I'm really sick of the negativity. It's out of control and entirely unjustified. Also useless.
No I don't mean the bashing of this or that MMO or the usual sky is falling negativity. I'm referring instead to those who somehow got the absurd idea that performance in a video game is anything close to a useful measure of worth as a human being. Let's have a sanity check here. Let's all slow down a bit and think this over. There are people who think less of others because of how they play a game. And I don't mean less of others in terms like "what a noob" or "he is so full of fail", I mean people pulling out stupid, idiot, moron, lazy, and so on. Labels which they use with no moderating bits such as "stupid at games" or "lazy at grinding rep". No, just plain, unqualified stupid, lazy, worthless, and so on.
WoW is very important to me. I hate it when people disparage WoW or gaming in general with "it's just a game" or fail to respect it, or at least tolerate it, as would any mainstream hobby such as watching football or going to bars to talk to drunk bimbos and assholes. I suppose I was a bit hypocritical right there. My point is this: I think highly of WoW and gaming, so keep that in mind when I say this: World of Warcraft is a game.
It is not a career, a job, or even a weekend chore. It is not an intelligence test; it's not even one of those quizzes on Facebook. It's a game.
It's also a world or toy or epeen competition, but the central theme of it is play and entertainment. A game. Imagine it as a ball. One person sits on it, another bounces it off a wall, another plays catch with a friend, another uses it for physics experiments. None of them are doing it wrong.
I'm guilty of it too. I've thought, even said, that someone was stupid based on what I saw in the narrow context of a random, trivial location in a game. I try to avoid broadcasting that to the world and pretending that it is somehow useful data. I try to avoid claims such as "60% of all players are stupid" or "95% of all players suck at their class". The second one wouldn't even be so bad, since while entirely made up, it's at least not a blanket generalization of a person.
The other day I ran into an incredibly bad hunter. His gems were bad, he was bad at pulling, he was bad at controlling his pet, he was bad at picking targets. Was he stupid? Maybe, maybe not. The most negative label I could reasonably apply given the information I had was that he didn't care much about his performance as a hunter. That's all.
All the elitism doesn't even help. It just makes terrible players see a bandwagon to jump on. They can grab their cookie cutters and out of context spreadsheets and go to town, certain that they are in the elite group, because they're acting just like the elitists. They are in a cozy bubble of elitism. That bubble prevents introspection, since once you're elitist, you're at the top and don't need to get any better (at least that's how an elitist sees it). To reinforce the bubble they get whatever they can: gearscore, DPS meters, gold, spelling, anything to make it clear that they are in the elite us while the other is in the worthless them. They create their imaginary enemies.
I'd call the elitists stupid for all their negativity, but all I have to go off is their constant stream of elitism.
P.S. This post is so late because I screwed up the scheduling and had it going up tomorrow. Oops.
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