A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I wrote a pretty well-know World of Warcraft blog. If anyone is still reading THIS blog, it’s likely that you knew me from Too Many Annas before you knew me here as Just One Anna.
Sometimes, as happens when you’re a woman with opinions on the internet, things go horribly sideways in ways that you cannot even truly begin to comprehend. Usually, when this has happened to me, it was a) fortunately in the days before doxxing and b) never escalated to my personal safety being threatened, but I did have a serial harasser for a long time.
Today I’m going to tell that story, because it’s Halloween time, and on Twitter for October we all have Spoopy Halloween Names, and I figure it’s been long enough that we can all have a good laugh at this particular one, and why I’d find it delightful to get to call myself That Witch Anna.
So Too Many Annas was a blog that was primarily about teaching people how to roleplay in MMOs. As such, I was the champion of the new RPer, of the just starting out, of the “maybe this could be fun”, of the dabblers and toe-dippers into the waters of creativity that RP can be. And another blogger, way back in Wrath of the Lich King, got an idea that she was going to run a contest where you were to grief “bad roleplayers” and take screenshots, and she was going to post them on the internet for people to make fun of and/or vote on the worst ones.
Needless to say, this did not strike me well, and I wrote a Strongly Worded Response whereby I called out asshole behavior for being a) griefing and b) against the TOS and c) generally a dick move.
She got a lot of angry traffic for it (I had a pretty big audience) and ended up deleting her blog, which is where things get … real weird. Because she picked up a champion in another blogger, who decided it was his personal mission to ruin my life in game. He’d crash my events, spam my blog with vulgar and inappropriate comments, write long screeds about how I was a terrible human being, and – at one point – even ran a contest on his blog to pay the wow subscription for anyone who could prove that they’d ruined one of my in-game events. Blizzard, since this was all happening out of game, did nothing.
But he did show up to a few Wildfire Rider events, and he got the mistaken impression that my friend Yva (whose guild tag was The Tricky Witch) was me (which is funny, because I made no secret of my character names).
And so he posted a giant screed one day, calling me “That Witch Anna and her Misbegotten Wretch Disciples”, which of all the things he could have called me, struck me as just straight up hilarious, despite what a royal wangrod this guy was being to me and my friends.
At the time I was stressed out and miserable, being harassed online by a huge cadre of people who were out to ruin my fun, but almost 10 years later it’s pretty funny to look back on. And so, for Halloween this year, I’m That Witch Anna – and if you’d like, you’re welcome to be one of my misbegotten wretch disciples.