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I hate the world today... - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
paranoidandroid
paranoidandroid
I hate the world today...
This post has been brewing for a while now.

When did it become acceptable to act like an arse? I read a lot of blogs and forums on the intarwebs. There have always been trolls but of late it appears to me that the majority of nastiness on the web isn't trolling any more (posting with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response) but actually what people think. There are no debates about differing points of view, just ad hominem attacks.

This has been brought to the fore recently by the general election and a close finish in the Premiership. It's not good enough to show your support for a team, party, or way of thinking - you have to trash the opponent in the foulest means possible. Call into question the very right for them to exist. No holds barred - anything goes.

I am worried that a few more people in the country wanted a right wing government than a left or centrist one. I think there are a lot of short memories... but that's how our government system works so the amount of uneducated dross on the BBC wondering about the validity of a Lib-Lab (or Lab-Lib) coalition because "The majority of the vote was Tory" made my mind boggle... if the majority of the vote had been Tory we wouldn't be talking about coalitions... and my worry would be compounded. I didn't feel the need to write to "Have your Say" to call the commentators rude names... but there is a growing number of people who did.

If those people actually had a point... or understood the situation at least as much as I do (which is a very low bar to be set)... I wouldn't agree with them any more, but I would respect their right to "Have Their Say"... but they obviously didn't understand the situation at all. If I had a pound for every comment that stated "We voted [the labour party] out... so Gordon should get his [generic insult] arse out of number 10" I would have enough money to buy a round in a nice London pub... and that's not cheap!

Fact of the matter was... until a majority government was "found" it was still Gordon's job to run the country. As a nation we did not vote him out of office... we dropped the ball and voted for nothing. I believe our nation is broken and the hung parliament is just the tip of the iceberg. Hope was kindled when the BNP lost all their seats - but that's small hope compared to the hatred seen everywhere.

Then we had the animosity between the supporters of the top Premiership football teams... specifically places 3 to 5. It isn't good enough to beat a team - you have to trash talk them - their supporters - their history - family and friends... you get the idea. Have we been living in cities for two long? We haven't evolved enough to live with such a vast number of people that we have to split into tribes again? Our "sanity" is only safe if we act like warring gangs?

I try to escape from the increasing depressing world by playing fantasy games. If you've read much of this blog before you'll know that I play World of Warcraft... or World of Warcrack as it is known in some circles due to its perceived addictiveness. It seems that the more popular you get - the worse your critics become... but I was shocked at the levels I found in a recent "news" article in the games news section of the Yahoo website:

Digital horse is a galloping success!

You see blizzard have started to sell a horse (or mount if you are familiar with WoW parlance) for use in the game. That is - a horse that only exists in game. A virtual horse... And this has caused a stir. The "Yahoo! UK Games Editor" writes, a little tongue in cheek, that he doesn't consider £16 for a digital horse good value for money. He hints (but goes no further than hinting) that you might be a fool to purchase one.

Now you should know that not only am I a big fan of WoW but I have purchased one of these digital horses. I am not ashamed... I think it is actually good value for money - which I will explain later. See the shock came from the comments under the article... some of which I have copied and pasted below in all their original glory:

(50) get off your fat lardy arses and do some exercise , maybe then you will not be a burden on the health service in a few years and someone who is genuinly ill can have the place instead. Stupid little nerds or what
(a bit specific this one... I am not sure if there are stats for hospital beds taken up by obese (ex)gamers)

(52) I played WoW for 1 month in 2005, and found it was full of nerds, spotty teenagers, and people with no social skills who had no ambition but to win pixellated armour. Myself, I re-entered the World of Life - friends, job, socialising, and real relationships.
(someone with a special add-on that allows you to see through other peoples monitors!)

(111) I WONDER IF ANY OF THESE NERDS THAT PLAY THIS GAME HAVE A GIRLFRIEND OR EVEN A SEXLIFE, ALL THE VIRGINS THAT PLAY THIS GAME NEED TO GROW UP AND LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD. AND FOR GODS SACK HAVE A SHOWER!!!!
(caps means your message is more important than the rest... and a little obsessed with sex me thinks)

(169) I think it's sad! Look at the people who play that game. They are the people who have no concept on reality. Their are weird and sad. I think World Of Warcraft should limit people on playtimes or something, and they really really to get a life. It's a game, and their pathetic!
(yes! look at the people who play that game... limiting people's playtime is sure to stop them buying stuff... or something)

and my favourite:

(198) 99% of game players are compulsory masturbators, testosterone juiced zit covered shy introverted perverts. Most are very afraid of women,except video game broad. Anywhere there this a PS3 or X box is a zone of porn. Yes! games and porns go together. softcore,hardcore, youporn etc, All com@#$%rs in any gaming house or flat is guaranteed to be oozing all manners of porn. Games are drugs for the socially challenged which leads to porn for the equally sex starved, Let them buy virtual houses or earthworms. It is not against the law.
(compulsory masturbaters? really? I was just washing my pee-pee... really thoroughly... honest)

I think the last one is actually trying to be on my side... perhaps not.

Now that's a lot of animosity toward people whose (only?) fault is they stay home and play computer games. I have to wonder why someone who was reading a games news/review website would have that much hate towards people who play games. It's like going to the gym just to take the piss out of the people who work out. If you're that kind of person it seems a little ironic that you're claiming I should get a life. I like my life fine thank you very much to the point I don't need to find people who have hobbies I don't, just to put them down. I think it says a lot about someone the way they put someone else down.

When will these people realise that computer games are no longer the sole domain of the nerd - people from all walks of life play computer games now. Even Mr T, Verne Troyer (Mini-me), Captain Kirk, and the Prince of Darkness plays WoW! </tongue in cheek>

Really - I know a few people who play WoW (outside of all the people I've met "in game"). The one thing they've all had in common is they are successful professionals! Most of them are a little shy about admitting it at first because there is a massive social stigma attached to the gaming community... but I think that as more and more of "us" are outed this will eventually fade. None of these people are described in the vitriol above. They all have social lives... and quite a few of them have partners... some of whom don't play games!

So why did I spend £16 of my hard earned cash on a horse that only exists in a virtual world? I didn't - I spent £16 on many horses that only exist in a virtual world! Every one of my characters (current and future) get a magic winged stead as soon as they are a high enough level to use one! Okay that's just semantics... I spent £16 because I wanted it. I have a good job - I can afford to spend a little money on frivolous shit I don't need but want. It's a fricking Celestial Steed!

How much of they stuff we buy these days has no physical form? Cable TV, memberships? What about going to see a band, or a film? You might get a ticket for your hard earned cash - but what you are actually paying for has no physical form. You are renting an experience. When it has finished you have nothing but memories. What about MP3s? Music in virtual form - there are not too many people wondering why MP3s are being purchased by so many people. So the only thing that singles this story out for the derision it's getting is: it's a game. I pay a monthly fee to play a game because I enjoy the experience. I'm renting fun. It costs me (a lot) less a month than a night out. I get to socialise with like minded folk. I get to solve puzzles. I get a sense of achievement in the form of increased levels.

But because I am a gamer (with spare cash) that gives random folk the right to abuse me? Because I support a leftist political view? Because my football team isn't as high in the table? What ever happened to the sage advice of parents of my youth... "If you can't say something nice... don't say anything at all."

The last straw tonight was a facebook "event" claiming there was a ban on wearing football shirts. Specifically England football shirts. During the world cup. Now this is blatantly absurd - there is no ban because such a ban would be a breach of The European Court of Human Rights (gawd bless 'em). What happens is this: A policeman writes to a pub asking them to enforce a dress code. This dress code states no football shirts. "The Sun" gets a hold of this and turns it into "The police are trying to stop our boys from showing how proud they are to be English" bullshit. Sun readers everywhere start spouting racial xenophobic shit along the lines of "go back home." People with far more spare time than I have argue with The Sun readers. There are no winners in this war.

I refuse to link to either the facebook event or The Sun as a matter of principle... you're all web savy people who can google anyway right?

So I will head back to the world of Azeroth where there are few people who read the Sun - and no one who'll talk politics or sport.

Tags: ,
Current Location: RM12 5JH
Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: Tim Minchin - Prejudice (Live)

9 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
bekijane From: bekijane Date: May 20th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi. My name is Edasich and I'm a death knight.

Yes I have a sparklepony, no I'm not a spotty youth with no life. No I'm not a hard-core gamer who can't be levered out of my seat. I'm a (nearly) 40 year old woman with a life. Ever since I found this huge world to play in there has been no other game that came close to the fun I have in that world.

How is it different sitting in front of a computer entertaining myself for a few hours from sitting in front of a television? How is it any different from burying myself in a good book? How is it any more addictive than either of those things? The one thing a multiplayer game has by design that television and books can never have is interaction with other people. Learning to work as part of a team to achieve goals. I'd suggest it as a work team building thing in any office.

Any good gamer geek would beat every last TV addicted couch potato out there. At least we can think.

paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: May 22nd, 2010 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi Edasich! My name is Gualaleina (don't ask!) and I, too, am a death knight!

(My death knight is quite jealous of your death knights gear!)
bekijane From: bekijane Date: May 24th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I boggle a bit at the jealous thing - you see I can't raid. I can't guarantee I'll be able to play at a set time on a set day and certainly not in the evenings. That gear is all Emblems of frost and lucky drops from the last three Wrath instances. I can barely manage 4k+ dps on Patchwerk (admitted that he's the wrong kind of fight for my AoE unholy spec).

And perhaps that's the downside of not being a srs player; Never seeing end game content till it's way past easy mode.

I've never even cleared Naxx.
seattleforge From: seattleforge Date: May 21st, 2010 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this post.
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: May 22nd, 2010 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you kindly sir!
mrmist From: mrmist Date: May 21st, 2010 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes! For Gods Sack make it stop. I'm not sure what God's sack has to do with the price of fish really. Maybe it's the sack he keeps all the Useful Stuff in.
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: May 22nd, 2010 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
The spelling, as always, is atrocious in the comments. I can't understand why, in an age of in browser spell checkers, people are not a bit more self respecting when it comes to how they project themselves in a text only media.
beckwah From: beckwah Date: May 21st, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I may not play WoW (I played the beta when i was pregnant with Ella and when it was first out) but I played Daoc for about 3 years and met a lot of fabulous people who weren't in anyway spotty nerds (infact some of them were downright stunning to look at!)
I don't consider myself to be socially inept, or a nerd. I think people like to generalise and put things in boxes way too much.
As for politics.. it's a bloody disgrace. I went out and voted for who I thought was the better option and unfortunately not everyone agreed.
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: May 22nd, 2010 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
You should come to the dark side! I have a couple WoW invites going spare! You'll get to level up faster! ;)
9 comments or Leave a comment