We’ve all seen it probibly even felt it ourselves, that feeling of power and safety that come with playing an online game. The power to say and do anything you want, without fear of real life consequences. Some people gain self-confidence, other gain a strong ability to lead and then there are those who feel empowered to act out their inner ass-hat.
I bring this up because as I mentioned in my previous posts I have recently taken over the GM position in my guild. This has made the 1st GM and his friends very unhappy, for some reason or another they just don’t like me. Now I understand that all of these people are younger than me at an average age of 17, but that’s no excuse for their actions from literally the moment I was announced as receiving the position (hadn’t even been made official yet).
The few remaining guildies loyal to the 1st GM immediately rage quit and began spamming Trade chat with all manner of insulting names for me, some even sent the same spam to my in game mail. This I can handle, being a geek at school I’ve had my share of insults it doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is what came next.
Seeing GM 2 who gave me the position is both my friend through guild and theirs through school they still were allowed on our guild vent, this hadn’t been an issue until I received my new position. Innocent guild mate started to get abused on vent, good people being called names and thrown around channels like play things, then vent insults started coming at me and shortly after that at my partner also. One kind guildie stepped up and brought us a new server, so the annoying little runts took their hate public.
Negative comments started to pop up in our guild recruitment threads on the O Boards, various low level alts from their new server all with rep shattering lies began to spread. Stories of bad leadership, loot ninjas and stories giving false reasons from the departure of a few of our tanks soon filled the realm forums in an effort to bring down the guild.
I was surprised to say the least, I knew these guys were low and I expected attacks on me but not my guildies. Their anonymity had given them the power to not just try to damage those they didn’t like, but also people completely uninvolved with their issues who simply wanted to raid.
Now yes this is just one big rant, but I did just want to get this all down somewhere. It’s things like this that lead me to make this blog, but there is also a moral to the story.
Anonymity is a powerful thing I can help to lift people into roles they would never have tried otherwise. It can also create some of the biggest jerks you will ever meet. To those people I ask you remember that on the Internet you are never truly anonymous, and never use that power against the innocent or those who are coming to your country in a month to visit one of your friends.
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