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Anti-Asshat week gains momentum

Even the Daily Blink boys have had enough

Well it’s been a very interesting week, and standing up for my belief that the WoW community should be a pleasant, friendly place to spend your spare time by posting about my recent experience has certainly caused me some grief both publicly and privately, but I think it was WORTH IT.
It all started with Nav from The Daily Frostwolf, whose post, Navi is declaring Anti-Asshat Week set off a number of related posts in the community. In reading these posts, I saw a recurring theme – that people are sick to death of trolls and asshats in game, that most ‘mature’ gamers who have a professional life and family responsibilities are frustrated by the same behaviours, and that Blizzard are nowhere near tough enough on these ‘Call of Duty’ type cretins. I also popped into the Girls Gone Wow podcast at Navi and Sal’s encouragement to discuss the issue – admittedly, after 2 hours of sleep and rather late to the table, which made me a tad fuzzy minded and repetitive, but hey – it happens! *facepaw*

Hit the links below for some insightful reading.

Typhoon Andrew: How to ruin your Guild’s reputation

They Call me Sal: Monday Mischief: Anti-Asshat Week

Sheep the Diamond: Spare the Rod, Spoil the Game – with Lots of Graphics!

Siha Games: Taming the jerk brigade

As a responsible Guild Master who believes that people have a right to play their game of choice in comfort, I’ll take abuse from my aggressors, ex-guild members (who were only ever removed for damned good reasons) and other random asshats who like a good flame war if it means people start standing up for themselves and others by not turning the other cheek when abuse occurs.

I learned very early on in my WoW gaming life that the single most important thing you can do to make a difference is be helpful and polite to the players you come into contact with, and that what you do out in the world reflects on the guild name you wear above your head. It used to actually MATTER before the advent of LFD and LFR – hell, I can remember a particular character on Nagrand called MightyMoe who was the server’s biggest asshat, and whose name was mud to the point that an old officer of mine used to ACTUALLY kick people from the guild if they mentioned his NAME. The guy was racist, offensive in the extreme, misogynistic, a ninja and a general troll.

The end result?

He’s no longer on Nagrand, because the community effectively drove him out. I bet he managed to make most people’s ignore list too.

I reflect on that time with a sense of misty-eyed reverie, and hope that one day that sense of real community can be recaptured.

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5 responses to “Anti-Asshat week gains momentum

  1. I don’t miss MMoe, but he generally wasn’t vile via whisper, just /tradechat. I love that the Blink created that around the same time.

  2. Akiosama

    “most ‘mature’ gamers who have a professional life and family responsibilities are frustrated by the same behaviours”

    Isn’t it interesting that the trolls who attack people generally tend to say “bad parent” or “don’t you have a day job” in their insults?

    But you’re not the only one who’s trying to change things…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/01/halo-4-online-gaming-abuse

    Interestingly enough, though, Microsoft, in response to this and other articles like this, came back and rebutted some of the ideas, saying that Xbox Live’s banning policy had, in fact, not changed, and certainly wasn’t being upgraded or altered for Halo 4.

    “While Xbox Live indeed does not condone harassment of any kind, account and console bans are issued based on a robust complaint and evidence-based system,” said a spokesperson. “There is no difference in the Xbox Live Terms of Use and Code of Conduct for Halo 4.”

    (From: http://www.destructoid.com/halo-4-will-not-be-issuing-special-xbl-bans-for-sexism-238129.phtml)

    It seems weird to me, other than to maybe setting the record straight, that Microsoft would lessen the impact of this idea to the general public, rather than letting the public believe that they’re taking the kid gloves off, even if they’re not actually doing anything different. Also, it says that they depend solely on their systematic complaint system, and that the type of issues that are currently present in that locale, will be dealt with in the same manner as they have been up until now (read – expect the same problems as always?).

    The problem is threefold, though – 1) How much effort in calling these asshats out directly is it worth expending, considering that it can cause more issues than it solves; 2) How much effort in reporting these asshats to the powers that be is it worth expending, given their track records; and 3) How much effort is it worth expending in fighting these asshats, knowing that it’s a net loss in enjoyment as a whole, since the fight is often be more emotionally taxing to the fighter than the asshat (i.e., it’s likely a net loss since the troll enjoys the conflict)?

    I, for one, support the Anti-Asshat philosophy, despite (or maybe because?) being a “Halo/Call of Duty” X-Box Live player. I will, unfortunately, still continue to pick and choose my battles, though, for my own sanity. I don’t think we can fight them all – but we CAN target the bigger ones.

    Good luck to all you fighters out there.

    My 2 yen,

    Akiosama

  3. Navimie

    You know, I have been actively looking for Asshats to smack down this week and not come across any. Not even in very difficult LFRs with the new raid this week. Perhaps everyone has heard of Anti Asshat week and decided NOT to be asshats. I can only hope!

  4. Sunhead ⋅

    Tangentially relevant article.
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4369562.html
    “The online abuse of women may be a 21st Century issue but it has its roots in much older forms of sex-based harassment and misogyny. Labelling the problem as one of trolling overlooks and trivialises the harm it causes. Let’s just call it what it is – vilification – however and wherever it occurs.”

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