Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever just been questing or dungeoning with a group of people, and then all of a sudden one of the higher levelled characters decides to start looking out for the lower levels at the peril of their team? Then you’ve been in contact with the deadly Mother Hen Syndrome.
Mother Hen Syndrome occurs in MMORPGS (massively multi-player on line role playing games) RPGS (role playing games) RPS (role playing strategy games) and pretty much any other game where there is a levelling system implemented. It occurs when a higher level character (most often female) puts herself at risk to protect characters a lower level than her.
Though it sounds like a valiant, motherly gesture, in reality it is simply the result of a fatal syndrome that threatens the welfare of all female game characters worldwide. Once a character has fallen to MHS she sees the lower levelled characters as her children. Whenever they are in danger, her maternal instincts are triggered, causing her to risk her own life to save theirs. This results in dire consequences for all involved.
The syndrome appears in stages, and once it has set in, it cannot be cured, nor its progress halted.
- Stage One: I know I’ve asked this a thousand times in five minutes, but are you ok?
In Stage one of MHS the affected will often check up on the lower level characters constantly, asking them if they have enough supplies, if they need any help with getting around the town, or crossing the street. They will be bombarded with offers of quest help, money lending and gear repair. Though this may seem nice and helpful at first, it begins to aggravate the lower levels after the seven thousandth time being asked, and can lead to violence.
- Stage Two: Never fear, for I am here!
The superhero complex
The second stage of MHS is when the affected believes they can save anybody from any trouble they are ever in, ever. During this stage, the victim will constantly come to the aid of the lower level characters, even if there are team mates in worse danger than the one they are protecting. During this stage, the affected still has some form of self control, and will more often than not come to the aid of other characters once the lower level is out of danger.
- Stage Three: Oops
Death by protection
Stage three of MHS is the most lethal of them all. If the affected reaches this stage there will be deaths, there will be a lot of them and they will all involve you and your team.
Stage three is much like the one that precedes it, except the affected loses all intelligence, logic and common sense. Instead of coming to the aid of your team-mates when they’re in dire straits, the affected will continue to protect the lower levelled characters. Unless you’re bleeding and barely surviving on 1HP you won’t be receiving any help. And even if you are…well the affected still won’t care because you’re not 20 levels beneath her.
Though there is no known cure for MHS, the treatment for it is simple: isolation. Take the affected away from the source of the syndrome and their behaviour should return to normal. OR her symptoms will make their way into reality, and all her real life friends will be subject to her constant fussing and fawning. Which might not be so bad in reality. Maybe. Possibly