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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 7:56PM Space Cobra said

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You said : "This is why I don't get concerned when I hear the chat because there's a distinct difference in what people say and what people do in-game. It's ironic that someone who'd call a female mob a "b*tch" is fine with having a female guild leader. Take it a step further and consider that there are guilds with rosters that include men, women, gays, lesbians, young people, old people, disabled people, rich people, poor people, and even the most liberal and conservative people possible, all playing under the same roof and having a rousing good time. Name one other activity in which you have that complete lack of bias. This is what makes MMOs so great, and it gets overshadowed by the loud and unfortunate language."

I can't agree with you here, but there are several things at work here not everyone takes into account, from speakers, to listeners to those not even involved.

It depends on the person and their own personality/judgements. I have a pretty thick skin and it has grown so because Real Life has given me situations to do so and the internet promotes this, however, not everyone has this thick skin and actually, not everyone *can* develop this thick skin (and if you tell them to do, you won't convince them to do so much of the time).

In your case, here is a situation that may apply: I heard of a young guy who tried to be a gentleman. He dated a girl and things went well, but being the first date, he left things chaste. He goes to a party with some friends and they start asking him, "Did he do her?" and pull out all the sexual stories. This guy is discreet and secretive. He believes that such things are private between himself and his date, but guys (and girls) like to ask/talk.

A similar case, but let's but cussing into it. Say this guy doesn't like to cuss, but he is wise enough to see that when certain people are comfortable around you, they may cuss whereas they wouldn't in front of perfect strangers. So, in a way, that's acceptance.

Now, here's a real world thing I bumped into as a forum mod (sadly, the forum died a few months back but had been around for years and was a fansite dedicated to DCUO). There was a section of the forums where "anything goes" was tolerated. Language, off-topic stuff, whatever. A derogatory comment was made concerning how something was so easy to do that special olympics people could find no trouble with it (I am paraphrasing because I forget specifics). A poster then enters into the conversation, taking umbridge over that particular topic. Most of the other posters have no problem with it, but this one poster did. I decided to PM them and found that my reasoned arguments could not get past her emotionalism. She also threatened to tell SOE about such an attitude and why would a site connected with them allow such talk (of course, it was only a fan site but again, she was not being logical). Ultimately, it was revealed that she was semi-mentally handicapped. The original poster did apologize on his own merit; while he was used to such talk on another forum, he stated to me he works daily with such people.

Of course, being in a private chat area or space, one wants to be free. Of course, we expect others to "adapt or die", but what if they can't or won't? One memorable parable I remember reading is that certain people can't adapt or not adapt quickly enough or they just simply do not want to comprehend/understand your point. I feel there are ways around this, either in "speaking their own language" or simplifying things so that they can understand, but that's the art of debate and winning and conveying your point with the other party. Many times, even Politicians fail to do this.

I too, "let my hair down" as many folks and just BS and have fun. You can't take it seriously because that is the way some people just communicate, but others have yet to learn this. It is hard to "teach" them or sometimes they have to learn another way. Sometimes they don't. I feel, the problem is that while there are private/semi-private areas of the internet, there are public ones and not everyone shares yours/mine/our ideas. That's just being "human". We now have Facebook and really, even future employeers try to google you for your politics, ideals, etc., even if it sounds unfair/unlawful to base hiring practices on.

The truth is, we do share this internet with others. We are all "human" and heck, you may write something on your guild pages and someone who is not even in your guild may call you out on it. They shouldn't, but that's what happens when things are so open. You get lots of different perspectives and different tolerance levels from various, different people.

TL;DR: You still run a risk of offending folks (or even their kids) when you least expect it. Getting to know each other and camaraderie is one way to mmake sure its okay, but it is not foolproof. There are times you will run into someone with different values and you should be prepared either to outright /ignore them and hope that is the end of it or spend time convincing them that they did not mean what they said and were only blowing off-steam. Many people do not get this (and some will take you to court over it, even if you only meant it in jest or didn't really mean to back it up).

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