Using The Proper Words
Posted March 25, 2010on:
Before I really get to what I want to discuss, let me say this: No, this will not be about the quazi-recent events in our little corner of the internet. I have nothing to say that hasn’t been said, nor do I feel any personal grudges towards anyone involved. I have had too much stress in my own life to involve myself in anyone else’s drama. That being said, I would like to take time to acknowledge Crankyhealer: Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Before you commented on my blog, I was pretty sure I was writing exclusively for myself and my numerous non-combat pets. You made me feel like I was part of the community before anyone else did, and I’m so very grateful for that. I’ll miss your blog immensely, but please stop by and say hi every now and again <3
For the first time all week, I finally had a chance to sit at my desk and read the guild forums during my lunch break. My boyfriend had linked a post he had made on the official Blizzard forums discussing the new Icy Touch threat buff Death Knights got on Tuesday with the patch. Now, I don’t really know much about Icy Touch except that when he casts it, it makes him look like he’s a puppy shaking off snow. Cute, really, which is saying something for an undead draenei. Anyways, apparently he feels like it’s causing TOO much threat (as in, using his normal rotation he accidentally pulled off of our warrior and bear multiple times during our Tuesday night raid) and that it could easily be abused by others who haven’t had much experiencing tanking.
A pretty rational discussion followed; people were disagreeing and agreeing pleasantly, offering ways Blizzard might be able to fix the issue without completely gimping their threat. And then a level 80 orc from Illidan said something that made me sick to my stomach.
“we needed the threat buff. also, anyone who says “i’ve been playin a roug since vanila and a dk since then to” needs to die.”
That “roug” was my boyfriend. He had mentioned his experience in WoW before suggesting any of the changes he thought would balance Icy Touch.
What bothers me about that sentence is the “needs to die” portion. I don’t really care too much if you’re a random stranger who comes to a discussion with no proof and simply disagrees. Call him names, if you’re really so upset at his rational argument. Anything would be better than telling another human being that they NEED TO DIE.
Why is this such a casual phrase? Why is it in the same vein as saying someone isn’t qualified to approach a subject? Why are people trivializing something that is incredibly sensitive and emotional?
You, who knows NOTHING about the person behind the avatar, thinks he should die. How devastating do you think that would be for his girlfriend? His mother? His father? His siblings? Do you care?
My issue here is that this is what we’ve devolved into as a society. You don’t agree with me so you should be wiped off the face of this planet. You don’t agree with me so you don’t deserve to live.
And before someone out there gives me the excuse that “everyone’s saying it so it’s ok; he doesn’t actually want your boyfriend to die,” I get it. But just because a phrase has been shoved down our throats as a gaming colloquialism, doesn’t mean it’s ok.
Where is this rage and utter disregard for other human beings coming from? Is it, like Tam mentioned a few days ago, stemming from the repressed emotions that are stagnating in our testosterone-laden gaming community? Is it because there’s a level of detachment between our avatars and our corporeal selves?
I don’t have a degree in Psychology (yet…) or Sociology, and I certainly can’t explain everyone’s reason for acting this way. But imagine you were me, and you were reading a fairly classy (as WoW forums go) post and its fairly classy responses, and all of a sudden some stranger is saying your boyfriend should die. No reasoning. Just annoyed.
I try really hard in anything I leave public to be as respectful and tactful as I can. I’ve refrained from mentioning many horrible pugs or naming-and-shaming on my blog because some part me hopes that if I can write positively and keep a cheerful attitude that it’ll rub off on me and my predilection to be somewhat of a pessimist will dissipate over time. Maybe that makes me a less fun read, but I would never want someone to come here to feel abused or to feel pain on behalf of a loved one.
Yes, this genuinely upset me. No matter how angry someone has made me, no matter how much pain they have brought upon me, I have never uttered those words. Not once. Because I would NEVER wish death upon another person. I’m kind of a hippy – I want the world to be love and cuddles and puppies. I want to treat others nicely and I never want to intentionally hurt someone. Heck, when I unintentionally hurt someone, I’m wrought with guilt and I’m probably pretty annoying after the ten thousandth “I’m so so sorry.”
Basically what it boils down to is this (and I’m fairly certain that if you’re reading this you’re not likely to be one of those people who casually tosses death wishes around): Your fellow players are human beings. Even if you think it’s common place, wishing death on someone you don’t know just isn’t friendly, and probably is a pretty unhealthy way to live. Just because you’re nonchalant about it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect the other person. Say what you want to say without resorting to a stinted vocabulary that resorts to profanities and death when you’re feeling upset about something.
I don’t feel like I have a good way to end this; it’s been something that’s bothered me for a long time now and this was kind of the straw that broke my blogging camel’s back. He’s now in traction and seems to be doing fine.
*hugs & love*