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Sep 23 2009

Antisocial Networking

I am fucking annoyed. I shouldn’t be, but I am. It’s only a fucking game. But games are supposed to be fun, not annoying.

What game is it? It should suffice to say that it’s one of those silly Flash™-based games on Facebook™, a “social networking” site that most of you are probably familiar with. It’s really not necessary to specify because this isn’t the only game on Facebook that annoys me in exactly the same way.

At first, I enjoyed the game. It was fun. But something happened. That something was being attacked in the game by someone I do not know. Why would they attack me? For the opportunity to steal my stuff, and just for the joy of beating up on someone they do not know.

If beating up on random people (who are actually real people on the other end of the game) so you can steal their shit were the primary game mechanism, I would never have started playing the game. Such behavior is not what the game is supposed to be about. It isn’t in any way relevant to what I want to do in a game in the first place.

Okay, so they’re the game developers and they make the rules of their game. I certainly can’t fault them there. I can fault them for not even giving players an option as to whether or not they want to engage in reprehensible behavior. Why the fuck are game developers promoting this kind of behavior? They’re not only promoting it, but they’re requiring you to defend yourself against it. If you want to play their game, you must do this. I suppose that makes it a bit more “realistic”, but I don’t play games for that. I play games to escape that, if only for a few moments.

One game in particular (not a Facebook game) that gets it right is Kingdom of Loathing. Player vs. Player is an option in that game. You must opt in before you can attack other players. You cannot be attacked unless you have first opted in. How difficult is that? Apparently the very concept that it should be optional is beyond the grasp of less savvy game developers, like those at Zynga or Rawr, who both develop games used at Facebook. Multiplayer games such as Resistance 2 on the PlayStation 3 have different types of on-line gameplay available to players: cooperative or deathmatch.

I’ve sent emails to the developers of a couple of these Facebook games. I’ve received no response from them, which is really no surprise. They simply don’t give a shit. They’re tailoring these games for people just like them: people who don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves.

Out of Cyberspace; Into Meatspace

I see this behavior constantly in the games on Facebook, but I also see it many other places. I see it in the attitudes of other drivers when I drive around town. I see it in the checkout lanes at the grocery store. I see it in line at the bank.

One place in particular where I see it is the “Teabagger” rallies. The people who are attending rallies while crying out that President Obama was not born in the United States, shouting “We want out country back”, even packing loaded weapons while at a Presidential appearance, are not anti-socialist (as they claim); they are antisocial.

They really care only about themselves. They lack empathy for other human beings. They feel no remorse after having hurt or mistreated another person. They’re either indifferent to their hurtful behavior, or they rationalize it with their own brand of logic. They are deceitful; repeatedly lying or conning others for their own personal gain. They feel perfectly justified in violating the boundaries and rights of others, but scream and shout when they feel the same is done to them.

Those traits could be easily applied to many of those attending the “Teabagger” rallies, as well as those organizing and providing financial support for them. Those traits are also indicative of persons who are sometimes labeled as sociopaths or psychopaths. I don’t think such terms apply to the individuals as much as they do to the groups of people. I think that the right-wing conservative groups are acting in a manner that is very antisocial.

There’s a lot more I could say, but I won’t. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m sick of ultra-conservative douchebags acting as if they’re the only people on the planet who matter. But mostly I’m just tired.

1 comment

1 ping

  1. petursey

    what makes me laugh about teabaggers is that they’ve never looked up what a lot people know as the real meaning of the word in wikipedia !

  1. Lousy Canuck » Real-life griefing

    […] tells a similar story, only he also ties it into the ridiculous antisocial politics of the Teabaggers. The parallels between WoW / other MMO griefers and the Teabaggers are honestly quite uncanny. […]

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