Bullying


#1

I am not sure about other countries, but in the US bullying has been a hot button topic for a few years now. Especially once younger children committed suicide and cited bullying in school and over the internet as the main reason.

How do you feel about bullying as an issue, especially as our society and its norms change?

Do you feel the bullying occurs of any type in IC? if so what? and how do you think we best combat this issue?

Not looking for anything overt political, but just want to start a discussion that affects the world at large as well as our small IC community.


#2

In the Netherlands I we have a school program against bullying. It lets children recognise bullying, stimulates to step up for yourself and others. They actually do role play once a week on some schools.

It won’t stop bullying (completely) but it does give them the tools to defuse a situation and takes it out of the taboo.

In IC I see:
Grudge wars for consecutive rounds
Some players being hunted (and not because they are top of the line in skill)


#3

I don’t think enough is done in the US to address bullying, either among children or among adults. It can really mess a person up.

I have not yet personally seen it on IC, except for one player who is chronically and extremely belligerent and rude. It really sucked the fun out of the 2 or 3 rounds I shared with him. I’m not sure how such things could or should be reported, as it can get very tricky, and end up revolving around he-said she-said they-said. The format of the game itself does allow a leader to mark a fam member rogue, so that could be one way of getting rid of a player who is disrupting a game via bullying.

I dunno, I’m not an old hand here so I could be just babbling. :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

who is being hunted?


#5

@MaceWindex has been.


#6

I don’t recall ever being “bullied” in IC. I think we would need to define the term for bullying in IC. Have I had my ass kicked and been farmed? Of course, it is part of the game. Some fams lose some fams win, the loser today will be the winner tomorrow, so this doesn’t bother me…

Also I don’t think bullying would even be a good strategy to employ. Diplomacy is too important to act like an ass and send insults to every player that attacks you. Something new players tend to find out the hard way.
This is a small community with a long memory.

I have found players are much more likely to respond favorably to nap offers or cease fires if the messages are respectful, vs calling them garbage, farmer ect. So don’t poke a hornets nest and then claim to be bullied. You reap what you sow.


#7

I would think bullying would be defined as outright harassment in the extreme and verbally cornering people to mentally subdue them for the purpose of satisfying the bully’s ego. This would be much more than getting one’s ass kicked in a game. Bullying is also different from trash-talking.


#8

Yea I have a player right now verbally assaulting me and saying I am the reason IC is dying (sadly he is also a mod), just because we are attacking him. It is hard to hear as I feel like I am an asset to the community and only want to see it grow… attacking is part of the game, you shouldn’t try to make somebody feel bad about themselves just because they play a game as it is intended to be played. Would this be considered bullying?


#9

If it truly affects you to the point where you’re genuinely afraid to socialize/function normally, I think it’s bullying. I can speak from experience, as well as from hearing from friends who have experienced bullying. If it just annoys you, as I imagine it does, just ignore it and enjoy the game. :slight_smile:

That’s what happened to me in my aforementioned experience. I just decided to pay this other person no never mind and move on.

Yeah, attacking is part of it. MTG_Dad got me but good in Royal and I messaged him to say, “good game.”


#11

And Acrid, and Cells…


#12

I do believe bullying is an underestimated topic in the world, as well as in IC.

As LG said, it is being actively addressed in the Netherlands, programs are being set up to help kids to step up when they see bullying and to remove the taboo from talking about it etc.

In IC I think we’ve seen examples of people really targetting other people in the galaxies, as well as in chat and forum. I’m not sure if we’ve done enough about it then, but I like to think we’re also becoming more aware of this and more active in addressing it.

One challenge remains the standards, for example, in a standard galaxy round, like MW, I don’t think winning a war and then asking for some planets for a NAP is bullying.
Raiding a fam is not bullying. In fact, anything that has to do with (possibly: excessive) offensive action in ONE round is hard to label as bullying. It may just be nasty tactics/strategy.

I’m pretty sure other people disagree with this though…


#13

Well, I’d have to say I don’t know what is going on in the Netherlands currently about bullying. But, to be honest, I highly doubt life can exist without bullying.
Whether this is playful or downright aggressive, this is just a part of life.
In games, it’s very common. Your size will very likely give you the ability to push around smaller people, like in real life. Once in a while a scrappy guy will know kung fu, but most of the time it’s the bigger entity which pushes around the smaller entity. Very often the smaller entity will let the bigger entity believe he is boss and the balance of power has been created.

This can be seen in nature and in all our landscape. We tend to let ourselves be bullied by our (conceived) superiors all the time. If a guy pays you double over another guy, but you’ll have to put up with some slight abuse, a lot of people will take this as “reasonable”. For the lower wage, you’ll take much less abuse before saying something about it.
A lot of people have trouble standing up to a bully as well. I’ve once (nah, way more times) been called a bully while I was not aware. It was in college and I was considered “aggressive” as I wanted to show that I was assertive in class. This was seen as that my mighty oak tree of self-esteem was taking away the sunshine from the delicate flowers who dared not go far from the ground. I, of course, apologized immediately and took measures to give other the opportunity to grow. So I started calling them out in class to give answers or to prove my insane theories wrong. This again was considered bullying, as I did not consider the fragile nature of the earlier mentioned flowers. I decided to keep quiet for a while and the result was we found out why their growth was stunted, they didn’t lack sunlight. They were just fragile flowers to begin with…

In IC you find the same at times… people complaining about getting farmed by larger players and then rage-quitting over this. I don’t have the time to be on 24/7, but I understand that others do. They will prey on me at points and I will be the fragile flower in their shadow. This is part of the game and part of life. I’m not saying bullying is right, especially not aggressive bullying among children. But this will always happen. As we all probably can remember life was hard between 10-18. You desperately wanted to fit in and everyone was insecure about everything. Trust me when I say this has not changed. I’m not advocating for bullying, but I can honestly say this is a part of life. The group against the individual, the large boy against the skinny boy, the pretty girl against the less attractive ones.

We have to prevent it as much as possible, but it’s also simply a part of us all.


#14

Agreed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to try to eliminate it.

As for the rest of your post, I agree, fighting, taking planets and losing planets, raiding families, forcing them into planet payment for a NAP etc. Yes, all part of the game, all part of the conflict in Imperial Conflict.
All things I don’t think we should consider bullying, as it’s not specific targetting of a person for a longer period of time. If you do that again the round after etc, then yes, I think it’s bullying.


#15

Seems like bullying would be impossible to enforce though. For example the player who has made personal attacks against me, I want to find out where he/she ends up next round and hit them again. Grudges and rivalries are part of the game, and I want to crush my rival every round.

Are mods going to start keeping track of who attacks who each round and see if they see a pattern of them targeting a certain player? I doubt it.


#16

That doesn’t change the fact that we have some very clear examples of bullying in the past, and acted upon that too.


#17

I like what @The_LiGhTgUnS is pointing out about school programs and role-playing. Being well equipped to deal with a problem is a very practical approach compared to just saying “don’t do that”, which I see as a frequent shortcoming elsewhere.

A bully is to blame for their actions, but their target does hold some level of responsibility with regard to how they perceive the situation and how they react. This is sometimes misconstrued as “victim-blaming” but the reality is that life can be hostile and you need tough skin to survive. Imo it’s part of a parent’s responsibility to teach their children that they’re going to encounter unfair situations, and to prepare them appropriately.

It saddens me to think that there are children out there who are not taught this, or worse, are taught the opposite; that they are entitled to a life free of struggle.

In that regard, I think some level of exposure to bullying can even be healthy, as it can prepare people for tougher challenges later in life. Learning how to react to aggression is an incredibly important skill, and if the only reaction being taught is to report it, we are encouraging people to be dependent on external parties that may not always be there in their life.

I think, unfortunately, this is why some people seem to crumble under aggression even as adults. It’s as if they were groomed for dependency and hyper-sensitivity by never having learned to stand up for themselves. Worse, some people seem to shut down in the presence of any confrontation; even to the point that being confronted by ideas that they find offensive will put them into a victim’s mindset.

As for IC, bullying in the form of communication is something we actively moderate, and we have rules to that end.

Bullying also does exist though in the form of aggressive tactics, which I don’t think is something that necessarily should be “fixed”. A war game will inherently have large empires rising through aggression, just as it will have those who lean more on diplomacy. I worry that attempts to fix this aspect of the game would sterilize the experience.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t fix imbalances; we absolutely should. However, bullying itself is not a game mechanic, it’s a way of expressing power. You could argue, for example, that one could play a game of chess in a way that bullies a lesser opponent. That isn’t a bad thing in that context, and I feel that IC is similar.

Any overly aggressive empire in IC is only doing what they can to compete within the framework the game provides. Any bad experiences there are the fault of the game’s design, not the players who are doing what they can to win.

Just like in real life, context matters.


"The Bara Rule"
#18

I have been in a alliance in supernova were one player was actively looking for a specific player to destroy his round as early as possible.

And the 26 tick raid worked. :neutral_face:

Granted, if you have that little defence you deserve to be killed of.

However, there was no strategic reason to kill this person nor was the target a top 10 contender.


#19

So when do 98 and 03 stop bullying the rest of mw and determine what 7 member fam is the best in a proper war :clown_face:


#20

98 and 92 are closer in NW … that might be a better fight :wink:


#21

92+98 vs 03 is even closer (ia anyone? :zipper_mouth_face:)