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Gaming Fat, Ugly or Slutty?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 20 Jun 2011.

  1. jhng

    jhng New Member

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    That's exactly my point. Just because it is an option to run away from issues (and even in real life that is often an option whether literally or psychologically) doesn't mean that you should be expected to do so. A huge amount of progress has been made over the last century precisely so that people don't have to run and hide. Online gaming shouldn't be treated as an exception just because its at more of a distance.

    Nexxo's view appears to be that because it is easier to run away from an issue in an online context than 'in the real world', it is at some level more acceptable for people to behave obnoxiously in that context and there is less of an onus on communities to challenge that sort of behaviour.

    My original point was that the analogous argument ("you can run away from it") can be, and has been in the past, applied to plenty of real world situations as well. Another example is the way that in the past many disabled people did, literally, not leave the house because it wasn't socially expected for them to be seen in public. We don't accept the 'it's okay you can run away' argument in real world cases, so why should we accept it in online cases.

    (Nexxo -- I hope I haven't misrepresented your view, if so I apologise)
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2011
  2. soopahfly

    soopahfly New Member

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    Yeah, I don't mind that :D That's banter :D

    It's the little chicken shits who say stuff knowing they'll get away with it. The stuff they wouldn't dare say in real life for fear of getting their teeth kicked in. And rightly so.
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Good rant (the over-inflated opinion of myself is right, but I can't comment on my penis size). But 'brag' is with one 'g' [/GRAMMAR NAZI]

    Two points. First you should note that as a moderator I have never banned anyone for flaming me. I can take it. Secondly, I never said that you should always take things lying down. What I am saying is that you need to be aware of the fact that you have a choice in how you decide to feel and respond to ass-hattish behaviour. The Internet dickwad is out to hurt you, whether it is because he can't live with a girl having pwned him or because he is just can't stand being pwned, period, and grabs for gender as an easy hit-point. He is a sad, little individual trying to reassert control. You can choose to let him press your buttons and be a powerless victim, or you can choose to be in control of the situation and your responses to it. As zatanna rightly says: this can be hard, as many of our emotional responses are conditioned by now, and very understandable. But that does not mean they cannot be controlled, and even changed. Asshat is not in control; you are. Ignore or challenge: you decide. But decide from a position of wisdom and inner peace, not stupid rage. That's his part.

    I did not say that the world should be unfair; just that it is, and that it would be stupid to expect it not to be. That statement usually meets with the initial grief reactions of denial and anger. Many people can't accept it. Much like the internet dickwad can't accept that there are girls out there who can pwn him, many people cannot accept an unfair world. Again, that doesn't mean you should take it lying down. We should strive towards a fairer world. But we need to start from an acknowledgement that it isn't (otherwise we wouldn't lock our doors and keep our credit card details secure); get past our upset and get changing things.

    To be fair, leslie, jhng was trying to reflect my point to challenge it in the same way you are doing now. He is on your side. :) But he misinterpreted my points a bit. He confounded the distinction between virtual and real life a bit.

    However he is right that my argument is that it is easier to ignore what goes on in virtual life, because, well, IT ISN'T REAL. That's the whole POINT of its existence. The main attraction of virtual reality is that it allows us to play(!) with situations, roles and actions we could not engage in in real life because they are not really possible, or because of the serious real-life consequences. We can take life-threatening risks, commit crimes, kill people (including prostitutes), get killed ourselves repeatedly, swap genders and engage in on-line fantasy relationships. We can be mighty wizards, slay dragons, command armies and conquer worlds. You know the Sony commercial. We go there because it has no relation to real life. It is fantasy. Dream time. And when some dick rants at you it has no more consequence than some WoW character planting an axe in your character's head, a dragon eating you, or some sniper taking you out in CounterStrike. Campers are frustrating, but it's just a game. An Internet dickwad has no more effect on your real life than a bad dream does.

    jhng also did not get the point that making conscious decisions about how you feel does not preclude the possibility of confrontation. But that has to come from a calm head, not a raging heart. You have to keep perspective. In virtual reality there can only be lies. Nothing is real. Not even another person's opinion about you.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2011
  4. soopahfly

    soopahfly New Member

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    See, that is case in point.

    Prime example of someone hiding behind a username to say stuff they wouldn't dare say in real life. Sitting back in his chair, proud that his e-penis has grown and seeks the approval of the other members. Only that approval never arrives. Rejected, he shrinks back and retaliates in the only way he knows how.
    By arguing on the internet.
    Bi-Winning.

    :D
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Er... Exactly who of all of the above are you referring to? :p
     
  6. soopahfly

    soopahfly New Member

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    Not you ;)

    Relentless does crazy stuff to my brain...reading that back :D
     
  7. greypilgers

    greypilgers New Member

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    Whether or not we agree on all or some points raised, I would like however to tip my hat to you, sir, for the excellent way you took my somewhat rude previous post, whatever my motivation. Thank you and it is appreciated. I'm glad this forum has so many different participants, and all with different views. It's what keeps it alive.

    :thumb:
     
  8. r8bwp

    r8bwp New Member

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  9. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    all I know is nexxo is uncircumcised.. but I'm pretty sure his penis size is twice as big as greys, well just a wild guess but I'd put money on it xD

    bit should write an article on the percentage of gay gamers online.. it's probably very high from what I've seen.. a long time ago, we ran a gay tryouts just to see how many in the aoe community (back when the zone was still around) were gay

    we were amazed at the turnout.. some of the best players on the zone were happy to show up and openly said ah finally a all gay clan! I mean we actually had a que setup for the amount of people who wanted to tryout

    I guess it was new idea back then- we thought maybe one or two.. it was practically the whole community.. I haven't looked at anyone the same since :D
     
  10. leslie

    leslie Just me!

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    Are you sure?

    There is several legal cases going through court right now because of people bullied online into suicide. About half of divorce cases now involve Facebook. How many have divorced because someone "cheated" online? Most people are now meeting their spouses online rather than offline. I can couch surf most of the world if I wanted because of people I have met online. Here is the U.S. we have senators crowd sourcing senate decisions.

    Sorry, but online is very real.
    There is still a real person at the other end. We put ourselves out there just like real life, we create homes, make friends and more. It's no different.


    15 years ago I would have said you were right, but digital life has moved beyond being fake, and become an extension or real life.
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It's cool. You were illustrating an important point, and my disagreement does not detract from its logic or validity (after all I could be wrong, and with many issues there is no such thing as right or wrong, just different points of view).
     
  12. greypilgers

    greypilgers New Member

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    I'm just waiting for the next step of this thread to be whose willy is the biggest, Nexxo's or GreyPilgers (a la thehippoz post)?!?!

    Ha ha ha... Unfortunately for me, I am not a bragger (2 g's this time, right Nexxo? LoL) - mine's so small, it's concave - it practically grows out of my ar*e! LoL... Or am I being ironic?? Fnar fnar...

    Thats an interesting point made a bit earlier though - I suppose there are several different groups that may encounter discriminatory reactions whilst online including our gay brethren... All are welcome, 'cos we all bleed the same, right?

    Except for gingers. Those freaks can leave rightaway...


    LoL... Just kidding... I love the ginge!

    :D
     
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Good point, and I have been thinking about such cases a long time. Partly because I agree that an intimate virtual relationship with another person while you are married is still a form of adultery, and partly because it is a boundary issue not unlike that which occurs in therapeutic relationships.

    One of the tricky issues in psychotherapy is clients who want to befriend, or even fall in love with the therapist. This is a normal phase in therapy that people usually work through. There is something really powerful in somebody spending an hour a week giving you their undivided, unconditionally accepting, non-judgemental and caring attention, and actually listening to you, especially if you have lacked such attention as a child (as many people with mental health issues have). Clients may project all sorts of parental or romantic feelings on the therapist.

    The therapist, on their part, finds themselves in a position of power and trust, and privy to the most intimate details of the client's life. Think young, attractive females talking unblushingly about their body and sexuality in the greatest detail. That can happen. And sometimes you just really like your client, because you have things in common, because their struggles resonate with your own, because they are just likeable human beings.

    But the intimacy is a false one. It goes only one way, for one; you get to know everything about them but they learn nothing of you. If you weren't their therapist but had, say, met them in a pub, they might not have noticed you. They might even have taken a dislike to the real you. Because the person your client experiences is not the real you, but a professional persona. Similarly, the client is not the person in their real-life environment, but the person-as-client in a very specific, boundaried context. The intimacy is artificial. It is supposed to be. A therapist should always be on the outside of a client's life, looking in. That's his role: as an objective observer and facilitator, not a friend, parent or lover caught in the same subjective mire of perspectives as the client.

    Similarly, on-line relationships may feel intimate, and be experienced as such, but it is a false intimacy. People can never really know each other on-line --which is why we hear horror stories of people who finally went to meet their on-line lover IRL and found that reality was, well, very different from the consensual virtual reality they had built up together on the net. Cheating with an on-line partner is cheating, but it's not with a real person. It's like a married person visiting prostitutes: just because it's cheating and involves acts of intimacy does not mean it's a real intimate relationship with a real person.

    Some people cannot keep those boundaries straight in their heads. I'm sorry to say that some of those people are therapists, and they lose their job over it. Of all the rules you don't break, that is the one you absolutely do NOT break. Because then you are not a therapist anymore (or as I warn my trainees: the difference between 'therapist' and 'the rapist' is only a small space). Some people cannot keep those boundaries on the Internet either. They believe in the Sony commercial: "At least I've lived". I'm saying: "No, if you spend all your time on-line, you really aren't living at all".
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2011
  14. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Got it! Prostitutes != real people. I always suspected...
     
  15. leslie

    leslie Just me!

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    And yet there are plenty of examples of where it worked out quite well when they went to meet.

    This still backs up what I said, it's as real as you perceive it to be which is still harmful and again, as we delve more and more into digital life, that line becomes easier and easier to cross.

    How would you define peoples relationship with pets? One way? How can you be sure? And does it matter? If the pet dies, they still feel that loss, even if the pet had no feelings other than the fact that the person fed them. By your stance, it was one sided and therefore not real. Tell the dog or cat owner "I'm sorry you're sad, but it was never real."

    Are you saying these people also have issues with knowing where to draw the line? What makes a one sided pet ownership any less real than an online friendship? Just because you cannot see or touch them, doesn't mean it's not real.

    Would you tell someone religious that god's love is false because it's one sided? I'm sure a few would take serious issue with that mindset and yet how is it it any different than an online friendship? At least the friend talks back.
     
  16. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    All I'm saying is: I drive a really small car. :p

    They are real people, but their clients do not have a relationship with that real person. They have a relationship with the professional persona. Their professional relationships may appear intimate, but aren't. You do not get to see the real person behind the profession any more than you do with psychotherapists. A good prostitute does not tell you where she lives. She does not share intimate details about her personal life. She does not kiss on the mouth. There are good reasons for keeping those boundaries.

    Like psychotherapists, prostitutes perform a role. She does not really enjoy sex with her punters (her acting talents notwithstanding), or if she does, it is because it is not intimate, and is controlled.

    Similarly I do not enjoy listening to my cancer patients' tales of anguish, nor do I care about them on a personal level (you'd burn out pretty quickly). I care about them, and want to help them because that is my job. I do not think about them while I'm at home.

    And (research shows) patients actually like it that way. They want a calm, capable professional who they don't have to worry about getting distressed by their suffering, not a mate who cries with them. They already have those, and although that can be helpful too, it isn't always. My patients tell me that my greatest asset is that I am a stranger. They can dump their issues with me, confidentially, without being judged, without worrying about my feelings, explore them, process them and walk out knowing it won't spill over into their personal lives. If I do my job right, my patients feel safe. That is not the same as feeling close.

    Similarly, a prostitute's punters don't want real intimacy; they want sex. They don't want the woman; they want their sexual fantasy of women. They want to act it out with a stranger so they can walk away afterwards without it affecting their real life. The worst nightmare for a punter would be to bump into their prostitute while they are out shopping with the partner and kids. The prostitute feels pretty much the same. Boundaries: they matter.

    it is as real as you choose to perceive it to be. That's my whole point.

    As a pet owner (two rats and about 20.000 honey bees) I always treated the relationship as significant to the human and the animal in different (if respectively equally important) ways. The relationship is real, obviously, because the pet is real (you are cleaning its cage, picking up its poo, and in case of my bees, getting stung by them on a Bad Bee Day. It don't get more real than that). When, say, a dog dies, you are grieving your loss (naturally), but that doesn't mean the dog experienced the relationship in the same way. Doesn't mean it was not significant to the dog; it was just significant to it in a doggie way. A sense of attachment and pack belonging, being warm and fed and having a soft death. The importance of those things should not be underestimated for a dog. But what they give you is doggie attachment, not human intimacy, and in fact many pet owners have pets exactly for that reason (I find rats a lot easier than children myself).

    Religious attachment almost deserves a thread of its own. But put it this way: if someone feels close to God and talks to Him, we think nothing of it. When someone claims that God talks to him, as in: directly, and causes things to happen for him personally, we reach for the phone to call mental health services. Most religious people make a clear distinction between their spiritual life and physically real life. My devout cancer patients trust in God, but they still take the chemotherapy.

    In order to debate this further, perhaps we have to define and clarify our terms. I get the impression that you (and Spec) confound the (perceived) 'realness' of a relationship with its (perceived) intimacy. The two are not the same. My argument however is that you cannot have real intimacy if your relationship is not with a real person to start with. And on the Internet we can never be, or experience, the whole, real person.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jun 2011
  17. leslie

    leslie Just me!

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    And I would argue that "real" relationships start off with falsehoods as well. You dress and act to impress, it's not really you. Unless you live together a while you never really experience "the whole, real person" in real life either. Just because it's different doesn't make it any less real.

    I see what you say as coming from an older generation who doesn't understand online relationships. This is where things are headed more and more. While you can argue it's not as good (and I agree), you shouldn't discount it as false or perceived when it is becoming more and more the reality. Maybe you should read some of the experiments with human/robot social interaction coming out of Japan.


    That being said, I think we have drifted quite a ways off topic.
     
  18. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    This is really pivotal, but I'm not sure how much I agree. I'm genuinely in two minds about it.

    On the one hand, I admire people who can emotionally distance themselves from online interactions and compartmentalize it. On the other hand, I recognise what you don't seem to account for, Nexxo - that many people, perhaps most people, just can't do it.

    I like the idea that people shouldn't/needn't get hurt by online comments, but the reality is that a lot of people do. Maybe that makes them uninformed, optimistic, over-sensitive, naive; but the reality is that nobody's perfect, and most people can't compartmentalize online activity in the way you're describing. Most people are deeply hurt by online abuse, so pragmatically it matters as much as other, more real forms of abuse.


    In any event, there are some reasons why the analogy between therapy and online gaming breaks down:

    The way you describe handling your business and personal lives is a pretty extreme defense mechanism, and most people don't need to develop it and so haven't. But even if they could, it's unreasonable to expect them to, because they're not working as a psychologist or a teacher or a doctor - they're just playing a game. The games don't come with strong warnings about the severity of online interactions (not proper ones), and it's not widely discussed. It's a big, surprising slap in the face for most people. So there's customer's rights to think about: these aren't people applying for a job in social services or parole work, they're just normal folk buying an entertainment system. Nothing pre-purchase suggests to them that they'll need a complex, novel, independent set of social skills to navigate it: they're just expecting light fun, because that's how it's marketed.

    Second, much online interaction involves minors. You wouldn't expect a minor - least of all an adolescent - to have developed the mature compartmentalization ability you've described, but adolescents are the majority of online gamers. And apart from being emotionally incapable of compartmentalizing online interactions, they're also far more vulnerable to abuse - abuse suffered during formative years is far, far more damaging than at other periods, and will shape them. (I speak from personal experience. Growing up on the internet gave me a colourful array of insecurities and anxieties.)

    And thirdly, online gaming is social: it's not just one person in isolation, it's often a person functioning within their established social structure. People go online with their friends, their partners or their family, and that makes it very hard to compartmentalize. Imagine if your wife was in the room while you were talking to a patient, and the conversation was 3-way: it would instantly be much harder to detach from the patient properly. You can't turn it on and off like a lightswitch, it's situational, and being in a situation with your wife would force your switch to 'on', and all the patient's crap would bypass your defences.

    The same thing happens online. Getting abused when you're on your own is one thing; you can write it off to an extent, distance yourself from it. But if it's you and a couple of friends, or a partner, and you start getting online abuse, it catches you off-guard and really gets to you, because you're at ease and not expecting it.


    Like I say, I'm in two minds about this. Prescriptively, I agree with what you're saying. I wish I could detach from and dismiss online abuse. But descriptively, it just doesn't work like that very often for very many people, for reasons above.

    I miss university already.
     
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  19. jhng

    jhng New Member

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    I quite agree. I know a number of people who have met their spouses or long-term partners online. As far as I can see, their relationships are just as good or bad as those of people who met offline.

    I take Nexxo's point about the boundary issue, the fact that online interactions give a lot of opportunity for dissembling and the fact that you can and do get some very exploitative imbalances in the way that different people expose themselves online. It is important to recognise this risk and be able to 'unplug' from those situations. But as Leslie says, you can get these sorts of imbalances in the real world as well.

    In the context of gaming, it may be strongly advised to take the obnoxious behaviour with a pinch of salt for this reason; however, that doesn't necessarily mean that the person spewing bile at you isn't genuinely trying to give you real world abuse -- he or she is actually trying to offend/upset you as a real person. For me, suggests that they ought to be held to real world standards of behaviour.
     
  20. jhng

    jhng New Member

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    That's a very good point. Referring back to Nexxo's original distinction, I also know a bunch of old friends who regularly game online together because they are too far apart geographically to meet up IRL and it is a good way to keep in touch and spend time together. Surely that activity is just as real as meeting up down the pub? In which case, it is a bit unrealistic to suggest that you can and should simply retract as soon as a third party arrives to spew a bit of bile.
     
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