From the silly and almost defiant (or is that plaintive), where the post title comes from, to the far more serious (Larisa struck a nerve with this one), from the individual to the cultural, I’m struck on occasion by the human element of these online games.
Who knows what private pains people deal with in life? (Ardol speaks eloquently to Larisa’s comments thataway.) Games can be ways to escape trouble just as easily as they can be ways to find trouble. They might be a meeting place for people who might not otherwise have the chance to be friends in any other venue. (Big Bear Butt has a heart to match his largish ursine physique.) They might be the last thing that makes someone happy. (The game mattered to Ezra, though interestingly, mostly to spend time with his distant father.) Games matter, sometimes in the most curious ways. (Wolfshead’s tribute to Red Shirt Guy.) The community matters.
People are sometimes the worst part of online gaming, but are most often the best part.
Those are people out there. Not rejects, not NPCs or henchmen, not morons or slackers. People who deserve common courtesy and might just be in pain of one sort or another. Call me a bleeding heart conservative, but please remember that even in the most fantastic and fictional of games, people are still people.
Treat them well.