Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creep. (Revised for Subtly)

I promise, I swear, I am not gazing at Drama Mamas' site to get ideas. This happened to Miss Ceniza in LFR a few days before this, and their, post: (And yes, I redacted more than I can share.)

Oh, Sir Night Elf...!

Steering away, backing away slowly...

What cracks me up about this, in all the subtext of the world, business as usual--most folks just want to play
Writer's Note: good friend didn't quite get the scene here, so let me spell it out: Sir Night Elf male dried Ceniza's tears after she didn't win something. Then, proceeded to hug her, kiss her, and dance with her, and hey, no one else is here! He made some salacious offers. Like the Night Elf male who made a DK on my server and offered me free lap rides, for free! Talk about a new portal opening! Ohhh boy! But both times with a "no thank you sir" each player went on his way, and didn't continue to track my draeneis down.

I don't know, ladies and gentlemen. I just don't know. This post could practically write itself, but dammit, it won't.

The Drama Mamas column is one of my favorites. Those two ladies make excellent points, and truly get at the heart of the emotional/social aspect of WoW, and I imagine much of their advice holds true to many MMOs. Heck, really--most of their advice applies to not only social media but social interactions in general. The few females player friends I have have all remarked on the one or two players who sometimes push things a bit far. And this encounter above is at least the second or third time a player, and yes, both times a Night Elf male, has flirted after a dungeon/raid. Ceniza started to cry after losing a most-desired something in LFR, and there, like a goody-basket-sniffing-wolf, this player was there to dry her tears. How gallant, how chivalrous! And this may sound hypocritical, but it is true: everyone likes attention on some form of the social spectrum: hermits make friends with the neighborhood squirrels and mutter incoherently about government plots to the extreme of the multitudes of Facebook 'friends' and sharing every time one has a bowel movement. Now women do appreciate a little attention, too, but on our terms. When another player is (sexually) aggressive, it is not about sex anymore, it is a power issue. And it's damn creepy.

But my digital natives, please, do not think for one moment you invented this. My burning question is, "How do we change it?"

Some examples that come to mind was I heard a comedian once (wish I could remember) who posed the question that when a girl walks by a construction site and the gents whistle, what do they really expect her to do? Stop and say, "Gee fellows, that whistle and cat-calls are so romantic! Sure! Here's my number - for you, and you, and you, over there with the butt-crack showing, definitely you! Errr-wrawr!" I think if the Violet Bick character in It's A Wonderful Life and the old movie Some Like It Hot. Jack Lemmon actually gets upset when people think Tony Curtis in drag is cuter than he is. But on the dark side, there have always been implied date rape, too, such as "Miss Lonely Hearts" in Rear Window.

My point is, this is nothing new. Innocent flirtations are fun. That's the truth. But...


How does one tell someone they have gone into the creep zone? And, how does one NOT veer off in that direction?

Well, it's a scale of neediness to psychopath, I guess. Please, young men, and young women, please learn some social skills. Take a dance class. Get out. Go for a hike. Join a club. Talk to people face to face. Yes, there will be rejections. Yes, as my dad says, even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while. That is advice for the shy ones. I know it's tough to do, I really do. 

Now for you psychos out there: I am not sure if there are more of you because of the Internet or in spite of it. I mean, you were always out there, but the Internet made it easier for you to prey. But the Internet also makes it easier to expose you, too. Can anyone say, "double-edged sword?" If you take it too far, consider that the big companies like Blizzard are not going to want to get sued (we are a litigious bunch once in a while) when someone is harassed or hurt, or worse, because once reported no one did a damn thing. The Internet brings out the creeps, for sure, but it also brings out the good guys, too.

There is a distinct difference between unrequited love and being a stalker. I do not believe this is a generational thing, so I am not going to wag my finger and say tut-tut, you digital natives! Look how bad you are! No--this has nothing to do with age. In fact, the creeps don't care if you're married, or "ugly," or old, or young. They don't care. Remember, it is not about you. It is about power and control. There is no repsect to one's marital status or elder wisdom. 

Here it goes:
Signs you might be crossing a line:
  • Repeatedly ask someone if you upset them
  • Find yourself flying around a city looking for them when you're not in a party
  • Ask them what they are doing and then ignore what they just told you (maybe we need a DBM for "solo play time")
I myself have a tough time - I want to say howdy to friends, and sometimes I want to talk, but sometimes I don't know if they're in the mood or not. I can be so damn chatty, and am still trying to navigate the social cues in Azeroth. Some things get misunderstood in typed text. Heck? Some things?! A lot of things. I guess it's like when you go knock on a neighbor kid's house to ask them to play and they say they need to finish his/her broccoli first, or already have a friend over, it's no a big deal: catch ya on the flipside. No harm, no foul. Those are the best kinds of relationships, virtual or no.

And the thing is, I have very nice, well-mannered friends, so unless they are direct sometimes I don't pick up on it. I have fallen in a fairly comfortable rhythm, however, of understanding what they need, when, and try to be sensitive to them. But again, there is a huge difference between sensitivity and manners and then when trying to recluse oneself finding entangling roots holding you down. 

What I am asking my readers is this: do you have any other bullet-point suggestions? I think this issue needs to get out there, stat. 

Postscript: This does not appy to RP dialogue, but if anyone can help navigate MMO social cues, I'd wager it's the RP'ers.

There was no other choice: 
Amanda Palmer/Creep cover  (see the comment about how she sounds like a broken vampire - ahhhh)


  1. I actually like to say, often, "Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while"

    It must be wisdom. Yep, thats it.

    1. WIse men indeed, Sir Bear! You are in good company.

  2. Oh dear. I think I might be a stalker.

  3. Navi! You are not a stalker, you are a treat! But some denizens of Azeroth are just a little scary. But still Matty, lap dances for free, I don't know!

    1. That was a pretty good offer, wasn't it? Maybe I should not have been so quick...nevermind...

  4. :D I like the edit!

  5. Anonymous11.4.12

    If you're ever curious as to whether or not you're being creepy, just go to a gay book store in the Castro and wait for someone to try the move out on you.

    1. Sigh.

      The Gold Standard of Creep Factor? Can't I just go to the Golden Gate Bridge, and see seals and sh*t?


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