Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When asociality is necessary

People don't really understand why I insist on the term of "asociality" or even "anti-sociality". Why do I proclaim that emotionless, NPC-like behavior with peers is necessary? They say that simple rationality, logic and businessman thinking is enough. What I talk about is both unnecessary and disturbing. I just put some sick nonsense on the top of 4-centuries old idea of the light of ration and try to sell it as my own.

On the other hand socialists claim that I (and every other wannabe rational) is just young, unexperienced and with time they will "mature". Logically it makes no sense. If they would have a good argument, it would convince us today. If they have just bad ones, we could listen to them a couple of years, but it wouldn't make any difference.

I finally have a clear reason why asociality is necessary and the idea of "rational person with emotions" is oximoron. I can also explain what the socialists mean with their "time will change you" nonsense.

Someone returned WoW after long hiatus. I know him from real life. I've known him since early childhood. We spent lot of time together. For better or worse, this person is one of the closest to me. Like every returner, he lost contact with "gaming friends". He asked if he can join our guild, so we can play together, sharing both the game and also strengthen the ties between us real life. I felt very uneasy about this. I knew it's a bad idea. I told him to read the guild rules carefully, hoping that he'll find them too strict and not fun, moving away. He didn't.

No, he isn't a bad player in the sense of being below the tank or standing in the fire. He is actually pretty good in these. He was in some pretty good guilds before he left WoW, but he never stayed long in those guilds, for a reason. He has simply no respect for any kind of organization or authority. He doesn't care much for the effect of his action on others. If something is fun for him, he does that, and screw the rest. You can tell easily that no matter how high your DPS is, such attitude doesn't last in any HC guild.

It was only matter of time before it became a problem here. We went to rated BG and he joined. It was Battle of Gilneas. We held LH and mine, they had WW. The mentioned player was the only healer at LH. The horde was busy attacking mine, LH was boring. He got bored and went a one-man commando on WW without even mentioning it. Of course LH came under attack when the horde figured out that taking mine won't happen and when I opened the map I saw the LH healer at WW. We arrived at LH when the last defender was on 5% HP and saved the day. We won. Of course he wasn't praised for his recklessness what he took pretty badly, insisting on that it was actually a great move as he kept several hordies busy at WW. I explained him that he can't count on the opponents always being morons in a rated BG (it's pretty safe assumption in a random BG) and even if they are, a damage dealer or especially a tank would be much better for the job than a healer, especially when we have to run with only 3.

Next battle, same Gilneas, we had LH and WW, the latter heavily pressed. So I sent one of the LH defenders, a feral cat to try to ninja mine, or at least make some noise there to keep hordies busy. Soon "inc LH" was spammed and when I opened the map, I saw him next to the cat, attacking mine. Another desperate run for LH, now with less luck. They won. The people were pretty upset about his obvious negligence of strategy and I had to replace him. He ragequitted the guild and sent me whisper how shocked he was for me not standing up for him, despite our long and deep connection. He told something like "you are unable to express/feel love" (hard to translate such stuff from a different language).

The guild noticed nothing from it. TB was coming, we crushed the horde once more, gathered up the PvP-ers and chain-won enough matches to get over 1500 rating, the highest we had before. If you'd ask anyone who was there, he would say "some noob messed up a game, got replaced, ragequitted and we won".

This is where a social, feeling person would have failed, no matter how many leadership, assertivity or rationality books he read. There was no middle ground here. I knew that he will mess up the next game too, he will not apologize and he will insist that he is doing right. I can't just look the other way, hoping that no one notices. Also, he will not accept something like "I knew you did right but we need a more defensive guy so I replace you". I could only defend him fully or watch him ragequit not only from the game-guild, but probably from our real life connection too. For him, it was betrayal. For me it wasn't a question. For a social it wouldn't be either, just with the opposite outcome.

The socialists believe in "time will teach you", because they know that one day it won't be some random Arthasdklól on the receiving end of rationality. They know that it's easy to tell a random idiot to die in the fire, just like you can tell a random drunken bum to go to hell. But one day some close friend, family member or even romantic partner will mess something up big time. And then, if you are a feeling, loving person, you will start finding excuses for him/her. No, my sister isn't a drunkard, just having a good time. No, my dad isn't a lazy punk, he just can't find a job. No, my best friend isn't a junkie, just experimenting with recreational drugs. And the well-known situation: no, my girlfriend doesn't suck in WoW, she just needs more gear.

At this point there are two ways left only: plain nepotism, helping the loved one, but keeping to judge the others, or socialism: helping everyone.

Socialists don't need arguments. All they need is time, until you get into this situation. You will fail, like they did. You will choose the loved one over the rational answer. I did not fail. Not because I'm superman, but because I practice a-sociality. For me it was the obvious and un-questioned answer. Only when I logged off I started to think if there is something I could do to salvage our relationship.

There is no middle way. There could be if other people would be great. But they are not. Every family and friend-group have seriously messed up people. They won't accept you if you won't accept their failure as "unluck" or even "success". They will force you to choose. And if you are not a-social, you will choose wrong, you'll be one of those idiots who claim that Arthasdklól just needs some more gear.


Anonymous said...

He must not have been as close to you as you thought if he is willing to sacrifice your real life relationship over a video game.

Furthermore, if he really was close to you, he should have known you would treat him with impartiality in the game BEFORE he joined your guild/ran with you.

Anonymous said...

The player was engaging in an anti-social activity by ignoring the established command structure and guild rules; even a social guild would have kicked him. Even if you spoke to him afterwards he would have insisted that his antisocial behavior is justified. Flat out based on the established rules and structure he was in the wrong; goblin or not, he deserved to be kicked and his appeal to "friendship" should be ignored in any group. Social connections do not always justify antisocial behavior. Not all "socials" are paralyzed or brought to irrational decisions simply by the prospect of having to anger a "friend". The fact that he raged is a problem with broke the rules, he can't handle that, his problem.

Sum said...

You are very black and white in this... there's obviosuly also a middle ground where you recognise that this person is not up to our standards and proceed to tell it to him as gently as you can, but still not giving in.

I think it's silly to say that a social must do this and this while an antisocial must do this and this. In pretty much everything, people fall to the normal distribution curve - everyone is a little social and antisocial and thus their reactions vary to both sides or some middle ground.

Besides which, there is no such thing as a completely rational human being. everyone is to some extent ruled by evulotionary biological responses; panic, stress, love, lust etc. Even just being tired will affect your judgement.

Anonymous said...

"Never mix business with pleasure". Is WoW or any other game or hobby to be played for fun or to win at all costs. If winning costs a real life friendship is that a good thing?
Having read this blog for a long time I can't help but feel the struggle the writer is suffering to prove some point or other to achieve some imagined goal.
I suggest maybe a break from WoW to focus on what is really important in life, and maybe take some time to read the philosophy of budhism... there are a lot of good things to learn from there....

Azuriel said...

You say you practiced asociality, but you really didn't.

He asked if he can join our guild, so we can play together, sharing both the game and also strengthen the ties between us real life. I felt very uneasy about this. I knew it's a bad idea. I told him to read the guild rules carefully, hoping that he'll find them too strict and not fun, moving away. He didn't.

You knew it was a bad idea, you knew what your friend was going to inevitably do, but you let him join anyway for purely social reasons. Based on your shared history, you could not even claim that you were "giving him a chance" because you already knew what the likely outcome would be.

Honestly, you cannot even be commended for practicing what you preach in replacing him, because a social person would likely have done the same thing anyway in the same situation. The harmony of the RBG group and everyone following instructions is more important than your IRL friend who reemerged from nowhere and clearly doesn't care about his negative impact on 9 other players' time. A social person would be embarrassed by their friend's behavior and perhaps gone out of their way to make sure the friend was not offended, but still would have replaced them. The alternative, nepotism as you call it, would merely result in continued failures and (future) drama.

Being social does not mean you give everyone a chance, or make excuses for people you love, or most of the nonsense you ascribe to it. Being social is about finding value in subjective things, like relationships, how you appear to other people, etc. Once you recognize that both socials and asocials can reach the same conclusions by different means, I think you will find less opposition in the comments.

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: flat out rejection of him would have made the same anger in him. My best shot was that he either got smarter by the time, or I simply get lucky and he doesn't do anything stupid.

@Anonymous: he, like all "pwnz0rs" believe that he is awesome and deserve praising for his excellent work. He is completely unaware of the destructive nature of his actions.

@Other anonymous: how many guilds failed for obviously unfair nepotism?

Anonymous said...

I have to say that IRL I'm probably a failure. At least I feel like one, even though I do have a job and I'm making enough money to live better than probably 50% of people in my country. That's not enough for me, but I can't think of any reasonable way that can raise my quality of life. But that's not the point of what I'm about to say.

I've quit WoW just before Cataclysm because I felt that I've already reached my best performance level in the past and now I start to get bored of the game as I can't get better progression unless I start spending much more time in game than I already do. I've been in top-something at WoL and it seemed that from that point on I've become a dead-weight in my guild. With all the changes that pre-Cataclysm patch brought into the game, I practically had to re-learn how to play as DD as I started pulling aggro like crazy.

Pre-Cataclysm I was a part of 25 man guild and many times I was frustrated by the outcome of the raids. It was really annoying to wipe at the beasts in ToGC 25 just because our regular raid leader had to take an evening off. Or to wipe at Anub'arak in ToGC 10 because we switched a healer even though we were one-shotting him for several weeks in a row. And even though some of those failures might be credited to the lack of experience with certain encounters, most of the time it were "nice people" who have been in guild for long time or friends of some of the officers. I must say, that probably compared to most HC guilds we had a great disadvantage as we pulled a lot of dead weight with us. We had people with a lot of epics sitting off-line and showing up for two raids just to upgrade most of their gear (thanks to the loot system that actually made it possible!) and leave again.

Now that guild turned into a 10 man one, but there is still some dead weight in it and I don't feel like going back and joining it. It seems more interesting to me to just spend time at AH and do some solo content, as the only person to blame for failures would be me. I know that when I started playing WoW I had no idea of how to play the game. One of the worst memories I have from that time is a 4 hour wipe fest in Sethekk Halls (normal!), but I came a long way since then. From a social who was once or twice in Karazhan, I went to the top guild on the server in less than half a year. If you can't do the same in a year, you will never be able to as it's not a question of gear or even great experience.

Yaggle said...

You probably never should have let him in the guild, but we are all a little bit social, so I can see why you gave in to the pressure to do so.

Ritualst said...

Sacrificing a friendship for achieving a goal in game?

I think that both of you should never play MMO's.

There is nothing more precious than friendship and WoW ... well that's just a game and what you describe is a meaningless Rated Battleground Victory or Loss.

I advice some rest from WoW.

Armond said...

The lesson I learned here was one of priorities, not socialism/asocialism. Removing him from the guild shows that you value your guild over your friend. That's fine - I can completely understand the need to keep several people happy over keeping one person happy - but it's not strictly related to one's sociality.

You may argue that sociality and priorities are intrinsically related (I think you may have in the past), but I posit this: Knowing that other people - and especially the people in this situation - are social, you could have simply logged off when he gave you pushback for criticizing him. You could have done this sort of thing repeatedly over time, thus training him to understand that doing bad things means not getting the social aspect of playing the game with you. Depending on the person, this could very well have caused him to log off as well. In this way, you could have maintained both the guild's status quo and your relationship with your friend.

That is the sort of thing I would have tried. Perhaps it wouldn't work; it depends on the persons involved. The point, however, is that it shows my priorities: maintaining the status quo of both the guild and the friend instead of one or the other.

Anonymous said...

My friends who I play with IRL aren't that good at WoW, and yet we can play together easily, maintaining good social relationships with them. Some are in my raid guild as socials (own rank), others are in their own guilds. We do easy stuff together, joke and have fun while doing it. Harder things I do with my guild. They might get a spot in our T11 farm raids where they cannot mess up badly but still have fun.

My IRL friends understand it well that my raid guild has standards that they fail to meet. Some I had to talk to about this, to make them realise it. Social skills help a lot with this, you should try getting some too.

Anonymous said...

He told something like "you are unable to express/feel love"

The maturity people talk about is knowing how to separate legitimate concerns from grade school level manipulative bullshit like this without resorting to blanket generalizations one way or the other just because they can't tell the difference.

Aljabra said...

"If winning costs a real life friendship is that a good thing?"
Yes, that's a very good thing. What kind of friend it is, if he don't want to help you to win because he'll better have some fun helping you to lose? Ever heard about "You only really know your friends in the time of need"? That's exactly the case.

Azuriel said...

@Azuriel: flat out rejection of him would have made the same anger in him. My best shot was that he either got smarter by the time, or I simply get lucky and he doesn't do anything stupid.

No need to flat-out reject him. But imagining myself in your situation, I would have made it clear from the beginning that if he wanted to participate in RBGs or raids that he would need to follow orders. And also make it crystal clear that you would be forced to remove him if he broke said orders.

Yes, it's in the rules. Yes, he would probably ignore them anyway. But "socially" there is a difference between sending someone to a website vs specifically establishing a social contract, so to speak. You talked to him about the bad behavior in the first game, but I would have recommended issuing a reminder that he agreed to play by the rules, not engage him in a tactical debate or explain why he was wrong. "You promised you would do X. If I cannot trust you to do X, I cannot take you in this RBG. I have 8 other people depending on me."

Admittedly, pulling 100% social guilt to affect his behavior probably would not have prevented the crisis. That said, he at least would not have had the argument that it was somehow your fault. By turning the social tables, it was his fault for disappointing you.

chewy said...

No, my best friend isn't a junkie, just experimenting with recreational drugs.

One of the examples you use of the excuses that people make for their friends. But what about excuses you make for yourself ?

You come up with excuses regularly why the a-social approach excuses your poor behaviour. Assuming the friendship was of some value to you then today's example is the most extreme excuse you've come up with to date, sacrificing a friendship in the name of a-socialism.

I'm not obsessed, I'm just helping out the none believers

If the friendship was of no value then your point doesn't really stand. You were just raging at another bum, all be it one you'd been aware of for many years.

At least two others have mentioned it and I'll echo the sentiment - Maybe it's time for a break.

Jumina said...

I have similar experience with my work colleagues playing WoW with me. Its better not to be in an HC guild with your RL friends. You could find their friendship is not so strong.

Anonymous said...

Anon: " I must say, that probably compared to most HC guilds we had a great disadvantage as we pulled a lot of dead weight with us."

That's pretty normal. People just think that the other HC guilds don't have the same problems, but ofc they do.

Dangphat said...

This is where an alt is useful. You can have it in a lol guild even. Then when RL friends wants to play with you either level/grind heroics/fail in pvp and it doesnt matter. It hasnt affected your guild or your mains rep and it has allowed you to have that social connection which is healthy.

Camo said...

"He must not have been as close to you as you thought if he is willing to sacrifice your real life relationship over a video game.",
"Sacrificing a friendship for achieving a goal in game? "
"There is nothing more precious than friendship and WoW ... well that's just a game and what you describe is a meaningless Rated Battleground Victory or Loss."

Yes, the mentioned rBG is meaningless, whats not meaningless is the associated idea: his own joy. Your own joy is the highest thing you can achieve and you should never sacrifice it to keep friendships or other things. Otherwise what's the friendship worth if you don't enjoy your life and when you have to hold back yourself constantly to preserve it?

"That is the sort of thing I would have tried. Perhaps it wouldn't work; it depends on the persons involved. The point, however, is that it shows my priorities: maintaining the status quo of both the guild and the friend instead of one or the other."

Well, that looks merely like dodging the issue and as you said it will only keep the status quo.
How long would you do this?
Problems wont disappear if you keep them unsolved.

"Being social does not mean you give everyone a chance, or make excuses for people you love, or most of the nonsense you ascribe to it. Being social is about finding value in subjective things, like relationships, how you appear to other people, etc."

Yes, you assign a value to relationships and appearance.
But is a relationship worth more than your own well being?
How much are you willing to give up just to keep relationships or positive appearance?

"I felt very uneasy about this. I knew it's a bad idea.I told him to read the guild rules carefully, hoping that he'll find them too strict and not fun, moving away. He didn't."

Well, this is the "ungemmed" player you saw but you were willing to take him to the maze to see him fail to prove that he fails instead of kicking him in the beginning because you knew ahead what the outcome would be.

"My best shot was that he either got smarter by the time, or I simply get lucky and he doesn't do anything stupid."

Sadly it's just gambling against the odds, and you knew it.
I feel the same way when playing with IRL friends, I know they can't meet my standards and yet I fail to do something about it.
What came to your aid is that he left. It would be harder if he stayed and requested slots based on your friendship.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, I'm going to have to echo the points that others are making, given that your asocial crusade is now impacting the people that you interact with in real life.

It's one thing to preach asociality in a game where being social serves no purpose. The economic (asocial?) value of 'social' relations is that a person with a social connection with you will continue to defend and support you even when you serve no real economic value to them. Given the territorial restrictions, it makes sense to assume that social relations with someone over the internet is likely to provide you with no tangible value in real life.

However, you are now in a position where you find yourself willing to sacrifice your real life relations for the sake of your asocial crusade. Putting aside your theory that your own personal competence will assure you that others demanding competence will employ you, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people do value social constructs, and will not care about your competence if you piss them off - they can find someone equally competent who has not socially offended them.

I have come out of a business meeting this afternoon where our client admitted to us - "We know that there are other companies that can do what you do, but we have a good relationship with you." There is no reason why you cannot be both competent and socially capable.

You say: "There is no middle way. There could be if other people would be great. But they are not."

This can easily be turned around. There could be middle ground if you were great, and were capable of balancing your results driven focus with good people management. But, as Azuriel (indirectly) points out, you are not - the 'great' thing to do would have not been to manage his social-ness and make him see that it is his fault, not yours.

Perhaps the others are right, and that you do need some time off to refocus and improve. That's your call, of course, but there is certainly room for improvement without sacrificing your agenda, if you are brutally honest with yourself.

Anonymous said...

Give love / help to those who deserve it....

you should know the best what this can mean for you.

Feeling no empathy for those strong individuals who need help and your love, just makes you an cruel and cold man you deserves no help or love neither in bad times.

The reason that you shared this little story with us made me feel that you want advice on this ...otherwise i would not have written this.

Lyxi said...

You know, both Gevlon and all the 'socials' are wrong.

For the love of... there is a middle way.

It's called being social when it's time to be social, and being asocial when it's time to be asocial.

All my friends understand that when I say 'Busy, raiding.' or 'Busy, RBG.' or 'Sorry, can't take you with me, I'm playing with other people right now' then I mean these things.

It's not bad because when I want to be social and chat, I can chat quite easily on realID, or play alts or some other low-effort freindship-building actions.

I mean, just because I don't play with them all the time doesn't mean that I don't value his friendship. It just means that I know that I want some space, and they sometimes like some personal privacy space too.

For this reason I've had enormous trouble understanding the idea of: 'be in a guild with friends'. I can have friends in other guilds too. I've collected a long list of friends in other guilds and other realms even, people whom I met IRL, chat regularily, and stuff like that.

Being social and being rational is not mutually exclusive. Being a moron and being a rational is.

Also, if any of my friends would like to be carried through somewhere, I expect them to tell me so. There's nothing wrong in carrying a friend, provided the rest of the raid is clueless and/or you can throw your weight around. The problem is with them recognizing that they are carried and that you're doing them a favour.

Bob said...

Funny how some think blabla friends > WoW. If you play sports in a club, go to a tournament and a friend screws it up, would you still keep him in the team?

I have no problems with them playing along just for fun (in Wow, I wouldn't have a problem with them in a normal dungeon), but if it gets competitive (rated BG), they better don't fail.

Anonymous said...

I think the main problem here might have been communication - even though this "friend" might not have listened.
Explaining the cause of the guild, the rules and that breaking them is not tolerated and that Gevlon wont save his friend's ass even if they are friends since a long time.

I'm surprised by some of the comments though. You all talk about how bad Gevlon acted.

If Gevlon explained how important this guild is and this whole thing about proving whatever it is he wants to prove, and still this friend messed up and then blamed Gevlon for his actions - what kind of friend is that?

If I was this "friend" of Gevlon, I would have listened to him and followed the rules to show respect(as he is my friend). If I don't like those rules, I would stay away and maybe suggest we do something in-game that wont interact with his guild, visions, reputation, etc.
Just as I wouldn't want any of my friends to mess up something for me or not listening to what I'm saying.

THAT is friendship.

Even though I'm not an asocial, I have learned over the years that I don't want to deal with false friendship as many commenters above seem to praise.

The only(possible) failure of Gevlon was if he didnt explain the purpose of the guild and why he even plays WoW to begin with to his friend.

Aljabra said...

As in many other cases, comments to this post are much, much more interesting, then the post itself.
Most, as I see, tend to view real life friendship as some kind of holy cow, that you can't afford to lose no matter what it really is. It appears, that nowdays you can get almost anyone to do almost anything threatening, that if he don't, you won't be friends with him anymore. Even if you do understand, that your friendship is quite one-sided (other side is just using you), it's still OK, you would do anything to "keep a friend". Funniest thing is that in case of true friendship (which is quite rare), there are no any of such problems - as friends tend to accept each other as they are, and therefore such situation, as in this post, unable to affect real friendship in any way, and situation itself is nearly impossible.
Still, people tend to mourn even an obvious fake. Never really understood that.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of surprised at the comments, here. It seems like most of you think he should have just acquiesced to his friend/jerk and let him do what he wanted in order to preserve the relationship. That's not "friendship," that's being a doormat.

Others say that he should have made the guy feel bad/guilty so he'd leave, as if that's somehow better than just making him mad...

I don't feel the need to fully engage all of my friends in the hobbies I have. This goes for WoW rated PvP or any other activity that I spend time on.

Thus far none of my friends have terminated the relationship over my decision not to take them to arenas, or my lack of invite to the tennis group I play with on the weekend.

Perhaps my friends just have a more realistic view of their own capabilities (and there are things that I cannot compete on their level with, as well).

Let's be clear, here. Gevlon did not sacrifice his "friendship" over a video game, the other person did.

Campitor said...

I don't think Gevlon was wrong with kicking his friend. His real life buddy should have been aware how much Gevlon's hobby means to him, how he is using it as an experiment to prove his point about social sub-routines, and how these subroutines enable stupid or illogical behavior. Just because it's WoW that we are talking about doesn't make it any less important.

What if Gevlon was the presiding chair of an amateur chess league and his friend showed up and decided to play the game as if it was checkers instead of chess? Would you decry Gevlon for kicking his friend for not obeying the rules of the game?

And as far as Gevlon's behavior for inviting his friend knowing he would be a problem and get g-kicked or rage quit? Gevlon proved that if he doesn't follow his own logical paradigms he will also experience a less than optimal result.

I say it's the friend who was irrational and should be asking Gevlon's forgiveness for forcing him into an uncompromising situation. His friend did read the rules and should have known the result.

And his friend behavior also highlights some of the dangers of very intelligent humans: there overweight their actions above other's concern because they "feel" they are doing the proper thing and can't see the flaws in their own logic.

Anonymous said...

The point is not asociality, is correctness. In some situations you have to be correct, you cannot have double standards.

I agree with Bob's comment. If you join a soccer or basketball team and expect to be able to disregard rules and play the way you want because "you know the boss" you are just a childish troublemaker and you are jeopardizing the team's environment and their chance of success. Nobody would be shocked to see such a person being scolded by the boss and even being left out of the team. WoW guilds can be the same, if you want to get results.

Would have been correct for Gevlon to tell all the other guild members "suck it up, he is my friend and he can do whatever he likes"?

This "friend" had no respect for Gevlon. He disregarded his rules, he expected to receive special treatment in spite that would have been unfair to all other guild members and would have put Gevlon in a bad position. He even had the nerve to criticize Gevlon on this, which is pretty telling of his selfish and immature attitude.

tommy said...

Gevlon, I don't believe that you have to choose between having emotion and being rational.

Every week I need to address someone for my job. Either simply: "Please pick up the pace." "You need to stop banging parts around." "Stay at your work station."

Or sometimes more formally in a written warning or termination. When I do these things I address facts (days missed, late, not meeting measurable standards) and never say anything like "I really don't feel that...." or "I wish I didn't have to....". I just stick to the facts. But that doesn't mean I don't have those feelings, I just can't use them to either ignore a problem or be unjustly harsh on another one.

But I do separate my work from my home. I can never think of a time when I have used that type of approach with my friends, family or loved ones.

I think your statement "the idea of 'rational person with emotions' is oxymoron" is false. There are times to be emotional ie. what movie to see, who you love, where to go to dinner, the activities you do for entertainment. Should I go tubing, read, play WoW? Those are questions I answer with emotions.

What type of car to buy, do I fire this person, give them a warning? Those are questions I answer with rational decision making.

Michael said...

Not everyone thinks the way you do, Gevlon!

When someone chooses to boost his horri-bad girlfriend, it's not a failure, it's deciding that boosting will have a larger impact on his happiness than not boosting.

Approach the situation rationally. On one hand, you can keep to your friend and build that relationship. On the other, you can drop your friend and win a few random bg's in a game you're playing. Which do you think will have the larger impact on your long term happiness?

If you say winning bg's, then fine, that just means you're asocial. That does NOT mean that being asocial is the 'right' choice, it's just your choice.

A true goblin relentless pursues his own self-interest. Hurting yourself in the long term to do better in the near term is foolishness.

Anonymous said...

Socialists do not claim what you say they do. They say - or at least in my interpretation - that* competition is bad, for a number of reasons: it's sub-optimal, resource consuming, and it cannot be upheld endlessly (bigger performs better, manipulates its environment better, kills or consumes competitors (and politicans/lawmakers) until only one remains - this is exactly what you see in the real world, only a handful of syndicates controlling whole industries and governments, along with public opinon).

Also, an egalitarian approach is closer to the native nature of the human being, and we could start approaching irl problems cooperatively any time we like - there is no Tol Barad irl (in a global sense only, sadly).

Dealing with morons is not a question of economic paradigm I think. People need to be accepted/rewarded based on their contributions, problem solved.

*Of course, they say other things too, like making money off of money is wrong, following the same train of thought I presented before. In a competitive world, the parameter of the exponential distribution describing the distribution of wealth tends to grow.


maxim said...

There is this thing called wisdom. In simple terms, it is ability to reconcile emotions and rationality with neither sacrificing rational goals, nor losing resources over emotional matters.

Wisdom is attained by accumulating and processing life experience. Slowly. Over time. People without real understanding of learning process normally leave out the accumulation and processing of experience part and just say "time will teach you".

Doesn't make them wrong, though. After all, it is time that provides you with situations in which you can experience emotions in the first place. It is time that allows accumulation of wisdom. It is indeed time that teaches.

Now, just because a solution that would both keep that player in line and working for you in efficient manner is not immediately apparent, doesn't mean it did not exist. It only meant that you chose not to look for it and use the simple one you had on hand.

More complex solutions take time and effort to find. Talking with person, finding out what makes him tick, finding out how to make him tick differently. A process that you need to invest some personal attention in.

You didn't have time - rBG wins are important, he was the problem, and it had to be resolved then and there.

You didn't want to put effort, because all you saw was an absolutely clear indication of moron side of M&S behavior.

This might have been a right decision. After all, i don't know the guy, maybe he is indeed someone too reliant on social tenets to be effective in a guild which doesn't shower social acceptance on him.

But making that decision can also be seen as an indication that you make your decisions regarding half-baked theory on an arbitrary classification of humans, even in regards to people who are not exactly complete strangers. Even with a person you have history with, you chose not to make more than a basic personal investment.

Don't you feel, even a single bit, that all the history you and that guy had together could warrant a more detailed approach? I'm pretty sure if you didn't attack him for playing wrongly, but rather just calmly explained him the way things are done in your guild, this whole thing could have been resolved without you having to kick a proven good player.

Inability - or unwillingness - to personally invest in people is what socials mean when they say "you can't love".

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, what you're describing is a rational, business-like approach to BGs where the priority is winning. Nothing wrong with that. Boosting friends who are a liability undermines that objective but that says nothing about whether you regard your team as NPCs or feel personal attachment/emotions for them.

Maturity lets you see clearly the failings and imperfections of those you care about. Nobody is perfect and social skills allow you to discuss why someone isn't a good fit for a job while also maintaining goodwill and strengthening social bonds. If you need to deny the emotional aspects of interpersonal relations in order to fulfill your business objectives, that's more a commentary on how strongly your emotional life colors your judgement than an essential insight into effecitve action.

If anything, your asocial attitude let your "friend" unnecessarily assume a dynamic that you were not prepared to engage in. His performance expectations did not match yours, which is why he ragequit and whispered you about the mismatch. You were doing business; he was playing with a friend. Nothing wrong with either except when they conflict unexpectedly. The sad part is that this was predictable, avoidable drama.

Jenna said...

I'm with you on this one, Goblin. There's a really big reason I do not play video games with my real life friends, or with my family. I have MADE friends via online games, but those friends know what to expect. They know that if they don't follow the rules, they can expect the consequences and it has NOTHING to do with our personal relationship. Somehow, "RL" friends and family never really understand this, or if they say they do... they really don't.

Anonymous said...

I can't really agree with your post this time, at least not the part about this being concrete proof that an asocial approach is necessary. The reason is that I've had very similar experiences in WoW that I handled without having to hurt people's feelings or sever ties with my social friends in-game.

I used to be a raid leader for a semi-HC guild back in vanilla and BC. Several times with both IRL and in-game friends I found myself in a situation where they were seriously underperforming and needed to be replaced for the raid to be successful. What I said to them was the same as I said to everyone else I needed to replace "I'm sorry, I don't want to replace you, but you aren't pulling your weight here and it's not fair to everyone else to let you stay until you can. If you work on it I'd be happy to give you another chance later". That's all, just a polite but firm statement. If they argued it I'd stay polite and devote a few minutes to explaining before I kicked them, but that was rarely necessary. Mostly they apologized and left themselves, and it never ruined a relationship.

Frankly to me it sounds like your friend was an idiot rather than a social, I've found that most people who 'have no respect for any kind of organization or authority' are idiots almost without exception. If someone honestly can't see the inherent advantages an organized group that follows orders has over a bunch of people doing their own thing then all I can call them is an idiot, there's not really a lot else it could possibly be.

Kurt said...

@squish, chewy, and azuriel:

If a reliable poll were conducted among all the readers of your comments above, and the results of that poll were that instead of Gevlon ceasing his crusade, for you three to stop all of your blogging/forum posting/blog responding, would you heed that poll and obey that crowd of random strangers? Or would you call them presumptuous know-nothings and disregard their rude demands? That's a rhetorical question, don't bother answering because I wouldn't believe your responses anyway.

Let's be honest. You guys post the same thing in response to nearly everything Gevlon says. If he'd kept his friend in the guild, Azuriel would have criticized him for not upholding his ideals strongly enough(as he did indeed criticize him for giving him a chance but not really since he knew this might happen, which is a sense contradiction btw). By not keeping him in, squish criticizes him for putting the game ahead of IRL. The specific actions or results don't matter, because you've already made up your mind. In this and many other cases, you will criticize him no matter what he does, if you'd kept your friend in the guild but not let him RBG squish would have been on your case for enslaving him or some nonsense.

I generally ignore your posts, as information theory shows us that sufficient repetition carries basically the same weight as saying nothing at all. While you haven't deviated from your basic three-headed hydra message here, you've included enough hypocrisy to impel me to call you out on it.

Coop said...

Here's the problem.

"He asked if he can join our guild, so we can play together, sharing both the game and also strengthen the ties between us real life. I felt very uneasy about this. I knew it's a bad idea. I told him to read the guild rules carefully, hoping that he'll find them too strict and not fun, moving away. He didn't."

Someone who's completely rational doesn't hope. Hoping against odds is in itself irrational.

You didn't want to confront him up front and tell him that his personality conflicted with the guild. He could get upset, your friendship would be affected, and you wanted to avoid that for at least as long as possible, even if you were certain about the outcome.

You're right, when dealing with someone who is violating rules, there is no middle ground. You cannot make exceptions based on your relationships, unless you're clear that the rules are unfair, and some people will be held to different standards. Which as a guild leader certainly would be your prerogative, but I would question anyone who would actually agree to those types of rules.

So while I believe you were spot on in your handling of the situation that presented itself, I think possibly with a different approach at the beginning you could have avoided it coming to that. Delaying conflict usually magnifies the intensity of the conflict. The end result could have been the same, but at least you could have logically laid out the facts; the guild rules are strict, your play style and personality very likely will conflict, I will hold you to the same standards as anyone else, regardless of our out of game relationship.

He might have blown up about those statements, true, but he might have been able to agree with them easier than to agree with being booted when emotions are running high.

Lightisle said...

"Anti-social" is not a stronger form of asocial!

An asocial approach would entail doing away with empathy and/or emotional decision making. The latter of which i, as a "utilitarian", support completely.
I don't see why i can't show empathy for your predicament, or in the case of your friend - his lack of critical self evaluation, while still refusing to accept any and all decisions not based in sound logic.

Anti social behavior deals with behavior that is in itself either intentionally or through neglect harmful to society. Examples include simple things such as littering and more serious from vandalism to disrupting \ interfering in the work of emergency services.

In the case of the British legal system you can get an ASBO (Anti Social Behavior Order, a Civil order), placed against you for displaying such behavior. So you might want to show some restraint in advocating anti social behavior, or if that was not the intent then some rephrasing is due.

Sean said...

Reading some of the comments puzzled me. Maybe because there is the perception that WoW is "only" a video game. Lets switch WoW to a sports team. If a friend consistently disregard team rules (e.g. playing out of position because defence is too boring), would people be so tolerant?

The only way this will be Gevlon's fault if the expectations are not communicated well enough.

maxim said...

Gevlon repeats himself often enough.
Does it make his points invalid or valueless based on the information theory reasons you cited?

Not communicating expectations clearly is a leader's fault. Much like Gevlon's current post says - if something is wrong, you need to deal with it on the spot and not wait until it causes damage. This applies to leaders as well as to raiding individuals.

WoW is indeed just an immensely popular video game. Even among eSports people it is not really taken seriously. You can play it on a serious level, but it's kind of like being serious about Mario, where for each one of you there'll be ten other people who just want to see the pretty graphics.

This means that the ability to communicate your intentions of playing this game on serious level to prospective teammates is that much more important. Because you can't rely on teammates having a pre-built-in competitive outlook.

Squishalot said...

@ Kurt:

Not trying to speak on behalf of Azuriel or Chewy, but what you've highlighted is the problem with being a blogger. Your ideals are being put up on display, for other people to read, to applaud and to criticise.

Newsflash for you - no single ideal is perfect. If you're going to be an advocate of an ideal, you need to be a) not hypocritical when it comes to exercising your beliefs, and b) be capable of clearly defining your beliefs. If that means you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, it's probably an issue with your beliefs, not your actions. (Funnily enough, that's exactly the issue that we have!)

Now, let's see what the issues are:

1) We believe that Gevlon has suffered more loss (economic or otherwise) from losing the friendship than he gains from managing the friend out of the RBG in the manner that he did.

2) We believe that Gevlon can and should have managed the situation better, resulting in both the RBG wins and maintenance of the social friendship.

3) At no point have any of us said that Gevlon should have kept him in the RBG. We said that the situation should have been managed better (see point 2), and/or that Gevlon's version of asocialism is too extreme to be optimal.

I've got no qualms with the fact that Gevlon dumped his friend out of the RBG - I'd do it too, in the same circumstances. However, the means by which I would do it wouldn't have resulted in my friend ragequitting and accusing me of being emotionless and uncaring.

Again, my beef with Gevlon's crusade is that it's a suboptimal strategy, that he keeps claiming is optimal. Kicking his friend and losing the friendship is merely a symptom, a demonstration of why his ideals are suboptimal, compared to a 'social' strategy of kicking the friend and guilt-tripping the friend into realising that he's letting the team down, thus preserving both the RBG win AND the friendship.

Anonymous said...

I think you conflate two very different things here, Gevlon.

One is having social goals, that is, striving for real or percieved reputation among peers, "keeping up with the Joneses" and things like that.

The other is using social "framework", for lack of better term, which is basically an alternate, specialized system of tools for communication.

In a world mostly populated with socials, not using this social framework is anything but optimal.

In this situation, there were many ways to have the cake and eat it, by communicating with that person socially.

Example of what you could have said before guild invite: "Hey Joe, there's something serious I need to speak with you about. This rules thing - it is really important for me as a leader. I know you are a very freedom-loving man, and you may laugh that I treat some strangers I don't know IRL this way, but if you break the rules I've set and I'll stand up for you, for me this will be like I've betrayed my guildies and their trust in me."

Now, for an asocial eye this looks like a load of bullshit, but it's simply message "These rules are important for me. If you violate them, you violate me."

For a very social person who cares about you, intentionally breaking the rules after recieving such message would be like punching you in the gut. Even for person like your friend, this would made making up after break-up dozens of times easier.

Note that if you would simply say this message in an unencoded form, it would be both unconvincing and really stupid-sounding.

For a person with dissociative/asocial spectrum disorder who is not inherently aware of this "feature", learning how to use it is a life-changing event.

In my case, my "public image" quickly changed from "annoying weirdo" to "normal guy who never goes to parties and discos". Guess, which one gives me more benefits in my everyday life, like smart acquaintances with whom I can derive joy by conversing or engaging in entertainment activities.

Anonymous said...

I kindda dwelled on this tidbid:

"I felt very uneasy about this. I knew it's a bad idea. I told him to read the guild rules carefully, hoping that he'll find them too strict and not fun, moving away. He didn't."

Do you mean to say that that was all you did to dissuade him? You did not say "No, really in this guild the rules apply to everyone and you will get the same treatment as anyone else when we are online" ?

When it comes to true friends, openess usually go a long way. I'm in a guild with some of my best real life friends and even a few family members, and I have made it very clear to them that as a raidleader, I have an obligation to completely disregard any personal relations in any matter relating to guild raids and that they won't get any special treatment during our raids. I have made this clear to them because I know there will come a time when I will have to choose the guild's interests over theirs - So far the only response I've gotten is that they don't expect me to do otherwise and there will be no personal grudge afterwards.

That is a value only found in true friendships