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Why is killing other players "sociapathic" behavior?

TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

More precisely, why do some people see killing other players as the behavior of sociopaths and some people do not?

This article from the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2515400/The-rise-machines-It-okay-torture-robot.html) talks about an experiment where people were given robotic pets, and once they became attached to them were asked to torture or kill the robots. Most of the people in the experiment would not do it. Now, these are robots. They don't feel pain and they aren't alive. Of course, the Daily Mail tries to sensationalize this and make it out like robots will kill us, or we'll cede power to cute robots or something. But that's not the point.

Here's what I think.

The people who refused to kill the robots weren't refusing to kill robots which aren't alive and cannot feel pain, they were refusing to kill the cute little pets in their heads, that did have feelings, would feel pain and because they were part of the people imagining them, alive. People who see killing other players in game as an act of a sociopath are seeing the other player's avatar, and then building the other player in their head. They are literally killing or hurting some aspect of themselves when they kill that avatar. People who do not see killing the other player in game as an act of a sociopath do not build that other player in their head. They are literally killing pixels.

Of course, this all has to be adjusted somewhat for situational parameters. Most people are not averse to killing other players in PvP battlegrounds. It's the whole "killing a lowbie" thing. But, I think it might apply.

Or not. :-)

What do you think?

**

One assumption we need to make here is that the people we're discussing are not sadists or sociopaths. They are all perfectly normal people who's behavior is only really different inside video games.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

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Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,461Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones



    What do you think?

    I think some players don't enjoy killing other players "just because" and some players do.

    Some players get their enjoyment out of kill other players AND experiencing their discomfort. Some players will kill other players because they are on another side or at war and it's part of the game. Some players enjoy the making other players die over and over again and making them pissed.

    Just depends on the players' motivations I suppose.

    I know I rarely pk a player just because I can do it because I just don't see the point. If there is a game reason then sure. but otherwise it holds no interest. There are also players who will go out of their way to pk as many players as they can because they can. Which is fine if the game supports it. It's when there are other motivations at work that might dictate whether that player is really playing the game or reveling in "the tears".

  • donpopukidonpopuki Dearborn, MIPosts: 591Member
    Killing a player in a game is like scoring a goal in sports. Killing a robot friend would permently destroy the physical form for no purpose. Just because games use the same words doesn't mean they are remotely the same action.
  • RedempRedemp Hot Springs, ARPosts: 1,042Member

     It's rather simple for me : I don't kill people who don't have a snow's chance in hell at escaping or fighting back. It's not fun, it serves only to wound  another players enjoyment of the game. The only person I know that doesn't enjoy pvp doesn't enjoy it for two reasons;  Balance and the clowns that do enjoy "ganking". My morals to not "gank" or "grief" don't stem from a mental transference , it's a cowards pvp, one which doesn't improve the game for anyone.

     

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  • Mr_WolfxMr_Wolfx Columbus, TXPosts: 176Member
    The word sociopath just gets thrown around when a player kills someone who they know already has no chance of fighting back. I guess it could be compared to killing a helpless robot dog. Even if they are just "killing pixels", players should realize there's someone on the other side just trying to enjoy their game and not get constantly facerolled by someone 60 levels higher than them. And as for the ones that already think about that and continue to do it, maybe sociopath isn't the right word, but somethings wrong with em. Personally I just call them douchebags.

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  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member

    It's true that if many people did the things in RL that they did in games like EVE or GTA they'd definitely be considered sociopaths. So on that level it's "sociopathic behavior" but obviously there are not only no  consequences in the game but at worst you are ruining someone's fun, you aren't actually killing them or even hurting them much. So it's totally ridiculous to compare people who act like sociopaths in videogames to real life sociopaths.

     

     

  • OtakunOtakun New Providence, PAPosts: 864Member
    Killing someone in a situation like Open World PVP with no loot, exp or record keeping like a lot of mordern MMOs are like is a sign to show that the person killing is ONLY doing it for the fun of stopping another from enjoying the game. That is pretty much a sociopath under the guise of "well, it's not real so it doesn't count". Same could be said for Cyber bullying but now that's becoming a big issue. 
  • curacura WarsawPosts: 950Member Uncommon
    I think 99% of serial gankers are just stupid simpletons without much empathy but that alone doesnt make them sociopaths. IMO, its just lack of proper education from parents.
  • GrahorGrahor aaaPosts: 828Member
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    The word sociopath just gets thrown around when a player kills someone who they know already has no chance of fighting back. I guess it could be compared to killing a helpless robot dog. Even if they are just "killing pixels", players should realize there's someone on the other side just trying to enjoy their game and not get constantly facerolled by someone 60 levels higher than them. And as for the ones that already think about that and continue to do it, maybe sociopath isn't the right word, but somethings wrong with em. Personally I just call them douchebags.

    A player is not supposed to peacefully enjoy the game which allows ffa pvp. The design of the game offers a challenge to evade gankers; if you are constantly killed, you are not evading gankers and therefore not playing the game as it is designed. It'similar to jumping off the cliff and being annoyed that you die - you are not supposed to do it by game design.

     

    For me, the singular pleasure of such games is to learn to avoid gank. I really don't see a reason for anyone not enjoying constant looking behind your shoulder to play them.

     

  • OtakunOtakun New Providence, PAPosts: 864Member
    Originally posted by Grahor
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    The word sociopath just gets thrown around when a player kills someone who they know already has no chance of fighting back. I guess it could be compared to killing a helpless robot dog. Even if they are just "killing pixels", players should realize there's someone on the other side just trying to enjoy their game and not get constantly facerolled by someone 60 levels higher than them. And as for the ones that already think about that and continue to do it, maybe sociopath isn't the right word, but somethings wrong with em. Personally I just call them douchebags.

    A player is not supposed to peacefully enjoy the game which allows ffa pvp. The design of the game offers a challenge to evade gankers; if you are constantly killed, you are not evading gankers and therefore not playing the game as it is designed. It'similar to jumping off the cliff and being annoyed that you die - you are not supposed to do it by game design.

     

    For me, the singular pleasure of such games is to learn to avoid gank. I really don't see a reason for anyone not enjoying constant looking behind your shoulder to play them.

     

    Technically because the game allows you to do something doesn't mean you HAVE to do it. FFA PvP exists IRL but you are expected to peacefully enjoy life. 

  • GrahorGrahor aaaPosts: 828Member

    I'm not even going ti argue about ridiculous notion that anyone can just be safe in real life. Enormous amount of effort goes to protecting people in real life; whole point of human civilization is to make life safer.

     

    Anyway it is not related to my point in any way. Ffa pvp games are what they are; they are not designed with the thought of lion and cow happily living together in peace.

  • TribeofOneTribeofOne Wellford, SCPosts: 1,006Member Uncommon

    the way i see it, in PvE you associate the violence as being against a computer with no real life person behind it.  In PvP in my experience the albeit simulated violence is more directed at the person behind the character. The trash talking and often rude behaviors and the feelings of aggression generated by PvP arent between say your Paladin and his Shadowknight, they are between you and another person. I think that in the young or the already mentally unstable this can  help to further blur the line between acceptable real life behavior and online virtual behavior.

  • OtakunOtakun New Providence, PAPosts: 864Member
    Originally posted by Grahor

    I'm not even going ti argue about ridiculous notion that anyone can just be safe in real life. Enormous amount of effort goes to protecting people in real life; whole point of human civilization is to make life safer.

     

    Anyway it is not related to my point in any way. Ffa pvp games are what they are; they are not designed with the thought of lion and cow happily living together in peace.

    The game doesn't force one to kill. The player chooses to do so. That decision is what divides one between a sociopath and just a gamer. The lion has to eat. The player doesn't have to gank to live. 

  • azmundaiazmundai St Louis, MOPosts: 1,417Member

    i don't think it applies.

    people that don't like people that kill lowbies are simply using a stereotype to rationalize their view.

    i don't like "lowbie killers" and I don't kill lowbies, but I also don't feel the need to label people that like that kind of thing.

    as long as I am afforded the option of not being the target of these people, they can feel free to do whatever they want.

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon

    I think that acknowledging something as an entity makes it harder to be abusive or cruel to it. It's one of the reasons that exchanging names is an important part of dealing with a hostile person - it makes the aggressor more cognizant of the fact that his target is an entity. It removes that disconnect created when rationalizing that person as 'The Man", "you people", "suits" or whatever other labels they have manufactured to justify their malice/dislike/hatred.

    "Sociopathic PK" seems like just another label used to demonize and impersonalize. Actually, I hope to God that is the case and there really aren't that many people hopelessly clueless as to the mechanics of the game they chose to play.

     

    The "killing a lowbie" thing is akin to the "think of the children" argument and there are a whole separate set of views behind that one.

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  • muppetpilotmuppetpilot Fort Wayne, INPosts: 163Member Uncommon

    First off, let me say that I love PvP very much; this is one of the reasons I have played Gw 1 for so long.  That being said, however, I happen to enjoy my PvP when it is separate from my PvE and don't want either one of those aspects interfering with the other.

    For me, if you're going to call yourself a PvPer, you should do so whilst fighting against players who actually have a chance at killing you - hence my enjoyment of Gw 1, where everyone in PvP is the same level you are and has the same rough gear ratio as you do.  I did quite a bit of PvP in WoW also, and while it is unquestionably gear-based, at least WoW's battlegrounds group players by level, so that if you are at the level cap, so is everyone on the other side of that BG.  And if you are, say, level 74, everyone on the opposing team is at least level 70, and therefore has at least a decent chance at killing you, provided they have any skill whatsoever.

    The reason some PK and so-called "open world" PvP is decried (and decried by me also, to be honest) is simply because it generally goes against everything I just said.  When you have players out roaming in packs looking for some lowbie to grief, or someone who is 25 levels above his or her target, you do NOT have PvP, sorry to tell you.  I fail to see how someone level 60 attacking someone who is level 40 constitutes PvP in any sense of the term.  And THAT is the inherent problem with much of the FFA PvP we see and a large part of the reason why the term "sociopath" gets thrown around when we talk about PvP combat.  Allowing people to simply kill other players over and over tends to bring out the very worst in some players and the very worst in the community overall.

    I'm not going to sit here and say that griefing and ganking necessarily make someone a sociopath and I'm not going to bad-mouth any and all open-world PvP games.  What I will say, though, is that I have spent years playing these games, and there is a solid reason why I avoid games that allow such things to happen, and an equally solid reason why those games generally do not succeed in the long term, and yet more reasons why multitudes of players warn other players away from those environments.  If you're going to have open-world killing, for God's sake, do it with level restrictions, and THEN let's see how many "leet PvPers" you really have.

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  • drakolasdrakolas Plymouth, MNPosts: 35Member Uncommon
    PvP to me is just more exciting gameplay, fighting things that aren't automated and each person has a different style. It keeps things interesting when I kind of stir up the hornet's nest in world PvP. The scenarios change drastically with them bringing friends and maybe they get a bit angry, but I'm enjoying myself and there are PvE servers specifically for people that don't like PvP. It's nothing personal and I'm not fueled by their pain or anything, I'm just playing the game how I like to play it. I usually only gank people in areas where I'm also farming and I don't just go around hunting lowbies to one shot. It actually sometimes helps me profit more from whatever I'm farming and makes the task of farming less mundane.
  • Mr_WolfxMr_Wolfx Columbus, TXPosts: 176Member
    Originally posted by Grahor
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    The word sociopath just gets thrown around when a player kills someone who they know already has no chance of fighting back. I guess it could be compared to killing a helpless robot dog. Even if they are just "killing pixels", players should realize there's someone on the other side just trying to enjoy their game and not get constantly facerolled by someone 60 levels higher than them. And as for the ones that already think about that and continue to do it, maybe sociopath isn't the right word, but somethings wrong with em. Personally I just call them douchebags.

    A player is not supposed to peacefully enjoy the game which allows ffa pvp. The design of the game offers a challenge to evade gankers; if you are constantly killed, you are not evading gankers and therefore not playing the game as it is designed. It'similar to jumping off the cliff and being annoyed that you die - you are not supposed to do it by game design.

     

    For me, the singular pleasure of such games is to learn to avoid gank. I really don't see a reason for anyone not enjoying constant looking behind your shoulder to play them.

     

    I'm not saying that there's no fun in having to look over your shoulder in a game, I actually prefer it. But the fun in an open pvp game should be the challenge of facing an even player and of having a fair fight. The point I was trying to make is that it's not fun to get one shot killed, and I know for a fact it's not fun or challenging to one-shot another player. It's nothing like jumping off a cliff and being mad that you're dead. It's more like your a child with a cliff next to you and than someone 30 years older than you picks you up and throws you off that cliff. You gain no satisfaction. And the guy who threw you off that cliff gains nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that he's stronger than a child. It shouldn't be fun for anyone. Once again, their just douchebags.

    Yes I have a dream… And its not some MLK dream for equality. …I wanna own a decommissioned lighthouse …And I wanna live at the top… And nobody knows I live there. …And theres a button that I can press, and launch that lighthouse into space.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    Originally posted by Grahor
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    The word sociopath just gets thrown around when a player kills someone who they know already has no chance of fighting back. I guess it could be compared to killing a helpless robot dog. Even if they are just "killing pixels", players should realize there's someone on the other side just trying to enjoy their game and not get constantly facerolled by someone 60 levels higher than them. And as for the ones that already think about that and continue to do it, maybe sociopath isn't the right word, but somethings wrong with em. Personally I just call them douchebags.

    A player is not supposed to peacefully enjoy the game which allows ffa pvp. The design of the game offers a challenge to evade gankers; if you are constantly killed, you are not evading gankers and therefore not playing the game as it is designed. It'similar to jumping off the cliff and being annoyed that you die - you are not supposed to do it by game design.

     

    For me, the singular pleasure of such games is to learn to avoid gank. I really don't see a reason for anyone not enjoying constant looking behind your shoulder to play them.

     

    I'm not saying that there's no fun in having to look over your shoulder in a game, I actually prefer it. But the fun in an open pvp game should be the challenge of facing an even player and of having a fair fight. The point I was trying to make is that it's not fun to get one shot killed, and I know for a fact it's not fun or challenging to one-shot another player. It's nothing like jumping off a cliff and being mad that you're dead. It's more like your a child with a cliff next to you and than someone 30 years older than you picks you up and throws you off that cliff. You gain no satisfaction. And the guy who threw you off that cliff gains nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that he's stronger than a child. It shouldn't be fun for anyone. Once again, their just douchebags.

    Says who? I think the fun in an open world pvp game is the fact that anything can happen. If I wanted a game where everything was fair and everybody was on equal footing, I'd play a game with battlegrounds. I want to have that opportunity to win while outnumber, or even the opportunity to be ganked by a roaming group of bandits. What's the point of having an ow pvp game if it's just even fights every time?

  • immodiumimmodium ManchesterPosts: 1,578Member Uncommon

    I actually don't see it as killing other players. I see it as trying to beat a player in a game. If that happens to be depicted by graphically violent animations doesn't make me think it's sociopathic behavior.

    I'm just having a whale of a time. :)

    image
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    Originally posted by Grahor
    Originally posted by Mr_Wolfx
    The word sociopath just gets thrown around when a player kills someone who they know already has no chance of fighting back. I guess it could be compared to killing a helpless robot dog. Even if they are just "killing pixels", players should realize there's someone on the other side just trying to enjoy their game and not get constantly facerolled by someone 60 levels higher than them. And as for the ones that already think about that and continue to do it, maybe sociopath isn't the right word, but somethings wrong with em. Personally I just call them douchebags.

    A player is not supposed to peacefully enjoy the game which allows ffa pvp. The design of the game offers a challenge to evade gankers; if you are constantly killed, you are not evading gankers and therefore not playing the game as it is designed. It'similar to jumping off the cliff and being annoyed that you die - you are not supposed to do it by game design.

     

    For me, the singular pleasure of such games is to learn to avoid gank. I really don't see a reason for anyone not enjoying constant looking behind your shoulder to play them.

     

    I'm not saying that there's no fun in having to look over your shoulder in a game, I actually prefer it. But the fun in an open pvp game should be the challenge of facing an even player and of having a fair fight. The point I was trying to make is that it's not fun to get one shot killed, and I know for a fact it's not fun or challenging to one-shot another player. It's nothing like jumping off a cliff and being mad that you're dead. It's more like your a child with a cliff next to you and than someone 30 years older than you picks you up and throws you off that cliff. You gain no satisfaction. And the guy who threw you off that cliff gains nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that he's stronger than a child. It shouldn't be fun for anyone. Once again, their just douchebags.

    Says who? I think the fun in an open world pvp game is the fact that anything can happen. If I wanted a game where everything was fair and everybody was on equal footing, I'd play a game with battlegrounds. I want to have that opportunity to win while outnumber, or even the opportunity to be ganked by a roaming group of bandits. What's the point of having an ow pvp game if it's just even fights every time?

    I agree with Holo here. OW PVP isn't the place to look for matched battles.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • immodiumimmodium ManchesterPosts: 1,578Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Says who? I think the fun in an open world pvp game is the fact that anything can happen. If I wanted a game where everything was fair and everybody was on equal footing, I'd play a game with battlegrounds. I want to have that opportunity to win while outnumber, or even the opportunity to be ganked by a roaming group of bandits. What's the point of having an ow pvp game if it's just even fights every time?

    I agree with Holo here. OW PVP isn't the place to look for matched battles.

    Aye. That's what kills OWPvP, balance.

    image
  • MarkusrindMarkusrind CrawleyPosts: 359Member

    Depends on the game really.

    In a simple PvP game, sure killing anything that moves is cool. That is the point of the game.

    In an MMO that allows PvP there is more to it them just killing stuff.

    And that is the problem. Too many people treat an MMO with PvP as 100% PvP and ignore the MMO part.

    You get people that treat an MMO like a simple PvP game and kill  anything that moves. That is just missing the point IMO. It is why games like Darkfall, MO etc... are just outright failures to anyone except those that just want PvP.

    I guess rather then calling people sociopaths it would be more accurate to simply call these people ignorant or idiots.

     

  • RusqueRusque Las Vegas, NVPosts: 2,229Member Uncommon

    PvP isn't sociopathic. Killing someone who is at severe disadvantage or has no chance is sociopathic because you are knowingly and without concern engage in that behavior.

    There is no pvp in rolling a random person while you're in a group. That is akin to marching through a zone killing critters. They technically have no opportunity to fight back, even if your perception is that they could try, they really can't.

    Same goes for entering into a fight with someone who is far below your level. Do you go to low level zones, kill a low level mob and then stand there waiting for it to respawn so you can kill it again? No. Because you know it causes no irritation, frustration or anger as that is literally the only thing you accomplish by killing lowbies. You do not gain skill in player combat. You do not gain respect from other players. You only gain the knowledge that you are preventing another player from playing.

     

    I'm not saying you must go around waiting to find an even match and act as if a duel is occurring. But I am saying that you should not consider yourself a PvPer, nor claim to want engagement when you seek opponents that are as difficult to kill as critters.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    More precisely, why do some people see killing other players as the behavior of sociopaths and some people do not?

    **snip**

    Here's what I think.

    The people who refused to kill the robots weren't refusing to kill robots which aren't alive and cannot feel pain, they were refusing to kill the cute little pets in their heads, that did have feelings, would feel pain and because they were part of the people imagining them, alive. People who see killing other players in game as an act of a sociopath are seeing the other player's avatar, and then building the other player in their head. They are literally killing or hurting some aspect of themselves when they kill that avatar. People who do not see killing the other player in game as an act of a sociopath do not build that other player in their head. They are literally killing pixels.

    Of course, this all has to be adjusted somewhat for situational parameters. Most people are not averse to killing other players in PvP battlegrounds. It's the whole "killing a lowbie" thing. But, I think it might apply.

    Or not. :-)

    What do you think?

    I think many people don't understand the actual meaning of sociopathy.

    Killing others isn't inherently sociopathic, and never has been. The word you are looking for is sadistic.

    And yes, killing other players is often a sadistic behavior. There are those who enjoy a challenge vs. another player, which isn't sadistic. And then there are those who like to grief, troll, corpse/spawn camp, 1 shot, pray on lowbies, etc. etc. And that is much more frequent, as well as much more sadistic in nature.

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