A Spate of Spats
It’s my spring break now, so while I’ll still be keeping up with my regular postings, the hours may be later than usual. I’m not doing anything special since I just got back from Denver and will be attending PAX in 11 days. I’m very excited about that, as it’s become my group’s tradition.
I was close to not being able to go due to a work situation wherein I was put in a very awkward position through no fault of my own. I would classify the situation as an auto-immune disorder, as the people there who want to protect me have been vastly overreacting to all potential slights, even “slights” that I believe have little to nothing to do with me and are mostly misunderstandings. Due to one of these overreactions, I ended up in a meeting with the Vice President (my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss) called by my Dean (my boss’s boss’s boss) in which it was suggested anyone who was not attending a meeting on the day PAX starts was missing it “at their own peril.” Well, shit. I’d already taken off that day, but the VP who said that had no way of knowing.
Anyway, after some venting on my part to some colleagues, someone suggested I see if I can Skype in, and after a lot of hemming and hawing by people who don’t know much about technology, they decided it was all right. They were worried that telecommunication wouldn’t be intimate enough for a meeting of such MAGNITUDE (we’re deciding whether to reinstate in-class written finals in writing classes, which usually emphasize grammar over form and thought. I couldn’t really care less, since I see their value but am slightly more against them, but as junior faculty no one really cares what I have to say), but when I reminded them that the preliminary interviews for my position were done via Skype, they relented.
So that’s my real world spat, but they don’t end there.
I’ve said before I haven’t run into the toxicity in League of Legends that I’ve seen reported elsewhere, but this past week that’s changed. It seems that nearly every game I’ve run has had at least one jerk in it – whether it was a win or a loss. I had a losing streak, too, far longer than any I’d previously encountered and lost six games in a row. That’s a little demoralizing, especially since I often suspect that when I go mid and we lose that I could have done better or more to turn it around, but having jerks in those games didn’t help. However, in each, I tried my patented (not really, of course) jerk-turnaround system about which I’ll write after some more evidence gathering. It met with moderate success, though not total.
One jerk I got to turn around before even the game started. He was being belligerent about our team makeup and that he wanted to go mid (which someone else higher up on the choose order had called). I asked him to be a team player and focus on winning and pointed out that if there was a problem, we could always switch. He said something quasi-nasty to me, which I told him I didn’t appreciate and would report him for if he kept it up. He followed with a “I’m just kidding. I just like to play mid, so I’m angry.” I soothed him a bit more by mentioning he could play mid next game (which of course who knows if that’s true) and to look at this as a challenge to try something different. He was a great team player the whole game.
Other jerks were only silenced. I often ask the team if they consider the jerk’s behavior acceptable, and so far I haven’t had anyone say yes, though I’m sure someday that will backfire. Often the team responds with the same vehemence I’m feeling, which makes me feel better and often pressures the jerk to settle down. I also make sure I’m as helpful as reasonably possible to the jerk – which I point out when I am – so they can start to differentiate between play behavior and meta behavior. I’m not going to sabotage a team member no matter how much I may dislike them, and occasionally counter-ganks that save their life or pings that warn them to fall back are all it takes to make someone change gears from “reverse / jerk” to “forward / teammate.”
Of course, there’s always folks who won’t be saved. I played with one Master Yi – a fast but fragile assassin – who simply could not accept that I had fallen back twice (on an equally fragile character) when he’d fought overwhelming odds – usually 3:1 which would have been 3:2 if I’d stayed, still a likely loss – and was very belligerent. In that case I reported him. We won in the end; my losing streak broke after 6, and I’ve been on a win streak since, but I reported knowing that I’d done what I could and certainly had provided the tribunal with an easy decision.
To be frank, I haven’t logged in to Wow since 5.2 except to do my daily Northrend inscription research. My wife’s become very attached to LoL, which I enjoy playing with her – in fact she and I got a nice compliment from an enemy team when we worked together to cover a lane that our champions were not traditionally designed for and did so very well – but I’m sure the ultra-enthusiasm will start to dwindle soon and I’ll be back to WoW. I hope to get a few more levels under my belt this week; I’d like to finish in the Cata zones before school starts back, but we’ll see.
Stubborn (and sleeping in)