Remind you of anything?

edited August 2001 in Gaming

Comments

  • edited December 1969
    A good article on the gradual descent to Lord of the Flies that plagues gaming communities:

    http://www.stomped.com/published/aurora998482378_1_1.html

    I don't play CS, but this applies to even small communities like ours. The article doesn't go quite far enough (IMHO) since what truly causes these problems is the absence of effective punishment. Some people, no matter their age, can't be reasoned with and must be taught at the end of a stick or banished; a means to do this is what the online world must find before the respect of a true community can be born. Until then, we'll always be fragmented hash of loose groups mixing and warring whenever convenient, and stagnating and inbreeding the rest of the time.

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Remind you of anything?

    Don't underestimate summer. A lot of the wankishness goes away when the kiddies have to deal with school. I've noticed this every year. There were some kids outside the M1 game last night, and they were bitching about going back to school. I couldn't have been happier.

    http://www.elderscrolls.com/art/screenshots_01.htm
  • edited December 1969
    [b]Re: Remind you of anything?[/b]

    [quote]
    A good article on the gradual descent to Lord of the Flies that
    plagues gaming communities:

    http://www.stomped.com/published/aurora998482378_1_1.html

    [/quote]
    This sort of thing has happened in every open online community with which I've been involved, since the late '80s. The only thing that I've seen that prevents entropy is making the online group invitation only. Once an online community expands enough, people who use anonymity to wreak havoc for sport will inevitably destroy the community.

    Where this author makes his error is in ascribing this sort of thing to immaturity. People who engage in the kind of behavior that destroys communities are not immature, they are sociopaths. There's probably a correlation between the kind of people who play computer games, their age, and their level of antisocial behavior. The level of abuse needed to bring down an entire community, though, goes beyond mere childishness.

    Even offline groups can be broken up when there is no accountability for individuals' actions. I've seen it happen in churches, book clubs and computer user groups. I guess it's the nature of the human animal. If you can get away with anything, some percentage of the population will engage in behavior destructive to the group.

    Wonder if there are any sociology papers out there on the 'net about this phenomenon...

    ...ken

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Remind you of anything?

    I think things naturally get worse as a community ages too. I won't say out-of-hand that an increase in size or newbieness is NOT the main culprit (although I kinda doubt it, and actually I think getting fresh blood may help a little). But I'm pretty sure that another major source of problems is the fact that egos and reputations and grudges entrenched.

    When you're starting out a new game, no one knows who you are, and you don't know who anyone else is. Everyone knows that everyone is learning the game, and people don't feel pressured to make excuses for all their own mistakes and mock everyone else's mistakes. Whining is rare. Cheating is even rarer. No one is carrying a grudge against anyone. Players can actually be observed occasionally engaging in good sportsmanship.

    I think this fresh-start situation is a large part of why I enjoyed Quake and Myth:TFL and Tribes so much for the first year or so of each game. Then later -- and also in the sequel games, which pretty much inherited the community -- the spirit of people having fun together evaporated pretty quickly in exchange for self-centered wankery. And it wasn't the "newbies" driving that mode of behavior.

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Remind you of anything?

    gosh, i just had a two page post agreeing with everything that has been said and i clicked on check spelling and it is all gone.

    I think things naturally get worse as a community ages too. I
    won't say out-of-hand that an increase in size or newbieness is
    NOT the main culprit (although I kinda doubt it, and actually I
    think getting fresh blood may help a little). But I'm pretty
    sure that another major source of problems is the fact that egos
    and reputations and grudges entrenched.

    When you're starting out a new game, no one knows who you are,
    and you don't know who anyone else is. Everyone knows that
    everyone is learning the game, and people don't feel pressured
    to make excuses for all their own mistakes and mock everyone
    else's mistakes. Whining is rare. Cheating is even rarer. No one
    is carrying a grudge against anyone. Players can actually be
    observed occasionally engaging in good sportsmanship.

    I think this fresh-start situation is a large part of why I
    enjoyed Quake and Myth:TFL and Tribes so much for the first year
    or so of each game. Then later -- and also in the sequel games,
    which pretty much inherited the community -- the spirit of
    people having fun together evaporated pretty quickly in exchange
    for self-centered wankery. And it wasn't the "newbies"
    driving that mode of behavior.

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Remind you of anything?

    gosh, i just had a two page post agreeing with everything that
    has been said and i clicked on check spelling and it is all
    gone.

    That's because the "spell-checker" is actually intended to prohibit two-page "me too" posts.

    Seriously, I think the anonymity of the situation is a big key. Any environment in which you can act like an ass, sign off, and then sign on under a completely different name encourages repressed people to act out. Just within #CP# I know several people who are far more aggressive online than they are in person, and we're a group notable for our comparative maturity.

    I think when voice chat replaces keyboard interactions, this will decrease a little bit. It will decrease a bit more when streaming video becomes a standard element of the online experience. But as Carch points out, it will never go away entirely as long as online actions carry no real-world consequences.

    Mark

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