Saturday, December 19, 2009

You talking to me?

I have recently been experiencing more than usual, a phenomenon in EQ2 that I really don’t like [naked Gnomes? – Ed]. I do not know why I have come across it more than I usually do. I know what I am talking about is always there and happens pretty consistently if you have the right chat channels open, but I don’t and I like to avoid this particular type of incident if I can. [WTH are you talking about? – Ed]
What I am talking about [there you go! :) - Ed] is the inability for a human being to be civil to another. Now I am more than aware that this happens every second of every minute in every part of the world in some form or other, but it does not change the fact that I cannot abide it. Rudeness and lack of manners stimulates the most base form of interaction and simply brings out the worst in the perpetrator and the receiver.  One of my heroes, Winston Churchill believed in the same thing, to the extent of his famous quote “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite”.  The thing about EQ2 and indeed any other form of MMORPG or online game is that it genuinely seems worse than in ‘real life’.  If you went out for a drink at night with your friends  [but you never invite me! – Ed], you  would not expect to overhear so much abuse or general rudeness in say 30 minutes of bar propping time as you would in 30 minutes of channel 1-9 time.
So why is this? What makes people who are sitting behind a computer screen allow their inner demons and awful personality to come through more than in real life? Are there really so many bitter people out there waiting for the nastiness to come out?
I live by a few rules and morals that are unwavering and I feel quite central to my personality. Now I am more than aware that I perhaps go a little bit the other way and I would never try to force my personal life strategy on another. But I at least expect a few manners when people converse with me.
This particular incident is a simple case of how someone converses with a group of other people. I won’t put in too many specifics as I do have manners and would not wish to name anyone without knowing them fully.  That would be unfair. But this particular person seems to have the ability to be uncivil to almost everyone I have witnessed them speaking to.  It may take an extra few seconds to add a few extra words to a sentence to make it seem less harsh, confrontational and quite honestly downright rude. But this is obviously not time well spent to this person.  The problem is, and this is a basic concept of interaction, that 'behaviour, breeds behaviour'. So, when I have witnessed this person attempting to converse with others, it is interesting to note the replies. They get more and more short in nature and eventually begin to mimic that persons behaviour.

I know that that there is a possibility that the stress and abusive behaviour is probably a symptom of their inability to deal with stressful situations and it is easy to revert back to the behaviour of a child, tantrums and so on. Especially when there is no barrier to act that way. What I mean by that is the person you are 'speaking' to, is not standing in front of you. Which is usually what may restrain someone from acting like a spoilt child. But when you are in the comfort of your own home with no consequences to your actions as you are effectively speaking (in their mind) to a non existant entity but just a computer screen, all of a sudden the behaviour must seem justifiable to them.
I am not saying to be a sheep and be nice to everyone you meet. As that can lead to a passionless existence, or indeed to you coming across as a walk over. But don't be nasty or rude just because it is easier and you cannot be bothered to show another human being the correct respect.
I guess I have ranted on too long about this. I would say this one last thing though. If you are speaking to another person in an MMO of any kind, remember that it is a person on the other end of the screen. Not a toy for your gaming. A person. Show that person the proper respect and manners. Surprisingly, you may find that attitude reciprocated. Until next time..
Be well...

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