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1-28-2011 @ 9:47AM
My take is this: The way in which we communicate now hasn't really existed before on such a scale. Many who play simply haven't grown up with any real learned etiquette or behavioral gates for this type of society -- one of knowing another person is there, but being anonymous and physically distant. How we behave is being made up by those who play as they go along in their virtual lives. Most who play this game (or any game where you're with other people, but not literally with) didn't have authority figures to show them the ropes of proper behavior. It's rare that parents, guardians, or other chaperones are there to guide behavior. Even folks old enough to know better, those who did grow up with a good moral code taught by those loving and caring enough to do so often fall in to least common denominator behavior. The good, old G.I.F.T. theory rears its ugly head again. "When in Rome," you get by like the natives do. I've been encouraged by guild mates who are parents, who play with their kids or who spend time playing in their kids' presence, or who don't play themselves but are there when their kids do play, because these folks are good, caring and supportive people. That behavior has a better than even chance of staying with those kids whenever they enter the next evolution of how we communicate via technology.
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