Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Word On Being Socially Anti-Social.

Yeah, Socially Anti-Social.

Let that compile for a minute.

Ok, now your probably either thinking I'm A.) some kind of lunatic, B.) ignorant beyond belief or C.) probably babbling nonsense. And honestly, all three could be right.

Be that as it may my point is a valid one. A good deal of our culture has taken a great leap into making more things take on more of a social element. Where once many of us anti-social hermit destined nerds used to while away the hours playing solo video games on our computers now we're doing them and being social. See, we may not be too keen on talking to random people in public but you put us on a general chat channel while we slay undead or let us bump into you in our dwarven capital by the forge and we just might.

The idea is a solid one, in theory. But here is the issue - sometimes you find some of these socially awkward people playing a game and actually being social. Only they are greeted by little less than a wall of antisocial behavior. For example; you ask someone for help and get blasted by elitist rhetoric or meet constant criticism over how you play.

Now I don't know about anyone else but I play a game for fun. And if I'm having fun then I think the game is being played right, at least to me. Take League of Legends for instance, I have been playing the game for a few years now and am anything but the most 'effective' player. I do enjoy playing the game and yes it is technically a team game which means you are in theory expected to play it with a group of others. They can be friends or just random folks thrown together for a quick match but either way it's accepted that you'll not be playing the game solo.

Wanna know how I play the game? Shhhh.... You can't tell anyone.

I play it all by myself.

Yes, I play a socially oriented game one where everyone expects the point to be you playing on a team - by myself. How does that work you may be pondering - well, oddly enough it just does. You see, I can create a custom match and assign AI bot champs to my team and the opposing team. Now I may not get as many points that way but I get to practice with how different champs work and generally just have fun. I don't play to compete professionally or anything, and I really don't play the game to try to prove I have a more impressive genitalia than some other player. It's just a fun way to spend the time in the morning or before bed. Playing solo I don't have to worry about letting someone else down or ruining their idea of fun if my kids need me to walk away from the game.

Too many other players take something fun and turn it into a personal affront to their character. They turn into anti-social tendril lashing titans of maddening rage. They push people away from a game they claim is for people to enjoy together. All the while those anti-social folks who might have otherwise opened up and tried to find some social outlet are stamped back inside their own little mental lair.

I have seen such behavior go on for years. And it's a shame too cause some games like League of Legends are fun and enjoyable games. Weather you wanna play it with others or on your own. The same could be said of a lot of MMO's too, nobody should feel required to play a game solo or only with others. The cardinal rule of any game is this: if it's fun - then play it. Let me repeat that for those in the back:

The cardinal rule of any game is this: if it's fun - then play it.

And, as always remember Wheaton's Law: "Don't be a dick." Because, let's face it - there is always a bigger one waiting around the corner to slap you in the face. Even if others have been one to you, nobody needs to turn the corner to big ol' billy - it just isn't worth it. Put the fun back into your games and take the anti-social behavior out. Because, hey, games are fun and fun is good.