Are bad people just bad people or are they a product of their environment?
I am not talking about bad players here. People could be bad players for various reasons which could range from being bad because they are new, being bad because they don't care or being bad because they want to be bad to a range of being bad because of circumstances such as internet connection or physical or mental disabilities.
I am taking bad people here. You probably have met a million of them while playing and for all I know you could be one of them and so could I. I've done things I know could classify me as a bad person. Usually it was just spurred on by people being jerks to me by the things they do and it gets to be too much and I decide to get revenge on them. But not them as in that person, but them as in, the other people. This is how the bad person environment spreads.
Like the one time I rounded up a dozen mobs and dumped aggro on someone that swooped in and tagged a rare while I was clearing the trash first. Sure, it was my own fault, I could have easily taken the rare and all the junk at the same time, I had done it a dozen times before, but I didn't this time for whatever reason and someone tagged it so I killed him. For me it is about common courtesy and if I see someone working the immediate area of a rare I step off and let them have it. In many cases I have even waited for them to tag it and then helped them. Because I am not a bad person, most of the time.
See, the thing is, I was pushed to act just like them, the bad people, because of people being jerks. I am not like that always, just rarely, but who is to say that the day will not come where I am just pushed too far from others being like that. So far that I just start being like that normally.
I have a guild mate that was like me, the nice guy, but he has gotten sick and tired of it. The saying, nice guys finish last, is so true and he no longer wants to be that guy. He is now one of the bad people. When he is in a random if the tank pulls before he is ready, he does nothing. He even tells them, if you pull before I am ready I will hang out and watch you die. See, he is one of the bad people now.
But there is a thin line there between making a point and being the bad guy. He is surely on the bad guy side but there are times when that stance is fine. If you are the healer and have no mana and do the same thing, if you pull when I have no mana you will die, it is fine. It teaches people to pay attention.
But what about the other end of it? What if the tank saw the healer had no mana and just did not give a shit. He had the attitude that the healer just needs to get better so they do not run out of mana and not having mana is the healers problem, not his. That makes him the bad person.
It goes all around and the more things like this that happen like that the more it pushes people on to be jerks themselves. My friend, the one that will not attack if the tank pulls in a rush started acting like that because tanks where in a rush. Perhaps the tank in question, the one that pushed him over the ledge into being one of the bad people, was only pulling fast because he got sick and tired of DPS pulling for him and acting like jerks to him so he became one. Then that tank does it one day to a healer and the healer has no mana and instead of trying to keep people up they just say screw it, let them die, and it goes full circle. One person acting badly encourages another to act the same way and then so on and so forth until each person is a bad person and making other people start to act the same way.
Are bad people just bad people or are they a product of their environment?
The way it seems, from the examples I mentioned and the experiences I have had when I acted badly, I would have to say it is because we all are a product of our environment.
The big question here is that how to stop the cycle because sooner or later there won't be any good people left. I've fought the urge to become one of them but I have been increasingly pushed to the edge and find myself acting out like that more and more often, letting myself get frustrated and starting to dislike the game because of it or just logging off because I am sick of people. Like I said to someone the other day, I am just getting to old for this shit. I don't want to play a game where the majority have no common courtesy.
It eventually will come to the point where I become one of them or I quit because of them. Either way, they win, the bad people win.
Sadly good actions do not spread the way the bad does. I've helped people kill rares many times and actually love when I see an 87 fighting an 87 rare and I can help. I figure that makes their day, even more so when they are having some trouble with it. That act of kindness, instead of pulling mobs to them and dropping aggro so I can get the kill, should be contagious but it is not. If I do a dick move like pull mobs to wipe them, that will change the person, that attitude is contagious, it will make them more likely to do that to another person but helping them will not inspire them to help others. So we fight an uphill battle we really have no chance of winning.
We need to start a new campaign in warcraft.
Play it forward.
Make a simple macro like this.
/s Play it forward!
Use that macro every time you act decently. Every time you show some common courtesy. Every time you wait for the healer to get mana. Every time you act like a reasonable person that wants the game to get better and move forward in a positive way.
When you see a level 87 working on a rare and having some problems, help them out and hit your macro. Play it forward!
When you are about to land on a mine or herb and see someone fighting on it, fly away and hit your macro. Play it forward!
When you see someone pulled a little to much and is having trouble, give them a hand and hit your macro. Play it forward!
When you are passing through a lower level zone and see someone asking for help with a quest mob give them a hand and hit your macro. Play it forward!
When you see someone in trade looking to buy one moss agate, just send them one and whisper it is in the mail, no charge and put a message in the mail. Play it forward!.
Bad people are a product of their environment, one that blizzard can't do or won't do anything about. We can not change the game over night and most likely never will but perhaps if we can share a little decency throughout the game it might keep the people like myself, that are the decent people, from becoming one of them. Because I know I've been pushed to the edge multiple times and whenever, on that rare occasion, I run into a decent person, it brings me back to earth and centers me and reminds me, I am not one of them, I am not a bad person.
Play it forward. Be decent to your fellow players. We are few in numbers, us blog writers and blog readers and decent players elsewhere, but that doesn't mean we can not make an impact even if it is small. Perhaps the next person that starts a new character won't reach max level bitter and angry at everyone in the game and become a bad person because somewhere along the line a decent person or two did something nice for them when they were leveling and said, play it forward.
Play it forward: Be decent to others and hope they play it forward and are decent to another.
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