"It's Just A Game" Cannot Be An Excuse In MMOs

Online Cyberbullying in games is usually followed by "Its just a game." When dealing with real people, it's not JUST a game.

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are games that have real people entering a virtual environment dealing with other real people. It’s just like dealing with people in your everyday lives, and the only thing different is it's not face to face. It is in a virtual environment.

This seems to give people the excuse to treat people without respect because they are not face to face. Anonymity brings out the worst in people, and you always hear their excuse of "it's just a game."  

Is it really JUST a game?  

In a single-player game, you deal with Non-player characters (NPCs) that wouldn't care how you treated them, but in MMOs you deal with real people with real feelings.

For the most part, these games are just a game and for things like losing PVP matches or dying for the 50th time on a raid boss, people should let it go. When a person’s fundamental right of being respected is taken away, it goes beyond just a game and into real world situations.

Think of it this way; imagine you have a high-level character. You have spent many hours leveling this character from level 1 to max level. All your craft skills are at max level, you have many rare items that you spent a lot of time getting, you almost have all your end game armor, and you got the character to look just the way you want. Now can you delete this character of yours without hesitation?

Many people have great pride in their characters and consider it the extension them. So deleting this character is a hard decision.

People put real feelings into these avatars, even in offline games. When dealing with real people you wouldn't disrespect someone you don't know. Every day in MMOs you see people putting down others and their excuse is "it’s just a game."

People in these games put down people’s life choices and say they are joking; regardless of a joke or not, words still have meaning.

Can you imagine the “Real World” where people act the way they do in MMOs, the world would be in chaos. For some people, the game is all they have, and it’s the one happy in their lives. When someone makes that happy into something negative, they have nothing.

This may mean they have a problem in their lives, but it is not someone else place to tell them they have a problem.

Just because people interact with each other in a virtual world looking in their virtual faces does not mean it has virtual consequences.

MMOs are more than JUST a game. It needs real people with real lives, real feelings, real insecurities, and real hopes and dreams coming together to get to know each other. These people build into each other’s lives for better or worse. People need to treat each other with respect just like they would in real life because the only thing different is the medium they are interacting in. Real people dealing with real people IS real life, not virtual.

Published May. 8th 2015
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  • topher339
    I agree that there is never a good reason to belittle someone or insult a person for no other reason than to just do it. And hiding behind the "it's just a game" phrase isn't any better.

    However, that being said, you will run into people (in real life) you simply don't get along with, people who are downright insulting. If you can't handle someone who doesn't have the courage to insult you face-to-face, how will you handle it when someone does have the courage to insult you face-to-face?

    Yes, cyber bullying is wrong but I will never understand how a person is so willing and able to be influenced by someone behind a gamertag or account name, someone who is completely anonymous and has no connection to your life other than a game server. A person shouldn't allow him or herself to become so self-frustrated because of the words hidden behind anonymity.

    Everyone at some point or another faces some type of cyber bullying. How you handle the situation is what decides whether you are to play the part of the victim or the victor. A bully will only bother you as long as you allow. Often times, the bully has far more life problems and flaws than the bullied. Remember this and you can bring bullies to their knees. Until you decide to stand for yourself (because other often won't stand up for you, such is the reality of the situation) that bully will see no reason to stop.

    And, should you bare witness to an act of bullying, don't just sit and watch, do something.

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