[TL;DR: Sugar's high horse of individual acceptance summery of a chat discussion this morning. AKA Babbling.]
"Can you see up from all the way up on that soap box? You are pretty high."
"No, this high up there are too many clouds. Once it rains it should clear up."
And thus ended a discussion I probably should have refrained from having in a public chatroom and stuck to having on my blog where I can run around and write long, wandering threads of thought in a more suitable environment. It is easy enough for me to forget that not everyone wants to have discussions on societal behaviors in video games.
Topics that creep up across the game tend to echo. The discussions grow and shrink for various reasons. At the core there is often a simple kernel that means something is an issue. An issue large enough that it is bothering different groups of people in the same way, often without their interacting with each other.
The fundamental nature and aspect of Eve is often discussed Eve is harsh. Eve is dark. Eve is full of non-consensual PvP. Yet, there are also other aspects that become assumed. We often call these, "doing it wrong" type of ways.
However, the soapbox that I believe I was told I was standing on at such a height was a fundamental aspect of my personality. I am a believer in looking at each situation as its individual self. Now, it may simply be a piece of a larger whole or it may be an instance upon its own. I'm also very interested in individuality at its core.
One of the first soapboxes I hopped onto as I climbed into the heights of self righteousness was that people should not be forced to PvP. I learned that saying that often causes the information following that to be ignored or missed. I do not say that people should be able to opt out of PvP or that people should not understand that nonconsensual PvP happens. I believe that people should be taught to mitigate their loses, to be aware of their surroundings, to know what dangers lay there but not be forced to press F1 to shoot someone unless they want to. To many players play in ignorance of the rules of conflict inside of the game. I mean base core rules here. That you can die in high sec still comes as a surprise to people. Some who have playedfor years and years.
Pushing someone over their fear may work for people. Once they learn that the loss does not hurt it opens doors. But, mandating that a group such as Eve Uni force everyone to take aggressive PvP actions is something I do not agree with and something the topic was about. The idea for me was that a place like Eve Uni is made to help and support new players not just one subset of new players. If they are to do that, helping and supporting someone to get into the game that wants to play in a pacifistic way should be as much of a goal as getting people's toes wet in PvP.
My point is also about a group focused towards helping people get into Eve vs a corporation where there are corporation requirements. If A: Forcing a PvE focused person to pewpew is similar to forcing a PvP player to mine their first battleship. I don't agree with it. If it is B: They signed up for the corporation. Have fun with them. They can leave. My goal is to not have them leave the game itself unless the game is really not what they want. Hence, another post about that later.
I do not think the problem is that people do not want to PvP. I think the problem is that people need to accept that they are part of the environment where PvP can happen. If they wish to never engage in F1 aggressive pewpew they should be taught how to avoid it and how to accept when it happens. This is something as simple as tanking your hauler, don't shove 10billion in a freighter, dscan, overview settings, and the endless list of survival skills that an Eve player needs.
What I do not agree with is going, "oh well Eve isn't for them" if they do not want to fight. That tastes to much of, "Oh well, if they don't want sov null they don't belong here" or "if they don't want to be pirates GTFO" or any other mantra. The urge to place ones interest on another and force them to 'play properly' is detrimental. A player, struggling to force themselves to PvP because they must and have no other choice will then leave because they do not enjoy it. Yet, Eve has plenty of places for them to be and things for them to do where they don't have to go out in a fleet and shoot someone.
I believe in helping people take a step instead of pushing them into the pool. I'm one who hates to be pushed in. It does not work for me. I don't go, "My god this is fantastic." I'm normally too busy being angry or miserable over someone forcing their will on me for their preconceived notion of my own good. I'm pretty comfortable with knowing what does and does not work for me. Not everyone is. Yet, if someone is asking to be given options and led then give them options and leave. If someone has dug their feet in about (say battleships) and said "Do not want THIS but will take everything else" then work with it. That is part of defining a game as well. I was told I can come into Eve and make my path. I'm making it. I stop and ask for help all of the time but I still will shape and mold it into what makes me want to log in each day.
I do have a hard line in my understanding and acceptance of others. That line is when they try to make high sec 100% safe and end nonconsensual PvP. My support vanishes at that point.
Of course the conversation, which was wrapped around war declarations migrated some into war decs needing to be changed or not needing to be changed. As always, the insults are thrown out about cowards and wanting to war dec newbies for killboard status and such things. What caught my attention and caused me to climb so far up my soapbox that it seemed I was attempting to transcend into a demi-god is my eternal frustration with assumptions.
I tire of assumptions in behavior. I tire of people calling gankers cowards. Some gankers are cowards. Some do it because they want to kill and not take risk themselves. That is fine. Yet, to paint all gankers are cowards is also incorrect. People do things for many reasons. I've never been fond of the 'all x are y'. If someone says, "I am brave, I have killed a barge," then call them a coward if that is a word that you want to use. If someone ganks and leaves call them a coward but you really have no idea if they are or are not or have another motive happening. At that point the name calling has become nothing more than an assigned series of emotions and preconceived notions. But I also don't get smack talk very well and understand that there is an emotional trigger that I am lacking somewhere. It may be part of my acceptance or view of the game.
I'm not really into that. But people interest me. They interest me a lot. I like to know the whys. The why may be, "Because I wanted to," but that is not the same as, "Because I am amazing." I may not understand the way personally but I would not label "wanted to" with "amazing" under coward. I'm just not one to agree with instantaneous labels and I don't have the need to assign labels to others for their actions done to me. I assume they did it for whatever reason they have and if I do not know their reason I cannot assign anything to it.
Now, I sit upon the soap box of acceptance of individual circumstantial differences for all situations. I like it up here I must admit. There is a nice breeze. I can preach loudly to look at things as they are and break them apart. I guess it makes me sound like a pretentious git when I turn around and attack arguments by trying to rip away at the layers of context slathered on top of the topic. But how can we see what it is about when it is all covered up?
I love those types of discussions but I really try not to have them anywhere but places like the blog. Inevitably, when I am far from finished the discussion someone tires of it spamming the chat. For a moment, that warm excited buzzing of a good topic makes me forget what I am talking. That's what the blog is for in the end.
Accept everyone (it doesn't mean you have to like them)? People are different? Individuality must be taken for its own merits? It is all a reaction of my personal wants to be placed in these situations. My thoughts are selfish in the end. I know that for some it will always be 'coward'. That too is okay as long as that is their end result based off of their reasonings. Reasonings I cannot have because I am not them and may never understand because we are different.
The most amusing part of the discussion was later when someone said, "Sugar Kyle, id have known you were girl purely by all that 'people shouldn't have to fight!' stuff earlier :D Because ive yet to meet the guy who would go on like that over combat in a computer game :D"
People so rarely check killboards. I'm often accused of being uninterested in fighting things because I support people who do not wish to fight things. I don't promote safety. That is a different subject.
Chuckle. Maybe I should ban myself from discussions before lunch.