Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monkey see, monkey you are a jerk

Well, crud.

Sitting here enjoying a nice afternoon of ibuprofen-relaxed profession leveling on Momokawa and Zeptepi (damn, that enchanting stuff is pricey!) and I read this stream in trade-chat that is like witnessing a gang beating up a kid in an alley. Did I stop them? Did I say anything? No, I chickened out.

Basically, what you don't read before this is the citizens of Whisperwind deciding Nenrock is gay, and 12, and then subsequently harassing him to leave the server. Nothing I read by Nenrock suggested any reason for this harassment, no trolling or provocation. And even if he was, no need to blame the victim/target--he was just bullied, plain and simple. His spelling was perfect, by the way, suggesting that he is not 12. As to his sexual orientation, that is his business, just as mine is mine and yours is yours. The language of bullying is clearly demarcated: we call each other the names that we feel we are most vulnerable with, things at our very core we cannot change: the color of our skins, our sexual orientation, our cultures, our parents, and our gender.

I hate it.

Now this screenshot is out of context. I have no idea if "Kylerie" was secretly whispering Nenrock with nice words, or if it was a usual trade-chat hoax. I hesitate to even put this here because if they are innocent of harassment, then they should be left alone, too. But I decided to put it for maybe some greater good, a message to myself, that if I do see trade-chat bullying, to maybe step in when I need to. I have whispered players in the past to see if they are okay, or to give them clear information, and it's either met with a "thanks, I know, just kidding around" or a "thanks."

Radiolab: Lucy

Social Media Chimps:

Speaking with an adolescent authority on this issue this afternoon, because the younger generation is clearly ensconced in a code or diatribe we digital pioneers still do not grasp, or want to, he reminded me that in evolutionary protocols there is much "bullying" in chimpanzee communities as part of a strengthening of the tribe. Okay. I get that. But at what point do we humans stop de-evolving and step up our game a bit? At what point do we embrace the extra-ordinary, the outsider? Maybe we all swing from the "not in my backyard" to the "welcome wagon" syndrome every day. For every trolling incident or harassment, there is a balance of "LFM" or guild recruitment ads that encourage all levels of players.

I guess I would like us all to be a little less Lord of the Flies and a bit more open to the quirkiness. I just want to scream from the cathedral tops and the heaps of pixelized ruins, YOU ARE ALL QUIRKY SH*T-HEADS PRETENDING TO BE ELVES AND ORCS! GET OVER YOURSELVES!

But alas, I fear no one would hear me. And then they would just start throwing poo.


  1. Anonymous28.6.12

    Firstly, you said poo at the end, is this a carry over from the comments on your last post?

    But to the seriousness of cyber bullying. I have and will continue to report players for just such trash. Picking on someone in a playground is one thing, but this cyber bullying is just a young terrorist rehearsing for a greater evil in real life. Blizzard needs to monitor trade chat more frequently and prevent this sort of stuff from occurring. Having been a victim of schoolyard bullying (and nearly doing something my family would regret) I hate the fact that these bullies use the anomymity of a game to perform the selfless acts. I would like to see Blizzard enact a policy of 1 strike suspended for 6 months, 2 strikes your out for good. I was lucky to join the Defence Force when I did, as this taught me how to deal with such foolishness. This is something all good people should patrol and report, just to stamp out the crap from a game I enjoy.


  2. I love toilet humor, too.

    Ayelena, make no mistake--this is a serious issue, and this generation's never-ending, 24/7 virtual "playground" is, in my real life, something I plan on doing something about, and trying to influence positive change, because...well, I can. I do report what I can, and am planning on doing more. Having said that, I don't want to seem craven--my plan is to try to help stop this at its roots. I am glad you heard me, and then we maybe make some real change happen.

    It is our duty.

    (Hey, I said DOODY! :)

  3. You guys and your toilet humour. Worse than me. And that means it must be bad.
    I hate cyber bullying. I intervene during abusive BGs and LFRs. I don't like trade chat bullies and I often whisper the poor victim and tell them nice things, or try to help them if they've asked something simple and gotten yelled at for being a noob and being a child or wanker. I don't know if I want to scream from the rooftops to tell people to stop being asshats, because I don't like confrontations, but I will try to make the poor victims feel like they're not alone.

    1. It just seemes incredulous to me that the bullies can't see that they themselves are just like everybody else -- so -- what do I do? I whisper, too, and hey-- I have a blog! This is my rooftop, I guess.

  4. It puzzles me as like you the few times I've seen it and whispered the target they are either offended or say they're all kidding around. This is kidding? Are they real life friends and this is amusing somehow?

    Okay, now to the links, saved them for last this time.

    1. This is very typical behavior for the target of bullying--to admit to needing help is to admit to more weakness in our simean tribes. All we can do I guess is hope they still get the positive message--damn frustrating.

  5. Anonymous28.6.12

    I admit I don't always read the chat, usu because I'm busy doing things with my bags, bank, AH or MogIt so I can't see anything else on the screen. I do agree with you though, a lot of it is uncalled for and it sometimes just takes one to make a difference.

    "I just want to scream from the cathedral tops and the heaps of pixelized ruins"

    This reminds me of when I was in primary school, I used to stand at the top of our veranda and sing "The hills are alive" to the neighbourhood (we were doing The Sound of Music' for our end of year musical). No-one every came out of their houses or were walking past at the time. Maybe I just wasn't as loud as I thought...

    1. The image of little Cymre singing her heart out, even if the audience was less than forthcoming, is so endearing--we all need to keep singing our hearts out!

  6. Anonymous28.6.12

    When this happens, and you can't bring yourself to take on the bullies (for whatever reason, and that is suffice enough), then come to the aid of the victim. Just whisper them and be a point of comfort so they know not everyone is against them. It's cliched, but just the "ignore those guys" advice and some idle chat can go miles towards being a break of sunlight amidst the grey clouds.

    And yes, report every last bastard doing it.

  7. I wholly agree that Blizzard should be more pro-active with trade chat, it's language and bullying. But alas, they can only do so much. In their stead, we must do what we can to lighten the trash load within our own server communities where we are able to. Hopefully, Blizzard would see this and augment what they've already begun with firmer actions.

    1. I think it is going to have to be the one-two smackdown of real players controlling our own communities more, and then having serious consequences by the big dog Blizz. Ultimately, though, I think we need to change the culture of the victim's worlds - raise resilient, confident souls that feel welcome and loved. But that was always the case. And when parents have had computers do the child-rearing, and yes, I'm talking on up to 20-somethings, we are now paying the devil his due. My stance is to try to use my powers for good, not evil, and create awareness among these so-called digital natives not to put each other's heads on pixelated pikes and try to control the conch shell.

      I worry about too much control-- I think of countries who ban use of certain words in Twitter they find offensive, and even the States with their ridiculous right-wing view on women's health issues. It spirals out of control. Freedom, personal freedoms, come at personal, individual levels of responsibility, and this responsibility and empathy begins at home.

      And what's sad is...their parents are often bullying each other on Facebook, etc. too.

      We may just have to do the toughest thing, and that is regulate ourselves.


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