It’s funny how an MMO can bring out the worst in people, and I include myself in that particular generalization. It’s very very easy to forget that the person sitting on the other end of the screen has feelings, and a life, and circumstances that may very well be worse than your own. Sometimes, that person who isn’t a particularly good raider might have a damn good reason for his or her laspes; a marriage that’s falling apart, an illness, difficulties with the job, or hell, just difficulties relating to other people in general.
I guess it’s not surprising that a web based medium attracts a lot of socially dysfunctional people. You can be quasi-anonymous in Warcraft, and never really have to own up to your actions. If you get a bad reputation, you reroll a new character, or transfer servers and you can effectively erase your past and move onto something new. The repercussions for being a dick are minimal with so many ways to just get away.
I think if I can teach one person in this game to be more cognizant of other people and their circumstances, if I can teach someone to think twice before humiliating a stranger simply because they can, I’ll have done a good thing. Young people (Oh God I feel old saying that) have a tendency to see the universe as it pertains to themselves only, and for those kids going out there, getting a job after college and trying out the whole adult thing? Understanding the needs of other people is a skill they WILL NEED to be accepted and respected by their peers.
I think I’m done being all wordy and full of bullshit wisdom now. Let’s just leave this post at I saw a kid humiliate another person in the medium of Warcraft today, and it turned my stomach. It made me really think about how I treat others, and how I need to be more careful with their feelings. They might just be pixelated pictures moving on my screen, but behind that avatar is a real person who may just have it worse than me.