Righteous Orbs: On “Acceptable” Standards In Group Settings

Wow. Okay, my brain feels like it’s melting in a fuzzy, warm chocolate sort of way. Why? I’ve just read a very long but incredibly cogent post from Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs on the subject of rights and acceptable behaviour in groups.

He’s taking his subject from the “Frostgate incident” a couple of weeks ago. While Tam refers to it throughout his post you don’t need to know the ins and outs of the incident to make sense of what he’s saying, though if you want to get the background you can find it here with various links onwards. Tamarind is looking at that incident as an example of a much wider problem: how we as a community are falling into various social traps, the worst of which is passively supporting the unnatural right of tanks and healers over DPS in a group.

Tam’s post is long, but he covers a lot of ground. He also talks about calling teammates by their class name and why it’s unacceptable, and goes on to say that we should think about why the apparent acceptable standards in a dungeon are both low and actually unacceptable.

And you might say: what does it matter, Tam? We go to LFG to get stuff we want with the minimum of fuss, not to get respect from other players. But ultimately the more I think we allow ourselves to dehumanize others, and be dehumanized in our turn, even in small ways like this, the more we slip into treating other players as resources to be used, and the more we create a culture in which that is perceived as being is entirely normal. And I know this is what makes me such a hopeless social but I genuinely believe it damages all aspects of the game – it’s not about creating a “nice” atmosphere where people are “nice” to each other, it’s about creating an expectation of acceptable behaviour in a group setting.

Yes, all the things he’s covering are things that have been talked about for ever and a shattering. But Tam’s article builds up through his points and culminates in an entirely sensible point. His whole post serves as a varied warning and a rant for anyone who’s been in a group setting. Well played, priest.

I gather from my twitter stream a little earlier a few folks are thinking to write their own posts in response to this one, so I’ll be interseted to see those and maybe do a further update tomorrow. But for now, what do you think? Is Tam right on or is he going overboard and doomsaying?


Quote taken directly from Tam’s post

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