Something most often seen in massively multiplayer online role-playing games, online weddings date all the way back to the beginning of online communities and early online games such as MUDs. Two people who wish their avatars, or characters, to be married will create an event that resembles a standard wedding. This became very popular with the introduction of Ultima Online which not only provided rings, outfits and decorations, but sometimes even Gamemasters to officiate. This tradition has carried forward into several other MMORPGs and virtual communities. The online weddings have recently been released in the Indian edition of Ragnarok. Some games, such as Maple Story, offer special Bonuses to players who participate in a virtual wedding.
It is interesting to note that in many cases the participants do not know each other outside the virtual community. Some couples may not even know each other's true name, gender, etc. Some do, in fact, extend this union outside the virtual, but many do not. Many will celebrate a real-life union in this way.
Sometimes virtual weddings are performed because the couple is genuinely in love, and wish to express that love in a public way. In order to conform to many of today's interpretations of marriage, some MMORPGs, including Ragnarok Online, or servers of MMORPGs, allow homosexual and bestial marriages under certain provisions.
There is no legal recognition for virtual marriages. Some couples have joined in what appear to be legally binding unions through other mediums such as instant messaging or videoconferencing. These ceremonies are presided by the same appropriate officials and witnesses needed for a standard union. Some of these unions occur across state or even national borders.
World of WarcraftEdit
For online marriages taking place in the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, it is customary to have a member of the priest (healer) class preside over the wedding, due to the name and the Prayer of Fortitude buff which the priest can use to symbolize the bonds of holy matrimony.
Note: This is all player made, for Blizzard actually has no in-game marriage system. However, this can be bypassed by roleplaying in the previous way; although there is no true defined way to get married.
In the popular MMORPG RuneScape, weddings have become a popular event. These are supported ingame by the presence of prayer equipment, which can be useful. There are churches across the game world within which players can recharge their prayer, complete with altars, and it is in these that ingame weddings most frequently take place. The individual conducting the ceremony dresses in the clothing of holy people of the god whose name the wedding is taking place in, and if available, with a prayer book of that god. Such prayer books can be used to perform weddings, among other things. The ceremony also normally takes place at a church of that god. During such events, couples normally exchange diamond rings, as well as receive wedding gifts from others attending the event. Cake is also distributed. Many have criticised such unions, stating that it is improper to violate the sanctity of marriage by attempting to replicate it in a game; however, it continues to be a popular style of roleplaying within the game, with same-sex marriages also taking place.
The marriage system in the MMORPG Maplestory is unlike other systems. The groom or bride is required to pay some real life $24–29 for an ingame marriage, then do a quest to get the ring. There are 4 rings and each need materials to make. Once you get the ring you need to propose to your bride. Then you are required to go to a NPC in Amoria, in almost all localized versions. There you can get invitations (15 or 25 depending on which wedding coupon you buy or you can buy more). Once you invite the people and start the wedding, a notice will be produced in the chat box for everyone. After the wedding and getting the blessings for you invitees, you then get a picture taken of you and you bride/groom on a cake. Then, if you bought the premium coupon you can then go to a special area where you fight monsters to get keys. You need 5 keys to get teleported to another area where you hit boxes to get redeemed at another NPC.
For a large sum of Virtual money which is usually 1,500,000 Zeny for one and 2,000,000 Zeny for the other (Zeny being the only game currency), two players may get married at a church, most commonly in the Ragnarok's Capitol Prontera's church. There are other churches where GM Held Marriages can be performed but are mostly preferred at Prontera, due to multiple player's ease of access. Private servers sometimes have different rules about marriages. Once married, the two players gain special skills that only work when together or may bring the other to their location or vice versa. They may also adopt another player who becomes a "baby" type character. Baby type characters get skills with their parents. The only difference between a baby and a normal charter is that babies are considered small size in battle and may not transcend.
The Lord of the Rings OnlineEdit
The Lord of the Rings Online does not support online weddings, but it was pondered for a while. In April 2007 Salon.com reported that the game had dropped a planned feature for in-game players marriage because of the controversy around the possibility of same-sex and inter-species  weddings. One developer stated that the design rule was for weddings to be allowed if examples could be found in the book, as between elves and humans. The online magazine for gaymers GayGamer.net commented that, while Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic, his stance on gay rights isn't known as the topic wasn't a public issue at the time. Video game critic Ian Bogost compared it to the case of The Sims 2, a blockbuster video game that did allow same-sex marriage. 
- ↑ Ito, Mizuko (1997). Link. in Porter, David. Link (pbk. ed.). Routledge. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-415-91684-4. "Different MUDs institutionalize marriage in different ways, but in the LPMUDs that I study, predictable norms of monogamous heterosexuality are playfully reproduced. One can generally find a chapel, a priest, and heterosexual newlyweds, provided with familiar props such as rings, wedding dresses, and bouquets. Couples might subsequently pool bank accounts, or talk on a special private channel enabled by their wedding rings. They sometimes even adopt other players as their children."
- ↑ Katherine Glover. "Why can't gay dwarves get married in Middle-earth?". Salon.com.
- ↑ "Gay Marriage Flap Around New Lord of the Rings MMO". GamePolitics.com.
- ↑ Flynn De Marco. "LOTR Online Just Says No To Same Sex Marriage". Kotaku.
- ↑ "We Wants The Gay Hobbitses! And We Wants It Now!". FAD Media, Inc..
- ↑ Ian Bogost. "No marriage, gay or otherwise, in Middle Earth".
- ↑ Clive Thompson. "The Game of Wife". Slate.com.
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