A little over a month ago, I put up a Devil’s Advocate column for work about the culture of inclusion versus the culture of exclusion happening in today’s game space. It was debated hotly and not received well by some members of the MMORPG.com commenting community, though I’m at a loss to explain why as the mods had to lock comments and remove offensive posts (and I pretty much stopped reading the comments as they were getting out of hand).
For the most part, the crux of the article on allowing everyone to feel safe and unharassed in their games was met with some disapproval. Perhaps it’s my writing style, or perhaps some people simply don’t think the game space is worth a damn other than for selfish play, but I certainly don’t want to spend my time thinking about a community that doesn’t take care of its fellows.
Then I read the latest post on ArenaNet’s blog about building community, and the quoted portion below is an important excerpt of that:
Our ultimate goal is to create an environment that is respectful, welcoming, inclusive and friendly. We want to create a global community where people will feel at home, and an environment that will foster both creativity and collaboration.
The main goal is to be inclusive, not exclusive, to encourage collaboration between communities, and to generate an atmosphere that is helpful, friendly, and above all, respectful. There is an unfortunate tendency in some online communities to encourage behavior that is detrimental to the fun of a lot of players by allowing a rather toxic and unwelcoming atmosphere. We want to set a new standard and make the Guild Wars 2 community a mature, friendly, helpful and inclusive one that is recognized throughout the industry as being so. With that goal, we will ensure that both our game and our forums reflect our standards, and we will evaluate our support for communities based on the standards they enforce upon themselves.
Ravious of Kill Ten Rats and Regina Buenaobra of ArenaNet said it best when they said that they expect more. I’m not sure if it relates exactly to expecting more of one’s self on a personal level or as a whole among other people, but from my experience, I’d be the type to think that it starts with the self.
I have my own issues, likes, and dislikes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t expect more from myself in terms of my ability to respect and care for other people. That’s where it starts, and hopefully, it’ll move forward from there.
I think there’s this line from Kamen Rider OOO that kind of says it best. The lead character, Eijji Hino, once said something along the lines of wanting to have the power to help everyone in the world. However, he’s only human, so his philosophy is to start being good to other people within his arm’s reach. I think, with the help of the internet, my arm’s reach can extend farther than I think is possible, and that’s a good place to start being excellent to other people.