Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Consciousness-Raising and the GE PH Community

While reading British scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins's recent bestselling book The God Delusion, I was introduced to a rather significant concept in communication: consciousness-raising. Essentially, this is making people stand up and pay attention to some things that may have become so everyday and ordinary that their other meanings are lost.

Dawkins uses as an example the feminist movement and its response to such ordinary words as "mankind" and "history". Some of the radical feminists, you see, disliked those words so much because they were allegedly so focused on the male of the species, so focused so as to make women [and children, and gays/lesbians/transgenders, and by implication the elderly] disappear.

I know that the example is a little extreme, and Dawkins admits as much. But the feminists did their share of consciousness-raising in making it clear that there were words and concepts that DID seem biased towards one gender or another. This then became the reason why gender-neutral language became widely accepted.

Now, what does consciousness-raising have to do with Granado Espada? For me, it has to do primarily with the community. We have a chance to change the usual perceptions of gamers, and we have a chance to raise others' consciousness about gaming and its actual benefits.

Take for example the GE Gamer Girls Season 1 initiative. Thanks to RCM Hrin, there is in place a project that seeks to showcase the many faces of the Granado Espada-playing girl gamer. I tend to see the project as a means of raising consciousness that there are just as many types of gamer girls out there as there are gamer guys: we are Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers [just to paraphrase that popular test of play style]; we are faction leaders, raid captains, and lone players; we devote hours and hours to the game and we also devote time to real life. I won't belabor the point, since I've already made my views clear in this previous post.

Another example of consciousness-raising would be the GE PH Bloggers' Meetings [28 October 2007, 18 February 2008, and most recently 6 September 2008].

Now, before anyone goes off accusing me of tooting my own horn, let me just repeat WHY I organize these things in the first place. The GE PH Bloggers' Meetings are put together in pursuit of the goal of bettering the GE PH players' community; they serve as venues for the community to air its concerns, and also function as real-life socializing activities. I have always intended for the GE PH Bloggers' Meetings to be a means of putting a face to the GE PH player: to make him and her REAL, with human faces and concerns and comments.

Now there is the concern raised in a recent study of Asian online gaming communities: they may be thriving, and they may be expanding, but already the bullies are out in force to prey upon the newbies. Read the story at hackenslash.

A concrete example of bullying - or more generally speaking, game griefing - can be found in one of my friend the MMOtaku's recent posts about an event in his preferred MMORPG, Perfect World: Perfect World: Frustration with a sponsored event. He says that an in-game event, which had been intended to give some enjoyment to the players, was hijacked by griefers in various ways, and offers screenshots to show what happened.

I mention these two links in connection with the problems of griefing that are currently rife in all of the SEA / ANZ Granado Espada servers. Each server has its own type of grief being suffered by the regular players, and, naturally, a different type of griefer. I want to take this opportunity to tell the community that it should be more than okay to fight back against griefers. Take back the fun of playing GE!

Consciousness-Raising is your friend!

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