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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 2:13PM Daemodand said

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The problem with this "documentary" was it was half WoW advertisement and half self-hating gamers apologizing for their hobby. Couldn't stand to watch the whole thing.

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 2:17PM SnarlingWolf said

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I fully understood the guy making the world cup quote was not in the guild and wasn't playing the MMO. With that clarified, it is still the most ridiculous statement I've heard about MMOs and gaming in general.

Anyone who can't see how wrong that analogy is, needs to take a break from gaming for a month or two.

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 2:35PM Gryphmon said

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"Anonymity on the Internet is both a curse and a blessing. It allows people in MMOs to say things that aren't allowed to in real life..."

I don't see any reason whatsoever to tolerate bad behavior, in chat or otherwise, just because someone is anonymous.

The reason MMO chat is so stinky isn't because people are anonymous, its because their peers allow the bad behavior.

If I was physically in room of complete strangers, and one of them started spouting off racist etc. language, there would be a very good chance that he would get shushed, ostracized and kicked out of the group, anonymous or not. When it comes to dealing with bad actors like that, there is no more effective tool that peer pressure and social norms.

Bad behaviour doesn't happen in an MMO because of anonymity, it happens because that peer pressure to enforce a standard of decent behavior is often missing. And there is no reason it has to be.

For behaviour in a Guild, leadership as exibited by officers and the rank and file is the key to deterring bad behavior.

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 3:23PM mysecretid said

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@Gryphmon

This.

The problem online is that people don't actually have to own their offensive behavior, or its potential consequences.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:17PM JoeH42 said

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@Gryphmon I heartily agree with your statement. One of the reasons I stopped playing WoW was because Blizzard wasn't even making a token effort to discourage players from the most extreme of rude behavior. People would type the most crude, racist, and sexist comments and insults at me or other players, I'd report them for violating the rules set forth in the EUA and Blizzard wouldn't even give them a slap on the wrist. So since Blizzard cheerfully tolerates this kind of behavior from anyone willing to pay them $15 a month, people have no reason not to act however they like especially in things like the dreaded Trade channel.

When it comes to guilds and suchlike it is the job of the members of the guild, especially the leadership, to enforce guild rules about such things. But I wish game companies would do more than just say "play nice" and actually institute some consequences for actions everyone finds abhorrent. Honestly the only way I can think of would be to break out the figurative 'swear job' and start charging people a dollar or two if they get reported (and are guilty) for clearly violating rules against using racist language and so on. Companies have the right to ban an account either temporarily or permanently for actions violating their rules. If I were them I'd offer someone a 30 day ban or they can pay two or three dollars and hopefully stop acting like a jerk. Their choice. Maybe Blizzard would like this idea since it would earn them some extra $. Certainly they won't do it otherwise.

I expect a lot of people would disagree with my thoughts on this subject, but that's okay. However, if you'd like to disagree with my suggestion of a 'swear jar', then do so by suggesting something that would work better, if you think you can.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:23PM Bladerunner83 said

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@Gryphmon

I agree with you to some extent, but anonymity can leave room for bad behavior.

You stated:
"If I was physically in room of complete strangers, and one of them started spouting off racist etc. language, there would be a very good chance that he would get shushed, ostracized and kicked out of the group, anonymous or not."

This is why people do it in MMOs, because they are not in the same room as people and they can act like a fool.

Ideally people would speak up if someone was spouting foul, hateful language, that is a social norm. I can see your point come into play when people, guild leaders, make rules for their members, on the use of foul language. It's up to them to filter disparaging language and kick people that break the rules.

On the other hand, when confronting a stranger in a group or randomly around the world (like global chat), they could say things they wouldn't normally say in front of people; That is due to the fact that they are anonymous and they feel they can get away with it.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 2:54PM (Unverified) said

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It'd have been a better documentary had the director covered more MMO raider communities, or at the very least explained that there are many different types of raiders out there. Your message about recognizing crude behavior going on MMO's and how there is an acceptance of diversity out there really makes my point. That entire message didn't get through in the documentary, only the part about the crudeness did.

The professional input in the documentary that compared raiding to sports and the raiding groups to tribes sounded typical of what scholars would say. That didn't surprise nor bother me. People just took it at face value and got offended for no good reason.

"We could strip that anonymity away, and that would likely cut way down on the crude language, but it would also allow all sorts of prejudices (conscious or not) to seep into virtual worlds."

What do you mean by that? I'm not following the connection.

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 3:53PM rockman0 said

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@(Unverified) From what I understand, he's saying that the reason there's a lot less bias in the MMO world is because of anonymity. When you meet someone, you know absolutely nothing about that person except for what their avatar looks like, what they're class is, etc. You have no real world stereotypes to go on, so there are no pre-concieved ideas about that person, and you're more willing to accept them as leaders, team with them, whatever.

If that anonymity was taken away, and we knew everything about some's real life persona, we have stereotypes, prejudices, and the other diseases that plague real life existing within the MMO world.

I may be totally off-key, but that's what I understood of it.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:51PM (Unverified) said

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@rockman0

No no that makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 3:01PM Faction 3 said

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Lets note that I was the person who began the discussion about the World Cup quote, up until people started downvoting any comment made who didnt agree with the explanations of said quote. It became especially hilarious when certain people did'nt even read what they were quoting. So now the entire thread is butchered because of endless downvoting.

With that being said, I would begin to, yet again, explain where Castronova was way off in terms of comparing a Victory in a Virtual World that will cease to exist in years to come, to that of a World Class Championship that takes decades of training & preperation for, and will be recognized by the entire world over...

But, because Im sure the ensuing conversation will be completely misread, and mistaken as insults, and arguments for the sake of arguments, the "Mental Giants" that seem to have populated the website in the last months will surely keel over and begin another tyrade on this topic too.

So in the end, to avoid another disaster with the illiterate, I'll agree with the Trolls: The World Cup sucks, Footy is for homos, the Raid is an Awesome, Educational Movie, and should be nominated for a Oscar, and WoW rules, whereas every other game is either a Clone or will never be better, and killing the Lich King, or "COMPETITIVE End Game Raiding" is so much more meaningful, and contributes so much more to our lives than the Doctors, Soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan, and the ASPCA.

Because god knows what they achieve and accomplish everyday, with the years of training & studying is just like winning the Wolrd Cu...no wait, even better...its like taking down the Lich King!

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 3:43PM Sean D said

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@Faction 3

Whether or not you actually began the discussion about the World Cup quote, your point that vanquishing the Lich King and winning the World Cup are incomparable events, except at a very basic level (winning is winning, right?), is a valid one.

Sometimes it's best to quietly speak your peace and then move on. You will never convince everyone.

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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:00PM BigAndShiny said

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@Faction 3
World cup is a bunch of grown men running around kicking a ball.

I really don't care how much money it makes, or how many people watched it. The whole notion of it is ridiculous, and if you brought someone up without football or rugby or golf or baseball, and told them about football they would laugh because honestly it is hilarious.

I couldn't care less about football, because while people are ruining their lives getting wasted as they queue for tickets they paid a thousand bucks for to watch grown men chase a ball for fun, I can get lost in an amazing world and have fun from the comfort of my own home without a drunk in sight.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:41PM Faction 3 said

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@BigAndShiny

"But, because Im sure the ensuing conversation will be completely misread..."

You sir, are the case & point. Thanks for making my case that much easier.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 11:35PM Apakal said

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@BigAndShiny

Because playing WoW is so much better than appreciating the skill and ability of people who've spent literally their entire lives becoming the best in the world at what they do, not to mention attending the most significant sporting even in the world.

You've never played a single sport, have you? Time to go outside, skippy.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 3:50PM Faction 3 said

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@Avernus

"Further, I find the argument that you can use racial terms or 'gay' but not be racist/homophobic laughable. Just rude? bs."

I agree here as well, however, using the word "Gay" should'nt mean you're a Homophobe, due ONLY to the fact that theres a dual meaning to it, as Gay means "Happy" in certain social circles. But in this venue, its obvious that the second term was not the influence for the insults.

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:16PM FaerliSayne said

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Regardless of the in-game situation, rude or crude behavior, especially when directed at teamates, should not be encouraged, nor should it be the norm. For all the different games I have played, I have tried to treat other people the way that I would expect to be treated: with some amount of respect.

I know several raiders and raiding guilds who don't have the drama and the rampant use of antagonistic expletives. Those guilds have also been full of mature, friendly, and supportive players.

Interesting enough, I think that almost every guild I have ever belonged to has been led by a woman.

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 4:59PM winterborn said

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I think it was in 5th grade I learned to ignore being called names, It is just a sign of ignorance and low self esteem.
We never allowed punks in our guilds, but we also don't allow overly offended players either. It is a fun social activity and if you can not deal with the occasional joke or cuss word then you need to leave.

These are games that the main point is KILLING ! So ask yourself whats worse murdering npc's or cursing at them ?

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 5:20PM Irem said

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@winterborn
There's a big difference between profanity that isn't directed at anyone and insults that are. If someone can't take five seconds to think about whether or not the word they're using might be the latter, no matter if they intended it as a "joke" or not, I reserve the right to inform them that they're being assholes.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 6:39PM Sean D said

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@winterborn

I don't understand these two points you seem to be making: (1) Cursing is the fault of the one being insulted, not the one doing the cursing? (2) Because there is virtual killing in a game, cursing is acceptable?

Suggested reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 6:26PM startruck said

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No matter how much the gaming media try, we aren't going to like the raid..it was dumb, pointless and over hyped.
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