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Thread: Social Norms - Our own worst enemy.

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    Ascendant Haseno's Avatar
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    Default Social Norms - Our own worst enemy.

    I've been paying very close attention to this genre for a very long time. First off let me say you're entitled to your opinion, but I know there is many people which will understand this thread and can confirm this. If you feel the need to argue this with me, then waste your energy. Does this mean I think I'm entirely right? No, the social depth involved with the overall design of these games is beyond the comprehension of just one person. It requires many people and lots of insight in order to go back and figure out what made MMORPG communities so great long ago.

    So let's start with acknowledgement. Let's acknowledge that these communities have turned for the worst already, and since WoW's inception it's become painfully obvious. Instead of trying to defeat that argument (or even waste your time trying to), just step back for a second and acknowledge it. Perhaps those of you which never saw what the old communities were like, aren't in the position to argue whether this is true or not? That is something you should probably consider, or acknowledge. We also must acknowledge that even in those greater communities, there was always "those people." Those people were held accountable for how they acted, and reputation truly mattered back then. This plays into a very big picture, which seems to be missing nowadays.

    This is such a huge topic with a lot of depth, it's almost overwhelming even for me. So I'm merely going to talk about some variables, and bring up some questions which really make you think.
    ---------------


    What if the game design and lack of personal involvement of these companies, are helping to discourage great communities?

    If you think about it at its very core. What encourages a positive social norm? Behavior? Incentive? Influence? Emotions offered by the game design? Perhaps something as simple as grouping being the main focus of the game, rather than solo progression? Back then these games use to encourage grouping and unity, but nowadays these games seem to cater to the reward and not the connections developed along the way. What are those connections? Those connections are the emotions, and feelings bestowed upon you for your efforts. It offered you those greater experiences, while being dependent on people. What are you dependent on now? Quest-Progression? Your personal time in the game? Did you know most solo-players play solo, due to them not wanting to be hindered by others? Does that seem selfish to you? It does to me. Does that seem to exclude others, in order to obtain a reward? It does to me.

    What about the trolling mentality? It use to be frowned upon, and back then people were more focused on each others well being. Did we ever stop and realize that this mentality became popular and mainstreamed through the WoW era? Am I the only one which noticed that? Does that seem to make sense? It sounds pretty logical to me, since trolling is used to antagonize and rile up individuals. Whether it be for entertainment, or to make others look like an idiot. Doesn't that sound like the WoW community in the public sector? I know it may not sound like that if you only remember the private sector (i.e. guilds, friends). But a community consists of more than just people you like and dislike, it also has people you learn to co-exist and get along with. Choosing to not attempt to get along with people I would consider a negative social norm.

    Recently another poster by the name of 'Kymeric' here on these Rift Forums were talking about degradation of necessary pillars in society and this genre. Think of these pillars or foundations similar to a role model. Having them transforms the community into a positive place, and removing them slowly over the years has turned these communities into negative and hostile cesspools.

    Too much freedom is proven to be chaotic for humanity. Could you imagine a world without rules, and regulation? A world without morals and consideration of others? Society, most definitely WOULD implode in this manner. The scope here doesn't change in regards to the MMORPG genre, because we still carry over our ideals taught by society into the game world. A MMORPG may be smaller in scope, but it's still the same scope. Would you enjoy being part of a negative society where everyone hates each other, dismisses what you say, never helps you with anything, never takes the time to understand, and flat out abuses you?

    Ask a Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) player about how awesome realm pride use to be. Ask an Everquest player about how helpful and dedicated people were. How they were unified under a shared purpose of the game, the purpose being your role. What do you have now? Do you occasionally still see this? Yes, but that's the difference. Back then this use to be COMMON or almost the ENTIRE experience. Not just occasionally, or temporary.

    Think about the depth in those questions. Do you see how all these social norms in and out of the game seem to have devolved our communities and society in general? Do you see how many of these things are linked and compound into one large picture? Prove it? I can't, there is no data in which any individual could present to you to prove this theory. But at the same time...it can't be dismissed without deep thought. Truly, think about it. I'm sure some of you will dismiss any of this being a possibility, and that is also part of the problem. If you are not the person trying to make these communities better, this society -- better. Then you are part of the problem. There is much more social science and psychology that goes into the design of these games, than you may realize.

    It may be human nature to do things detrimental to each other. But at the same time...really think about it. If cave men never evolved, would we ever have become a society to begin with? So why dismiss it, and say it's human nature, and not be better than humanity in its most primitive era?
    Last edited by Haseno; 06-26-2011 at 07:51 PM.


    Haseno
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    I love my comma's, deal with it, chump.

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    Default i agree

    I couldnt agree more. *points the finger* new generation gamers are inconsiderate, arrogant little S**ts who need a swift kick to the head. I miss the old days

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    General of Telara phyraxian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiologicalBabes View Post
    I couldnt agree more. *points the finger* new generation gamers are inconsiderate, arrogant little S**ts who need a swift kick to the head. I miss the old days
    Back in my day I rode a bus to school, and had good shoes, and the weather was a mild 74 degrees and overcast.

    Kids don't know how good they have it know.

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    Shadowlander Frumious's Avatar
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    Nostalgia has clouded your vision.

    I remember the guys outside towns in UO that would kill and rob any weaker person leaving. I remember people in EQ camping merchants. I'm sure DAoC had the same sorts of things.

    Some people are helpful, some people are jerks. The only difference that I can see is that the new games tend to be larger. The larger the pool, the greater chance that someone will pee in it.

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    Ascendant Haseno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious View Post
    Nostalgia has clouded your vision.

    I remember the guys outside towns in UO that would kill and rob any weaker person leaving. I remember people in EQ camping merchants. I'm sure DAoC had the same sorts of things.

    Some people are helpful, some people are jerks. The only difference that I can see is that the new games tend to be larger. The larger the pool, the greater chance that someone will pee in it.
    No, I understand UO and their demographic. But that was also part of the idea of UO, to be hostile and violent towards one another. To take advantage of one another, that was the intent of that game.

    I can't disagree that the pool is larger, and that you see more of these people. But to excuse them for it? Bad idea, considering we would not be setting a proper social norm/foundation for our community by continuing to allow it.

    Can it be stopped? No.
    Can it be discouraged and reduced? Yes.

    A majority of it starts with how YOU, ME, and ANYONE treats each other in this genre.


    Haseno
    "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
    I love my comma's, deal with it, chump.

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    Go hug a tree or something.

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    Ascendant the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiologicalBabes View Post
    I couldnt agree more. *points the finger* new generation gamers are inconsiderate, arrogant little S**ts who need a swift kick to the head. I miss the old days
    A good effort. Honestly, there was a time when I was young and optimistic, and I would have said "the self-referential ironic humor here is obvious enough that everyone will get it".

    I think, though, that we actually live in a fallen world, in which people will think this is serious, and possibly even agree with it.
    You can play WoW in any MMO. You don't have to play WoW in RIFT. Oh, and no, RIFT is not a WoW clone. Not having fun any more? Learn to play, noob! I don't speak for Riftui, but I moderate stuff there. Just came back? Welcome back! Here's what's changed. (Updated for 2.5!)

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    Shadowlander Frumious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haseno View Post
    I can't disagree that the pool is larger, and that you see more of these people. But to excuse them for it? Bad idea, considering we would not be setting a proper social norm/foundation for our community by continuing to allow it.

    Can it be stopped? No.
    Can it be discouraged and reduced? Yes.

    A majority of it starts with how YOU, ME, and ANYONE treats each other in this genre.
    You misunderstood me. I do not condone it. I am not one of those deriding other players. I'm merely pointing out that the old games had the same issues. It's not a situation of "it was better back then". The demographic hasn't really changed.

    Obligatory visual explanation (NSFW):
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/

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    Rift Disciple Grasshoppa65's Avatar
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    Another nice post Haseno. Food for thought. I like your recent campaign to assail the "excuse it" brigade. You are right. There is no excuse for making someone elses game time less fun. Doesn't matter what it is. There are a lot of people in these games that go out of their ways to hurt other peoples experience. There is no acceptable excuse.

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    Ascendant Haseno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious View Post
    You misunderstood me. I do not condone it. I am not one of those deriding other players. I'm merely pointing out that the old games had the same issues. It's not a situation of "it was better back then". The demographic hasn't really changed.

    Obligatory visual explanation (NSFW):
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/
    I'm not saying they didn't have the issues back then either. I'm merely stating the overall frequency has highly risen. The entire "large pool" of players concept isn't completely accurate, because those players travel to new games with the same mentality. Even in games with no large pool of population for there to be so many.

    It's a social norm, it was taught. It was encouraged, rather than discouraged.


    Haseno
    "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
    I love my comma's, deal with it, chump.

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    Ascendant Wolfetx's Avatar
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    I have to disagree with your post. Your vision is clearly clouded.
    I am no new age gamer i have been around since the days of mud's.
    Daoc people only had realm pride due to it being forced on them. Once mythic opened up having same faction on the same cluster people realm hopped at the first sign of being on the losing side.
    Lets not forget the level 50's in daoc that avoided other level 50's and would hunt and kill the lowbies that were taking advantage of the bonus xp in frontier zones.
    How about the cloud those players that ninja the few drops that they could (think it was 2 of them that dropped lootable on the ground).

    EQ2 just as bad. Players ninja rolling need on masters that was not for their class just to sell them. Yep did a ton of good to call those players out rep only really matters to a few players the majority could care less!


    Here is also what your seeing and why. Its like in real life. I now live in a small community (think old style mmo) i know all my neighbors, we all talk and wave to each other i can go away for the day and leave my house unlocked with zero fear Shoot i have even had them come roll the windows up on my car for me.
    When i lived in the big city (dfw) ( think current mmo games). I never left my house unlocked and if a neighbor got in my car i would call the police!

    Simple put. You can not put several million players together and expect any sense of community!

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    Ascendant Haseno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codecow View Post
    Go hug a tree or something.
    It's remarks like this, which are what I'm talking about.


    Haseno
    "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
    I love my comma's, deal with it, chump.

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    Shadowlander shortbuss's Avatar
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    Alot has changed and for the worse. Can it be discouraged, yes but not as well as in the past. Take for example the new shard transfers, you ruin your rep make a character on the target shard with the same name and transfer, new name clean start ruin your rep repeat. It's the same on the other games with paid transfers. There is no real way to hold people accountable anymore and anonymity just brings out the worst in people who are pushed around all day because it's now their chance to make fun of and grief anyone they can without consequence behind their monitor where they are safe from reprisal. At the worst now they wait 7 days and move again. It used to be better in these games and communities but with the expanding market of technology making it more available for everyone and the growing sense of entitlement people have it will unfortunately continue to degrade. The best we can do besides discourage the behavior where we can is use the ignore feature and work with the people we know in game to make for a better experience, which also causes problems by not fostering the amount of interaction and cooperation that we used to have. But times change games change and the only ones who can reallly make a difference here are the Devs who can track and hold accountable the people causing the problems in a way that we can not, can they? Yes. Will they do it? Haven't really seen it happen yet but who knows. keep doing your best to enjoy the game and use the ignore feature to it's fullest.

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    Shadowlander shortbuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious View Post
    You misunderstood me. I do not condone it. I am not one of those deriding other players. I'm merely pointing out that the old games had the same issues. It's not a situation of "it was better back then". The demographic hasn't really changed.

    Obligatory visual explanation (NSFW):
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/
    I agree, there were those problems in older games, however with the numbers of players then compared to now it was much less noticable.

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    Ascendant Haseno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfetx View Post
    I have to disagree with your post. Your vision is clearly clouded.
    I am no new age gamer i have been around since the days of mud's.
    Daoc people only had realm pride due to it being forced on them. Once mythic opened up having same faction on the same cluster people realm hopped at the first sign of being on the losing side.
    You actually just proved my point, actually. See, that's an example of the developers not encouraging that role, or that social norm. Realm pride was a remarkable thing, but by having "to much freedom," it allowed players to abuse that essence of the game. This is what I mean when I talk about the game design influencing the community. It's things exactly like that which are removed and as such...gradually take away from the community.

    Once players felt entitled to it, it could never go back without pissing off their sensibilities.

    This is why these foundations, and regulations need to be in place.


    Haseno
    "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
    I love my comma's, deal with it, chump.

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