared me, save sending me a little bit of starter gold and some empty bags on day 1. By the time I had caught up, I had learned how to work the AH, gotten good at a spec they all thought was useless, and was able to play as a full contributing member of their group. I saw other newbies come along with the Girlfriend Syndrome approach. They either got sick of the game and quit, or they became spoiled and entitled baddies at endgame who whined when things weren't just handed to them. And that's no fun for them or for anyone else.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:34PM Dezyne said

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Another side of this, I feel that we as long time MMO fans actually "Phil" ourselves. When we start new games, because we are familiar with the genre, we have already a sense of what needs to be done. We unconsciously spoil our own games with our knowledge of their systems before we even start.

I think that is one reason we are always looking for new gameplay mechanics. We're desperately trying to find something that makes us feel like newbs again. That feeling of discovery is so valuable to our attachment to a game.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:34PM Chiren said

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"Your interactions with Phil are limited to Phil running you through dungeons and getting you armor, treating you in much the same way that you would treat a younger brother or particularly bright dog."

You are awesome Eliot.

And you're totally right. The best way is to start a new character with the person and duo together.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:37PM BigAndShiny said

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This always happens with one of my friends
He goes "Hey I just started this awesome game, come play"
I join, enjoy it and level up to where he is.
Then he stops logging on
I'm like "Dude why aren't you online"
He's like "I just lost interest"
I'm like "WTF I just played like 50 hours of this game!"

This has happened twice already.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:47PM hylax said

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"You're denied any opportunity to get invested in the game because the whole game is essentially being handed to you by Phil, and as a result, you develop no connection to anything within the game beyond the connection you already had to Phil."

So true.
Gave a friend an SC2 invite a few days ago and jumped right into multiplayer with him. He basically did what I told him to do. Lesson learned - We lost and he will never touch that game again.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:52PM jkugelberg said

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My knee-jerk reaction to this post was to take it as an affront, as I would say more often than not I've imposed "boyfriend-syndrome", but I think it just validates your *actual* point. I can easily see this being an issue. (Nice hook!) I think I've been lucky in that generally my guy gamer friends are more interested in "hardcore" everything (raiding, grinding, etc) save for the actual hardcore games (I tease them for playing "nancy MMOs"). The gamers I hang with otherwise usually very much follow in the pattern as described by godot9.

After playing catch-up in those scenarios I would say is the real "girlfriend syndrome", where as a girl and despite having made the same accomplishments a good percentage of guys still won't take you seriously even if you *hadn't* been introduced as a girlfriend. (My advice for the ladies needing socialization/not wanting to have to go an extra mile for acknowledgement: RP servers. As much as I hate to say it.)

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 3:54PM Ceridith said

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The solution I found is to find a girlfriend who already plays the game. That's what I did, and we're now happily married.

Posted: Nov 8th 2011 4:04PM myr said

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Haha.

I've had guildmates do this many times, and the end result is almost always as described... unless, like you say, the two people level together and enjoy the game on their own terms.

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