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An article I wrote a couple years ago, think it still applies!

Have you ever wondered why people in MMO’s tend to be such jerks? I’ve sat back many times and tried to answer that very question myself. It seems that no matter what you do, or how you approach some people in these games, they just have to be rude. At first I thought, maybe it’s all about how they get treated out in the real world. Possibly they had a horrible day at work, or their significant other was nagging them all day. So they feel it is only right to log into their favorite game, and wreak havoc on the populace.

I kind of doubt that it’s the real worlds fault though. If the amount of jerks you run into in these games all really had that bad of a day, it would equate to a whole lot of unhappy people out there. No, I think it has something to do with what I like to call the “Jerk Factor”. Now the “Jerk Factor” is basically my fun little term I like to use when labeling these folks in game. I use it for those people who have a massive attitude for no apparent reason.

I personally play World of Warcraft very often, and I am a very social person. I’ll talk to anyone about anything, anytime. This is where the problem comes in. Genuinely I am a nice person, so if I see a low level player or someone who is struggling I will try my best to help them out. However, I see tons of players who would rather call the person a “Noob” or a “Bad” instead of taking two seconds out of their day to help someone.

Now that I’ve come out about playing World of Warcraft, I know many people will fall onto the “oh they have twelve million players, so of course you’ll find some bad apples” argument. Let me just say that it is not just World of Warcraft that’s the problem. I started out my MMO career playing Ultima Online before moving on into games like Anarchy Online, Eve, EQ, Aion, Warhammer and Age of Conan, as well as a handful of console multiplayer games.

It is not just World of Warcraft, the “Jerk Factor” is present in all of those games. They are very harsh worlds. I remember letting my son play on some of my accounts before he learned to read. He had loads of fun just running around doing his own thing. However as soon as he could read he went right back to the PS3 and the DS. It is not a very friendly world for anyone though, not just younger people.

Basically what I am trying to say here is that you should really take a step back before you let loose on someone, and give them a ton of grief. You never know who is on the receiving end of your bitterness and anger. Just think, taking those two seconds to help someone could really make their day, and make you a better gamer in the long run. Let’s start helping each other more, and learn to lose the “Jerk Factor”.

Comments

  • Kenshin_HimuraKenshin_Himura Philadelphia, PAPosts: 75Member

    I agree completely with everything you said and what I tend to do in general is I just ignore rude people and talk to friendly people. Also joining a guild with friendly and positive people helps a lot. Talking back to rude people is going to make you feel worst so just ignore them let them talk to themself :)

    I also stop and help when I see a new low level character and I feel so good it's the best reward of all to help around.

    image

  • I find that's where I usually make the majority of my long lasting friends is through helping newer players. It gives them a positive experience with the game, which tends to add to the longevity of them playing it, and we end up staying in contact.
  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon

    Truth of the matter is its easier to be an ass than to help someone and its more fun. I dont act this way myself and I dont think its right.

    But the truth is people feel better about themselves when they can take someone else down a few notches. Its a sad fact but its true.

     

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hokie

    Truth of the matter is its easier to be an ass than to help someone and its more fun. I dont act this way myself and I dont think its right.

    But the truth is people feel better about themselves when they can take someone else down a few notches. Its a sad fact but its true.

     

    there's another element here to be considered.

     

    helping someone involves his/her consent.

     

    being an ass to someone does not. It's more accessible to be an ass. In the casual-paradise all-about-accessibility MMO status quo, this revelation (sigh) will come to people's minds sooner or later.

     

    you heard it here first.!

    image

  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Hokie

    Truth of the matter is its easier to be an ass than to help someone and its more fun. I dont act this way myself and I dont think its right.

    But the truth is people feel better about themselves when they can take someone else down a few notches. Its a sad fact but its true.

     

    there's another element here to be considered.

     

    helping someone involves his/her consent.

     

    being an ass to someone does not. It's more accessible to be an ass. In the casual-paradise all-about-accessibility MMO status quo, this revelation (sigh) will come to people's minds sooner or later.

     

    you heard it here first.!

    I think you may have lost me on the second part..

     

    But if I understand what youre saying. I dont think thats wholely to blame. People were just as much of an ass to other players when they had to communicate to complete or even play the game.

    I dont think the causualness has been the factor, or that big of a factor. In all honesty I think its been the age of most people. Some of the worst cases has been the younger crowd, but not limited to.

     

    I think we could almost break this down into the two kinds of jerks.

    The Elitists

    and

    The Asshats

    But I think thats getting to far off topic.

     

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • zekeofevzekeofev Mesa, AZPosts: 233Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Hokie

    Truth of the matter is its easier to be an ass than to help someone and its more fun. I dont act this way myself and I dont think its right.

    But the truth is people feel better about themselves when they can take someone else down a few notches. Its a sad fact but its true.

     

    there's another element here to be considered.

     

    helping someone involves his/her consent.

     

    being an ass to someone does not. It's more accessible to be an ass. In the casual-paradise all-about-accessibility MMO status quo, this revelation (sigh) will come to people's minds sooner or later.

     

    you heard it here first.!

     

    So is it better to aspire to a persons self greed to make them seem like a more sociable person when they are really not? See most social network games that push you to add friends to your game to get game benefits for yourself and your friends.

     

    I would rather them be an ass to me then be forced to work with me when they have no desire to.

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,912Member Uncommon

    One point I'd add is that I've wondered if a reward driven skinner box might be driving delusions of grandeur.

     

    Ever see it in chat?  "I am GOD I will pown your ass".  That can't be healthy in a socially oriented environment.

     

    Bottom line is, I think the games themselves might be influencing the jerk factor by pumping egos to the point of reality confusion.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,912Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hokie
     

    I think we could almost break this down into the two kinds of jerks.

    The Elitists

    and

    The Asshats

    But I think thats getting to far off topic.

     

    Elitists aren't always rude people.  Sure the elitism shows, but they can be relatively cool with others.

     

    Extend that to Elitist Jerks, and I think I agree with your post. :-)

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • steamtanksteamtank Rochester, NYPosts: 385Member
    i try my best to play on the rp server (official or otherwise). They tend to be nicer overall.
  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    One point I'd add is that I've wondered if a reward driven skinner box might be driving delusions of grandeur.

     

    Ever see it in chat?  "I am GOD I will pown your ass".  That can't be healthy in a socially oriented environment.

     

    Bottom line is, I think the games themselves might be influencing the jerk factor by pumping egos to the point of reality confusion.

     

    Trust me people are that way in real life too. Its just a little different. Its cars, house(s), position, salary, wife, vacations. Its just played more subtley.

    But you are right people just dont come out and say "My life pwns yours!". But it still happens.

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • YakkinYakkin irvine, CAPosts: 919Member

    Everyone has their inner egomaniacal jackass. Some are just better at keeping it under control than others.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    I think It's not just the people, it's game's fault too that people act like that. In games where players see other players as competition, someone who will steal your exp, mob, loot or similar it is more likely that you will run into a rude player. In games where other players enchance your gaming experience, make fight more fun or easier, help you kill stuff without losing exp or loot, people will more likely be friendly.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Zeus.CM
    I think It's not just the people, it's game's fault too that people act like that. In games where players see other players as competition, someone who will steal your exp, mob, loot or similar it is more likely that you will run into a rude player. In games where other players enchance your gaming experience, make fight more fun or easier, help you kill stuff without losing exp or loot, people will more likely be friendly.

    That does not have to be the case. New loot system in WOW LFR would roll individual loot, and there is no competition. Just make ninjaing impossible and it will cease to be a problem.

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,609Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zeus.CM
    I think It's not just the people, it's game's fault too that people act like that. In games where players see other players as competition, someone who will steal your exp, mob, loot or similar it is more likely that you will run into a rude player. In games where other players enchance your gaming experience, make fight more fun or easier, help you kill stuff without losing exp or loot, people will more likely be friendly.

    Partly. GW2 emphasizes non-competitive play with separate loot, separate mineral nodes, etc. but there you still see some people in crowded areas playing a dynamic event trying to go tag the mobs before anyone else does to ensure you get maximum credit and rewards.

    There are cultures out there that don't make a virtue out of selfishness and greed. I've heard Sweedish hockey players talk about how the biggest adjustment playing in North America is that here athletes are encouraged to be selfish and get the points. They say that this is quite different to the way they learn to play.

    I might be wrong but I'm thinking playing WOW with a bunch of swedes might be more fun... Of course I wouldn't understand a damn thing they're saying though image

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Playing an MMO is sometimes like sitting on a city bus.  There are lots of people around you, but everyone stays silent and aloof, fearful that nothing good can come of opening their mouth.

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