How Much to Share?

One of the great things about playing an MMORPG is the MMO part.  There are tons of people to interact with.  Some are great, some are not so great.  It usually doesn’t take more than a few PUGs and you’ve met someone you noticed played well, or was really friendly, or when you were LFM for group quests, helped you out.  You quickly learn who to talk to and who to avoid.

Eventually, if you like, you can join a guild filled with players similar to yourself and the interactions grow.  Guild chat can be a great place to share thoughts on recent movies, strategies for the games, tips on where to quest next, or linking phat lootz.  Generally with the guilds I’ve been in, the guild chat has been light and mostly about the game.  But what do you do when people start sharing too much about their lives?

I don’t mind hearing that you have two kids and one doesn’t like math.  I don’t mind hearing that your dog threw up in your bed this morning.  I don’t mind hearing even where you live or traveled.  These things aren’t “too” personal.  Last night we had a guild member start sharing what I would consider intimate details of his life.  Stories of his childhood abuse, drug use, prostitution, abandonment…in short, the kid had a rough life.

Maybe it’s just me, but him simply saying, “I’ve had a rough life” would have been enough for me.  As a guild leader I felt really uncomfortable about what he was saying, if he were to be whispering this to someone, that’s a different story, but sharing with the whole guild…inappropriate?  I said that maybe he should keep those intimate details to himself as to not make anyone uncomfortable.  He responded that it is who he is and he’s not going to pretend to be someone else.  I actually wanted to respond, that no one cared.  Well, at least I didn’t.  I’m here to kill scourge, I don’t need to know your life story and you don’t need to know mine. 

There are people that know more about me, people that I would consider “WoW-friends” but all that has been shared through whispers or in a party with them.  It might just be my level of comfort and trust with sharing too much information over the internet, so perhaps it’s just me?  Was I out of line suggesting that maybe that conversation was better had outside the guild channel?  I didn’t think so.

Someone logged in during the middle of it, and asked, what the heck is going on?  Someone replied, he’s high as a kite!  It kinda broke up the conversation finally, and things resumed as normal.  I assumed it wasn’t just me as no one else was saying anything, I think we might have all been in shock about what we were reading.

For me, anything that is personal and to be shared with others is done so in a whisper.  Most don’t even know my real name.  Not that I wouldn’t tell them, but it’s a video game, and I’m fine with leaving it as it is.

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Posted in Guild. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “How Much to Share?”

  1. Anea Says:

    I agree – that was WAY too much info to be shared in guild chat. Things like that should only be shared in tells. Not only is it nobody’s business, it probably brought them down and made everyone uncomfortable.

    There is a difference between “being who you are” and keeping within social norms. Just because you don’t advertise all those horrible things doesn’t mean you’re hiding who you are – you’re just being polite. Share stuff like that with a friend – or a psychologist. (I really do mean the latter – if he’s compelled to share things like that to everyone, perhaps he’s having a hard time dealing and could use the help of a therapist of some sort.)

  2. Troutwort Says:

    I agree with you Anea, thanks for making me a little more certain that my reaction wasn’t off kilter. I was taken back, so was happy to hear it wasn’t just me.


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