Is *insert name here* Evil? No, Just Stupid.

So there’s this story in EVE Online about a guy who said stupid things while drunk under the influence of his own ideas and a crowd that tends to support his viewpoints.

If you’re wondering who I’m referring to, I’m talking about Tobold at the moment.

Nope, not that Mittani fellow. Tobold.

The basis for his consternation lies in the events of Mittanigate, wherein a CSM player (and Council of Stellar Management) chairman named The Mittani seemingly encouraged other people into goading someone to commit suicide.

The fallout of this event was The Mittani (Alexander Gianturco)’s resignation from the CSM, the revocation of his CSM position in its entirety and a 30-day banning for The Mittani’s account (not sure if this still holds) a day later, a boatload of people going nuts everywhere regarding bullying and other issues in relation to this particular event, The Mittani (both character and person) refocusing his efforts on pretty much creating havoc across New Eden, and Tobold saying stuff again.

Now, I read Tobold’s writings, and I can see where he’s coming from, but sometimes, I think he’s preachier than I am, without trying to see what everyone’s viewpoint is on a particular issue.

I asked Syncaine to help me get more insight into everything by providing me with clarifications regarding what happened, minus his personal commentary. From what he’s told me, and from videos I’ve seen and posts I’ve read, all that’s happened is that a drunk guy (The Mittani) decided to be a complete tool and tried to get other people to be a dick to someone. The other guy didn’t quite care, and according to Syncaine, said recipient of the bullying in this case was even joking that maybe he should kill himself to get Mittani in trouble.

Dissecting the scenario, all I can see are the following:

1. The Mittani decides to be drunk and stupid.

2. People in the EVE community decide to act stupid as well.

3. Outrage spreads over the occurrence of stupidity.

4. Recipient of bullying doesn’t give a damn, and also says something stupid that makes light of suicide.

5. Reports that aren’t updated exacerbate matters.

6. Tobold says Syncaine and The Mittani are evil, which is stupid, because Syncaine is about as opinionated and well-spoken as Tobold and had his words taken out of context, and the Mittani, as we’ve discussed earlier, is stupid.

7. Errybody in the club getting tipsy stupid.

What does this lead to? Simple… People are idiots. They can be mean-spirited and follow the flow of discussion to an idiotic conclusion. Worse still, they can choose to follow an agenda of their own that misrepresents ideas to further their thoughts.

Whether that last bit refers to Gianturco’s campaign, Tobold’s writings, Syncaine’s writings, or my writings… why not just lump them all into a ball of stupid, call it a day, and focus our efforts on just being nicer people to everyone in general instead of being stupid dicks online.

That’d be the smartest outcome out all this, I’d reckon.

On Inclusion and Community Building

A little over a month ago, I put up a Devil’s Advocate column for work about the culture of inclusion versus the culture of exclusion happening in today’s game space. It was debated hotly and not received well by some members of the commenting community, though I’m at a loss to explain why as the mods had to lock comments and remove offensive posts (and I pretty much stopped reading the comments as they were getting out of hand).

For the most part, the crux of the article on allowing everyone to feel safe and unharassed in their games was met with some disapproval. Perhaps it’s my writing style, or perhaps some people simply don’t think the game space is worth a damn other than for selfish play, but I certainly don’t want to spend my time thinking about a community that doesn’t take care of its fellows.

Then I read the latest post on ArenaNet’s blog about building community, and the quoted portion below is an important excerpt of that:

Our ultimate goal is to create an environment that is respectful, welcoming, inclusive and friendly. We want to create a global community where people will feel at home, and an environment that will foster both creativity and collaboration.

The main goal is to be inclusive, not exclusive, to encourage collaboration between communities, and to generate an atmosphere that is helpful, friendly, and above all, respectful.  There is an unfortunate tendency in some online communities to encourage behavior that is detrimental to the fun of a lot of players by allowing a rather toxic and unwelcoming atmosphere. We want to set a new standard and make the Guild Wars 2 community a mature, friendly, helpful and inclusive one that is recognized throughout the industry as being so.  With that goal, we will ensure that both our game and our forums reflect our standards, and we will evaluate our support for communities based on the standards they enforce upon themselves.

Ravious of Kill Ten Rats and Regina Buenaobra of ArenaNet said it best when they said that they expect more. I’m not sure if it relates exactly to expecting more of one’s self on a personal level or as a whole among other people, but from my experience, I’d be the type to think that it starts with the self.

I have my own issues, likes, and dislikes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t expect more from myself in terms of my ability to respect and care for other people. That’s where it starts, and hopefully, it’ll move forward from there.

I think there’s this line from Kamen Rider OOO that kind of says it best. The lead character, Eijji Hino, once said something along the lines of wanting to have the power to help everyone in the world. However, he’s only human, so his philosophy is to start being good to other people within his arm’s reach. I think, with the help of the internet, my arm’s reach can extend farther than I think is possible, and that’s a good place to start being excellent to other people.

Serious Humor for Logical Extremes: The GamesRBad4U Comic Review

Around a week or so ago, I was approached by Pirrip, who helps make the weekly comic called GamesRBad4U. At first I wasn’t sure if I should take a look at it, but I decided to trust that the email was legitimate, and found myself laughing at some of the comics they had for readers.

The description of the GamesRBad4U Tumblr is as follows:

As everyone knows, not only do video games rot children’s minds, but they eventually turn all children into malicious serial killers.

This is the story of one such gamer.

As such, you can probably see that this is a pretty satirical look at the influence of video games on the young or the easily manipulated.

The comic takes a very serious approach to the situation, wherein the main character of the comics, Thomas Maximilian Jenkins, uses video game logic in real-life situations causing havoc or embarrassment to his parents and sister. The video game references aren’t subtle, but the humor lies in the lack of subtlety and the deadpan way in which Jenkins sees everything as a threat or an opportunity to be exploited.

In my opinion, there is one thing that detracts from each comic as a whole. That’s in the attempts to reinforce the humor by having a public service announcement-slash-explanation at the end of each comic. The problem with this is that I feel the comics stand on their own without the need for explanation, or if an explanation appears to be warranted, then it can be put on the post as the first comment for those who don’t get the jokes at first glance.

For the most part, I will say this: When the games I love are referenced and taken to their logical extreme (see Dead Rising and Fallout 3), the comics can be really funny.

I’d recommend this comic for folks who are tired of the anti-gaming rhetoric and want to see it turned over into something funny instead. Definitely not recommended for folks who dislike games, do not play them, or who may take this comic strip as a serious example of the degradation of the youth.

Giving New and Old Games Their Time in the Spotlight

Some time ago, I took Everquest out for a trial run, but I never really got into it because the controls felt alien to me… I mean, pressing H to hail an NPC? Typing words to talk to an imaginary being through the internet? Preposterous, right?

I’d been conditioned by the Eq2/WoW-era RPG to demand an experience that was similar to itself, to the point that I’d never really given the first Everquest a proper run-through because of its naturally different style of play.

I want to rectify that due to my current situation. Right now, there are a couple of AAA free-to-play MMORPGs I’ve not tried, and with my current need to conserve my money, it seemed like a good idea to go and revisit Everquest, especially since I actually have quite a bit of Station Cash on my account that’s doing nothing there.

At the same time, I’ve set EVE Online on an 11-day training regimen, even though I have only four days left on my sub. Whether it trains past day four is beyond me, but at least I’ll have a better inkling of what my plans are when I come back.

In addition, I want to try another genre I’ve yet to actually experience: the superhero game. I’ve downloaded DC Universe Online for a run, and I’m going to make an ice character for use.

My SC will go more to Everquest, probably, mostly because DCUO doesn’t seem to have housiing. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy Everquest and DCUO and, perhaps, even a bit of LOTRO, even without spending for anything with more money than I’ve already invested.

At the very least, some new and old games will get their time in the spotlight.

My thanks to Kaozz of ECTMMO for reminding me of the Everquest F2P transition that’s happening.