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A question of culture clash

Just a few days ago, I was questing on a new alt in order to check out how the roleplaying was on a new server I'd heard good things about. As I went through Ironforge to pick up my Winter Veil presents, I saw one of those ads for a new guild, "<Guild Name> is a new RP guild looking for mature new members! PST to join!" and I thought, "Why not check it out? At least there'll be someone to talk to." So, when I whispered this person, his only real question for me was to ask my age. Satisfied by my answer, he sent me an invite.

I wrongly assumed that guild chat was in-character, and immediately introduced myself in what I hoped was a humorous way. A couple members said "lol," and the leader introduced himself as a former Horde player who was getting started on a new server too. Somewhat disappointed that this guild was not so "RP" as it had advertised, I proceeded to ask some questions about the status of roleplaying on this server. I must not have impressed them this way, however, as I logged in a couple days later to find myself kicked out of the guild already.

One of the members I remembered from that first day happened to be online, so I asked him what had happened. "Oldman" (who's name I changed somewhat in this story) replied that, in the view of his "elder" guild members, I was "too wordy" and also "too juvenile." Thoroughly perplexed, I asked him what exactly I had said that was so juvenile. He told me that was itself a juvenile thing to say, and then used "/ignore" on me. I had been disappointed enough to leave that guild anyway, but to be dismissed offhand like that was rather hurtful until I made a realization: These "elder" members must think that asking questions is itself "juvenile" behavior, especially questions they deem unimportant; while according to my worldview, sincere questions of any sort are paths to more knowledge and understanding, and in themselves a sign of ever-growing maturity. Besides, completely ignoring someone just for asking questions doesn't seem like the pinnacle of maturity to me, either, but who am I to judge? Maybe there was some good reason I don't know about.

Have you ever encountered social situations in WoW that left you completely befuddled? Have real-life cultural values and judgments ever gotten in the way of your gaming, especially in ways that caught you by surprise?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Guilds, RP

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