Incoming Non-Spellchecked rant! This is a rant based on my observations and is in no way representative of my guild, its members or their actions.
I have had some feedback on this post through e-mail and I want to apologize if it comes off as unfair to younger gamers. This post is just as much about me struggling with going into my 30’s and realizing that a lot of my memories are alien to some of these newer folk. There is some venom and complaining here and if that bothers you I genuinely apologize.
I know this expression is often used in a slightly more illicit way but I thought it very fitting for my thoughts today.
I know that I’m getting older as each year goes by. The games that I played as a child are turning into retro and nostalgia. I played Super Mario Brothers before most college seniors were born. I was playing Warcraft 2 LAN in high school before high school freshman today were born. I’m not ancient by any stretch but the video game universe has evolved to a point where there clearly is a distinct past very different from the present that we look back to.
This current generation of young gamers are quite different than how we used to be. I’m not going to go into “old fogey” mode, but more just direct you to the foulness that is XBox Live chat during FPS shooters and the like. Not all of them are like this per say and we weren’t angels by any stretch. It just feels like the increased anonymity of the internet has allowed immature (age indiscriminate mind you!) behavior to flourish. See Gabe’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.
As I play WoW and more and more 18 and 19 year old players join my playing circle I do start to see some things that bother me somewhat. Keith Malley once said most people don’t really classify as an adult (being capable of making incredibly important and life changing decisions) until they are 25 and I think there is some validity to that statement. He is not saying that if you are under 25 you can’t be mature or a stable human being. The point is more that you just haven’t experience enough of life to know exactly what you want yet. Some people are lucky and they find their path before then but that tends to be rare. For some folk, there is a brashness to them and a disregard for how things were (in gaming as well as WoW) compared to what they are experiencing now.
As I have logged into vent servers for pugs, through the tail end of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, full of immature gamers (often young, but maturity doesn’t always come with age) I have been completely inundated with massive amounts of ludicrous bragging and e-peen flexing that is enough to make you want to claw eyes out. In wrath it sometimes went “I finally hit X gearscore on this toon, I am so beast” “Yeah, well I have two other toons with gearscore that high and I can outdps you anyday on that toon, if fact people should be so lucky for me to bring those toons” “Yeah…well I can out PvP you anyday I have a holy paladin ranked <insert number> that I can heal circles around any toon you bring” blah blah blah.
It wouldn’t be so bad I suppose but it threatens to creep into my guild somewhat. As guilds continue to recruit we are going to be bringing in the younger gamers, the “wrath babies” and the like it cannot be avoided. I’m not saying they are bad players…they may be pretty awesome players. They simply aren’t as good as they are in their own mind. My guild is focused heavily on character and class. Not everyone is perfect but we allow zero drama, zero trolling, and strength of character matters when interacting with others in your team. Excessive bragging can be a poison that threatens to eat away at your guild’s social structure. Soon you’ll find people putting others on mute both in game and vent and it spirals from there.
I wouldn’t like logging in to vent only to hear one of them going off about all the awesome stuff he did in PvP the other day and another saying how he was in a PuG and was amazing top DPS and it was charity that he was helping them. Similarly someone saying how they should totally be raiding in a <either DPS, Healing, or Tanking> role instead of what they are now because they are so amazing at playing one of their other toons in that role they’d blow the mains (who clearly suck?) of that role away.
Thankfully I haven’t experienced anything nearly that bad though I can say that friends of mine have. I wouldn’t wish that kind of attitude on anyone or any guild. With skill and talent should also come humility and grace. You can know that you are a good and multifaceted player…you don’t need to let people know in a moronic and abrasive manner. Childish bragging (it gets really bad when you put multiple cocky folk together in one channel) gets old fast and it doesn’t endear you to the rest of your guild.
Maybe I need to add an addendum to my “applying to a guild” post about not being an arrogant prick on vent to your fellow guildmates during initiation? Crossing my fingers in hopes that I’m spared the horribleness that others have been subjected to.