Proto
Proto

Whether you want to call it drama, rage, or perhaps even write off attacks of a personal nature as byproducts of the meta game, the common denominator is always the same. The similarities are the requirements of a antagonist and an audience. Now, why would I leave out the victim(s)? Surely there has to be a victim somewhere in the equation? The answer is because sometimes the victim is the aggressor. Also, being a victim of a personal attack is a matter of perception.

“This is all very insightful, Proto but what’s your point?”

My point is that whether you are the victim or not, taking your grievances out in a fit of hurried emotions over social media is as toxic to the reader as it is to the people involved. Innocence and feelings of justification are unfortunately irrelevant because to the outside, you both look like fools for airing dirty laundry.

I am / was one of those people. I put it that way because I still struggle with keeping my fool mouth shut. Almost instinctively, I rush in to defend, call out hypocritical views, and bring attention to things that I feel are important to the integrity of the community. Unfortunately in retrospect, I recently had the revelation bite me like a snake that had been coiled at my feet – it’s rattle warning me of its presence for years.

“Yadda yadda, cry me a river. So you realized you’re a scrub sometimes. Want a f***ing cookie?”

If you can to relate to the above comment as your own, you may want to pay attention. If seeing comments like that make you want to tell that particular person off,  call him a jerk (or worse), or rush to the affected person’s defense, then you NEED to pay attention.

Let’s take some recent events for example. We had the CSM review blog coverage and subsequent drama involving a certain CSM member and CCP. We’ve had controversial CSM candidates ply their troll trades on the forums in front of everyone  garnering reactions that feed their need for attention. We’ve had defensive tirades over Twitter involving misunderstandings of context. I’ve witnessed prominent players of the game complain of being surrounded and brought down by negative influences and are considering leaving the game because of reasons that have nothing to do with the game.

I can relate. I was the guy who left the game because of the corrosive nature of a divided player base during the E1 debacle. For years I watched and vocalized myself during T20, the Summer of Rage, Somerblink parts 1, 2, and 3, the list goes on. I let myself become a part of the problem and the only cure I saw involved leaving the game. Now, in retrospect I can look back at those days where I felt angry and hopeless. I can kick myself in the ass for not being a positive influence myself. How many did my comments drive out of the game because I had to have my say? How about you? How much of your spurging cost the game both valuable players and money from CCP, fellow bittervet?

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There’s a predominant belief in society that the nature of a person is the direct product of their surroundings, I believe the same holds true here. Feeling disheartened by your environment? Change it. Failing that, do what I did. Find people who are a supportive and positive and BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

It’s going to be difficult. It requires that you accept the fact that you’re not going to have the same kinds of social interactions or contacts you once did. It may involve changing corps or running a one man show while you find your place. Unfollowing certain people in social media, tuning out certain Eve media or podcasts, and establishing a sense of self control are the hardest parts.

Then one day when you’re about to relapse, a miracle happens. You get a message from someone who you know is prone to the same faults you hold and he tells you that you’re having a positive impact on him. Holy shit. I’m now feeling like it’s possible to move on from my past and be the better influence instead of the defensive antagonist.

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I’m a truck driver. My day is filled with bad drivers, ungrateful customers, and CB radio Rambos. It’s generally always negative out here, over the road. You’re always on the short end of someone’s stick and only find true solitude in your sleeper with diesel engines idling around you while fighting for a few hours of precious sleep. I was a US Army combat medic. Believe me, I know what a negative environment does to someone.

If you want to see a more good natured community, recognize that you may in fact be part of the problem and change yourself. Then go out and try to be the example. Be the leaders instead of being the one who is influenced. It’s happening now. I see it in the public feedback that we get as well as the feedback i get in confidence. The tarnished and rusty bitter attitudes towards each other as well as CCP are fading.

Players are sick of the drama cynos and are shunning the antagonists. Need proof? Look at the comments regarding the latest Eve media podcast drama. Listeners telling both parties via comments and tweets that they’re both hurting the integrity of the media and are both welcome to take a long walk off a short pier.

Could we be witnessing a cultural renaissance? I think that’d be a gross overstatement. But there’s players just like you who are vying for something better than what we are now. I’m one of them. I have an awesome team in my corner and supportive friends at my side. You want change in the community?

It starts with you.

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