I sometimes find it terrifying and yet darkly humorous how often the gaming community mirrors the political world. After the shooting in Arizona where several victims lost their lives, the political world spun itself a web of blame which targeted the tone of the political conversations in America. I found it fascinating how the very people on both sides who were constantly demonizing their enemies were suddenly righteously defending the idea of vocal moderation.
So it has both darkly amused and pleased me to see this conversation shifting over to the WoW community, too. Ever since GC’s blog, which generated a lot of anger and resentment (though personally I didn’t have a problem with it), there has been a lot of steam and a counteractive cooling effect. It seems that too many people are treating one another with too few considerations. It should come as no suprise; the Online Disinhibition Effect (or the Internet Fuckwad Theory) has been well-documented for many years. These describe the tendency for people who have no real-world repercussions and complete anonymity to behave very poorly.
Several other bloggers have taken up the topic of Internet behavior and relationships (Larisa at Pink Pigtail Inn, Wolfshead at Wolfshead Online, and Copra of BullCopra), and I thought that I would jump on their bandwagon. I love moderation in all things (except soda… it’s my one vice). I preach moderation to my kids, and frequently use it as a concept to solve problems (both in and out of WoW). Moderation is the hallmark of a Part-time Gamer; by our very nature, we can only play so much, work so much, etc. I went to the Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington, DC (and I never travel if I can avoid it). So I’ve been thrilled to see this shift both in the real world and the WoW community.
Personally, I figure that this, like all fads, will blow over sooner rather than later and things will return to the “thanks to all the bads” style posts and rhetorical demonizing of political opponents. For a moment, though, I’ll enjoy a bit of fresh air and practice a bit of moderation of my own. I dislike inappropriate, ill-timed world PvP. I dislike even more getting ganked when I’m questing and not bothering a soul. For some insane reason, I keep ending up on PvP servers, and Blizzard has stated that on these servers there’s basically no such thing as PvP harassment. The enemy can gank, corpse camp, zone disrupt, and grief as much as they’d like, since it’s a PvP server.
Here, I pause and take a breath, because I’d like to blast that out of the water. Instead, I’ll say, /inhale well, I picked the server, and I understand Blizzard’s attitude, since it was my decision, and I guess it’s me who doesn’t fit in, since the people ganking and camping me for a half hour even though they’re about 30 levels above me are certainly in the right spirit of the server while I’m the one out of place because I don’t do the same kind of thing /exhale. Now, that wasn’t so hard. Even the behavior that upsets me probably more than anything I can be moderate about.
So, I call to everyone (meaning you, dear reader) to take a deep breath before they get too upset about what is, ultimately, just a game. Sure, it’s a habit, too, and even a way of life, and a favorite of pass-times, but still, it’s just a game, too. Inhale, let it out, and exhale, and you’ll feel better about your anger – and how you handled it, too.
But don’t get me started on Khorium again. (;
Stubborn (especially in my stand against linguistic extremism)
P.S. There most likely won’t be an update (from me) tomorrow, as Wednesday is my day to work from 8 to 8 with virtually no breaks in between.