On respect and separation of character and player - Jay Maynard

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Monday, 15 September 2003

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1731 - On respect and separation of character and player

youngvanwinkle's latest journal entry is about how he thinks of his online character as separate from himself, and how I, as a matter of basic respect, should honor that.

There are two answers to this I can make, which I will, here.

First off, there is one crucial difference between himself and his example of Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy is, indeed, not Spock (though he has published a second book, I Am Spock, that sheds more light on the subject). However, when he is playing Spock, he generally is not performing lines he himself has written, or as a character he personally designed from start to finish. Mr. <redacted> is.

The difference comes when one considers that online actions have real-world repercussions. Those repercussions are someone's responsibility. In this case, there is no practical difference between Mr. <redacted> hurting people himself, and having his online character - whose lines he alone writes, and whose character he alone defines - hurt people. A difference that makes no difference is no difference. Put another way, I do not care if it is his character that is an asshole, for only an asshole would have his character behave that way to other people.

Secondly, he speaks of respect. I do believe that there is a certain, basic level of respect due to others. However, I also believe that that respect can be forfeited, just as it can be augmented, all as a result of others' actions. In this case, he has indeed forfeited any and all respect he may be due from me by his intentional disruption of #WarnerCafe. He says, in this comment to the entry explaining why he banned me from his journal, that "the worst thing I've ever done in the past five years is make comments about his political views". He is wrong in this. My complaint is the one that wbwolf makes about me: it is not his comments that I object to, but the manner in which he makes them. He does so in a manner designed to infuriate me, knowing full well the reaction he will provoke if he only keeps it up long enough. That is not the act of a person I believe is deserving of respect.

He may believe that he is now free to not show me any respect in return for my perceived disrespect. He is wrong in this only in that it is not a change for him.

One final note: He says the transformation from his original character to his current one was brought on by his realization that online actions have RL consequences. I fail to see how he has truly learned that lesson. If he had, he would not act as he does.

current mood: [mood icon] crappy

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I've seen the two of you interact respectfully at times, actually. Then something would come up politically, and..things would go awry. Generally, when this would happen in #warnercafe, it would be Taka given the boot, with a ban occasionally attached. That sort of thing does have a..chilling effect on debates. Regardless of your feelings (and past historical discussions on the matter), you are the main power on the channel you found. Some share this power to greater or lesser extents--Taka has said often that #bohemia ops should not have to check in with him, as being granted such by him is his sign of confidence in matters, whereas Mr Fu operates a channel for his Toon campaign. He is the sole op--it is a private channel, and no-one else there *needs* them. In any case, the founder usually does set a tone for a channel, by word and deed, and one other factor is one's actions online towards other people can have an effect on others. There are some people who like a vigorous debate without the threat of ejection for defending one's views.

I can't believe that Taka is dedicated to destroying you. I've seen others hurt him much worse, much more personally, and yet he seems to harbor no ill will towards them. And from talking with both of you, I can't really believe you two were close enough that he'd feel such a need.

I'm also a little concerned over 'coward' as you used it earlier. You've often mentioned other ways to draw attention to abuses of media, including spammers. I can't really see the cowardice in reporting someone in violation of the rules.

Sometimes, friends disagree..it's not always 'betrayal'. There is civilized disagreement, even between friends. It's not where all hands are turned against you.
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000

I'm wondering if we saw the same person/character. The one I saw was the one that deliberately baited and pushed things - often while insisting is /msg that he was not. And the very last time, I told him in /msg that things were about to blow. He didn't stop. He didn't even idle back a bit. He knowingly kicked the nitro bottle all the harder. If that's not deliberate manipulation, what is? And after each exchange like that (the final one was finally the final one) one more person would leave the channel. I cannot consider that a coincidence. It was a deliberate - and repeated - action. And somehow he manages to paint himself as being in the right and as poor innocent victim. I find it amazing anyone can swallow lies that big.

What really irks me though is not that one final incident. What really irks me is his trying to use me, via /msg for some time, to get to Jay. Being lied to is bad enough. Having manipulations attempted on me is something which I will not forget and am unlikely to forgive.

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