"Life is like OaC. There are so many quests. Some are easy, some are hard. Some seem impossible. Others don't even make sense. But all of these quests prepare you for the next level and the next dungeon. You need quests to gear up and to become stronger as you level up.
Life is like this too. The trials and challenges we encounter in life are the quests. We need them to prepare ourselves to deal with whatever the future holds."
This Mother’s Day we took the opportunity to talk to some of Order & Chaos Online's powerful female players who happen to be moms in real life. Women who manage the impressive task of finding time to play Gameloft's Order & Chaos Online while also rising a family. We discovered some fun facts about their MMORPG/mom experience. Believe me, these are some of the coolest people you could hope to meet!
A few of the stories shared with us made us laugh at how these moms mix their in-game time and parental responsibilities. Imagine Zyrnitra (Arcadian Forest, Levelz) in the middle of guild war when her daughter carelessly strolls into the room:
‘I remember there was one time when my daughter woke up early from a nap, (…) and Spid called a guild war. During the war we were on voice chat and my daughter started talking. Spid told me to let her hear him and he asked her what she wanted for her birthday and other fun questions that an almost-3yr old would be happy to answer. A pretty cool first experience with an MMORPG!’
Remember those times when your mom forced you to go to bed but you still secretly played games in the dark? Well times have changed! Now it's the moms secretly playing their mobile games once their kids are in bed! ‘I often play at night after the kids go to bed. It gives me a chance to find something fun to do while still being available for my little ones.’ (Zyrnithra). And Amy (●•°Mysa°•●, Arcadian Forest, Android) adds: ‘I usually play at night when everyone is in bed.’ A great way find time for yourself!
There is more! Synfulheal shared with us a few captures of precious moments spent together in-game with her daughter:
‘My oldest is 6 and already adores MMORPGs, especially Order and Chaos Online! She loves to create characters (always an elf Mage it seems! (…) and she enjoys using spells on wolves or Goblins in Fallen Leaf. I love her interest in games and always encourage her with anything she enjoys.
I allow her to explore the game for 30-60 minutes every other day if she's completed her school work and she is always so excited. The best advice I can give her about gaming is to have fun and be kind.’
For Zyrnitra it was actually her oldest son who introduced her to the game. ‘I created an account to help him level-up and get gold. Soon I found myself playing without him! Every now and then we still play together. He seems to like it when I teach him something about his character or show him something interesting in the game.’
My mum didn’t let me play games often, but times are changing! All these moms are happy to highlight the positive aspects of playing MMORPGs. They also feel that it is an undeniably useful experience for their kids.
Marce (Arcadian Forest, Android) says: ‘[It teaches] patience for sure! You are dealing with so many group dynamics with people from all over the world and different ages. Communication is a huge [part] as you come across people from all languages and ethnic backgrounds. I have a few friends that speak to me solely with emoticons (…) but we still manage to handle business in dungeons.’
Zyrnitra adds: ‘It can actually help develop soft skills like conflict resolution, dedication, and time management.’
Drawing from her own experience, Kathleeyah shares the invaluable lessons she's had that she also wishes for her kid:
'I learned not to be judgmental. The players whom I thought will be trouble makers ended up to be the most loyal ones. And I learned about betrayal and forgiveness. Players you trust will be the ones to make new guilds thinking they can do better. Then most come back and ask to be invited back to guild. Others become strangers. People come and go in game just as in real life. The most valuable lesson I learned from playing OaC: life is like OaC'.
Live like you play
We were also interested in what changed for these players in Order & Chaos Online when they became a parent: ‘I am always on the path to improvement, but I've been pretty laid back on not stressing over getting it all done super quick by finding a nice and easy pace that's more enjoyable.’ (Synfulheal).
But motherly responsibilities definitely get in the way sometimes: ‘I switched from the one who guides guildies to the one being guided in new dungeons since I couldn't play as much. And I had to ask one of my Admins (Freesia) to lead the Serenity guild while I am still around to support her. (…) It is harder to do dungeon runs since my daughter can require attention anytime even in the middle of the run.’ (Katleeyah)
Cayla admits that her caring, motherly, protective side also shines in the game: ‘The motherly nature in me comes out much more than before. That is probably why several call me mom in the guild.’
Next level play
There are also things player moms wish other players would understand about them - they are masters of multitasking. Like Cayla who recalls:
‘There are times when we might have to quit a team mid run because our child decides to pour the dog food all over the floor, take their diaper off and run around the house, or pour chocolate all over the kitchen. (This is when I’ll ring spam to keep the team alive). We are pros at playing one handed and with a child on our hip.’
Every one of these moms is cool, and have some lessons I wish my mum could have passed on to me: ‘I would love for my daughter to play MMORPG’s. MMORPG’s can be very time consuming, so I would make sure she understood the importance of managing her time and that real life always comes first. I would play the same game too, so I would be able to monitor her as well.’ (Cayla).
Katleeyah’s kid will definitely end up fighting Bosses around in Arcadian Forests: ‘I will allow her just like some of my guildies whose children are now also in our guild. We know our children are in good hands in Serenity. Our chat is clean and we try to be as polite and as kind as possible.’
Not always perfect
However, playing the game is not always positive for moms. When asked if they experienced any negativity from players Mysa replied: ‘I have heard things from players like, "why don’t you go take care of your kids" in global chat. I find that funny because most of the time a stay at home mom has a lot of free time on her hands lol. I was a single mom forever, so I didn’t get out much and playing games like OaC is a cure for the immense boredom I got to endure lol.’
The moms also mention that it helps to surround themselves with players who understand and support them: ‘It is wonderful that I mostly run with guildies since they understand. They always say: baby first. The game is a lot better when a player is in a supportive guild especially for a mom like me.’ (Katleeyah)
It seems that what moms enjoy most about playing the game is that it connects people. For Synfulheal it was the beginning of a beautiful, lifetime adventure:
‘My most precious experience in OaC was meeting my husband. He was a little undead divine monk looking for an AGL team and I had a team looking for a healer. Best day ever. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have met him and join our lives together from our experience within the game. It influenced my life in more ways than one. He's my best friend. We met almost 3 years ago, and have been married since October - and we have a baby due in July.’
Katleeyah’s story seems like a romance across the ocean: The most precious experience I had in OaC was meeting my future husband. (…) I played for entertainment and the idea of meeting someone special was the farthest thing from my mind. And I met this guild leader who took me under his wings. He was kind, respectful, and fun. He was a perfect gentleman in game and, as it turned out, more so in real life. We became friends and we realized we like each other’s personality. After almost 2 years of in game chat we leveled up to video chat. He was surprised that I was across the planet from him (editorial note: Katleeyah lived in Asia, her future husband in North America).
In 2013 we met personally, in 2014 he proposed, and after a few months we got married. It was a whirlwind relationship. In 2016, I gave birth to a beautiful girl and I named her after my character. My husband and I celebrated our 3rd Anniversary on May 11 (a few days ago).
We can only conclude with this from Zyrnitra:
‘The most precious thing about OaC are the friendships I have developed along the way. Many of them go beyond the game. My gamer pals and I talk about much more than just the game. The game is just what brought us together and continues to bring us together.’