I’d say, send in Charles Bronson


I was just skimming through the suggestion forum, and found this little gem of a post:

Greetings ‘Blizzard’,

Through the years you have sought ways to improve this game and make it as player-friendly as possible, and in many ways you have accomplished just that. However, with every new tool that you have placed in the hands of the players, many new problems have arisen – most of them created by the players themselves, and most of them dealing with player behavior.

In this game and on these forums, there is a sad tendency for users to behave in an inappropriate or offensive manner toward other users. Calling people bad names, ignoring other players for no real reason, rushing through dungeons without even greeting your partymembers, sending threatening whispers to a player who killed you in-game, trolling, ignorant vote-kicking, making defamatory posts etc. etc – these all create a very hostile gaming and game-related environment which truly sucks the fun out of being part of the World of Warcraft.

Many of the new tools you have given us over the years carry with them a lot of new possibilities for negative behavior towards other players, and these possibilities are sadly being taken advantage of every time. Yet no real efforts have been taken on your part to remedy this issue. Your only mention of how you expect a player to behave can be found in ancient half-hearted half-hidden policies that they are far from very informative or up-to-date. These policies do not truly address any ethical issues, they only make mention of what is ‘not’ allowed, and the word ‘decency’ is all too gone from them.

Positive behaviour, decency, patience – these should all be very important factors in a game that allows the interaction of millions of players. This is something ‘you’, as the company who created this MMORGP, should be aware of and very interested in advancing – and this is where my suggestion for you comes in.

I believe it may be time that you start addressing the ethical issues of this game, and educate people in positive handling of the tools you put in their hands. This will require you to focus a lot of your ressources on creating a friendlier environment in your games and make your player-base a lot more aware of what ‘proper behaviour’ is all about. Campaigns, banners, introductionary messages, multi-language in-game accesible policies, commercials – all focusing on improving the general tone of the players of your games, and you need to keep that focus on.

These steps must be taking ‘now’. In the end every player will be thankful for it, for who truly wants to play a game where rudeness and indecency rules the day?

Sincerely,

-XXXXXXX- of the Crimson Moon

I love the fact that it’s such a wonderfully written plea towards Blizzard about the growing anti-social behavior we’re experiencing. It can’t be denied that compared to WoW a few years ago, the amount of assholes has increased exponentially. This post is not the only one on the subject by the way, there’s one every day. Someone was asking for a “gogogo” filter (I loved that one), another for servers for mature people only (as if that would help), one for a newbie servers where newbies can happily pull entire instances together, without being called retard (I doubt that very much though) and you wouldn’t believe the amount of anti-ninja solutions I’ve seen.

Apart from the last one, I don’t understand how people expect Blizzard to help. It reminds me of a post from Spinks, who posted about someone who was more or less expected to babysit some obnoxious kid. You can’t expect anyone to play babysitter, or act as morale police/coach. It’s everyone’s own responsibility.

I’m a strong supporter of freedom of expression/speech, whether I like that speech it or not. A quote from one of my favorite philosophers is fitting:

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

–Voltaire.

If there’s anything that hold value to me it’s that. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog and dedicated my first post about my strong dislike towards pre-moderated blogs, where censoring an opposing statement is too easy/inviting and therefor will happen (I recently got “silenced” again for no reason I can come up with by someone I really didn’t expect it from).

Therefor I say: if someone wants to be an asshole, he has the right to be one. I don’t like to be surrounded by them either, but if I want to force someone to behave the way I want him to, I would be worse: I would be a dictator, a control freak.. “look at my world, it’s beautiful”, but beneath it there’s suppression and censorship happening.

So, what can you do in an environment where you like to be, but where you are constantly annoyed by people who have a different attitude than yours?

  • Accept the fact first. It’s the situation now, deal with it. It’s your problem, not theirs, they’re fine, unless their problem with you is equally great, in that case you have to work it out.
  • Find like minded people and stick with them.
  • Just don’t take any shit, ever. Don’t play Mr/Miss nice guy/girl hoping that they’ll see how it’s done. People only change their attitude if they realize that they need to to get what they want. Otherwise, there’s no reason, it wouldn’t even cross their mind. There’s a clear line between being an asshole and harassing. The first is ok, the last one absolutely isn’t. Blizzard can and will help you with that too, like they should.
  • Stay focused on what you want.
  • And if you still don’t like it anymore, you might need to accept that it’s time to find something else. Shit happens.

But forcing someone is always a bad solution. No matter what the problem is. It doesn’t solve the problem, it suppresses it. A suppressed problem will always come back later, or turn into another problem.

However, I agree about the general attitude not being as relaxed as it used to be. A new generation is entering the game, and they’re a bit more obnoxious. I can understand that people get fed up with them. I’ve got more problems with idiots myself, but those will always be around, everywhere. If day ever comes that the amount of assholes get so high that I’m sick of ‘m too, I’m  just going to play something else, simple. It’s a multiplayer game, and  a multiplayer game is only fun if the players are, so that’s a logical solution to me. I might also try an RP server, to see how that’s like. I already started a new char not too long ago (no, not the bloggers one, I lost my interest after my post being moderated and the fact that the decision of server and faction was already made, both things go against my principles) and it’s really a whole different atmosphere.

But to play a game where people are forced to behave, and act happy or else, that sounds like true hell to me.

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