Archive for the ‘Internet Anthropology’ category

How to Keep Shyness from Ruining Your Game

April 7, 2011

I was recently pointed towards a blog post that could have been written by me a couple years ago: an extremely timid player who struggles with the multiplayer aspect of the game. Her struggles being due to her overwhelming shyness sucking the fun out of just about any in-game social interaction. I’ll spare her the link love as being the center of attention isn’t her forte. I know you guys are awesome and stuff, but easing ones way into the blogosphere has to be done at that person’s own pace.

Edit: I got the ok from Glorwynn to link her original post.

Writing about social phobia (I don’t like the term “social anxiety”, sounds too pop psychology. I prefer the direct translation of the French term since “phobia” is a far more accurate description.) was how I made a name for myself as a blogger. I’m still a pretty shy person in game. I won’t talk on voice chat if there are more than 4-5 people in the channel, I won’t initiate conversations unless I know the player well, I have to be in the right state of mind to join random raid PuG and it takes me weeks to months before I’ll type in a new guild or raid chat.

But you know what? That’s totally fine with me. I’ve reached a point where I’m satisfied with my comfort zone and I don’t care to go beyond it right now. I’m not a particularly social person, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Where social phobia is a problem is when it gets in the way of the things you want to do. When you want to try healing but can’t because you can’t be around other players enough to give it a go. When you’re itching to see content but can’t because guilds (PuG raids are obviously out of the question at this point) are unbearably stressful to you. When loading screens make you nauseous.

If I’ve learned anything from my two years of blogging about WoW (and it has been two years exactly! Today is my second blogoversary!), it’s that people like me, and like the author of the original post, are a lot more common than we’d think. It’s just that quiet people are, well, quiet. You don’t see us, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t there.

So, what’s the advice I’d give new players who aren’t quite comfortable with the social aspects of the game?
(more…)

Refuting Accusations Made Towards My Feminist Side

August 17, 2010

I was originally working on a post about intergender communication in a raid setting, but I kept veering off topic. I just had too much say. So I’m writing this post to get a number of things off my chest. You can still expect a post on communication in the near future, once I get this out of the way and can focus better.

I had someone try to explain feminist WoW blogging to me the other day. Apparently, I don’t understand feminism.

While I didn’t really take part in the recent flurry of feminist posts started by Pewter’s (excellent and well researched) literary analysis-style post on WoW, I have written a number of blog posts about women and WoW. I’m proud that some of them even sparked discussions stretching beyond the portals of my little corner of the internet. In my WoW life, I’m very involved with my predominantly male guild (in the 10 months I’ve been with them, I can’t think of a time where we’ve had more than 4 active female raiders at once), I’m a serious player, I’ve had tanking as my main spec in the past, I’ve led raids, I’m not afraid to speak up on vent when I’m pugging and when male players act patronizing towards me, I tell them off. In real life (because real life is important!), I’ve lived without the security blanket of a relationship for years, I’m finishing up my second university degree, I’ve volunteered in women’s shelters, I’ve written papers on domestic violence, I’ve been a girl guide leader, I wrote my IBO extended essay on the portrayal of women in Lord of the Rings, I’ve participated in vigils remembering the Montreal Polytechnic Massacre … Yeah, apparently I need to have feminism explained me.

I know I’m pretty mild when writing about gender issues. It’s that I don’t believe in complaining. I believe in taking action. I don’t talk feminism very much because I’m busy living it.

Step up and take control

Don’t get me wrong, injustices (be they gender related or not) should be called out. Yelled from the rooftops. They should be clearly described, discussed and, if at all possible, solved. That’s not complaining, it’s educating, it’s raising awareness.

But words only get so far. I do have problems with sites like My Fault, I’m Female, where angry women rant to other angry women about how much their life (and the world around them) sucks because they’re female. I certainly understand the benefits of venting to individuals who can empathize, but victimizing yourself puts you in a powerless position, at the mercy of jerks everywhere. It’s true that you can’t ever control what others believe and how they behave (well, in countries where most workplaces have very strict sexual harassment laws, you can control behaviour in some situations), but you can choose how you deal with things.

I’d prefer to read a site where women empower other women by going beyond sharing the frustrating moments in their lives and add how they’ve overcome those adversities and reached their goals. I don’t believing in victims, only survivors.

In a WoW setting, I wish other female players would speak up on vent when they pug. Yes, there’s a small chance someone will make a sexual remark, that someone will claim you’re a bad player, that it’ll be assumed you’re the healer. There’s also a small chance you’ll be stabbed in the subway someday. Or that you’ll get mugged on the street. Or that you’ll be crippled in a car accident. Do you stay home every day out of fear that, maybe, something bad might happen?

Ok, some people do. But the thing is, if you keep quiet on vent out of fear, you’re giving all the WoW assholes power over you. So if you want to speak up, then do so. If something bad comes of it, then use the experience to raise awareness and empower other women.

If it’s any reassurance, in my 5 years of playing WoW, I’ve always been open about my gender. I call stuff out on vent while I’m pugging, I correct people when they say “he”, I walk around with my Ammen Vale Lashling out, and the worst I’ve ever gotten from random strangers was “hey, cool, we have a girl in a the raid”. Which really isn’t insulting at all.

And the more women who are open about their gender (note, “being open” DOES NOT equate “flaunt”), the more the inhabitants of the World of Warcraft will realize that female WoW players are in fact quite common and, omigosh, not a big deal.

“WoW, from a women’s perspective”

When Matt and I exchanged some lines on Twitter about blogging about men in WoW and about men/women in-game interactions, we got a few interesting reactions.

What’s there to talk about?”

It’s been done to death.”

So boys, apparently, you’re boring, you have life served to you on a silver platter and you’ve been talked about so much that no cares anymore. What do you think of that?

I don’t know what the ratio of men to women is in WoW, but it’s not that impressive anymore. The millions of blogs with the tagline “WoW from a girl gamer’s perspective” make me smile. There are corners in WoW where women are uncommon: hardcore pvp, high end raiding, auction playing, serious tanking. I have a lot of admiration for those women who dare tread in waters they’re not expected to be seen in.

But for the most part? We’re not special little snowflakes anymore, but it pleases us greatly to believe we are.

(As a side note, I do recognize that it’s just pleasant to talk about WoW with other women, which is probably why groups like WoW_ladies are really popular. Talking about WoW to men just isn’t the same.)

Men on the other hand… I have yet to see a “WoW from a guy gamer’s perspective” tagline. And I bet, if it does happen, it’ll be very scandalous.

It’s like single gendered guilds. Male-only guilds are “sexist”. Female-only guilds are “admirable”. Female-only guilds do tend to be better at marketing themselves, touting the pleasures of playing amongst girlfriends instead of spewing bullshit like “we play better than the other gender”. But at the end of the day, single gendered guilds are about having guy-time or girl-time without the social and sexual pressure oozed by the presence of the opposite gender.

Women are the victims of a lot of double standards, but it doesn’t justify double standards against men.

Having non-cavemen guildies isn’t “fortune” it’s choice

I cringed a little at Metaneira‘s choice of words when she wrote “Ais and I are fortunate enough to be in a guild that promotes inclusiveness“. Her and Ais aren’t in their guild thanks to luck. They’re not guilded with cavemen because they’re self-respecting women who chose a guild where they’re treated like human beings. They chose to not join a guild that doesn’t believe in female tanks, that doesn’t allow women to be officers and that ignores contributions from female players on basis that they’re female.

To all women who are in such guilds: leave. Alt tab over to WoW THIS VERY INSTANT and type /gquit. There are tons, tons, tons AND tons of guilds that judge players according to skill (in a performance guild) or personality (in a social guild) rather than gender. Why the heck would you be wasting your time with a guild that doesn’t?

Of posting your photo on your guild forums

I’ve been thinking on that one quite a bit lately. In the past, I’ve felt the same way as those fearing the wrath of other females about posting pictures. Then I thought about it.

I once criticized a female applicant for putting her picture in her application. But really, a guy applying with a picture would have triggered the same “lol…wut?” from me. Guild applications are about who you are as a player, not what you look like in real life. Guildies post pictures of themselves as a faces-to-names/voices thing among friends. An applicant is a stranger, no one is nosey about looks quite yet.

As for posting provocative pictures, yeah, a woman posting pictures of her breasts will cross other women. If a guy posted provocative pictures of his 6-pack, though, well…do you REALLY think the other guys will let him get away with it?

Same goes for the woman who posts 20 pictures of herself. If a guy posts 20 pictures of himself, he’d get his share of crap too.

As for “you’re hawt!” type remarks, as long as they’re not creepy disturbing or coming from someone 10 years younger, I don’t see what’s offensive about them. No one complains when I compliment my male guildies on their pictures. And between you and me, I kinda like being told I’m hawt. Iin my real life, I’m appreciated only for my listening skills and my ability to recite chapters of Therapeutic Choices, it’s pretty nice to be treated like, you know, a warm blooded human being sometimes.

If you do get creepy disturbing comments after posting a picture, please scroll back up to the part about being guilded with cavemen.

Want to read more?

For a topic that’s supposed to be exhausted, I find I still have way too much to say about it. But I’ll give you all (as well as my fingers) a break from my wordiness and make a few reading suggestions for those of you who still believe women in WoW are a rarity. (Also, I can only think of so many blogs off the top of my head. I know there are tons more. If you write or know of a blog that fits into a category below, feel free to suggest it and I’ll add it to the list)

My past gender-related posts
The Treatment of Women in WoW part 1
The Treatment of Women in WoW part 2
The New Recruit or How I Almost Got in a Fight with a Sexist Jerk

Gifted bloggers who regularly write about gender in WoW
The Pink Pinktail Inn
Pugnacious Priest

Recent feminism posts
The ‘mental Shaman
Empowered Fire
Stories of O
The Lazy Sniper
Raging Monkeys (also a co-GM, raidleader and pvper!)

The following bloggers aren’t necessarily preoccupied by gender in WoW. They are, however, successful at roles or playstyles that are often described as “difficult” for a woman to be accepted in. Most of the time, our greatest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves.

Female GMs/Raid Leaders
A Healadin’s Tear
Dwarf Babble
Kiss My Alas
Flash of Moonfire
You Yank It You Tank It
Tree Bark Jacket
I Like Bubbles

PvE Progression Focused Female Players
Moar HPS
Kurn’s Corner
Disco Priest
Falling Leaves and Wind
Ecclesiastical Discipline
HoTs & DoTs
Life in Group 5
Tales of a Priest

Just Because They’re Video Game Characters Doesn’t Mean They’re Not YOURS

July 30, 2010

I know this video is old news, but earlier this week, a discussion with Deyndor on Twitter about domestic violence reminded me of it. Ignore the really, um, silly, article containing the video. For those who didn’t watch the video (I’ll confess I didn’t have the heart to watch it either), it’s a girl deleting her boyfriend’s WoW characters. Anyone who enjoys dramatic threads in the customer service forum knows this kind of thing happens all the time and isn’t overly shocking.

What weirds me out is how the perception people have of this.

Oh, she must not have known how much characters can mean to a person.

It’s true, World of Warcraft can be very addicting.

It’s not a big deal, characters can be restored.

Maybe the story needs to be told in a different way:

This girl went uninvited into her boyfriend’s personal space and broke his stuff in an effort to control him.

Sure, it’s not as spectacular or as sickening as pushing a pregnant woman down the stairs, but it’s still a form of violence. It’s disrespecting your partner’s personal space, it’s trying to control someone and it’s putting yourself in a position of power over them. A romantic relationship isn’t a parent-child relationship. Neither person has authority to “confiscate” anything from the other.

Maybe the abuse in that video’s relationship will stay at the deleting WoW characters level, maybe it’ll escalate, who knows? I sure as heck wouldn’t stick around to find out.

Would I be upset if a boyfriend deleted my WoW characters?

I’d be devastated. Not over of the missing pixels on my screen (after all, those can be restored easily), but over losing the trust I had in that person. Over realizing that this person has no regard for me or my personal space. Over discovering that someone I cared about would want me to be distressed.

I’ve dumped boys over less. I’d rather curl up with the vibrator every night for the rest of my life than have to put up with that kind of bullshit. (Vibrators are much lower maintenance anyway.)

On Having a Partner that Plays Too Much

I’m not disregarding the frustration that comes from disagreeing on “how much is too much” when it comes to gaming. Even though I’m a gamer too, I’ve seen been in the “ITS NOT FAIR THAT I HAVE TO WORK MY ARSE OFF AND ALL YOU DO IS SIT AROUND AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES” camp many, many times. (I’m sure I’ve been in the opposite camp as well, but guys don’t complain about that stuff much.)

The thing is, when we’re not talking about video game addiction (I’ll get into that later), it’s up to both partners to find an acceptable solution. Trying to control the other person doesn’t work, or, at least, it doesn’t work in a very satisfying way.

There are plenty of ways to go about it. I had a guildie who was fine with raiding only one night a week. Another reserved Friday and Saturday evenings for elaborate date nights. Another had a wife who actually encouraged his gaming so she could get dibs on to the TV remote control. And Honorshammer once wrote a beautiful post about being a gamer in a healthy, happy relationship. (Even if the religious context doesn’t strike a chord with you, what he says is still applicable to non-Christians.)

Just like any other aspect of a relationship, communication is key. And if you can’t come to an agreement, you’re either not compatible, or one of you isn’t in the right state of mind for a serious relationship. You probably notice it other aspects of your relationship too (whether you admit it or not) and character deletion isn’t going to change that.

When Addiction Comes to Play

There are entire books written on gaming addiction, and I’m no addiction specialist, so this is going to be short and superficial.

Any type of addiction is a sad occurrence. It’s devastating for the addicted person and it’s devastating the friends and families losing the person they love. Unfortunately, though, it’s up to the addicted person to realize they’re out of control and to take the measures needed to rebuilt their lives. Sometimes it takes losing everything. Oh, from the outside we can let our friend know where they can find us when they’re better and be supportive and encouraging when they’ve decided to get a grip back on their lives. But ultimately, it’s their lives and they’re the ones who have what it takes stop the downward spiral. We can’t try to drag them back up, or cling to them as they pull us down with them.

Again, character deletion isn’t going to fix anything. Unless you’re in a position of authority (hint: in a relationship, you’re not), taking the object of addiction away from an addicted person accomplishes nothing but turning them against you. (And when you are in a position of authority, you still turn them against you.)

It’s Not About the Game

The bottom line is, invading a partner’s space, betraying their trust and trying to control them without their consent is wrong and not conducive to a happy relationship. True, video game characters don’t cost anything, aren’t essential to your day to day life and are easily restored. So what? They’re still your belongings and if having your stuff destroyed is your idea of a happy relationship, well… I got nothing.

On the flipside of the coin, as a gamer, if you’re not interested in investing yourself in a relationship and putting your partner’s needs first, then don’t. Society tries to drive into our heads that two-manning life ALL THE TIME is the only acceptable way to live, but that’s a load of crap. There’s nothing wrong with being single if you feel like being single. And there’s everything wrong with making commitments you’re not interested in keeping.

Don’t Let Anonymity on the Internet Fool You

July 8, 2010

With the whole Real ID fiasco going on, one thought really sticks out to me: “I post under a handle, therefore I am anonymous and safe.”

Unfortunately, no, you are not anonymous and safe just because you aren’t using your real name. Safer, probably, but not safe. IP addresses can track people down to a certain location, you may have inadvertently given out too much information when filling out email and website profiles, or your boss or significant other snoops through your computer and discovers those angsty twitter posts about them.

And because I adore you all and wish you all to remain unharmed and employed and in good terms with your acquaintances, I’m going to discuss internet safety a little bit.

Never say anything on the internet you don’t want your significant other, your boss or your mom to discover

Ok, ok, you can say whatever you want on the internet. As long as you can live with the consequences.

But beware, those msn chat logs, that old angsty blog you had when you were 14, those raunchy Facebook photos and those flirty forum posts are very likely floating around somewhere. It takes one wrong person to come across them to send you into a downward spiral of embarrassment or, if you’re really unlucky and scandalous, put your career/relationship/social life in jeopardy.

Obviously, the more easily identifiable you make yourself, the more easily you’ll be identified (and the more likely your computer illiterate grandmother will discover your list of favorite porn movies). Even so, after taking all precautions imaginable, you’re still traceable.

It doesn’t mean you have to avoid the internet altogether (life is all about taking those small risks!), it means think before you type. It means don’t assume you’re anonymous and no one will ever find out who you are. One day, you’ll accidently leave twitter open. Your gossipy roommate will walk in, find it and show her 900 Facebook friends. Remind of yourself of that every time you hit a send button.

Also keep your stuff locked as much as possible. Don’t use Facebook applications unless you REALLY REALLY WANT THEM. If you want to keep your old lifejournal for the walks down memory lane, set anything remotely compromising to private. Delete your old chat logs. Cancel your AIM/MSN/Bongo Buddy (remember that folks!) accounts if you’re not using them. You can’t cover your trail 100%, but the more you remove, the less that can be used against you.

Sexual assault on the Internet most likely follows the same patterns as sexual assaults in the offline world

While the exact statistics vary from source to source, Sexual Assault prevention and education associations all agree on this: most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows and only a minority are committed by a stranger.

What it means is that you should still be careful around strangers (walking alone at night through sketchy parts of town is never a good idea!) but you can’t be careless around people you think you know either.

The data concerning sexual assault over the internet (whether it’s limited to verbal harassment or the more extreme flying around the world to stalk you) is still anecdotal so I have to say “it most likely follows real life patterns” because we don’t know if it follows real life patterns. The anecdotes follow similar patterns though:

1- You meet someone on the internet.
2- You get along really well and they’re such smooth talkers that your friendship evolves really fast. Like, REALLY fast.
3- You tell them stuff about yourself.
4- After awhile, they become total pests and they come at you from all sides.
5- When you try to cut them off, they become threatening.

I would hope most stories end there, but the news does come out with “creepy internet people” stories that end badly fairly often.

Like in real life, you can’t cut yourself off from every single person you meet by chance that they’re dangerous. You won’t get hurt, but you’ll be pretty lonely. Just play smart. Remember that friendships grow slowly, not overnight. Don’t give anyone a dozen ways to get ahold of you. One way is enough. Make your friendship public. Immediately cut anyone out of your life (offline and online) who gets possessive or intrusive, don’t let it escalate. Take screenshots of any questionable behaviour.

Use different emails for different spheres of your life

I stumbled on this trick by accident. I was looking for a way to keep all my hobby communications organized and tidy. So I kept the hotmail account I’ve had since I was 12 for real life friends and family (and contest signups), I used my school email strictly for academic, professional and school politics communications, I made a Bossy Pally email account for the blog and gaming, and I have a separate email for my Battlenet account (as a security measure before I bought an authenticator).

I realized how much of a lifesaver this was when I found out that a potential landlady googled the email address I had used to contact her. What did she find? Some details about a career fair I had planned for my school. My profile on our National Student Council webpage. Some model UN mentions. (I’ve never done model UN, but it still looks very good when it comes up on a google search!)

I was pretty happy I didn’t use Bossy Pally (while I’m not ashamed of my gamer status, there are better first impressions to make) or my old teenage email that would have yielded links to godknowswhat I was doing when I was 12!

Be smart, always.

I’ve heard the line “don’t drink and type” said often. It’s true. Everyone uses the internet these days and there are a lot of people who know how to find what they want to find.

Be cautious when posting personal information as well as rants. Don’t be fooled that you’re safe just because you’re using a fake name.

Make friends online, but don’t let your urge to make friends fast get the best of you. Remember, remember, remember that friendship and trust grow slowly. Recognize your gut feeling. If a behaviour seems…off…it probably is.

I don’t want to hear anymore stories of “I lost my job because of my rant/blog” or “I got stalked by a jerk on the internet”. Real ID or pre-Real ID, those stories make me sad.

/ignore And Why I Don’t Like It…Much

June 28, 2010

- Jerkface is ignoring you -

What. the.

My face was suddenly sore from e-slap. Why is Jerkface ignoring me? I thought we were pretty good friends. We ran heroics together all the time, played on the same arena team. We’d even gotten smashed and wandered the streets of Toronto until 4 am once, just the two of us. Yes, the real life Toronto! Not Stormwind or Ironforge or Exodar. He did have a bad temper. Maybe we had a disagreement lately? I played the last few in-game days over in my mind. No. No fight.

An accident maybe?

Somehow I doubted it.

FINE, I thought, you ignore me, I’ll ignore you.

Smugly, I put him on my ignore list and went about my business. But I really wanted to know what he was saying. Really wanted to know. Really wanted to-

He must have stayed on my ignore list for grand 15 minutes before I realized that the idea was absolutely stupid.

To this day, I’ve never used the ignore feature since, save for a few beggers in Ironforge who made the list just long enough to get the hint.

I’m not a fan ignoring other players, with the exception of maybe really annoying strangers trying to take my gold or sell me theirs. I know the mentality is “if you can’t put up with someone, just put them on ignore”, but I don’t like that. Whether it’s puggers or guildies, hiding everything someone says doesn’t fix any problems and just makes it more difficult to get the job done.

/ignore in PuGs

Surprise, surprise, players in pugs can be socially inept, jerks, annoying or plain stupid. You’re only in a group with them for a few hours at most, you’ll likely never play with them again, why put up with their idiocies?

Well, you’re only in a group with them for a few hours, you’ll likely never play with the likes of them again, so why not just roll your eyes at their dumb contributions to chat?

Despite all the stupidity floating in the air, I still like to know what’s going on when I’m pugging. When I’m playing with strangers, I imagine the worst case scenario and in the worst case scenario, I’m going to have to cover for everyone elses mishaps. So the more information I have, the better.

And if that information is mainly “anal [random name]” or “ur mom”, then so be it.

/ignore in guilds

You don’t like someone’s sense of humour, you don’t like their attitude. Just /ignore them. Easy, right?

Not really.

I’m sure it’s great for a short term fix. Just hide what they say and you won’t have to worry about it ever again. But can you go on, day after day, week after week, raid after raid just not knowing what they’re saying?

Not being able to see their chatter might relieve some stress at first, but even if you can’t see it, they’re still talking. Their attitude is still infiltrating your bubble. They’re still there. (You know, in ur raid, offending ur person.) And not only are they there, but they’re your healers, your tanks, your healees, your teammates. Despite the (what you consider) crap they might spew out, in a raid setting, they might just say something useful to the success of the raid.

And that’s without counting the inevitable tension that slowly builds between yourself and your ignoree. Every time you play you remind yourself that you’re ignoring them because you can’t stand them and they remind themselves (because, yes, they will figure out soon enough they’re being ignored) that you’re ignoring them because you can’t stand them. In a world of thick skinned internet beasts, it may take awhile for tension to build, but it will built and it will explode. Then there’ll be ooze and blood and we’ll have to clean up and no one likes cleaning up.

You’re never going to like everyone

I’m often accused of being too nice and of liking everyone.

It’s not that I like everyone. Nor does everyone like me (as the story at the beginning of this post has proven to us!). I have my own personality and morals and they do clash with others at time. It might come as a surprise to some that, while I left my old guild of two years because I didn’t care for the playstyle and leadership structure anymore, it was an exploded personality conflict that burned my bridges and kept me from looking back. It’s not that either of us were terrible people, we were just terribly incompatible people. So, yes, no one likes everyone all the time and that’s completely ok.

How to put up with annoyances?

1- Pick your battles carefully. You won’t win them all, and those you lose will be like fuel on a fire. (Tell a bunch of boys they’re not allowed to say the word “rape” and the only word you’ll hear from them for the next 3 weeks will be “rape”) Unless someone is really crossing a line, it’s best to just tune them out without physically ignoring them. Also, the less often you put people in their place, the more impact you’ll have when you do.

2- Remember that human beings aren’t 2 dimensional. With some individuals, it can be really hard to remind yourself of their redeeming features, but for the team (and your sanity)’s sake, you have to. Many WoW players are very socially inept, but behind the strange facades they put up, you’ll usually find intelligent, helpful, passionate people who appreciate any kind of attention you give them. Also, what looks like nastyness to some can actually be a sign of people comfortable enough with each other to tease

3- Master the art of subtlety changing the subject. WoW players are passionate folk. If they stray onto a topic you don’t like, bring up class changes, patch notes or whatever else they feel strongly about. Problem solved. When all else fails, the line “now, now, that’s not very nice” has the double effect of causing laughter and ending the current conversation. (I have to give credit to my GM for that one, I stole that line from him and tried it a few times, works like a charm.)

4- If it can’t be fixed, it might be time to move on. I’m guilty of getting attached to guildies and convincing them to stay despite elements of our guild culture making them absolutely miserable. What I’ve realized lately is that by doing this, I was just causing everyone tons of stress. Some personality conflicts can’t be resolved. When it gets to the point where you just can’t allow yourself to see what a person is typing, then it’s time to find a more fitting home. There are a lot of former guildies that I miss with all my heart, but I much prefer to hear them speak excitedly about their new teammates than comfort them as they complain about my teammates.

At the end of the day

At the end of the day, the ignore feature is great for getting rid of gold sellers, gold beggers and that annoying level 2 guy in Exodar asking how to get to Stormwind. It’s not so great for stretching out an unresolvable personality conflict or masking a too-big guild culture shock.

At the end of the day, we play this game for enjoyment, whether that enjoyment comes from downing bosses in the most efficient way possible or from socializing with people from across the continent or a mixture of column A and column B. If you have to entirely block out an individual, you’re doing neither of the above. Go, go and be with people you don’t have to block out.

Just sent me an email once in awhile, because, you know, I kinda get attached to people.

Free Speech in the WoW-Blogosphere

March 21, 2010

Me: Oh hei! I started a WoW blog! I’m not very daring though and I’m pretty politically correct.
Friend: No, if you want to be a blogger, you have be loud! And opinionated!
Me: Ah, but the WoW blogging community is pretty mellow.

Believe it or not, the outline for this post had actually been rotting in my draft bin for some time. I think the recent outburst in the WoW blogosphere had been quietly brewing for awhile. What got me thinking of our extend of free speech as WoW bloggers was actually a post by Daraxxus on Guild Ethics. A post that troubled me quite a bit.

My stance on people getting offended by what I write is…..if you dont like it you can either

a) Not read it
b) Go eat a big fat bowl of dick

The whole post is definitely worth reading and it was more thought provoking to me than any of the more, um, classy posts that had appeared on that topic over the past week.

I’m a very ethical blogger
. For the most part. Not because I’m afraid of getting slandered (yes, I was terrified when I first started blogging, but after watching and hearing what the Wow.com writers go through, I got over the fear of having rocks thrown at me pretty fast), but because that’s just who I am as a person. I’m careful when I write about my guild, not because I fear a /gkick, but because I don’t think being a bitch on my blog is the most efficient way to deal with in-game conflict. Honesty, respect and looking at both sides of the story are values important to me in all aspects of my life.

Should I expect other bloggers to follow the rules I impose on myself?

By the light, no!

Who the hell am I to tell others what’s appropriate and inappropriate content? Just because certain values are important to me doesn’t mean they’re important to everyone else. Saying my code of ethics is better than someone elses would be awfully arrogant of me. I’ll admit I can be a goodie-goodie, but there are limits.

Besides, if everyone wrote like me, the blogging world would be a pretty dull place. I stick to a cautious style myself, but I can assure you that I devour exuberant blog posts as much as the next person. I won’t blogroll a blog that I judge unethical (yes, I know I link to Paladin Schmaladin, but Ferraro has behaved for quite some time now and there’s just too much good information on the site to pass up), but I’ll still read it.

Over the weekend, a discussion stirred up on Blog Azeroth. A discussion that covered respect among bloggers, free speech as bloggers and tricks in dealing with criticism and trolls. There’s a lot in that thread to ponder and I encourage anyone interested by the topic to read it (and join in if you have anything to add). For the purpose of this post, though, I’m only going to quote Bellwether’s words:

It has been said to me many times that the WoW blogosphere is a stagnant community because all we, as bloggers, give or get are pats on the back to each other. You very rarely see people taken to task for misinformation or something just plain wrong, and those who do become a sort of pariah for rocking the boat.

As much of a “OMG-lets-all-love-each-other-and-be-happy-friends” blogger that I am, I have to agree with this statement. I’ve seen the WoW blogging community compared to a “circle jerk” before. When I correct another blogger on a mistake their in post, I even feel bad. It shouldn’t be like that.
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Of Guilds and of Blogging

March 4, 2010

Note: This post is crazy long. That’s what happens when I’m away from my blog for more than a weekend. The words build up and come out all at the same time. I wrote this for myself because I’ve been thinking about the topic quite a bit lately and it’s driving me nuts. I considered splitting the post into two, but it’s too personal to be worth it.

I hate getting into hot blogging trends. Unless it’s an official Shared Topic, the more people talk about something, the more I write about everything but. I’m special, unique snowflake dammit!

I do, however, love thinking about blogging. I also love talking about anything guild-related. I’m somewhat of a closet amateur social anthropologist. Anything that has to do about how people interact with each other, about cultures, about communication, about influence, about social behaviour just gets me giddy. And the young, diverse, strange, ever changing social world of the internet? OMG! Just thinking about it makes me want to jump up and down in excitement.

What can I say? Some people are big into birds, others into sports, I’m a geek for social anthropology. I have no training for it, though, (two level 100 courses I took while on student exchange don’t count) so I kind of fumble around topics in hazy bliss. May real social anthropologists forgive me.

But anyway, I talk a lot about guild stuff on my blog. As a result, I’m constantly worrying about crossing the line. It’s important to me to show respect towards my guildies and to have respect for the work the officers put into the guild. I don’t want to censor myself, yet it’s not my place to criticize others, or be the cause of hurt feelings.

So, to make myself happy, I’m going to jump onto the bandwagon and bring up the very topic that’s been discussed on bit on Twitter, and posted about by Cassandri, Tam, Larísa, Anea, Pugnacious Priest as well as my own guild master, Matticus. Besides, I’ve been very good lately and put my schoolwork before my blogging for FOUR (4) WHOLE DAYS! (OMG IT WAS SO HARD TO DO! Blogging is such a drug.) I totally deserve a self indulgent post.

Inserting a cut here for your scrolling ease (sorry feedreader people) (more…)


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