Something very interesting happened to me the other day and I want to share it with you now. As much as I don’t want to say ‘I hope you see the lesson here,’ I really kind of hope you do.
I play League of Legends.
I started playing League of Legends at the suggestions of some other page Admins and a few fans of the page. I won’t say I’ve never been into PVP (Player Vs Player) because I enjoy it to an extent and sometimes I get very carried away with it. I either stream curse words about the match or I am extremely quiet. If I’m grouped with people I will attempt to help them as best as I can. However that usually comes out as me screaming, ‘There is some F&^K WAD BEHIND YOU.’
I play a healer/support character in LoL (League of Legends). Now don’t give me that ‘girls make the best healers’ crap because, I swear to Sylvanas, I will come to your house and kick you in the nuts so hard that squirrels will cringe for your pain. As I was saying, I play a healer. Why? excellent question. I’ve always played warriors, scrappers; they wade in and beat the crap outta everything until it’s dead. One thing was brought to my attention. A little bit before WoW (World of Warcraft) a friend made a joke calling me Leeroy Jenkins* and I didn’t get it. My husband laughed because he did and I was informed that was an accurate description of my play style. Even after I learned what that name meant, I still did it. I was famous for running out of a battle screaming in Vent (Ventrilo) ‘Oh shit Oh shit Oh shit…..’ cause I was about to be owned. Even better were the times I forgot I was a squishy (easily killed character, i.e cloth wearer). I would be running away from something screaming ‘I am NOT a level 70 Warrior, I am NOT a level 70 Warrior’**. I always waded in, be damned everything else, and tried to take things out. Hell I STILL do it. I really don’t care either.
So I picked up a healer (Blood Elf Paladin***) and I healed. Wearing plate didn’t make me so squishy that I couldn’t wade in and stun some stuff to heal my target. However it taught me the patience of standing in the background and healing. Do NOT rush in, Do NOT fight things head on. Your team needs you to stay back, stay alive and keep them going. They need YOU to make sure they get through this fight, they can’t do it without your HELP. I got it and you know what, I make a bitchin healer. I would even say that the combination of my husband’s Mage and my Paladin were among the top raiders of our server at the time. We were trying things that hadn’t been accomplished yet and that felt awesome.
Now that you have a bit of backstory, let’s fast forward a bit.
We play together and that is how we like it. We spend a lot of our quality time together playing games. Video Games, Board Games, Table Top, Card Games. Doesn’t matter we play them all. We play LoL together. I play a healer, I chase him around and heal him (and any teammates that come close to us). Now there is tutorial to playing with other people and what the strategy for what they want. No one stops and tells you, ‘HEY, this is what this means.’ Bot means were are going through the bottom lane, oh and a lane is this avenue down here. When you play an MMO, about 1% of people who play are helpful enough to come to you and say ‘hey, this is this and that is that and I see you’re a noob**** and welcome to this game I love, I am here to help.’ Unless you have a dedicated friend who has already waded through all the bullshit and is there to hold your hand, you are kinda screwed. When I started playing WoW, I had my husband to hold my hand and explain a lot of crap. We started raiding together and our raid leader explained a lot to us. In LoL, there was no one to explain anything to us. It was suggested to me, I suggested we play together and we did. I found a character I liked and stuck with her (Soraka). I love playing her; I get better and better every time I play her. I still have a lot to learn.
We play in teams VS the computer. Why? Simply put, people can be assholes and we still have a lot to learn. PVP isn’t for everyone and we don’t want to go into it yet. We may never. Again, PVP isn’t for everyone. We did as we always do. We got into the lobby, I locked in Soraka, he played Singed (though, I much prefer him playing Varus). We called bot like we always do. Him first and then me on the next line. I was told to go elsewhere. Now, this had never happened before. No one had ever even spoken to us so we both kinda looked at each other in confusion.
Now, a lot went wrong in this match up. Firstly, we didn’t speak up. We didn’t say anything because noob fear usually persuades us that shutting up and playing is better than making yourself a target and saying things like, ‘Um yeah we have no idea what you’re talking about.’ Hell it took me 3 years to figure out that OOM means Out of Mana*****. Should we have said something? Maybe. There are a lot of shoulds going on in this and we all know that doesn’t solve anything after the fact.
So the game started and we both went to the top lane like we are used to. Stick together. Now, if you don’t play, it’s two teams of 5 vs 5. 5 people players and 5 computer players. So we were suddenly met with confusion from the 3 other people. Again, we both looked at each other. No one speaks more than saying ‘good job’ or ‘watch out.’ The whining started. They wanted me to take the center lane by myself. I informed them I was a healer and that there was no way I could have done it. I was immediately bashed. What was I doing playing support when someone already called it? I panicked. I didn’t know you had to call support. I’d never done it before; no one in the months we had been playing even bothered asking. In all my time I’d never seen the word even pop up on my screen in a match. I’m support. I had no idea what the hell it meant. So after that it turned into bitching that we were going to lose because I screwed up. I laughed it off and said I’ve never lost healing. Which was true, since I started playing I think we had lost one match and that was only because 2 people had disconnected, so it was 3 vs 5 and that was hard as hell.
I tried to let it roll of my back (I even ran to a player saying he needed help. After I went to help him, he told me to either take over or go away) but after I died a couple of times the trolling started and I was being laughed at and made fun of. At this point, I was so upset I was shaking. (So let me insert here that I have issues with controlling my anger. I have gotten much better over the past couple of years. I can control a lot better than before and there are no holes in my walls. Woot for meditation and taking deep breaths). So, shaking for me is a horrible sign, and I knew that I couldn’t keep going like this. However I have a big mouth and instead of just quitting I opened my mouth. (I want to note that my husband had told them on several occasions to STFU****** and play but, of course, that only made the trolling worse). So my loud mouth kicked in. I respawned and sat at the starting point and I did what I tend to do best.
I typed a heated post about how they were being a bunch of elitist jerks who could do nothing more than to act better than everyone else and trash on a couple of noobs without actually talking to them. Because its so much easier to tear someone down than it is to build them up. Apparently I struck a nerve, it never occurred to them (not all of them) that they were being the ‘asshats’ I so eloquently said they were.
That put the brakes on for a moment and there was a bunch of back and forth. They thought we were trolls, we asked why the response to that is to troll someone. They said we didn’t call to be together, I said we did, you must have missed it. Well why didn’t you guys ask if you didn’t understand? Why would we when you just trolled us and that is what people do most in MMOs, troll you for being a noob. Well there are people out there who help new people. Ok where?
My husband explained we were married and we always stuck together. One out of three thought that was sweet. I quietly explained that no one speaks up in MMOs because people who know are more likely to troll you than help you. It is a very sad truth in our community. When asked why we didn’t speak up, I asked why they just assumed we were trolls instead of new people who didn’t know.
I explained to them what I will explain to you now. One of the biggest problems with our gaming communities is that everyone thinks they are better than someone else and it is easier to make negative assumptions then it is to offer someone a helping hand.
That shit needs to stop here and now.
Now I’d like to point out that when all was said and done that there was apologies and we did receive tips and suggestions. The female we played with chatted with us at the end and made some suggestions. This was a rare reaction indeed.
We, the long time players, need to take a stand. We need to stop bullying people, putting them down and making them feel horrible. That’s why our gaming communities are so small. That’s why people are terrified to talk, to join in or play games. That is a leading reason that women don’t play games. This isn’t just about women, however. Women can suck too. One of the 3 players in our matchup was also female.
Parents, you need to pay attention to what is being said to and by your kids. I’ve heard some shit come out of a pre teen’s mouth over Xbox Live in Halo that would have gotten me slapped when I was a teenager. If you can’t pay attention to your kids’ habits online then maybe you should disable their ability to talk OR make it so they can only be heard/spoken to by the people on their friends list.
For the rest of us, yes, I am aware that every single game comes with idiots that, no matter how much you try, are going to be idiots. Some of them only act how they see other people act. Isn’t it our responsibility to represent something we love in a good light? Isn’t it up to us to prove that not all gamers are violent, not all raiders are elitist, not all games are filled with degenerate assclowns that think this game was designed for their entertainment only?
I have met some awesome and amazing people in my online gaming career. Some people have come and gone. Some of them were at my wedding. They will meet my eventual children; they will always be there. They have lifted me up, helped me, loved me and I have returned it all.
I have also had my life threatened, hit on, stalked, bullied, bashed, harassed. I’ve contacted customer service, had to have friend’s block and ban people so they could never contact me, report people to xbox live for asking for naked pictures, told I would be beaten and so much more.
None of that has stopped me. I’ve fought back, I’ve opened my big mouth. I’ve stood up for myself and other people. I’ve called people bullies. I’ve helped new people and gotten burned. I’ve helped new people and made lifelong friends.
We can change this. We can make people not afraid to ask for help. We can hold someone’s hand and help them
through. Do we have to do it ALL the time? No! We have to not be vicious assholes ALL the time and be helpful hand holding people SOME of the time. Even I just want to log on and play an hour with my husband before going to bed and back to the grind of work.
All in all, I hope you walk away from this with something. Maybe a little more patience, maybe a little more empathy,maybe a helping hand or opening your big mouth because someone’s getting picked on. Because all of that is a start.
(For Your Information)
* Leeroy Jenkins is a World of Warcraft reference. When a complete idiot runs into a really hard boss and screws up all of your careful plans.
** Level 70 at the time was the Level Cap for World of Warcraft, Warrior is a class.
*** Horde Bitches
****Noob or new person to the game. Someone that is inexperienced or lacking in game knowledge.
***** Mana is what is needed to use magic in most games. Once depleted you can no longer cast magic of any kind.
****** STFU = Shut the fuck up
One thought on “Can’t we all just game along”