I always find it funny when people say that others behave differently on the internet because I never fully agree with that sentiment. I think that people on the internet just have less of a need for self-control and the internet brings the worst out in quite a few people. I don't really consider that acting different. I think these people are being who they really are, or at least who they want to be. Showing their true colors. The internet is their escape from the societal pressure to be sane, civil, normal, whatever word you want to put on it.
The other day I was talking with a friend who is in a management position at his company. He's helped several of his friends get jobs and he's also established friends at the company in which he works. This probably sounds familiar to a lot of you. Well, despite being his friend, he's been backstabbed quite a few times by some of them. Some of them got others to bandwagon against him and the only thing that kept him afloat was the fact that there were still a few that wouldn't turn... plus he was good at his job.
This is a pretty basic scenario. One that happens a lot. Someone doesn't like you, wants your job, wants your girlfriend or boyfriend, becomes jealous of your success, or gets power hungry and becomes determined to bring your world down in whatever way possible. It's not as blatant as that, however. First, they act like your friend, they help out, and they become friends with people that are close to you. Then, they slowly get these people to turn against you. Finally, they branch off from you and take those people with them. It's very planned out, very conniving, very much a bad part of human nature.
The reason I bring this up is because I recently experienced this in an online game. I was the GM of a guild with a lot of people. There was another guild with a lot of people. Both the guilds were the top competition on our server, but some of the top players in each guild decided they were going to quit either guild and form their own... together. Now this isn't really the issue. This I don't mind. It was the lying and scheming that happened on top of it.
One of the main leaders of this "movement" lied to me saying he was going to be going to "Japan" and that once he got there he'd want to play the game with some friends. Well, little did I know at the time that Japan was a codeword for the guild they were going to go form. He wasn't actually traveling and when I let him know of this realization, he acted as if none of it were true. Once it finally happened he brought 10 more of our guildmates with him and kept trying to recruit from within my guild. This happened with the other guild as well.
I was pretty annoyed at this, not so much at the fact that they wanted to leave and form a different guild, but rather that they couldn't be honest, and then had to bring people with them. It felt more like an attempt to 1.) tear the guild apart and 2.) dominate the server. Likely because they were power hungry and bored.
I guess at this point you can say my trust was at a low and my disgust was at a high. It wasn't until the leader of the other guild (that got torn apart) agreed to a merge that together we decided we'd be able to effectively face these jerks in a guild battle and, likely, even defeat them. It was even more amazing how nicely it all came together.
Anyway, the game this happened in doesn't really matter (Wartune) because it has happened to me in many MMORPGs before (SWTOR, RIFT, UO), including the game we all play called "life." I've heard of this happening to many people, as well. It's a sad, but a very apparent part of human nature that, even in a virtual fantasy world, ends up rearing its ugly head to bite us in the gluteus maximus.
The point is: don't blame the internet for your (or your friend's) bad behavior and conniving ways. Don't think that, just because someone is nice to you, they won't screw you over like they did the rest of your friends (even if online). It speaks leagues about a person who is that way, but it speaks even more about a person who doesn't stand up against it. Don't you think?
Hillary "Pokket" Nicole
Check out more of Pokket's unique thoughts about games, gamers and gaming: