The first of, perhaps, many subversive suggestions about maturity.

This started my morning off right, in terms of reminding me of an old hatred.

Incidentally, if you go here and sneak down the bottom of the, now defunct, thread, you can see someone using big words like 'irrelevant' repeatedly, and then signing their mind numbing horrendous post with 'in Him', thereby assigning gender to the creator of all things, and making the assumption that this anthropomorphized absolute of physical law might read this dipshit's forum posts and, in that event, notice a lack of capitalization, and, in consistency with the stance of an absolute and loving anthropomorphized entity, send him to burn forever in a lake of offal stew. Or stew forever in a lake of burned offal. To clarify this mind numbing social retard's question; no, I didn't mean that god is logically inconsistent (I'd have to know what it was before I got that far, though I think the term 'god' as used in language by monotheists is logically consistent, in as much as it is a postulate predicated on the idea that existence needs one), and I didn't mean that man made god, since, apparently 'social scientists' (what the fuck?) have disproven (what the fuck?) that. What I did mean was that it's illogical to say that an absolute entity is also just and then say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Which, in retrospect, I should probably have avoided doing, since it brings these kinds of 'folk' out of the woodwork. In any case, the point here is that this person is griefing science, and I don't like it. But I have to learn to live with it.

I have what I hope is a universal experience to start with; 4 square was a game where you drew 4 squares on the ground with chalk, and played a kind of free-for-all version of tennis, only on a smaller space and with a dodgeball. The basic rules were that you hit the ball into the next person's square, and if they let it bounce twice, they were out. Conversely, if you let it bounce in yours, then you were out. When someone was out, the next person in line filled the first square, and everyone rotated up, so that the person in the 4th square was king of the hill. Eventually, these rules expanded somewhat.

-no ups
-no heelies
-no singles
-no overs
-no distracters (game was fun as hell until this rule)
-no drops
-no holds
-no pushes
-no leaving
-no linies
-no spins
-no spits (probably for the best)

And, due to the slippery slope

-no rules changes

The point here is, like our friend 'in Him', Tom, if we conveniently are allowed to alter the rules and definitions of words, or invent new concepts to address every injustice which results in our defeat, we can stave off a fair contest like it's thermopylae: virtually forever (note, term forever doesn't mean what it's supposed to mean here, but if you don't let me mean it the way I want to mean it, I can't use it the way I want to, and then I'll cry). Unfortunately, the reality is, we can do exactly that, and functioning as a person means meeting people half way to figure out how crazy they really are, and then either murdering them (discouraged) or avoiding them (difficult).

In response to ganking, I think ggodo gave a functionally correct definition, in the sense that, if the dictionary bothered assimilating this information, they would probably put a literal definition (killing another player), a caveat (especially when weakened or otherwise vulnerable), and make a note as to its perjorative context (considered unsporting). I used to play a game called Silent Death which was similar to Subspace (which is being sort-of resurrected by some guys), and you could virtually count on people in it squeaking with displeasure when you helped them defeat a weakened foe, because you 'vulched' them. 'Their' kill. Vulch came from vulture, and the idea was that you were a filthy carrion bird, picking over the carcasses of the kills made by mighty lions. The only problem with the analogy is that the mighty lions were often nearly crippled from their fights, and it was a team-based top down shooter, so cooperating to get kills was the entire effing point. In this context, the manipulation of terms was a venue for, as in the case of god, to create a way to express a genuine thought, but in a way that had nothing to do with the literal reality.

Specifically, the term 'God' is a real term which is, by its own definition referring to a real thing. This sounds like cheating, but all language is somewhat arbitrary, so it's not fair to condemn it only on that fact. The idea, is that there *is* an existence, and the possibility that there may not have been one, in some sense, is logical. It is also logical that, since there may not have been one, there either has always been one (or something), or something created itself out of nothing in order for the universe to exist. This is true because it is almost tautological. Either existence is eternal, or there is a self-creating component (and really, what is the difference between the two concepts?). In order to rationally discuss this hairy-edge of reality, we need a term for it, and 'universe' falls short, since we accept that we may not be the only existence, in terms of specific existences, and need a context for the abstract idea of any existence, anywhere, existing. That's what the word God is for. Shortening a paragraph into 3 letters. Griefers, however, then take that word, and, having purchased your cooperation with it, then start to expound on what the term means, when they have no goddamned idea. They haven't come back from the dead, they haven't talked to anything that could reasonably be considered god, and they aren't possessed of an insight anymore keen than opportunism. Similarly, the term vulching is a literal truth, to derive RPG nutrition from the work of another, but what is probably more accurate is to use a term like 'packing' or 'swarming' or 'zerging' (which was later popular in other Mythic games). Team play is about getting there firstest with the mostest, as Nathan Bedford Forrest said inelegantly, underscoring the seeming pointlessness of higher education.

Ganking is a term in this category. Gang killing is the only rational way to approach a team deathmatch kind of situation. Yet, the term has been coopted by the competitively disenfranchised, and, fixating on the notion that something was unfair about it, the term now simply means something unfair, or, in the far more common usage any case in which you died to anther player. Soon it will probably just mean dying when you didn't enjoy it or expect it, at which point, what, if any cache it has as a useful term will be nearly expended, in much the same way as god.

I explore the cowboys and indians/cops and robbers dynamic in that archived piece, above, but it goes far deeper than that. The insular terminology of the delicate infects games and gaming: society at large.

Maturity is not losing interest in staring at tits or needlessly avoiding the word fuck when you're trying to express genuine frustration (and especially not deliberately euphemising language *or* sex when describing it for the purposes of a discussion of either), maturity is learning to quell your own selfish desires (for instance, to not hear or see certain things), and still function fairly and genuinely with other people. The certainty of working with other people is that the wishbone doesn't break your way all the time, or even most of the time. Or perhaps, ever. But maturity is to nail yourself to the cross for someone else's shortcomings, and see the good in that, not to nail someone else up and claim they brought it on themselves.

When I was playing that foursquare game, I found the manipulations of the rules annoying, and the endless jockeying for position in a social sense, that had nothing to do with the game itself, but, I stuck it out and played anyway, and in the process ... well I didn't make friends, but I passed the time. The point here is that school sets a precident, hell is other people unless you learn to treat hell like eden. With enough give and take, and tolerance, most people have a kernel of good which will become the point of contact. But even if it doesn't exist, and there is only suffering to be had in these interactions, you *better* learn to enjoy it, because the alternative is to withdraw utterly.

The issue here is in reciprocity. The truly easy going won't suffer too much, and the truly diabolical will usually impose suffering on others. It's the sea of people caught in the middle, specifically of the game community which hurt themselves.

It's Wii friend codes on a global scale. Because of the peculiar circumstances of Japanese society (in which restraint is communal, and consensus is a necessary concession to the rigorously constrained standards of behavior), the Wii friend code seems not only to be a good idea but a necessity. To force people into unwelcome socialization imposes on them unnecessarily in a world where they need to retreat. This is not a good mechanism, and the japanese themselves do not particularly prefer it. They are like anyone else, and would prefer more personal stake in their socialization, as is common in some other countries. But, because of a societal standard revolving around these controlling mechanisms of terminology (for instance, impolite, impertinent, presumptuous--in japanese of course), the society is in a self-reinforcing cycle of restriction. Sure, a Japanese person will never hop on Wii fit, and hear some kid from Hokaido call them an Ainu after they win a skiing contest, which makes no effing sense, but, on the other hand, they'll never hop on, and hear a new meme, or enjoy the sense of personal competition that can turn into a cooperative gaming friendship, and may eventually blossom into a sex change operation and marraige (in the future all marraiges will require sex changes--that's right democrats... see what you've wrought!?).

Free speech is all well and good, but there's a further component to it. You can't enforce free speech in allegedly private spaces that are, nonetheless, essentially public, and a part of the public. You see it in the difficulties of getting good games similarly rated in different countries, or in some cases, even made available at all. You can see it in the man who's XBL account was banned because his real name, on his driver's license, as given to him by his parents, was Dick Gaylord. The problem here isn't that someone might have made that name to get an immature chuckle. It's not that someone else might have been offended to the point of eyerolling and 'jesus honey, look at this'ing, but that someone in *authority* didn't have their shit together enough to overlook it as irrelevant to the experience of a mature person.

Maturity is not universal, and children are not mature, but the answer is not to step on them when they don't do what you like, but rather, like the Cartman-training episode of South Park, simply withold the fruits of your friendship and personality. They may never understand or see those fruits, and in those cases, personal rejection is the only other tool you have. Again, climb up on the cross yourself, don't nail someone else to it. The only sacrifice you have the right to make is your own.

By seeking to control online spaces through terminology and the demonization of any behavior considered unwelcome, simply because it is unwelcome, even in circumstances where the entire point is not to win all the time, the eventual standard of behavior becomes soul crushing. This is why Japanese suicide rates are what they are.

The police have a simple axiom. If you want to arrest someone, or search them, just follow them long enough. Eventually, everyone makes some simple, irrelevant mistake that gives you authority to get in their business. By working to evangelize terminology that demonizes the people and situations which make gaming (i.e. winning and losing, not just in game terms, but in social terms), you are doing nothing more complicated that walking up to a girl, asking her to dinner, and, upon being rejected, calling her a bitch.

If that is not acceptible behavior, then neither is complaining about 'ganking'.

Though, admittedly, corpse camping is a pain. Still wouldn't make it against the rules, though. Sometimes, a man's gotta be an asshole. Otherwise, why log on?

back to the news...