|andurus and branwen in final fantasy xi|
yes, avatars. as in the onlines. and the interwebs. this whole story takes place in the virtual realms of final fantasy XI online, an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game based in the final fantasy universe. in it, as is the case in most MMO's, players can create their own characters and specify their attributes - including race, gender and class. you can play as anything from a heavily armored berserking beast of a warrior that takes care of things up close and personal to a intellectual giant - a robe-clad magic caster who deals with their enemies from afar and many shades in between. this is the backdrop for the story of paul turner and vicky teather of the UK, or as they're known in avatar form, andurus the hume and branwen the tarutaru. after playing together for while, they became friends and grew close, until andurus (paul) had a job change and had to cut his daily 4-5 hour final fantasy intake from his schedule. branwen (vicky) always had a crush on him, but didn't realize to what extent until he left. living with her boyfriend at the time, her conscience was wracked with guilt and she couldn't suppress how she felt about her hume friend. according to an interview with the london daily mail - "... i couldn’t help but feel guilty as i was living with my partner. at first i tried to forget my feelings." she went on to say "but i couldn't. fortunately, i had paul’s MSN address and nervously sent a message to him telling him how much i missed him and confessing my feelings." paul, who also had a serious girlfriend at the time, suggested that they meet up in southampton on christmas eve. so they did. and the rest is history. she broke up with her boyfriend, he dumped his girlfriend, and by new years day they were an item, visiting each other on weekends and continuing their "date nights" in virtual space, until the power vested in someone by something somewhere pronounced them mr. and mrs. turner.
so how did this attraction even begin? according to mrs. turner, "one day, when as andurus he endangered his own character in the game to save me, i felt an incredible bond between us. it might sound strange to people who have never played an online game, but the fact he was a traditional man with values to match and was protecting me was what first drew me to him." and i guess i can understand that on some level. but lets face it, according to this logic, anyone playing the MMO role of a "tank" (a character that absorbs and takes damage to defend their party) should be able to instantly attract the affections of anyone else they happen to be tanking for. and if they can't defend a clothie, then they're really not doing their job, are they? they better be picking up those mobs and keeping them healers alive. could this just have been a player fulfilling their class role? and if they endanger their own character and "die," they are resurrected within minutes. unless this was in the old diablo II hardcore ladders, in which case that kind of action would be far more moving. back when a dead character was a dead character.
...but i digress.
|the turners' nuptials|