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RPG Frenemies

Updated on December 24, 2011


Call us wishy-washy griefers, ambivalent friends, or back-stabbing trolls. There’s only one term that fits a namby-pamby pal -- frenemy! I’ve had some since discovering my first addictive RPG game; and heaven knows I’ve certainly been one. Depending on the F2P MMORPG produced by Iron Realms Entertainment, I might even be yours!

The term frenemy goes beyond Jane and Sally privately slandering each other in the fight to be prom queen. According to a May, 2011 news article titled “Pakistan: America’s number one frenemy?” not even the United States of America is immune to having one! If the world’s oldest surviving federation can’t exist without a frenemy or two, why would addictive roleplaying games be exempt?

Back-handed Compliments
The concept of frenemies has been around as long as friends. Whether in real life or a fantasy setting, brand spanking newbie or seemingly helpful mentor, we’re masters of the art of compliments -- the type that sting with underlying insults. “Did you design that dress? It suits your large bone structure.” Ouch, right? Just be blunt! The next time my character’s ex-husband’s girlfriend sends me a tell over our family clan to ask if those trousers make her butt look big, I will helpfully reply: “No dear, but they make your thighs look like a pair of fat sausages!” I am nothing, if not honest.

Environmental Influences
All joking and sarcasm aside, rolling up a frenemy character is fine. But don’t turn those nasty traits into tools that deliberately make the game less fun for others, or worse -- bleed into your real life. Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad spent years proving her theory that little good can come from hanging onto ambivalent friendships over time. Regardless of how addicted you are to your RPG game of choice, roleplaying frenemies correctly can foster a healthy sense of competition! But more often than not, victims bury hurt feelings under a pile of excuses, pardoning the frenemy’s nastiness no matter how many times they’re thrown us under the horse and carriage.

Forgiveness is wonderful, in both addictive roleplay games and real life. Where frenemies are concerned, their every situation is win or lose. And they like to win! Whether it’s fighting for a leadership position, their shop bringing in the most revenue, be the most popular in an organization, or playing dirty to win someone else’s significant other, they’ll do whatever it takes to win!

Unless they have something to gain by losing, they’ll let you take the fall every time and it’s not without real consequences. The reality is, keeping frenemies around in addictive games contributes to very real health issues, with warning signs like depression, high blood pressure, and in extreme cases, panic or anxiety attacks! In fact, Dr. Holt-Lunstad’s research proved that blood pressure is actually higher when dealing with frenemies than it is when we’re around those we openly despise!

Dealing with Frenemies
So how does one deal with passive-aggressive manipulators in an addictive game without going insane? You could stick them all in a clan together to keep an eye on them. (This also lets you visibly oust any who cross the line. I hear it’s like kicking them to the furthest corner of an RPG game!) Or just take them with a grain of salt, and let their passive-aggressive phrases roll off your back.

When all else fails, meet up on neutral ground in the game and confront your frenemy. An article in Bloomberg Businessweek suggests, “...it's appropriate to keep the conversation on target...it matters that you erase your name from the list of possible victims.” Call your frenemy’s bluff! Most will ease up after being confronted, but some are impossible!

Sadly, some frenemies merge reality and addictive games, taking rivalry to a new level of ugly. They’ve no qualms about hurting real feelings, stepping on toes, or destroying relationships. A bad reputation doesn’t seem to matter a bit! Frenemies, like any other type of person, can exist anywhere. If you need a break from yours, roleplay your way to new adventures in one of the other four addictive games from Iron Realms Entertainment!

I'd love to hear about your experiences with frenemies -- good and bad, whether in an RPG or real life. Thanks for reading!

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