I have an issue with how people are using the word ‘community’ lately in discussing MMOs, in specific Guild Wars 2 and the incidents that happened yesterday during their live chat. If you weren’t around, there were many unfavorable and immature comments made during the chat, directed towards those hosting it.
Now, immediately afterwards came a whole slew 0f “wow if this is the community I don’t want to be a part of it!” comments – and the thing that bugged me, or rather, bugs me, is that when you’re talking about an MMO community to a game that you play or are contemplating playing – you are talking about yourself. You’re not just talking about those rude obnoxious people who disrupted chat, you’re talking about a whole.
Those people don’t represent the whole, and they never have. They represent a group of people who are able to speak louder than the ‘regulars’ that we see. Because the regulars, are people like you and me, who are calmly making blog posts and counting down until games go live. We’re the ones who are hyping up a game because we’re excited, even if that excitement doesn’t last.
THAT is your community.
What we should be doing is bonding together to raise our voices louder than those who are disrupting game play. Not giving them the satisfaction of having accomplished anything negative. Outweigh the balance, in other words.
So what can we do to counter this negative community that seems to form?
Patience. Have patience with every single person you come across, whether they are negative or positive. They’re just looking to get a rise out of you, don’t give it to them. Ignore their comments, and go about being the best person you can personally be. Help others, organize server events, make an effort to get to know the other ‘regulars’ on your server and not just the loud ones in open channels.
Understanding. People play video games for multiple reasons and you never know what a persons real life stance is. They may be a complete asshole in game, but are dealing with multiple things in real life and they have no method of coping. I’m not saying this is an excuse to be an asshole in a video game, but I am saying you just never know what someones situation is. When someone is being a jerk to you keep this in the back of your mind, and don’t let what they say get to you.
Be active. You can’t say a community is poor if you don’t get involved with it! If you’re never talking to anyone else, always group alone, never want to deal with another player – how on earth can you complain about those who are communicating (be it in a good or bad way). I realize that there’s all sorts of game styles and I’m not saying you have to be incredibly social all of the sudden, because I am certainly not a social gamer, but there are ways to get ‘involved’ with the community and push forward a positive vibe without having to leave the comfort of your play style. Some times you just have to put forth that little bit of effort to make it work. It is much easier for a small handful of people to put out a negative vibe that grabs attention than it is for a large handful of people to put out a positive one. That’s just the way things work (ie: bad news spreads faster than good news).
Just remember, when you talk about the ‘community’ of a game, you’re talking about yourself. You’re talking about every person who plays that game. There’s far more ‘good’ and ‘regular’ people who are quietly playing than there are the small handful who are creating noise. It’s up to us to be louder than them.
As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.