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  1. #1

    Social experiment: Play PvP in a PvP zone and get universally hated for it

    I don't know if this has been posted already.

    http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2...fessor_be.html

    A role-player in an online game, he aimed the pointer at his opponent, the virtual comic book villain "Syphris." Myers, 55, flicked the buttons on his mouse and magically transported his opponent to the front of a cartoon robot execution squad. In an instant, the squad pulverized the player.

    Syphris fired an instant message at Myers moments later.

    "If you kill me one more time I will come and kill you for real and I am not kidding."
    Completely hilarious, this guy showed that people put more value in ad-hoc social conventions and implicit agreements even when they are in a game where those constructs disagree with the entire purpose and design.

  2. #2
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    Surprise, people behave badly on the internet where anonymity is king.
    mv

  3. #3
    GWOnline.Net Member Mini Me's Avatar
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    Posted by iltat on 07/06/09 at 5:09PM

    I'm actually a CoH player who PvPed both with and against Twixt (I am not any of the players named, and my verbal interactions with Twixt were quite limited). I'd like to clear up a few things that seem to be missing. Note that I am, in no way, discounting the seriousness of death threats, but maybe a little more understanding of what really took place will allow people to relate better to the frustration.

    1) Twixt's actions in PvP translated to an investment of time. By teleporting (the action described) villains into a row of firing squad computer-generated enemies, he would give the other character debt. This debt would impede the character's ability to gain experience by cutting it in half for a certain period of time. Thus, anyone who suffered from what Twixt did would pay for it by having their progress cut in half the next time they got the opportunity to play. A full portion of debt could take upwards of 3 hours of nonstop play to be worked off.

    Imagine you go play miniature golf. Directly in front of you is a group of 10 children who have no idea what they're doing. You are unable to skip past them, and as is allowed, they refuse to let you pass. Due to this inconvenience, you only get to play 9 holes (or 4, if you're only on a 9-hole course). Would you be frustrated? I sure would be. They didn't break the rules, but they hurt the fun of my outing by specifically robbing me of the time that I had dedicated to accomplishing my goal. It's not much different than traffic, bowling balls getting stuck in the lanes, people talking during a movie, or any other issue that would rob an individual of their free time. The individuals causing your frustration may not be breaking the rules, but they are affecting your enjoyment.

    2) Twixt's account of what took place in the PvP zones he visited just plain isn't accurate.

    People did chat because many of the players had played together prior to the release of City of Villains (CoH was released in May of 2004 while CoV in October of 2006). Most of us already knew each other. However, that didn't result in a lack of fighting. Many times, Twixt would simply teleport people from battles already in place to his computer-generated death squads. He's presenting the situation as if he was the only one using the zones correctly when, in actuality, he was just the only one manipulating loopholes to allow him to generally be mean to other players. That's the biggest reason why he was despised.

    3) Twixt commonly made fun of players he killed.

    He did not simply say random hero-supporting things, he oftentimes bragged openly after using his computer-generated helpers to kill someone. Like any other competitive situation, bragging and talking trash will earn people talking back and becoming more upset. He worked to goad individuals into becoming angrier at what he did.

    He mentions the forums as a place where people speculated about parts of his life, but he seems to have left out where he posted kill-logs from his time spent in PvP zones. He posted quite frequently on those boards, and he went out of his way to fuel the hate that developed for him. Professional athletes who do such a thing are widely derided by the media and fans. Twixt worked hard to generate hate, he was not simply an innocent victim.

    4) Twixt died. A lot.

    Twixt perfected his method of generating debt for other players by dying a whole lot along the way. Statements like, "But no one could stay alive long enough to defeat Twixt..." completely misrepresent what happened.

    5) Twixt's research plays a role by examining another realm of society, but his results are predictable.

    It's not surprising that people get upset when you're mean to them without reason. On an unmarked curb, it's legal for me to park 5 feet away from the cars in front of and behind me, but it's simply rude to do so. If I did so directly in front of hundreds of different people who were looking for a parking spot, it's not unreasonable to think that these individuals would be angry with me. I would say that's completely predictable. It's also not unheard of for such individuals to threaten others in such a situation. The fact that the anonymity of the internet allows such hotheads to go more extreme with their threats shouldn't exactly come as a shock to anyone either. Thus, while I think research into the societies of online communities can be interesting, I don't think Twixt's can be classified as such.

    It's a shame that Twixt is the face of the CoH PvP and gaming community. He presents a very one-sided tale that some folks, such as the writer of this article, have apparently bought into entirely. A whole lot of good takes place in that community, but apparently, writing about that just wouldn't sell a book.
    If that's true then it's no surprise that people got angry at him... Though I guess you need to be there in order to have an idea of what actually happened.


    He comes across as very arrogant tbh; on his blog someone (Lisa) asked him some questions which he answered because he thought Lisa was a professional. As soon as Lisa reveals herself to be a player he refuses to answer any further questions because she's not a professional.

    Something similar happened before: He refused to answer a question (an easily answerable one: the person merely asked about the legality of using things from the forums and using people's IGN, yet he refuses to answer it because that person has not "revealed himself to the extent than I have revealed myself" and because he "doesn't have the right to expect me to respond to an anonymous poster".

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MixedVariety View Post
    Surprise, people behave badly on the internet where anonymity is king.
    It is quite a surprise for me actually. Did you read the article? Apparently they had built up an entire social system there, and when the professor started to actually play as intended, he became hated for it. They thought that he was the one behaving badly, even to the point that players on his own team refused to help him - yet all he did was play, without using exploits of cheats of any kind.

  5. #5
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    Yeah...I have to say that when I read the first article, I figured that what Twixt was doing is essentially griefing. Whether all in the name of 'pure research' or not: griefing.

    Edit: Yes raspberry, I read the article. It was from one person's point of view only. No doubt that some of the responses he got were out of bounds; nevertheless, he took pains to make himself look innocent. In my opinion his opponents weren't the only people behaving badly on the internet.
    mv

  6. #6
    I can see why you think that, but I also think that that reaction is the point of the experiment. We humans are social beings - if someone acts within the rules, but against social conventions, they are unscrupulously rejected by the group, as well as by outside onlookers. I think his experiment wasn't so much about finding out if people get angry when you are overtly rude to them (which is obvious), but rather trying to say something about how we make up our own community rules, that we hold higher than the "laws" of the place we are in.

  7. #7
    GWOnline.Net Member B Ephekt's Avatar
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    News flash: most gamers are scrubs.

  8. #8
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    Looking at GW PvP, I can say that it takes a lot to be hated by the community. Sure, it's relatively easy to get a few to hate you, but in a world where what some consider exploits others consider opportunities... but it's pretty hard to get the community to anything approaching a consensus on what is bad behavior.

    Written as is, I find it pretty hard to take the article to the letter. Not sure if I believe everything Iltat posted (as quoted by Mini Me), but I do believe there's more to it than just what the original article states.

    I'm also questionning the ethics on this.
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  9. #9
    Looks like the classbalance in that game needs some tweaking...

    Also it's hilarious that one player can do this, almost makes me want to play CoH.

  10. #10
    GWOnline.Net Member B Ephekt's Avatar
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    1) Twixt's actions in PvP translated to an investment of time. By teleporting (the action described) villains into a row of firing squad computer-generated enemies, he would give the other character debt. This debt would impede the character's ability to gain experience by cutting it in half for a certain period of time. Thus, anyone who suffered from what Twixt did would pay for it by having their progress cut in half the next time they got the opportunity to play. A full portion of debt could take upwards of 3 hours of nonstop play to be worked off.

    Imagine you go play miniature golf. Directly in front of you is a group of 10 children who have no idea what they're doing. You are unable to skip past them, and as is allowed, they refuse to let you pass. Due to this inconvenience, you only get to play 9 holes (or 4, if you're only on a 9-hole course). Would you be frustrated? I sure would be. They didn't break the rules, but they hurt the fun of my outing by specifically robbing me of the time that I had dedicated to accomplishing my goal. It's not much different than traffic, bowling balls getting stuck in the lanes, people talking during a movie, or any other issue that would rob an individual of their free time. The individuals causing your frustration may not be breaking the rules, but they are affecting your enjoyment.
    Am I missing something important here (never played CoH)? This seems to amount to "killing people in pvp is imparting a debt on our time invested, so we'd prefer it if you didn't kill us in this <arbitrarily hated manner>."

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