Something is bugging me…

I’m really tired of the lines we draw amongst ourselves in our little corner of the world. TomeoftheAncient hit on a exactly what I have a problem with in our society as a whole with this post here.

I think it’s because on reflection, if I tally up the mean, hateful, things that have been done to me in my lifetime I’m coming up even on the male/female thing so my view is that it’s more a people problem. Let’s face it, us humans can be such jackasses to each other.

Tome makes reference to another article from Harpy’s Nest here. In short, a 15 yr old girl is told how as a girl she could never be a fighter pilot and that the military has no place for her. Is that right…of course not. But is it wrong for the reasons you are thinking? Perhaps not. Raise your hand if you instantly viewed the “wrongness” in that as “How dare that military man belittle a young woman in such a sexist manner. How dare he predetermine her place in the order of society and decide for her what she can or cannot do based on her gender.” Was that truly what was wrong?

Let’s change the scenario a bit…”Dad, you see how I draw all the time. I have a clear natural gift for art. Painting, pencils, ink, markers, crayons, chalk, charcoal, any medium. I love it all. I especially love comic books. I read them, copy them, draw my own. I want to be a professional comic book penciller one day Dad.” “No you don’t. That’s not a career son. What idiot would ever want to do something so childish and foolish for a job. No, you will go to college and take on a real major like Pre-Med and become a Doctor. A proper career.” This is male to male. Nothing sexist here. Its an economic judgment to be sure on what someone perceives as a valuable career certainly. Is this better? Worse?

The truth in both of these scenarios is that the “wrongness” is the same exact thing. Its a person in a position of influence, power, and authority telling someone else what they CAN NOT do. As opposed to ENCOURAGING them to pursue their dreams and passions. I am a father of 3 kids (1 daughter, 2 sons). I do not treat one differently than either of the others. My daughter is a head strong, take no prisoners, natural leader. My oldest son is very reserved and sensitive, he hides himself within his shelf most often to protect himself from being hurt, bullied, or taken advantage of. My youngest, well…err…God help us all. He’s a bit of a terror. I encourage all of them to be themselves; to be content with who they are…not trying to live up to someone’s standards – not even mine or their mom’s!

GET TO THE POINT….yeah yeah. So what does this have to do with Gamers. Well, we constantly judge one another, we pigeon-hole each other into gamer stereotypes: Gamer Guy vs Gamer Girl, Progression raider vs Casual raider, PvPer vs PvEer, on and on it goes. The only REAL classification that matters is Hunters vs ALL others in my book…but kidding aside perhaps Alliance vs Horde? I can live with that rather obvious difference within the game. Aside from that, even our class roles are not an us vs them scenario. We need one another. DPS needs tanks to hold threat. Tanks need healers to keep them alive. Healers need DPS to kill the boss faster than they run out of healing resources. Its a circle of support, that accentuates our differences to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not about dividing us and separating us into stereotypes to be segregated and admonished.

I am not even going to get into the gender clashing we all see across the interwebs right now. My perspective is my own. Those close enough to me to truly know me accept my viewpoints and appreciate them. I’m fine with that. I’ve discussed the whole Hardcore vs Casual I feel ad-nauseum to this point. In my book, we are all casual because none of us play this as a career.

Its MY $15 a month. Its YOUR $15 a month. We all get to choose our game play on our own terms and with whom we choose to play alongside. More importantly none of us should be judged by others based on our decisions. I know the classic response to this is “But there are other players waiting on you!” Smart RL’s carry extra bodies or alts as needed to ensure a full raid compliment. Additionally, we’re not talking about the poor attendance raider who leaves folks in the lurch constantly due to their own selfishness. That’s not judgment, that’s agreed upon standards by both parties. We currently have raiders on our team whom we have depended upon who need time away from the game for health, school, family, etc. No one condemns them for making those decisions, we SUPPORT them.

So what is those truly about? Discussion and debate are always driven by a difference of opinion. Arguments are driven by the unwillingness to accept those differences. If you look closely at the comments on various blogs, at the forums, listen to podcasts, read articles….It’s not discussion, it’s arguing. It’s an entire community drawing battle lines as opposed to finding the common ground and discussing where the differences are. ALL sides are guilty…no one is innocent here (save for the folks who just log-in to play and never hear a word otherwise). Bad human behavior is bad. Game play doesn’t matter. Gender doesn’t matter. Your guild tag doesn’t matter. Your achievement points, titles, gear, progression don’t matter. Whether you have a blog or not, no matter how many hits you get, or no one ever reads it. It doesn’t matter what you do for RL work, how much you make. Your religion, race, creed, accent don’t matter. Whether you had a picture taken with Ghostcrawler or not doesn’t matter. And yes, honestly…even if you don’t play a hunter…it doesn’t matter.

We’re all human beings trying to just spend some time in a virtual world and relax. Perhaps make some friends. Perhaps have some accomplishments we can be proud of. None of the above matters…what matters is treat others as you would like to be treated. No one likes to be slammed for their opinion. No one likes to be flamed, called names, and verbally beaten up for not being perfect. RL is hard enough without the in-game life being just as hard.

Yes, this is MY DAD VOICE here…we’re in the car, I have one hand on the wheel, I am turning around and looking at ALL OF YOU in the back seat and saying…”KNOCK IT OFF”

You want to be treated like a mature intelligent human being, then act like a mature intelligent human being. THAT is what matters.


2 thoughts on “Something is bugging me…

  1. Whilst I think the essence of your argument is correct, you can’t stop people applying labels to others willy-nilly. I don’t see myself as a “girl-gamer”, hell, half the time I don’t see myself as a “gamer” even though I’ve been playing computer games since I was six or seven years old. That doesn’t stop that label being applied to me the second I open my mouth on vent however.

    I also (not surprisingly) disagree with your scenario. Virtually all the males I grew up with followed their father’s footsteps into the military. Your example implies that being a pilot is not a valid or respectable career choice but given the fact that I’m a military brat, it is the opposite. However, what happened to me, happened because I was female. If I had been a boy, with the same background, same interests those same men would have encouraged me 100 percent just like they did with many of my male classmates (even though I was better in simulators and far more interested in the mechanics).

    Mine is the first generation of my family in around 200 years not to enter the military so your example is really the opposite of a parallel. I’m not denying people in positions of responsibility should act responsibly but your example basically excuses the men who treated a child badly purely because she was the wrong sex by saying that it was a poor career choice (in the eyes of the men who do it for a living)…..

    After all how can following your Father’s, Grandfather’s, Great-Grandfather’s etc choice of career ever be considered in the same light as:

    “No you don’t. That’s not a career son. What idiot would ever want to do something so childish and foolish for a job.”

    You didn’t “change the scenario a bit”, you wrote a completely different one in an attempt to write off my experience as something else entirely or at least that is how it comes across.

    • My apologies as I was not trying to write off your experience at all, so I’m not pleased with myself that it comes across that way. I was admittedly changing the scenario drastically…saying “a bit” was more sarcastic than anything else as a descriptor. My point in the using the secondary analogy (which if you hadn’t figured is in fact my own experience) was to show the wrong that is done to the child has nothing to do with gender, but with the enforcement of the judgment of someone else upon an impressionable child and determining for them what is right/wrong as opposed to allowing them to grow and mature and determine it for themselves. We’re not talking about a morally derived right/wrong in which we can agree upon (example: “You can not grow up to be a criminal”), but rather a judgment on what is consider an acceptable model of an “adult”.
      “You can’t be a pilot or soldier, you’re a girl”
      “You can’t be a Hair stylist, you’re a boy, that’s women’s work”
      “You can’t become an animator, that’s not a ‘real’ job”
      “You can’t be a professional athlete, you aren’t good enough for it.”

      While there are certainly very real obstacles to any of the above, the tone of those statements is absolute. There is no encouragement in the slightest to the kid expressing what may be their first aspiration. The impact such an act has on the psyche of that child is incalculable. And WoW players (and gamers in general) I think like to fancy themselves better than this sort of thing. And we aren’t. We nit pick one another about the most miniscule details. “You put a talent point in THAT…NOOB AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!” The social “discussion” becomes far worse of course with the devolution of the conversation surrounding a topic becoming a cluster of name calling, insults, and a complete disregard of acceptance of differing viewpoints. Funny thing is while my personal frustration is in regards to a very specific topic within the WoW Community, its such a widespread issue among all the various topics up for discussion that it is clearly a “human condition” to me.

      Again, my apologies if I seemed to dismiss your personal experiences…I was not. I read your piece and instantly was reminded how my own aspirations as a child were squashed by my own father. And of course he is at 70 oblivious to the profound affect it had on me as an adult. Something I vowed I would never do to my children.

      If you have a suggestion on changing the wording of the article as it references your piece, I am more than open to it. Let me know.


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