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News & Features Discussion  » General: MMO Underbelly: Progress In Open Chat?

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166 posts found
  delateur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 157

7/03/09 9:15:30 PM#21

I'm surprised that someone who writes for a living managed to lose the point of such sayings. You DID quote it, but perhaps didn't understand. At BEST it reflects the RESULT of a sick, bigoted culture. Your flippant use of the phrase "throws like a girl" does not immediately indicate you are a bigot or that you toss the N word out haphazardly. What it DOES indicate is that you have become culturally numb to the fact that phrase you are using to insult some guy, or have a laugh at his expense, involves the female gender to give it its punchline. Yes, women probably, on average, tend to throw worse than men. Okay? So what? That somehow gives you license to use an above average statistic to belittle a man and those innocent, genetically normal women who weren't physically blessed with a good throwing arm, as well? Psh... okay... I hope you're a better writer than you are a rationalizer.

  User Deleted
7/03/09 9:24:32 PM#22

Delatur, so you are saying that you've actually met a woman other than the author of the article who has found the phrase "throws like a girl" offensive?

  Krifix

Novice Member

Joined: 6/05/09
Posts: 2

7/03/09 9:46:09 PM#23

lol I think I just saw a pig fly or was that the lure on the end of your line!

Thank you for this article. It's nice to know there are people out there with enough wisdom to understand that what they say can have an impact on others.

To the rest of you, stay ignorant, avoid complication and above all remember; your opinion is the only one that matters.
 

  Senadina

Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 882

7/03/09 9:48:02 PM#24

Great article Sanya. But you  really should have expected this sort of response from what I assume are predominately straight, white, males. Having never been disenfranchised, they have no understanding of how derogatory words belittle and disempower others. It is a way to keep the minorities " in their place". But they will never see it this way. They will claim freedom of speech, not seeing that just because you CAN say something,  doesn't mean you SHOULD say it. Words are communication, especially in the absence of visual cues.  A little sensitivty to others'  feelings won't hurt you.

I have to say, you have all proven Sanya's conclusiont that her recent experience was the exception, not the rule.

  jcries

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/08
Posts: 26

"An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind."
-Gandhi

7/03/09 10:35:55 PM#25
Originally posted by Senadina

Having never been disenfranchised, they have no understanding of how derogatory words belittle and disempower others. It is a way to keep the minorities " in their place".

 

Word. There is for sure lack of empathy from their side.

Long Story

  mOoK

Novice Member

Joined: 9/04/03
Posts: 26

7/03/09 11:15:13 PM#26

In language, context is everything.  

However, if you are white and live in a western society, you have always had the choice of which context you wish to be viewed in.

Set aside that you and your social circle are not affected by bogotry or racism.  Set aside that you have multi racial friends and family.  It doesn't matter.

If you are white, chances are you never realize the leg up that you have simply by walking into a job interview and being a certain color.  It doesn't matter that lived in a 20' foot trailer with my partents for years under the poverty line.  I still had it easy in comparison simply because I am caucasion in the USA.

As such I will only have a glimpse of the deep seated, unconcious racism that permiates even the most forward thinking of western society's institutions, let alone the blantant overt bigotry that is alive and well, but moved to the anonymous internet.

So context being everything, if you are white, remember you have had the choice all along.  The context of these words is forced upon others, regardless of what you mean by them.

  delateur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 157

7/03/09 11:18:11 PM#27


Originally posted by LynxJSA
Delatur, so you are saying that you've actually met a woman other than the author of the article who has found the phrase "throws like a girl" offensive?

Having known quite a few women over the years, yes, I've met a few who at least raise an eyebrow at phrases like that. I did live through the feminist movement, after all. :) And offensive might be a tad strong. Insensitive might be a better word. But let's not get hung up on one phrase, Lynx. The crux of the argument here is how we, as a species, can treat each other better if we just stop for a moment and think about where our words come from. As I've said before, intent is certainly important, but perception is at least equally important. We cannot consider ourselves worldly, or even cultured, unless we grasp that.

  Warsong

Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/05
Posts: 581

www.piratelords.com

"To err is to
invite
retribution"

7/03/09 11:38:54 PM#28

I have feelings but I feel no reason to wear them on my sleeve. And this doens't mean I haven't before but with age and intelligence comes wisdom and maturity...some people move at different paces I suppose. But having less freedoms in this context usually a result of more and more people finding more and more things offensive and then they want everyone else to wear their each and every individuals feelings on their sleeves as well.

I think having a simple /ignore is enough to quell the ail (for most people sound of mind that is)...there really isn't a need to have a coded multivortexed chat system that can read peoples minds and zap them before they type something or w/e.
If someone says something you don't like or find offensive...step 1 is “/ignore”...step 2 is “get over it”...step 3 is “move on to something more important rather than wallowing in a state of con-tempt over mere words”

  User Deleted
7/04/09 12:48:44 AM#29

Easily one of the most memorable days of my MMO gaming was the day I realized I could disable zone chat.  The relief from the tension alone would have been worth it, but to my surprise the immersion of the game environment increased substantially.  Done and done, it's off for good.

Guild chat = tastes great, less filling

Ken

 

  User Deleted
7/04/09 12:52:33 AM#30
Originally posted by jcries
Originally posted by Senadina

Having never been disenfranchised, they have no understanding of how derogatory words belittle and disempower others. It is a way to keep the minorities " in their place".

 

Word. There is for sure lack of empathy from their side.


 

 

I don't think this is the type of debate I would want to start on a gaming forum.  We can start talking about all the special rights and protections people get... and which paticular group gets none of those... but this isn't the place for it.

 

As to the article...

 

General chat is probably the first thing most people shut off.  Or use as a tool to ignore as many idiots as possible quickly.

 

Companies don't enforce community guide lines because of the money they lose.  Someone who worked for Mythic should know all about "we'll investage the player and take appropraite action" really means "have a nice day, but we aren't doing anything about it."

 

So what we need are better tools.... like the abilitty to ignore an entire account.  So that 15,000 level 1 alts on it are automaticly ignored.

 

The ability for that same ignore list to be accessed by all of our characters etc

 

The only bad part of general chat is that new people can't get help... they are either lost in the drool spam or never seen because of the volume of people who have left the channel.

  Rath444

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/09
Posts: 35

7/04/09 1:07:17 AM#31

I agree that certain groups in society may be a bit too sensitive to occasional careless language and would do well to just take the high road.  But one still must acknowledge the fact  that  words like these are, in absolute fact, rooted in hatred.  You can place them in any light-hearted context you like, but the histories behind these words are inheritably malicious.

Perhaps people do feel in an anonymous outlet like an MMO that this is simply slang.   These people go about peppering their guild chats and trade channels with a liberal dosage of derogatory euphemisms.  I have read a few people, in defending the use of such language,  use such phrases as "in the real world" and "it's perfectly acceptable."   They are, of course, speaking from their own perspective as if it were universally commonplace.  This seems to be a character trait many younger people share.

Let's look at this from another perspective.  Can you imagine working next to the person who says "this job is gay" or perhaps spouts off the "N" word at his place of employment as freely and confidently as he would in his favorite virtual town?   In using this language you are setting yourself up to be perceived very poorly by a large number of people.  Some of which may sign your "perfectably acceptable" and "real world"  paycheck. 

The author mentions that "words have value."   The language one uses greatly reflects on the character of the person. 

My apoligies Antarious for derailing your efforts to pull this meandering topic back on track.

~R~

 

 


 

  Auton

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 50

7/04/09 2:05:28 AM#32

I have a question for all those of you who defend the use of the word 'gay' as a pejorative (that means 'bad word'). Have you ever had a political movement, or several, focused on removing rights from you because of something you have no power to change, nor would want to change because it is a bedrock of your personality and identity? I'm guessing no. Black people have had this (c.f. slavery, Jim Crow laws, Ku Klux Clan). LGBT people still do (c.f. Proposition 8 in California, Fred Phelps and associates, etc.).

When was the last time someone tried to push you off your big pile of privilege? An Englishman in Wales will be looked askance at, but he can leave Wales. A white man in a black neighborhood may not feel safe - but a black man will find that most of the US is a 'white neighborhood'. Discrimination remains rife, and treating it like it doesn't exist is not only not the solution, it's part of the problem.

Bigotry comes in a sliding scale. It's not a binary thing, where either you're a bigot or you're not. Hell, I have my own bigotries, which I will freely admit is a bad thing. There's no difference in kind between someone who says "you throw like a girl" and a member of the Ku Klux Klan - only one in scale and direction. It's simply a question of how much energy you put into denigrating other human beings.

  Nibs

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/26/04
Posts: 195

7/04/09 2:26:24 AM#33

Firstly, let me congratulate you on correctly saying 'because he couldn’t care less'. So many of your countrymen can't seem to get the grammar of that simple statement correct.

Now, for the people arguing that definitions and acceptable usage of words change over time: Yes, the do. However these new uses and definitions are always fought against and argued against. It's the nature of evolution. Generation Y wants 'gay' to mean 'lame' but generation X find it offensive. The 2 generations argue and one of them win. Probably generation Y. By the time generation Z comes along generation X will be dieing and therefore unable to argue their case.

The main objection to 'gay' meaning 'lame' is that it implies that being 'gay', meaning homosexual, is a bad thing. The same evolution of language happened with 'lame'. It used to mean:

'Lame \Lame\, a. [Compar. Lamer; superl. Lamest.]

[OE. lame, AS. lama; akin to D. lam, G. lahm,OHG., Dan., & Sw. lam, Icel. lami, Russ. lomate to break, lomota rheumatism.]

1.
(a) Moving with pain or difficulty on account of injury, defect, or temporary obstruction of a function; as, a lame leg, arm, or muscle.
(b) To some degree disabled by reason of the imperfect action of a limb; crippled; as, a lame man. ``Lame of one leg.'' --Arbuthnot. ``Lame in both his feet.'' --2 Sam. ix. 13. ``He fell, and became lame.'' --2 Sam. iv. 4.'

Now it also means 'not good'

Language has always evolved. People have always fought against it. Life goes on.

  Auton

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 50

7/04/09 2:34:30 AM#34
Originally posted by Nibs
[... stuff about 'lame'...]

This is incidentally pretty denigrating of disabled people. Who, again, have more than enough problems already. Do you mean to argue that because Generation Y is too stupid to realize that using certain words is hurtful, that makes it okay? Or do you just mean to say that people who are different from you have no feelings and should be disregarded as thinking humans?

This thread is indicative of some serious problems in youth culture. Pretty much all youth culture, too, except for a few isolated enclaves. Youth must be taught the consequences of their actions, and apparently, noone has bothered to teach that the consequences of casual bigotry are, well, problematic at best.

And what's wrong with non-derogatory pejoratives? Can't we find ways to say something is bad without also saying that some of our fellow humans are?

  AureliusLH

Novice Member

Joined: 4/13/04
Posts: 24

7/04/09 3:18:56 AM#35

Mindless or unthinking bigotry in phrases often comes from mindless or unthinking people, and although it's sensible to try explain to them the offense they are causing, you need to be aware you may well be unable to get through to them - but that does not make the effort worthless. If they insult or upset other players then the people running the game are absolutely right to act to prevent it happening - if something offends though, I always prefer first trying to explain what the offense was, before shouting for the cops to lock up the 'offender'. You might be able to get them to realise what they did and change their behaviour, which is surely a far better result than getting them a ban from an online game. Shout for the cops after you know persuasion won't work, not as the first reponse based on your own assumptions that you can't ever argue with 'people like that' - which is also, in the proper sense, prejudice.

Whist I'd be pretty upset at most of the examples of word usage that have been mentioned so far in this thread though, and all appear worth pursuing and arguing against, I'm concerned that there appears to be a growing belief that any of us have a 'right' NOT to be offended by what others say or think, which I'm not convinced is true at all. Also, remember that being offended on behalf of other people can sometimes of itself be patronising.

A better world would in part consist of one where people at least thought before speaking, or typing. Work towards it yourself, encourage it in others, but don't hold your breath waiting for it.

  Storme

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 6

7/04/09 4:22:37 AM#36

Your columns are the highlight on MMORPG.com Sanya.

I love reading them! Keep it up!

  User Deleted
7/04/09 4:46:31 AM#37
Originally posted by Senadina

Great article Sanya. But you  really should have expected this sort of response from what I assume are predominately straight, white, males. Having never been disenfranchised, they have no understanding of how derogatory words belittle and disempower others. It is a way to keep the minorities " in their place". But they will never see it this way. They will claim freedom of speech, not seeing that just because you CAN say something,  doesn't mean you SHOULD say it. Words are communication, especially in the absence of visual cues.  A little sensitivty to others'  feelings won't hurt you.

I have to say, you have all proven Sanya's conclusiont that her recent experience was the exception, not the rule.


 

And people who overgeneralize an entire ethnic group aren't "racist"? Because that's what you just did. Maybe I should be offended. Unfortunately, I'm laughing too much at your ignorance to be offended.

Let me explain something to you as a "straight white male". First off, there is no "white" male anymore. I'm willing to bet the "black", "brown", "yellow", and "red" male don't really exist as a "race" anymore either. You go through anyone's family tree in the 21st century and you will find the intermixing of different racial  bloodlines. The only "race" that means, or should mean, anything anymore is the "human race".

So don't try to perpetrate how "the straight white male" is somehow automatically "insensitive" because we haven't been "disenfranchised". If you really want to go there, perhaps I was "disenfranchised" when I had to pay my own way through college while other "races" were given scholoarships BECAUSE of their race ( United Negro College Fund, NAACP, etc. ).

Yet I don't blame someone of that particular racial background for using those scholarships, anymore than I blame someone being given a job because of their racial background through "affirmative action". I blame the government, and people like yourself, who continue to divide the races while proclaiming the opposite. If idiots would stop looking for "racial" bullshit in every sentence and every eye movement and every hairstyle, stop using race as a "handicap" and an excuse for why they don't have what the other guy has, maybe we COULD all just get along.

 

  Auton

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 50

7/04/09 5:33:26 AM#38
Originally posted by Zorvan

And people who overgeneralize an entire ethnic group aren't "racist"? Because that's what you just did. Maybe I should be offended. Unfortunately, I'm laughing too much at your ignorance to be offended.

Let me explain something to you as a "straight white male". First off, there is no "white" male anymore. I'm willing to bet the "black", "brown", "yellow", and "red" male don't really exist as a "race" anymore either. You go through anyone's family tree in the 21st century and you will find the intermixing of different racial  bloodlines. The only "race" that means, or should mean, anything anymore is the "human race".

So don't try to perpetrate how "the straight white male" is somehow automatically "insensitive" because we haven't been "disenfranchised". If you really want to go there, perhaps I was "disenfranchised" when I had to pay my own way through college while other "races" were given scholoarships BECAUSE of their race ( United Negro College Fund, NAACP, etc. ).

Yet I don't blame someone of that particular racial background for using those scholarships, anymore than I blame someone being given a job because of their racial background through "affirmative action". I blame the government, and people like yourself, who continue to divide the races while proclaiming the opposite. If idiots would stop looking for "racial" bullshit in every sentence and every eye movement and every hairstyle, stop using race as a "handicap" and an excuse for why they don't have what the other guy has, maybe we COULD all just get along. 

 

I refer you to my question above. You're one of the people I'd like to see answer that.

About race: It was a ficticious concept to begin with, even when it was invented in the 16th century to justify genocide and slavery. The concept today exists as a cultural label attached to certian genetic phenotypes within the human species - and in the minds of bigots who still use it to justify the unjustifiable.

When you can be certain that no person is ever discriminated against due to skin color, sexual orientation, gender (or even being transgendered), then you can call the various affirmative action systems unfair. Until then, you as a white, straight male, are sitting on a huge pile of privilege that makes a dragon's hoard look like pocket change. And yes, if you don't realize that you are sitting on that pile of privilege and looking down at everyone who does not, then you are insensitive. It has bupkis to do with being white, or straight, or male. It has everything to do with the side effects of having those traits, namely that you will never find yourself being inescapably persecuted or discriminated against - and Englishman can leave Wales. A white man can leave a black neighborhood. A black man cannot stop being black. A gay man cannot stop being gay. So stop acting like they can.

  therez0

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/08
Posts: 382

7/04/09 5:50:35 AM#39
Originally posted by Antarious

...

Companies don't enforce community guide lines because of the money they lose.  Someone who worked for Mythic should know all about "we'll investage the player and take appropraite action" really means "have a nice day, but we aren't doing anything about it."

 

So what we need are better tools.... like the abilitty to ignore an entire account.  So that 15,000 level 1 alts on it are automaticly ignored.

 

The ability for that same ignore list to be accessed by all of our characters etc

 

The only bad part of general chat is that new people can't get help... they are either lost in the drool spam or never seen because of the volume of people who have left the channel.

 

One of the reasons that I continue to play Guild Wars, is because the opposite of this is true.  Once you pay the box price, Arena Net stops earning money from you (sure, they hope that you will buy add-ons for your account, but there is no guarantee) ; so they don't have to worry about losing monthly subs when they kick people for being foul-mouthed bigots.  And, actually, they may even earn more money by kicking said bigot's account--some of these players are stupid enough to buy a second account in a feeble attempt to 'get revenge' for the first account getting banned.

As for the tools that you mentioned, they already exist in GW.  when you ignore a player, it ignores all characters on the account.  Your ignore list (and your friends list) is tied to your account.

So, in general, GW maintains a fairly positive and mature general chat.  New players are frequently able to get reliable help (if you are in a populated district that is), and conversations hover around the range of 18-21y/o maturity level.

 

To get back to Sanya's main topic, and once again, another great article here Sanya.

Most of the situations you explained there are the norm for the majority of Guild Wars.  (At this point some of you may be thinking that this is shameless plug for GW, but honestly these are my experiences with the game)  When someone makes a stray comment like the 'Nvidia's gay' comment, people in GW are usually quick to respond about how the comment was insensitive, maybe make a joke about it, and then move on. Sure there may be a stray 'Your Mom's Gay' or something similar, but those people are usually put on ignore quickly.  And if people are being rude and abusive after being rebuked in general chat, then they get reported.  Most first offenders get a 2-3 day ban, repeat offenders get longer bans, and the most serious cases have their account revoked and their IP banned (but only after investigation by several devs; and even then, there is an appeals process).

For bugs, since in GW you don't pay a monthly fee, most people don't expect to get rewarded, or have their items restored when a bug is reported.  One might think that this would drive people to report less bugs, but the opposite happened.  Enough bugs were getting reported with high frequency through the support ticket system, that they opened an official wiki with a section for bug reporting, so repeat bug reports wouldn't clog the CS.  But, as an added bonus, even though the devs are not obligated to the players through monthly fee, items lost to bugs (which happens so infrequently, you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning) are usually restored.

As far as CS presence in GW, it happens so often that the CS/devs are not referred to by character name, but by their first names instead (although for some of the devs, this isn't fair since they used their real name as their character name).  Even though most of the Arena Net development team has stopped working on GW in favor of working on GW2, many of the devs spend time in game just to hang out and earn titles like the rest of us lowly players.

Now for the disillusionment.  The 'warm fuzzy internet' portion of GW as described above, is limited only to PvE areas.  Once a player decides to hop out of the PvE line, and set foot into the PvP portions of the game, it becomes a ruthless, gutter mouthed, solo-swagger, "join my guild or we will rape you.” game.  Basically the only way to learn PvP in GW is to make friends with a PvX player in some late-game dungeon, or just stick it out in the Random Arena until someone notices you.  And speaking of the random arena, the maturity level drops from that 18-21y/o level, down to "8y/o read the bathroom stall, and is now repeating only the swear words"

*prepares self to be called a GW fanboi*

 

Edit: I make it sound like there are a lot of bugs in GW, but there are relatively few nowadays.  The most serious bugs recently are tied to the monthly skill-balance changes.  When the skill balances occur, the changes to the skills sometimes breaks AI behaviour, or makes some areas of PvE unplayable becuase the AI is now godly due to skill changes intended for PvP.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6597

7/04/09 6:58:03 AM#40

Yeah, general chat can be highly amusing.  It is interesting how certain words or phrases can touch players hot buttons.

The ones that crack me up is the guys professing love for a female avatar, when more chance than not the avatar has a male player behind it.

When I was a counselor in UO we had a guild that required it 's members to use a phrase that had the word rape in it when they killed someone.  They were advised to change it  and refused.  The entire guild accounts were then banned across the 3 servers they operated on.  That was a big splash as there were some prominent accounts in it.

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