Lately I’ve seen a lot of people, both in and out of game discussing the idea of freedom of speech and what it means. Ultimately, freedom of speech means that the government cannot punish you for what you say. You can’t be thrown in jail because you disagree with governmental policy. That is where the freedom from consequences ends however. It doesn’t protect or prevent other people from reacting as they will because of what you say or claim to believe. It doesn’t prevent there from being consequences for your words or actions.
For example, I have an aunt who can’t keep a steady job. She likes to run her mouth and gossip about others – including her bosses. She CAN say whatever she likes and the government sure isn’t going to punish her for it. But insult the boss, and you may find out that your position isn’t so permanent as she has, many a time.
Being a blogger in a guild is much the same way. I can say whatever I like here… it IS my space, but there are consequences if you play the name and shame game with your own guildies. Many is the time that I, as a raid leader, have been frustrated with a dpser’s numbers, or a healer’s healing or a tank’s threat. However, instead of coming here to tear them down, my time is better spent, figuring out what I could do to build them up… What do they need? Are they missing enchants? Do they need to get with their class lead? Are they missing a critical cap number [hit/expertise]? The hubby and I both have spent large amounts of time, energy and gold helping others become better – and thereby helping the guild become better, and if we couldn’t help – finding someone who can.
I know we’ve all played the name and shame game with pugs – but it’s a dangerous game when it comes to your own guild – and perhaps even your own server. We, as bloggers, have the responsibility of caring about our guilds and servers and the privilege of representing them. No, I don’t speak for my guildmates – this blog is wholly my own, but I am a representative of Wrath and Retribution – whether I like it or not [and I very much do like it]. And that does affect how I view things and at times, how I discuss them. Never would I ever dream of dragging a guildie out to eviscerate them in this space. That’s just wrong and against the spirit of a guild. If I have a problem with someone, I’d either go to them, or send the issue above my own head to be dealt with. Being a blogger and representing my guild is something I take seriously. And I know should I ever violate my own standards, that at least three people would virtually smack me upside the head [quite likely more] – and rightfully so.
We may play “just a game” but we’re dealing with real people with real emotions and since words are all we have to communicate – they should be chosen carefully, or as my dad would say “choose your words carefully so they go down easier when you have to eat them”.