There is knowing of people and there is knowing people and then there are people who have your back. There are people who scream to for backup and know that they will get backup every time. They will do projects with each other. They will come to trust each other. They will share chatrooms with people and spend their time discussing things that are not Eve. They will bring their successes and their failures for commendation and sympathy. They become more than the other players that occupy your game with you. They are your friends.
The problem is, sometimes they are corporate bigots and you don't know until it is too late.
Bigot: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)Oh yes. I pulled out a big, vicious word and applied it to a video game social group. I spat it out as soon as I was told about the subject that got me worked up. I used it. Therefore, I am going to own it.
Full Definition of BIGOT
: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
I often try to avoid using strong words when discussing things in Eve Online. It is a game after all. I don't care for people saying that I am probably a criminal in real life because I pirate in game for instance. What we do in game does not define who we are outside of the game. For some it does. It always will. People will judge you. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes you don't care. Sometimes it just makes you scratch your head when you walk away.
The words of strangers can be an irritation. If not smack talk would not work so well. But it does because words bother some people to the point of rage. Yet, at the end of the day, the words of a random stranger have very little meaning. It is the words of non-strangers that have the power to punch someone in the back of the head at the most unexpected time.
In a game of betrayals friendship gains great value. Not everyone we know is in our corporation and alliance. Over time with the movement of people we tend to have our social connections flex and stress as people move on. While some may be inflexible and feel that the only friends are corporation and alliance, most of us are able to disconnect the person with the corporation.
And some are not. The immediate thought may be, "But Sugar, I hate X group and I will foam at the mouth about them because they are my nemesis!" While, I (stupidly) may suggest that people look at the individual not the corporation or alliance, I also know that the ticker matters. We do assume our corporate identity to some type. If someone I do not know comes across me I expect them to see me as a member of 7-2. Those are not the people that bother me. It is the people that I already know and who already know me that stop seeing me as Sugar and start seeing me as a member of 7-2.
Let's take a step closer to the topic.
Everyone has a thin line that they walk. For some the descent into piracy is unacceptable and for others leaving an aggressive lifestyle is unfathomable. In a way, extremes can be understood because they are extreme and reactions will always vary. Eve is nothing but collections of social groups. Even thought not involved in social groups are parts of social groups. Opinion is anchored on definition. The hatred for miners or the distaste for PvPers is a lump sum of a whole. "Don't tell me you mine," someone may wail as if their world view has been shattered by their parent when they found out that there is no loot fairy because Bob ate her.
However, sometimes people lose perspective. They lose the perspective of the person that they have known and flown with for years. Or, they find someone who has never done anything to them and assign them every vicious thing they dislike Because how dare other people do things! How dare they! Let's transfer all this anger to a target we can reach even if that target has been nothing but a solid friend until fifteen seconds ago when someone dared do something unwanted. Rawr! Burn them! That person now sucks! They suck a lot! Who cares if they are a great friend and you know them well. One of their corporation members gatecamped/blobbed/scammed/pirated/mined/drank white wine/or whatever else that was disliked and now they are a piece of trash and who the hell ever liked them and pout, pout!
It pissed me off. While people change they should be given that opportunity before judgment is cast upon them. I find nothing as disgusting as eliminating a friend because frankly someone's head is shoved so far up their own ass that they can no longer see the people around them. And I am sick and tired of attitudes. Therefore, I solve it by having my own. Still, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the sneering, the scorn, the nasty comments made to people who they chose to hang around with. I don't care if people want to hate groups they don't know. I don't expect everyone to like each other. Hate away. But to sit and spit venom on your friends that you know because heaven forbid you didn't like something one of their associates did?
I do expect people to give their friends of several years a chance to be the person they knew before they write them off for the actions of a third party. Am I hopeful? Yes. I am. I expect things like people to be more important then flying style for an instance. In expect people to see their friends first and their spaceship habits second. I'm dumb that way and happy in my stupidity. I have to say that I would be happy if I never cast someone off just because their corporation did something I didn't like that that person was not involved in.
Rarely do I pull the 'its just game' card. I happen to hate it. But, some times it's applicable. It is a game. It is a game where we do things because it is a game and that is the proper environment to do these things which are options. I often write more about the people in the game then the game. My anger isn't something that happened to me. I'd be calmer then. No. It is someone else that has been shunned by a flying partner and it made me mad. So very mad. Harm me I'll deal. Harm those that I care for and I'll make the universe burn.