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.

5 thoughts on “Thoughtlessness

  1. Deep, cleansing breaths…

    I think over time we’re going to see the guild split into two rough ‘factions’; the Vent people and the text people. I was on for a couple hours last night and didn’t fire up Vent and it was pretty clear that most activities were being planned on Vent, because every once in a while a total non-sequitor question about where to meet or whatever, would come over guild chat. And I’d open the roster now and then and see that clusters of CoWs were suddenly in the same areas and (apparently) working together.

    I was PvE grinding and not really interested in grouping, so this isn’t be complaining, just observing. But I’m pretty sure you and I aren’t the only 2 people in the guild who don’t consider wearing a headset for 3 hours while listening to people talk over each other our idea of a relaxing evening.

    As I’ve said more than once, I don’t mind Vent for a specific purpose, but I don’t want to sit in the “General Order” channel all night listening to people talk. And in particular I don’t want to hear people working through some group activity that I wasn’t able to be a part of, either because of level or because of full groups. Talk about feeling shunned!

    Hmm, maybe we need to establish a custom chat channel for folks not using Vent. Granted that will widen the gap, but at least we’d know the people in that channel are (probably) going to respond and we can focus on working with them, as opposed to constantly being ignored by the Vent-ers.

  2. I’m just having a weirdly bad day. Dunno why — probably this cold I wish I could get rid of.

    CoW is fine, I’m just cranky. My observations apply to every guild I’ve ever been in since voice chat became viable. If anything, CoW is better than any of the others.

    Also, I was ranting more about thoughtlessness, though I’ve a few cracks to patch up in my glass house now. Oh well, now and then a rant does one good. 😛

  3. We have this conflict too. We’ve found that non-native English speakers are either comfortable with text or voice more than having to juggle with both. And it’s certainly not easy to balance.

    I tend to have teamspeak open for chit-chat, but I do try to keep an eye on chat and have only missed a couple of things (to quite comedic effect) but I know of many who kind of miss what’s being said in-chat because they’re concentrating and voice chat makes that easier.

    I definitely know at least one person close to me who’d agree wholeheartedly with the rant!

    We try to state that voice chat is only really important in big guild events or raids, but we do socialise on it too, and sometimes people who aren’t on TS do miss out. I wish it wasn’t that way, too. But I really don’t have a solution.

    Maybe your post will alert others to the need to keep up with text as well as chat.

  4. Hehe scary things is you could be talking about me and I wouldn’t know it. :$

    I’ve been notoriously bad about missing chat and it gets worse the more active the game is. Even if I’m not in vice chat.

    I installed ChatAlert, which means I’ve learned to ignore the various in game sounds that pop up everytime someone says something. 🙁

    I’m going to have to look at a way to change them into someone, “Hey stupid! Someone sent you a tell!”

    Actually, there you go Ysh. There is a project for youo. Figure out how to replace the sounds ChatAlert uses, record yourself berating people like me for not paying attention to chat and make it available for download. ><

  5. From what I’ve read, the playsound() api call is limited to in-game sounds, so you could change the alerts but they’d still be some other sound the game already uses 🙁

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