Written by | Posted October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm Elevation

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

In Game Harassment
comment 7 Written by on January 19, 2010 – 3:06 pm

A touchy subject, to be sure, but one that doesn’t have a lot of attention paid to it.  Blizzard does a really nice job of laying out what they determine harassment to be (read here: Blizzard’s Official Harassment Policy ), but there’s not a lot written about what to do if you are the target of a harassing player.

That said, there are some different things to consider at this point, including the different levels of harassing behavior.  Not every harassing player is created equal, and the response to each one will be different.

It’s very easy to pop into town and see some new moron spouting racist, sexist, threatning, or derrogatory language, right-click ignore them, and go on your merry way.  I’m not talking about that kind of harassment. On another level, we have the frequently spotted, often naked RP griefer. That’s the subject of a separate post, and one that you’ll see soon!  Let’s leave that particular character behind for now as well, though, since it is worthy of a separate discussion.

Which leaves us where I want to get started.

What do you do when someone is personally going out of their way to harass you? This might be someone you know, someone in your guild or in your raid, someone in a chat channel you frequent, or just someone you picked up for RP. The key here is this:

Harrassment happens when someone contacts you in a way you don’t like (or are uncomfortable with) and continues to do so even after you ask them to stop.

By that definition, it doesn’t matter who they are, whether you’ve been in a guild with them for years or just met them in a PUG, what you know about them, or anything.

There are three key parts to the Official Annas Definition of Harassment though, each of which is important:

  1. Someone makes you uncomfortable, disturbs you, upsets you, or threatens you.
  2. You ask them to stop
  3. They refuse to stop, make it into a joke, defend themselves/call you oversensitive, or otherwise continue to do that which you have asked them not to do. (Possibly demeaning you and your feelings in the process.)

It’s not a complicated list, and it doesn’t have to extend over long periods of time, make you feel all skeevy, make you think about quitting the game/transferring servers, or any other horrible thing.  Someone does something; you ask them to stop; they keep doing it.  That’s harassment.

I want to stress, however, that you do actually need to ask them to stop, and you need to state it clearly, firmly, and in no uncertain terms. Nobody around you is a mind-reader, and JoeNoobface may actually just be a clueless noob that doesn’t know that his rape jokes are somewhat offputting. Most people, when asked “Hey could you please not do (whatever), it makes me uncomfortable and is kind of skeevy” will apologize and hey – problem solved.

If they do NOT stop, particularly if you are the target of ongoing threatening/sexual/disturbing/uncomfortable whispers, you have come to #3 on the list and will need to make some decisions. I don’t recommend being rash, but I don’t recommend putting your own comfort, enjoyment of the game, and (in severe cases) mental state below “not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings.” Temper this with your best judgment (and the help of people you trust, like your guild leader).

I would suggest, at that point, cutting off all communication with the harasser. Regardless of their motivations, whether you think they are/were a nice person, or whatever, they are blatantly disregarding what you want from a game that you are paying money to play. Nobody deserves that!

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Put them on ignore. Yes, that includes on all of your alts. The person who is bothering you has already shown that they don’t care about your feelings or opinions because they have ignored your request either to stop doing something or to stop talking to you altogether,.  Putting their comfort above yours – when they obviously don’t care to honor what you want – isn’t a good idea, and drawing it out will only increase the chances of drama.  Besides, that’s why the ignore button is there.
  2. Put their alts on ignore.  Yes, that includes on all of your alts (even your banker), and yes, it includes any cross-faction alts you might know about. If the harasser creates a new alt or logs onto a character you don’t know about, report them immediately and add the new name to your ignore list.  Actually.  Ignore them first, and THEN report it.
  3. Remove yourself from any chat channels that they are also in. This includes guilds. DEFINITELY talk with your Guild Leader, raid leader, and/or whoever manages the channels before you drop them like a hot rock, though, since those people are very likely your friends and you may not need to drop them all – your GL may choose instead go /gkick or channel ban the harasser.

These steps are particularly important if you think that the person in question is deserving of a temporary or permanent account ban – you want to have taken all the steps that you can to make yourself totally unavailable to the harassing person.

Now, that third step is particularly sticky, and I really don’t like it at all – it’s isolating, and it rewards the harasser while punishing the person who is being harassed.  Unfortunately, there’s not another way to deal with it outside of getting the harassing person removed from the channel/guild. Which is why you really should speak with the GL/channel manager before dropping out. Explain to them why you need to not participate in the guild/channel anymore, state your experiences calmly and rationally, and bring along a bit of evidence (screenshots are good) of you asking the person to stop and their refusing to do so if you can.

These tools – the ignore feature and the report feature in particular – are there to give you a measure of control in the situation. Yes, they might not be fair (and in some cases they are decidedly UNfair), but they do succeed in getting your game experience free from the influence of the harasser.

Occasionally, these situations will make their way out of game – either because of guild forums or the realm forums, or because this was someone you thought you could trust and gave them an IM name or an email address (not every creepy person on the internet has a creepy name and goes around advertising their creepiness).

There are ignore and report functions on most guild forum sites (and they are both there on the realm/Blizzard forums as well) if both of you are guests.  If the person is in your guild, however, you’ll probably want to take further steps.  This is absolutely another time when you should speak with your GL, because most guilds are not fond of harboring people with such outright disregard for others. Whether your GM decides to ban the harassing person or not is in the hands of the guild leadership, but you can always ignore a poster even if they choose to let the harasser stick around.

Most instant messaging and email programs also have ignore or block functions (in gmail, that function is done through creating a filter) – however, do not throw away emails or conversations if you can avoid it. Once this kind of situation progresses to out-of-game contact, particularly if the harassing person went digging for your email or IM that’s posted in a guild forum, the situation changes from being in-game harassment to being on-line harassment and potentially on-line stalking. (Yes, it’s a scary word.) On-line stalking, if it gets very serious, can be grounds for contacting another person’s internet provider and/or the police.

Throughout any situation like this, remember that someone else choosing to harass you is not your fault.

It doesn’t matter if this is someone you’ve known for a long time and the conversations just kinda got weird, and then they got really weird, and now you’re uncomfortable and freaked out. Someone who is your friend, when you tell them “please stop” will do so. Common courtesy. It’s like finding out that one of your friends really doesn’t like being hugged. If a good friend said to you sincerely “Please don’t hug me, it weirds me out and makes me uncomfortable,” you might feel a little embarrassed, and you might not really understand, but you’d also probably not run up and hug them all the time either.

Above all, don’t be afraid to take whatever steps are necessary to remove a poisonous or harassing person from your gaming time. You deserve to not have your feelings hurt, to not be made uncomfortable, and to enjoy the time you spend in game. If someone wants to stomp all over that, there are ways to deal with them that are quick and effective. Take advantage of those tools and don’t let other people ruin your game.

annas

This isn’t a light subject, nor is it a particularly fun one to talk about. Please be gracious in the comments – especially if someone chooses to talk about a past experience with this kind of thing.

Monday Madness!
comment 5 Written by on January 18, 2010 – 9:44 am

I’m back, at least for a week, and then I’ll be off into the great vast realms of AFK-land again.  Here’s a bit about what’s been going on.

  • Annie Mae is 77, and beginning her work for the Argent Crusade. While I don’t intend to have her go for the Crusader title, I do intend to make her some cash and finish out her major city reputations.
  • Annylais is 64, working on 65, and hanging out with the Cenarion Expedition in Zangarmarsh. She is currently specced feral, and I’m liking it quite a lot. Particularly pounce and feral charge-cat, which have the best animations ever.
  • Aely is splitting her time between Icecrown (when she’s on duty) and Stormwind (when she’s not). She’s moved out of her little apartment in Old Town temporarily, as the political climate there has been bad enough that she was affecting the business at the Silver Shield.  She’s currently living over in the Mage District. (And no, she’s not as disappointed about that as she could have been…)
  • Plotbunnies!  They are many and multiplying.  Keep an eye out for some crazy stuff to start happening!
  • I am considering “reskinning” Anzefi back to Alliance as a dual-class option for Aely.  Part of me would really like to play my priest again with my friends. Part of me says there’s no way Aely would go along with it, as she is a PALADIN dammit, not a priest. Having her dual-class would give me the ability to play her more in situations where I don’t really like being a holy paladin (like heroics), and would let me RP with her more while having the opportunity to play more than one class. Suggestions/ideas wanted.
  • (Please to not have those suggestions be “BUT ZOMG ANZEFI ROCKS” or something of that nature.  There are a number of reasons that I can’t really be playing hordeside right now that I’d rather not discuss, but trust me to say that I’m not considering this lightly. I really like Anzefi’s character a LOT, and don’t want to lose it either.)

A reminder that if you’ve got ideas, I would love to have a guest post from you for next week when I’ll be gone again! You can email me at toomanyannasATgmailDOTcom if you want some help turning a vague something into a post to show here – and, of course, if you’ve got a blog, I’ll be linking back to it!

annas

Guest Post: The Secret of Writing
comment 7 Written by on January 12, 2010 – 9:36 am

Today’s post is brought to you by the awesome Tami, who will introduce herself here in a minute (as I am still out of town). She’s an awesome writer, and you may have once known her as The Egotistical Priest. She’s filling in for me today with a little bit about the actual /process/ that is writing. Sometimes I get asked how it is that I write every day, or how I get something finished (either blog posts or RP stories or other stories). Tami’s got your answer.

INTRODUCTION
Hello, Anna’s readers! I’m Tami, from TamiMoore.com. Anna sent out the call for guest posts and asked me to give her readers a little tough love on the subject of writing.

*cracks knuckles*

WRITING
Blogging, magazine articles, short stories, novels, non-fiction books, diaries, role-playing …

No matter what flavor of “writing” they do, a lot of writers are looking for the magic bullet – the missing piece that will solve all their writing problems.

“What problems are these, Tami?”

Well, I’m so glad you asked! Let’s take a look at a small sub-sampling, which naturally has no bearing whatsoever in my own personal writing problems and issues, because any one person having THIS many writing hangups might seem unhinged …. *coff, coff* Moving on.

  • I don’t have time to write.
  • There are too many distractions, it’s too hard to concentrate.
  • My writing isn’t good enough, nobody would voluntarily read this!
  • My muse must be broken.
  • What if I’m doing it wrong?
  • Every time I sit down to one story, five more crop up and I want to write them, too!

Those are fun, eh? Any of them sound familiar?

THE SECRET
I am going to teach you the secret to writing. It answers every single one of those problems and more.

Furthermore, I’m going to give it to you absolutely free.

*waves you in closer* Are you ready?

WRITE.

NO, SERIOUSLY
That’s it.

That’s the secret.

Disappointed?

I can’t imagine why you should be. If anything, you should be filled with hope and a renewed fervor.

I’m being serious here. You, in the back, stop it with the scoffing.

If there were some magical secret to writing, that would mean that some folks had an advantage. That no matter what you did, you might never write as well as they can until you got your hands on their magic bean/pill/potion/prayer/thingy. “Powdered writing skill, just add water!”

Happily, that’s not true at all!

Write. That’s it.

Work. Practice. Do. Take action. Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard – WRITE.

EXCUSES
But, but, but, how can that possibly address all of those problems?

  • Don’t have time to write? What about all the single mothers out there holding down a full time job and still producing one to two books per year? Talk about someone who doesn’t have time to write! Ask any of them and they’ll tell you – they make time to write. In a life filled with valid reasons to have no time for writing, they carve out that time.
  • Too hard to concentrate? Buy a pair of headphones or earbuds and suck it up. We will never have the “perfect” writing environment. If we NEED the perfect writing environment to write, we’d never get anything done. Real life always intervenes. You just have to bull through it.
  • Not good enough? That’s what practice is for. You get better at writing by writing really horrid stuff for a while and improving as you see what works and what doesn’t work.
  • Broken muse? No such thing. I promise, if professional authors and artists produced work on their muse’s schedule, we’d still be in the dark ages. Sure, having that artistic high is FANTASTIC, but it can and will not be how you feel every time you sit down to write. Furthermore, writing “museless” is normal and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just write. Regardless of whether or not you feel like you’re peeling the words out from beneath your fingernails or if your fingers are flying over the keyboard. Write.
  • Doing it wrong? There’s no wrong way to write. Commercial fiction has some structures and rules it usually obeys, and you can learn those from websites and books on writing. But there’s no way to WRITE wrong. Experiment. Do it the wrong way. Do it a different way. WRITE. Practice. Learn. What have you got to lose, really? Especially when compared against what you have to GAIN!
  • Too many story ideas at once? Write them all down. Promise all of them that you love them and you’ll come back to them. Pick one and WRITE it. Finish it. Go all the way to the end and then keep your promises to those other stories. WRITE.


SUMMARY

Whether you have novels inside of you, yearning to be written or you’d really just like to update your blog more often, the answer is the same.

WRITE. No excuses.

Guest Posts Needed!
comment 1 Written by on January 8, 2010 – 12:03 pm

Due to some awesomeness (and not-so-awesomeness), I’m going to be spending a good bit of time away from the internet from now until the beginning of February – particularly a stretch where I’ll be gone for over a week.

I would LOVE to have some guest posts to schedule for that time so that the blog doesn’t have to be completely silent.

Anything you’ve got in mind (even a Friday Five or two!) would be appreciated, and I’m more than happy to chat about turning an idea into an actual post if you’re not sure exactly how to approach something. If you’re a blogger, I’m happy to share some link love, but don’t feel like you need to have a blog or website to write a post!

As always, you can find me at toomanyannas [at] gmail [dot] com!

Elevation

October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

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