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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Learn 2 not die, or, "It's simple, stupid!"

Go to any random MMO forum, find a thread in which the writer is asking that some boss, ability, mechanic or basically anything mean to be surmounted. Maybe you find the issue the poster is bringing up simple, maybe you agree with the difficulty. I however, will bet you that somewhere in that thread, or ones like it, is someone who's response amounts to "It's fine, learn to play."
This response seems to server two purposes to the responder; as a friend of mine pointed out, it elevates the responder above the original poster, and simultaneously dismisses the poster's issue as something not worth actually addressing. It's the digital version of "If I can do it, anyone can!"

Often this accompanies suggestions that the user uninstall (heavens forbid they have an opinion contrary to someone else!), that they are a "bad" or "scrub" (cause only t3h 1337 should play this game), or of course, that they "learn to play" and master whatever tactic the responder assumes the original poster would glean simply from being told.

Congratulations sir, you as the braver responder, have not only surmounted or defeated whatever challenge the poster posits, but you have boldly ridiculed another human being. Furthermore you've established with wit rather than evidence that the poster is likely the ONLY PERSON ON EARTH who feels this way and, without addressing the point of the poster made the tacit assumption that the person is merely whining rather than expressing a valid point.

I tire of it on forums; the hubris of those who've already learned and would rather see the community of the game they theoretically enjoy diminish by another rather than trying to elevate that individual to their "esteemed"achievements. Perhaps this abuser is making use of the tactic or strategy that the other player is complaining of; lending himself to a conflict of interest.

Perhaps there is a goal in there, a more insidious means of social engineering. Assuming that the responder is on the "skilled" side of the Gaussian and the poster is in the middle or perhaps on the other side, driving him/her away serves to move the Gaussian a tiny bit towards the responder. There is a flaw in this...it means that sooner than later he'll be on the "unskilled" side...one day, it might be the responder in the shoes of the poster; shouted down merely for voicing an opinion.

I'll admit, there are times the posts are stupid, that come off as whining or fit in the typical "X class beat me, so nerf X class," but even perfectly valid issues end up getting this treatment. It annoys, when there should be discourse, that there is only silencing.

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