Friday, August 31, 2007

A meditation on politeness and civility in Granado Espada

Quick refresher course in Granado Espada politeness, coming right up!!!

Okay, here's hoping that you, the reader, at least took a peek at that linked post. It's not even shameless self-promotion or an attempt to get people to read my other entries. I'm just saying, it's an impetus to the subject at hand today - that is, being civil in Granado Espada.

~meditation begins~

The word civil can mean any of the following:

1. of or relating to a citizen or citizens *
2. of ordinary community life as distinguished from the military or the ecclesiastical [i.e., not of the armed forces or of the religious groups]
3. civilized [as in, to raise (a society) to an advanced stage of development, or to educate in manners] *
4. not rude; polite *

[from the American Heritage Dictionary]

The three definitions marked with stars are the ones we kind of need to reflect on right now.

With the IAH-mediated release of Granado Espada now in its commercial phase, the developers must be hoping to attract more players to begin exploring this New World with such promotions as the launch parties, the item mall, and the many unique features of the game. It is thus their responsibility to make sure that all of the game's features are fully optimized and working, and to follow up complaints and/or concerns with alacrity and sensitivity.

Do we as players have any corresponding responsibilities to the game? I believe the answer is a big, resounding Yes. It is our responsibility to present ourselves, the players, as people who welcome those who are new to the game, who help each other out, and, in many cases, stay civil even when the game hosts such features as Colony Wars and the Baron mode.

Over the past few nights while I've been grinding my NineMoons family in Cervantes, I've been witnessing some very non-civil behavior from certain players. By non-civil, I mean contrary to the definitions cited above, and in some cases, contrary as well to the general rules of online etiquette that I referenced in the post I linked at the beginning of this meditation.

Players who routinely kill-steal other players - who are, in some instances, actually at the keyboard instead of being AFK. Players who taunt other players extensively, even to the extent of typing out obscenities - and finding means around the filters to do so.

Other than these in-game anomalies, there are also the taunts and evil words being bandied about in some Granado Espada players' blogs. The victimized blogs installed a tagbox code primarily so that they could interact with their readers at a moment's notice, but the tagboxes are being vandalized and spammed. Some of those being hit were spammed precisely because they had just been spotlighted by other members of the player community.

In this instance I'll freely admit that my tagbox has been trolled several times.

Might I be so bold as to say, people who act in these non-civil ways are griefing the other members of the community? Griefing in this case would refer to its definition of playing the game simply to cause grief to other players through harassment. It could also be extended to the practice of trolling other people's fan sites and blogs, as these actions also cause grief to the owners / webmasters.

[See Wikipedia for an extended discussion of the term.]

The more important question now might be, what can we do against these griefers?

The community as a whole has the power to act upon these griefers - a power that is both a right and a responsibility. We're all going to have to face this problem sometime.

~meditation ends~

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