People in Eve treat each other badly. Not everyone. Never everyone. But to often discussions turn into no more then two entrenched fighters brawling over a nonexistent win. Nether side will back down. Many players are aggressive, competitive, and ready to wage battle for what they believe in. I do it myself here. I fight sometimes for things just because someone needs to champion them. But sadly, for the first time today I had to lay down rules in my chat room.
I had to ask people to calm the fuck down when they argue because they are chasing other people away. And that makes me unhappy. I'm a firm believer in individuality and individual opinion. But there are a lot of opinions and beating other opinions up will not make them vanish. They may go away but going away is only moving out of your reach.
But my chatroom is a little chunk of Eve I put my name on and asked people to come hang out if they want to talk. I don't want it to be yet another brawling ground of endless circular debate and opinion. So, when I got a mail from someone who is both sane and articulate that they don't feel comfortable talking because they cannot express an opinion without having their spine broken I got mad.
I am disappointed in myself. I should have caught it before it became a problem. I can only thank the person who left for speaking to me about it. In that moment I realized that I've been letting people chase me out of my own room too. Oh, I've given it excuses. I'm tired. I need to go to bed anyway. I've had a full day. People are passionate. I don't like to dictate people's behaviors. As true as they are, they are excuses.
I love my chatroom members. I love their passion and their opinions. I gain so many different views on Eve. I've been willing to let myself be a punching bag for them. I know that not everyone can gently discuss the topics that they care about. I know that some people consider polite language to be extra words, weasel words, or whatever other term. I figured that it was the least I can do is to weather those rough edges and try to pick up the message they are carrying.
But I can't ask that of others. I won't ask it of others. I won't ask them to get over it. I won't ask them to ignore the nastiness. I won't tell them that I'm sorry they are uncomfortable and they can message me at any time if they want to talk I'm always ready to listen.
There was a time not to long ago when I badly wanted someone to stand up for me. not because I could not stand up on my own but because when I was in a situation where someone was being abusive and cruel, I badly wanted one of the watchers to tell the other person that they were being unacceptable. Instead, I was told that they were just explaining themselves in their normal abrasive way. I was told to take my arguments to private chat. Or, eyes were just turned. I've been told to just ignore people who are cruel. I've been told, 'that's just them and how they are. I've asked, "Why is it okay for them to be nasty? Why am I told to ignore it and they are not told to change their behavior?" I was told that I was the problem. I'm soft. It's just words. I shouldn't let things get to me. So, I left.
It is a culture of enabling and acceptance that I will not be a part of. In the past I have packed my bags and walked out of the door. In my chat room, little microorganism of socializes that it is, I have a responsibility to do something. I made a simple rule. Tone it back some. Disagree but you don't have to beat people down. And if I see it, I'll stop it.
Most of the time my chat is relaxed, friendly, and fun. I drop newbies in there. I have bittervets that will explain the most basic of things calmly. But of late the arguments have gotten darker and more passionate. I don't know if its just a side effect of the game itself or if its centered around me and the position of the CSM. I sadly, fear that it is more the later. I guess that is some of what a title can do. I cannot ignore it. I love having a free flowing open chatroom where people come and hang out. I value it deeply.
Channel rule (first one ever!) Tone yourselves back about 3 notches when you argue. The bickering is getting vicious and belittling to the point of chasing people off. It's not needed. There are enough places in Eve to be nasty for the sake of it. Skip it here. Thanks!