Spoilsport (A Rant) *updated*

That's the nice name for them. I have many other names, none of which are family-friendly.

First, Brad had that awful experience with Paypal.

Now, there has been a dash of cold water thrown on my gaming fun. A year ago Christmas, my eldest daughter and her husband gave me the game "World of Warcraft". They'd been playing it for several months and enjoying it immensely. Her husband had always been a big game fanatic, and daughter got into it through him and found she enjoyed it too. After trying to unsuccessfully explain it to me, they ended up just giving it to me. Not thinking I would really be very enthusiastic, I didn't even get it installed until a few weeks later. Boy, was I ever wrong! All the years I've had computers, I just never got into the computer games. I'd tried… we'd had some various ones over the years, such as "Zelda" and "Myst" as well as the more arcade type games. Just never was very good at them, or really enjoyed them.

WoW (as it is known) was a whole different animal. The graphics! My gosh! The action… the role-playing… the ability to play with other people (my family!)… to chat while playing… I mean, it was amazing all the details the Blizzard people thought of. I was stunned. I was hooked. In creating characters I playfully named myself "Wickedwench"… and a star was born. My husband HATES the word "Wench". He feels it has awful connotations. One of the definitions is "a wanton woman"… please, let me put your mind at ease… I am NOT that. I just found it to be catchy and it was a name I rarely saw on the game, so when you see some version of that name (i.e. Deathwench, Spywench, Evilwench) it's probably me or someone who knows me. My daugher and SIL even created their own guild and in a 'round-about way, I became the "guild mother".

The past year and a half has been fun. Recently, some of the fun has gone out. First, my SIL decided to step down from being the leader of the guild. You would think that would be no biggie… that someone else in the guild would simply step into the leadership role and everything would go on as usual. Wrong. People disappointed me by their response. Several people jumped to another guild and the close "family" feeling we had there was gone. Oh, well… as I have to keep reminding myself, it IS ONLY A GAME. I can live with that. My kids are still on and I still get to play with them and talk to them, which was the main idea in the first place.

Last night was the crusher, though. I was online and my daughter was too. SIL was having trouble getting on, however. The game wouldn't accept his password. This was strange. He went to check his e-mail and there was a note from Blizzard telling him they were in the process of transferring his characters to another server. WTF? This is not good. HE didn't request they be moved! Not only that, Blizzard charges $25 per character to move them – and was charging this fee to my kids!! Somehow, someone had gotten his password, gone into his account and changed his password, then started treating these characters as their own. My SIL is a great player and the characters they are stealing are at the highest levels of the game, with lots of "stuff", "money", and talents. He immediately contacted Blizzard, but as of yet I have not heard of any resolution to the situation. Hopefully, they'll be able to restore his characters to their previous condition (someone said they'd seen "him" earlier in the day running around in his underwear – not a good sign when he should have had lots and lots of armor on!!) and with his bank account credited.

Damn. Why do people like this have to exist? Why do they have to take the fun out of stuff? I mean, yes… it is "just a game", but when you come home from a long day of work and want to sit down and have a relaxing evening of chatting and gaming with friends and family, you do NOT want to have to come face to face with this kind of asshat.

 *update* It appears that whoever took the characters must be the one paying for the move. My kids' accounts did not get charged. Also, It looks like he can still play on another server, it is only the one server that has been hit. That's the good news. The bad news is he has to write up some big report for Blizzard before they'll do anything. Grrrrr…

Send Andy a Hug (or Money) *update*

Poor Andy. He had a helluva weekend. His apartment building got hit by a tornado! Here in the midwest, it is one of those things that we get used to hearing about. Much as other parts of the country have hurricanes and earthquakes, we have tornados. They are like a hurricane on dry land, except unlike a hurricane (and more like an earthquake), you rarely have much warning. If lucky, you'll get a 5-minute warning. Sometimes, not even that. In some cases they just appear and pop down to the ground, then go right back up, only hitting one house in a block – or, in this case, one apartment complex. They can be deadly. Thank goodness Andy, his wife, and cat are all safe. They need to find a new home… but it appears their stuff is okay and they are okay. That's the important thing.

We're thinking about you, Andy!

 *update* Andy informs me it was a MICROBURST. Okay, Mr. Technical. It was close enough to a 'nader for me! I'm posting this update on Wednesday morning and they get to go in for two hours to get stuff out of their apartment. It started snowing here this morning in Iowa – and was 22 degrees with high winds. I'll keep my fingers crossed it takes a loooong time to get to Chicago, so Andy can have a bit of better weather while they pack things up.