In this era of Match.com and eHarmony, it's not so unusual to have married friends who met online. Couples tie the knot with elaborate in-game weddings. The taste for WoW-themed wedding cakes grows every year. Wedding rings unite lovers in Azeroth and the world at large.
So it's no surprise that 15 Minutes of Fame would eventually roll around to the story of a couple who met and fell in love inside the World of Warcraft. Meet Ghrelsognn and Aleiriella of Defiance on Farstriders-US. Ghrel and Aleir are no starry-eyed youngsters – both in their 40s, they found themselves mesmerized by love when (and where) they least expected it. Join us for the story of their walk up the levels and down the aisle, in their own words, after the break.
Main character Ghrelsognn, Holy Paladin of Defiance on Farstriders-US
Main character Aleiriella, Mage of Defiance on Farstriders-US
15 Minutes of Fame: Two players in different countries with different backgrounds – there was so much space between the two of you when you first met. How did you each come to play WoW?
Ghrelsognn: I started playing in December 2007. I never have played any other MMOs prior to this one; however, I have played all the Warcraft games, Diablo and Starcraft. I started playing 'cause of my brother. I was very hesitant at first, 'cause I knew the game would take up lots of time -- and I wasn't wrong. LOL
Aleiriella: I started playing in December 2007. I enjoyed playing city-building games and puzzle games on my computer. I had heard about WoW, and I was curious about how it would be to play with other people. One day, I went to Best Buy, and I was looking through the games section to see if anything new would catch my eye. There on the shelf, I saw the WoW game. I picked it up and started to read the back of the box. I read about being able to be a Mage and I thought that I would really enjoy that, so I bought the game.
How old are you? What kind of work do you do?
Ghrelsognn: I am 44 years old and work as a systems administrator.
Aleiriella: I am 46 years old. I am currently not employed, but my background is in management.
Let's get right to the juicy part: Tell us how you met in game.
Ghrelsognn: Well, it was a couple of weeks into the game. I was around level 29 and just started questing in Thousand Needles. During one of the long runs back to Freewind Post, I noticed someone being mobbed by a bunch of critters. I threw out a heal and started to help in the fight -- and lo and behold, there was Aleir. She whispered me a thank you and I said "You're welcome." I then asked her if she would like to quest together. We looked at our logs and realized most of our quests were the same. So off we went, zipping through quests, chatting about the game and what we thought of it.
Aleiriella: I think I was about level 25. I was doing some quests in Thousand Needles. I was being ambushed by a bunch of animals, when I noticed that someone was helping me with my battle. I thought that it was so sweet of him to do. I also thought of how much easier the game would be if I had someone who would help me more often. We chatted for a bit about the game and our mutual quests. We agreed that if we ever needed help again we would help each other.
And you so kept finding yourself in the same areas, doing the same quests ...? Or did you take a more active approach to keeping in touch, and do the whole Friends list and keeping in touch thing?
Ghrelsognn: After our first day of questing, I came home the next day, logged on and hoped she would be on. I had so much fun our first time questing. You know how tedious grinding can be, and it was nice to have someone to quest with during the leveling up. Not long after I logged on, Aleir came on. She was in my friends list, so I noticed her. I thought about whispering her and saying hello; however, she beat me to it. And from there we hooked up to quest more in Thousand Needles.
Once again, time went by so fast. We chatted more about each other, what we did in real life and where we were from.
Aleiriella: The next day, I was thinking about how much fun I had with Ghrel and how sweet and helpful he was. I was hoping that he would be on that evening so we could maybe play together again. When I logged on, he was online, so I whispered "Hi, how are you doing?" We chatted about the game and where we lived. I asked him if he was busy and if he wanted to quest together some more. He said yes, and we quested together from that day on. We were always playing together!
Did your personal connection seem clearly romantic early on, or was it a surprise when things started looking, shall we say, more intriguing?
Ghrelsognn: I was not looking for or expecting any romantic relationship when I started playing. It was a game to me and I was very into the game and leveling up. I started to realize a few weeks after our first meeting that we were playing every day together: from after work 'til 10 or 11 p.m. every night; weekends, we would both be online and playing together at 8 a.m., take some breaks for a hour or two during the day and play 'til late at night together. It was during this time I thought about what was this girl really like. I don't think we even knew each other's real names 'til end of December or early January.
Aleiriella: No, early on, the relation was not romantic at all. We were just friends helping each other out. My feelings for Ghrel got stronger the more we played together. I fell in love with how sweet and unselfish he was. He was always willing to share everything he had. He always wanted to protect me from all those bad monsters! LOL It was crazy -- all I wanted to do was to play the game so I could be with Ghrel. Playing the game together made us feel like we were actually there together! I would come home from work, eat dinner and we would get on Vent and play. I fell in love with the way he was; we had not seen each other, so it was definitely not a physical thing.
What was the next level for your growing relationship -- playing with voice comm? Or did you hop right out of the game into e-mail and telephone?
Ghrelsognn: The next level of our relationship happened some time in January. We exchanged e-mails and started to talk more openly and personally about each other, what we have done in our lives, where we have been, how we felt about each other and what games we liked, movies, music -- I guess the usual stuff we would all would talk about when starting to date someone.
It wasn't until May 2008 that we had our first phone conversation. I have never been one to talk much on the phone. However, that first conversation lasted close to eight hours. We talked on the phone, played while we were talking. I was in total awe. We were like two peas in a pod. It seemed we clicked on everything. After hanging up I realized that I was really into this girl and want to meet her.
Aleiriella: We started to e-mail each other, and later on we started to speak on the phone. I remember the first time we spoke. It was so, so amazing. I wanted to just keep talking to him and not stop. I think we spoke the first time for about eight hours straight! Speaking on the phone was so much better. It was clearer and I could hear him much better than on Vent. I was glad that I was at work and did not have to worry about the long distance charge ... LOL
Also, Ghrel would send me these amazing cards that I will always keep. He always made sure that he was there for me even though we were so far apart.