Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ladies and Gentlmen: Mat has something to say.

Mat struggles to watch her tone with this post: the last thing, the most road-to-Hell-damnable unintended-intention, would be to alienate, make anyone feel 'called out,' or upset anyone. In fact: she wants you to know a few things, a few positive, very positive, things. (She had originally titled it: "He's Just Not That Into You,"but that's a bit mean-spirited and worse, inaccurate.)

Bear with her, please. (Tank bear level of threat? Yes, it might require that.)

In spite of what the trolls say in Trade Chat, the sexist, racist, and nerd-rage comments, both men and women, play WoW. And: we are different. Having some experiences with the dangers of sweeping generalizations, she is cautious when it comes to putting any gender-stereotype in Box A or B. It's more complicated than that, of course. Most of us do not attend all-boys or all-girls parochial schools at any point in our lives, or even at all. We have friends, relationships, and bonds with both genders.*

Herein lie the generalities of gender differences: men tend to be very "let's get this done," and women tend toward (read: over-analyzes) of subtleties and like, to, well, talk. Mat's human has done some field work in this area, and some research. And although she doesn't completely agree with everything he says, a good resource, in case you're interested, is John Medina, author of Brain Rules. One aspect of male/female communication styles that tend to ring true is that men/boys tend to talk side by side - they do not look at one another, nor do they need to. Women/girls, on the other hand, need, perhaps crave, that eye contact; they want full-face communication (which is probably why when a man tells a woman she has 'the most beautiful eyes' it still works...). 

Mat wonders if others have experienced this: The little scrolling world of whisper chat can get a bit complicated. Nuances and shades of meaning are lost, or are misunderstood. When we see a friend pop in the world to play, naturally we want to greet them, and make them feel welcome.

And here is where things can get a bit mucky: Sometimes we're just, well, busy. We may have guild events, catching up with other friends, or sometimes we just want to be alone. Sometimes our focus shifts toward one player friend that we may need at that moment: if you think about it, even in our real world lives we have different kinds of friends for different needs. We have the "fun" friend, the trustworthy listener, the colleague, the silly friend, close and the steadfast ones. We never intend to hurt feelings or ignore those whom we've come to enjoy spending time with in Azeroth.

Mat likes to play WoW. She doesn't like to play mind games (being released by Blizzard in 2012, by the way). As her circle of friends grows, she wants them to know this: She really thinks you're wonderful. Each of you has brought a smile to her face, and some insight that she wouldn't have otherwise obtained. Her human has kept friends for life. She does this by knowing there is strength in confidence of allowing a friend to 'put you back in the box' for awhile, and come back at intervals. Maybe it's that, since we all help each other craft our character's skills, we feel a bit of ownership, a Pygmalion response. But we don't. We're friends, and that's a really good thing. It's really cool - honest. If you want to hang, great. If not, no problem. No harm, no foul. She doesn't read any more into than that.

* Duh.

Postscript: Mat had one of her friends cracking up relating the story from when her human was in high school, and decided to check out the D&D club. Now Mat's human is not unattractive. You have never seen a more confused boy in your life: he really didn't know what to make of her. Between being flushed with teenage hormones and frustration over the fact that she just COULD NOT understand the dice, they both walked away from the experience a bit bewildered.

Editor's Note: this strikes a better tone: (and for the record, Mat has a visceral dislike of Jack Johnson). 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!