Englishman: I don’t really like the Welsh. A nation of whores and rugby players the Welsh!
Neighbor: My mother was Welsh.
Englishman: Really… What position did she play?
-Paraphrased from Dave Allen at Large
I’m going to pick on Syp for a moment because he sent out a tweet that illustrates one of those basic problems we face when talking about games.
Find it amusing how defensive WoW players can get when they feel their turf being threatened… guys, we're all GAMERS FIRST.—
Syp (@Sypster) March 18, 2011
Of course, I’m a WoW player and felt I was being unjustly accused of being defensive.
Which made for a self-fulfilling prophecy as I was then feeling defensive for being accused of being defensive merely because I play WoW.
But I still felt he was wrong, tarring a player base of millions of people with a trait to which they neither demonstrably share nor hold any exclusivity over.
In this situation there is always the temptation to reply in kind.
Syp plays Rift! And I am going to guess that this tweet had something to do with Rift and WoW.
Oh, and SynCaine plays Rift! And so does Bhagpuss! And none of them play WoW!
It is a conspiracy!
The Rift player base is made up of WoW haters! I find it amusing how Rift players all hate WoW!
And look how defensive they are! See those Rift players going after Tobold for saying he doesn’t want to play Rift. Defensive! Totally!
And so on and so forth.
But that would just be demonstrating that the same silly coin has two sides. And while it serves as a quick attention getting device, it hardly changes anybody’s mind about anything.
So, on the list of rules for being taken seriously as a member of the community, right after the one about not pretending you speak for the community as a whole, can we put in something about not generalizing about a given community?
Players of a given game are not a mass of like thinking/ like acting people. If we were, we wouldn’t get on each others nerves so much in game, now would we?
Of course, this rule would be covered by the umbrella clause that allows use in special circumstances, such as attempts to make a point via humorous or satirical means. (Appropriate tagging is still recommended.)
We must, after all, protect our peers who eschew the simple declarative sentence and who choose instead to communicate solely via over-wrought analogy or heavy sarcasm.