Posted tagged ‘geek kindness’

How do you react when good things happen to good people?

November 7, 2010

In my computerless state, I’ve been missing a lot of the community news, only discovering trickles of it as I desperately try to read as much of my feedreader as possible. There is one bit of story, however, I caught, at first through Larisa’s blog, then Blacksen‘s, about the famed Red Shirt Guy.

The story is very sweet and gave me the warm fuzzies: guy awkwardly points out a Cataclysm lore oversight, guy gets made fun of on YouTube, guy stands up for himself by making his own video, Blizzard honours him with an NPC, Imperative’s, a top world guild, leadership hears about him and decides to give him the raid experience of a lifetime, complete with fabulous mount Invincible.

It wasn’t the story, however, that interested me the most, it was the negative reaction of a number of people.

Is he a great hero worthy of worship? Of course not. He pointed out an in-game mistake (I know of a couple of people who would kill for that chance) and he stood up for himself. No lives were saved in the making of this e-hero.

But is he worthy of the nod given to him by Blizzard and the guys of Imperative? Absolutely.

Why is it so hard to feel happy when good things happen to good people?

As I was reading the negative comments, I got a mental image of the stereotypical old maid, at the announcement of her friends’ engagements/marriages/childbirths, can’t hide her jealous, bitterness and contempt.

This individual made a good gesture. Not so much by calling out Blizzard, in my opinion, but by standing up for himself. A reproach I often make to the gaming community is our general attitude of defeatism and victimization.

“I struggle at life because I was bullied at school.”
“I got teased because I was a gamer.”
“I get treated badly in games because I’m a woman.”

I don’t mean to take away the seriousness of these realities. Injustice hurts everyone and us geeky, occasionally socially awkward people all know Lady Injustice only too well. But why do we let ourselves suffer and keep suffering, because other people are wrong/cruel/dumbasses? It doesn’t make any sense!

Red Shirt Guy (does he have a name? I don’t like calling him Red Shirt Guy) did that thing our parents told us to do when we were kids and got bullied: he stood up for himself. Did it rid the world of jerks? No. But it caught the eye of many people who’ve been treated badly in their lives and wished they had used their voice.

What Blizzard and Imperative did then, was show what happens to people who stand up for themselves: people who stand up for themselves win respect. The respect of those who matter, Blizzard matters to a die hard WoW player, and the respect of those who have the power to do some pretty awesome things.

How can it be anything but heart warming when good things happen to good people?

To Red Shirt Guy, and to everyone who encouraged Red Shirt Guy in his stance, to the members of Imperative who contributed to what was surely a memorable night, in the name of nerds and geeks everywhere, from the bottom of this little crusader’s heart, thank you.