Being harassed in WoW or another MMORPG? Here’s what to do.

by on March 8, 2012


Sometimes, people on the internet can really suck.

Most of us probably know or know of someone who’s had more than the usual levels of hassle in an online game. Every day, hundreds of people are threatened, stalked, or otherwise seriously harassed online. It can be a horrible, isolating experience, and if you’re the one at the sharp end, it’s very easy to feel helpless, or even feel that it’s somehow your fault.

In a post which I really feel can’t be widely linked enough, Apple Cider Mage tackles this problem from personal experience today. She offers a step-by-step guide to surviving, coping, and working with your game’s GMs or equivalent to make the harassment stop

“Harassment/abuse is not your fault. I know it is easy to blame yourself, that maybe if you had done things differently, you wouldn’t be in this situation. But it is not your fault someone responded to whatever happened in an inappropriate, gross way. Ever. No matter what you said, or did, or thought you did.

A lot of times people will harass you for no other reason than being there at the wrong time, or the wrong sort of person to them. There’s nothing you can do to make yourself less or more of a victim, and don’t listen to people who say that you can. Being a victim is because someone wants to hurt you and that’s wrong. It is always their fault for harassing you.

It isn’t just words, it isn’t just “lol internet” and if it affects you, then that’s all that matters. And you can always DO something about it, but don’t feel guilty if you’re scared or terrified. They intend to scare you. That’s what they want. It is very brave to report them, and that’s awesome. “

Apple Cider recently wrote a very brave post detailing her own experience with harassment, which I also recommend reading, whether you’ve personally suffered from harassment or not. It’s an eye-opening look at just what happens online, and how difficult it can be to cope with it.

Her guide is absolutely fantastic. She’s a skilled writer, and clearly knows the subject backward, and it shows – the guide is clear, consise, and specific as to actions to take and expectations to have. I’ve seen a couple of people go through situations with serious harassment, and having support and a roadmap can be enormously helpful – I’d very much like to see this guide widely linked so that as many people as possible can easily find it in time of need.

(My one additional comment would be that it’s always a good idea to talk to the police if the harassment escalates out of game. Whilst, as Apple Cider says, they can sometimes be unhelpful, they can also sometimes be very helpful indeed. I know of at least one situation where harassment stopped extremely quickly after the police became involved.)

Bravo to Apple Cider for writing this. If you’re a blogger, you’re on Twitter, or you’re on Facebook or Google Plus, I’d strongly encourage you to share her guide with your followers. You never know who it might help.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: General MMO Interest

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Hmm March 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

This is a good guide. For its scope, and to the average wow player, it’s a great guide. I would like to add something regarding criminal activities. There is no law enforcement online. I have encountered possible criminal activities in WoW and did not know how and where to report it. English isn’t my native language, but I would like to share my story.

There are different levels of internet abuse.
As a arena player I encountered tons of abuse and flaming. I do consider this part of the competitive metagame. People are (emotionally) involved into getting Gladiator, they spend lots of time trying to get these mounts. When people are helpless (in a way) against certain tactics they can get frustrated (taking 50 points from a team is never appreciated) and are guided by these emotions rather than finding ways to solve their problems. I find it a compliment, in a way, that these people try to insult me and I know that I’ll have an advantage in future matches (they might play less rational and are more prone to making mistakes).

What IS a problem is getting attacked by a DDoS program. They disable your internet (or make it very laggy) to make you lose games or to randomly show their hate. They knowingly engage in a criminal activity (?). I can avoid it, but I am sure there are tons of people who do not know how to deal with such a situation. It is unclear to me how and where I should report these people. I would like to report them.
Blizzard isn’t able to do anything against these players. They can not trace it because it happens outside the game.

The internet is a big (and scary) place. People interact with each other from all over the world.

There are more serous crimes than getting your internet shut down. I have been a victim of serious internet abuse (who hasn’t?). When I was 14 a pedophile tried to blackmail me into doing things. This was a black and white situation to me. I was a major computer geek. I could trace his IP, noticed similar disgusting stuff on his computer and made an anonymous call to the police.
I was ‘lucky’ that I got harassed by a man who came from my country. If he was from another country the situation could have been different and he could have gotten away with his actions.

There isn’t an international acknowledged institute that deals with digital crimes. If there is one, it should become more well known amongst the general public. Most internet users aren’t educated in the services and technologies they use. They are helpless against these crimes.

I would recommend a guideline that includes a list describing crimes, support on how to deal with the situation, support on how to report these crimes and to list the punishments for the harassers (as a warning and to make the victim feel better). This would make using the internet more transparent, it might even make the internet a friendlier and safer place. It would be nice to know that the people ‘harassing’ you engage in criminal activities and that they will be punished for their actions.

Contacting the police is inefficient and possibly inadequate. Nationalities, lack of knowledge from the userbase, no efficient method to report and to provide proof (that isn’t easily forged) make the current situation a chaos :(

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Hmm March 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I would like to add that this is available in the USA. I am not sure how explanatory it is, but I am glad that there is support.

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Oyeah April 9, 2012 at 1:18 am

World of Warcraft in a free server called Dethpod, there’s a lot of douche bag players who abuse hiding behind a fictional character and insulting others online. The worse by far is this person who created an alliance human paladin named Kalindros.
We were doing a low level dungeon in a group of five, and Kalindros was completely talking trash and were downing everyone.
One of the guys (priest) made a mistake that caused the group to die, and Kalindros started to CAPS (yell) profanity and insulting everyone and calling us noobs (it’s like calling someone the ‘N’ word).
This guy is such a downer and an unpleasant douche bag to ever work/play with.
Kalindros’ reminds me of those loser guys you see on tv – 34 and up, overweight-obese, living off of parents/family, ugly and a complete weirdo in person who cannot even meet or talk to girls but thinks they’re hot.

He probably is – all of the above stereotype afterall, who needs to hide behind the computer to be able to vent and feel like he’s ‘something’ online at least.

Very hard to do in general, but we all must keep in mind when facing harrasments, insults, and such; that it’s all a game and it’s ‘just’ some losers talking crap and cannot be taken personally.

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