Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Only a Game

It's only a game gets thrown around  quite often in WoW and other MMORPG type games I've played online.  I often tend to over think things and for some reason that line has been in my head all morning.  I read a lot of blogs to maybe I read something in one of them that trigger the thought but at the moment I am trying to break down what I think it really means.

It's only a game is probably the most heard line from people that are not what most would consider... um, good.

Why is none of your gear enchanted? 
- Chill dude, it's only a game.

Why are you wearing Spirit Gear?
- Get off my back, it's only a game.

You know, questions like that get it's only a game as their answer quite often.  Usually when you hear someone use the it's only a game line it means that they are a bad player.  No, they are not a bad player because their gear is not enchanted, they are not a bad player because they are a warrior with spirit.  They are a bad player because they do not have a reason for those things.  There are often damn good reasons for things like mentioned above.  Do good players explain why they are doing the things they do?  We know already that bad players come out with it's only a game

For nearly everything in the game that might seem like a bone head thing to do there is a reasonable explanation for it.  Good players attempt to give that explanation, or at least I do.  I may not be a great player but I surely am not a bad one.  When I get asked certain things like that I could throw out the it's only a game line but I choose to give my actual reason.  You would be amazed how many people out there call me the stupid person but not the one that says it's only a game.

When someone says it's only a game they are given a pass.  It is like, this person is an idiot there is no use arguing with them or telling them that.  While that might hold some merit I wonder why when I have a good reason it is seen as being a bad player.

Some examples for fun.

While running randoms on my fresh 80 shaman I had a conversation like this go down.

Why is your chest piece not gemmed or enchanted?
It is a 200 piece I am going to be replacing in a few runs.
That is stupid, your DPS would be so much better if you put something on it.
Yes, it would, but I am replacing it soon and even at that my DPS seems to be fine, it is more then yours.
It is only a heroic, I do not go out of my way.
Yet you want me to add gems and enchants to a piece of gear I am replacing in 13 more badges?

I gave a reasonable answer to a question and I am the one in the wrong?  It was not like I was trying to get into a raid without gems or enchants.  I was running heroics to gear up a character (see those words gear up).  At this stage, anything less then T9 is not even worth putting the cheap gems in or cheap enchants on, you will not have them long enough to make it worth it.

Here is one from my warrior, taken from above.  Mind you, this is around level 53.

Why are you wearing a helm with spirit on it?
It has more armor and more stamina then my previous helm did and those are the 2 stats that matter to me.
Fail tank.

Lets see, if I had answered it's only a game they most likely would have not said anything but because I had a damn good reason for it I am a fail tank?  It had good stamina, good armor, I could not have cared less that it has another stat on it, spirit or not.

Here is a fun one from when leveling my shaman, in the early 30s.

Nice mace, why don't you have a helm?
Thanks and I have not had one drop yet.
You should go out and buy one then, it will help.
No rush, I'll get one sooner or later.
Whatever, but it would help you a lot.

This person surely looked at me like an idiot because I did not have a helm.  I could have said it's only a game and moved along, but I actually answered the question and got looked at bad for it.  I wonder, in the 30s, what exactly would be considered a lot?  +2 of one random stat?

On my Rogue recently.

Your DPS sucks.
I know, just respeced again to try and find something that works for me.  I really suck at playing a rogue but still trying to figure it out.
You sure do, you should quit and reroll something else, you are horrible.

Wow, how about saying something like good luck with that or give me a suggestion if you know anything about rogues.  If I would have said it's only a game they would have thought of me as a slacker and that is why my DPS was low but because I said I suck at playing one and am working on getting better they just tell me to quit instead. 

So I have to think sometimes when someone says it's only a game are they really a bad player or they just have more experience then me and know that trying to tell someone a good reason for something will never end well.  When I do something that might be considered wrong I have a reason for why I did it wrong and usually it is a good one.  Sometimes it is just... oops. 

I do not see anything wrong with not gemming a chest piece I will be replacing in 3 or 4 more randoms.  I do not see a problem wearing a helm that has spirit on my warrior if it is the best helm I have come across so far according to the other stats.

Maybe some of those people that say it's only a game have a reason for what they are doing and just do not feel like sharing it.  Maybe that reason is even a good one.  Maybe I just read to much into things sometimes.  From now on when someone asks a stupid question like those I should just avoid answering or maybe even better, I can play stupid and let that person feel like they just made someone better.

I think I have come up with a way to do it now the other way around.

When I make a raid and someone shows up with no gems and no enchants and I kick them and they ask why I will say Chill dude, it's only a game.

When I am tanking and someone pulls off me and dies and they ask me why I did not taunt it off them I will say No big deal, it's only a game.

When I am healing and there is an aggro hungry warlock that refuses to slow down and thinks I can keep a clothie up, along with everyone else, I'll just let them die and when they ask wtf healer I will say Chill out, it's only a game.

The line it's only a game is owned by the bad players, I say it is time for the good players to make it their own.  How do you think the bad players will feel when you stop carrying them and tell them, it's only a game when they ask why.

One thing people seem to forget is that while it's only a game there are some things you expect out of that game.  You expect people to not do things that will be bad, on purpose.  Like if you are playing pac man you do not run to the ghosts when you can't kill them do you?  No, that would be bad.  And pac man is only a game, but you still do things right.  So pulling aggro off the tank and not worrying about it and saying it's only a game does not make sense.  While it is true that it's only a game, drawing aggro off the tank is like running straight into the ghost.  Not a smart idea.

Sure, it's only a game but the game is pretty simple with it's lay out about how you are supposed to play that game.  You would not jump off a cliff that you are supposed to jump over in a game so why would you pull aggro off the tank.  Accidents happen in both cases but you never do it on purpose.  It defeats the purpose of the game, which is to win, or to complete the level or to defeat a boss.

So doing something stupid and then saying it's only a game makes no sense unless you are the type of person that likes to lose the game, not make the level or lose to the boss.  And if you are that type of person do not complain when I kick you from my group because I want to play the game with people that really truly believe it's only a game and they want to play the game to win the game.

Yes, it's only a game and I am playing the game to win.

So if you say it's only a game and are doing something that hinders your ability to win the game you are doing it wrong.  You know it is a game, you just said it, so play the game to win the game.  It's only a game is not an excuse for being bad, it is stating the obvious like this is only a blog.

You might not have liked my reasons for why I did those things "wrong" but at least I had a reason because I was actually playing the game and knew what to do.  Never take it's only a game as an answer.

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