This is a minor rant. It will not be very coherent and it probably won’t be very fair, either, but I’m going to get it off my chest.
It was going to be a rant about voice chat and how, inevitably, insidiously or otherwise, people who use it start to ostracise people who don’t, but it’s more than that. Some people are just plain fecking thoughtless, or blind, or oblivious, or all three.
Now, my beloved other half shares some of those apparent traits in MMOs. He’s very focused on what he does, and watching chat is priority #-210 for him. He doesn’t mean to ignore anyone; he just doesn’t think about it.
Well, it bugs me in him too, but him I can take to task directly. As for the rest of you, for the love of the MMO gods, please watch your chat occasionally. Please notice something other than what you’re doing that very instant. And if you’re on voice chat, please just fecking pretend, for one lousy second, that people not on that channel also play the game and that they, too, are real.
I don’t give a shit that voice is the next big thing and that text is on its way out. It’s not out yet. It’s still an integral part of the games we’re playing right now. And that NPC-looking person standing in the middle of your screen waving at you? That’s not an NPC, that’s someone you know (however distantly) who is trying to, you know, socialise. Which, if you’re one of the people who bitches about how MMOs shouldn’t be for solitary people, means you really bloody OWE them a little bit of conscious thought. Next time one of you Oblivious Bastards wants a group, which is about the only time you bother to acknowledge anyone else, you won’t find me responding for it.
I may be a guild officer but from now on I’m going to go into Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid mode. If you never say hi to anyone, I sure as hell won’t greet you either. If you never interact with me, I won’t interact with you either. I may try now and then because as an officer and (I think) a decent person, I feel I should, but I am NOT going to waste my time and energy on people who can’t be bothered, for whatever reason, to look up/out/aside and reciprocate.
Ironically, I know this rant is useless. Those who read it aren’t oblivious, and those who should… won’t see it, or certainly won’t see it as applying to them.
Tune in next week for Part II of this rant: Common courtesy, and why it’s not dead either.