Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SL Bullies

Written 7 April, 2009

Second Life Bullies

Now I’ve had a chance to reflect on my recent unfortunate experience with a couple of rude Second Lifers, I thought I would make a more considered post.

You have to feel sorry for Second Life’s bullies. Well, you don't HAVE to, I don't. But consider:
  • They can’t physically harm you
  • They can’t shake you down for your lunch money
  • They can’t even verbally harass you, for you can mute them at any time
  • They can’t follow you around, for they don’t know where you will be
  • They can’t bother you on your own land, for you can ban them in an instant
  • If they go too far, you can report them for abuse

So it’s gotta be difficult for the bullies in world.

About the worst they can do is hang around in popular places and make snide comments about the people who come there for a LEGITIMATE reason.

Bullies are only effective if you allow them to get on your nerves. I’m Second Life, I just mute them.

The other night I muted the bullies right away, but my friend didn’t, and so they were bothering me by extension. I don’t like it when people deliberately annoy my friends.

In this case, the bullies picked my friend’s profile and used it to target their attacks. One was quoting Bible verses; the other was using all the vulgar gestures in her inventory. That earned one of them an abuse report—and, after consideration, I’ve decided to report the second.

One has to wonder what is lacking in someone’s life that gives them such a need to deliberately annoy and harass total strangers. Why are they so small and sad? Why does belittling others make them feel big and important? Were they taken off the bottle too soon? Are they in sad marriages? Are they unable to deal with their homosexual urges? Are they unpopular, underemployed, and alone? Do they feel inadequate and empty? Are they emotionally unable to express themselves in productive ways?

It’s sad when people are broken. And certainly bullies are the most broken of people..

So I take it back. Maybe I DO feel sorry for the bullies of Second Life.


Whatcha Eaton said...

I've wondered about this as well and I would extend that thought beyond bullies to people (newbie and not) who seem to think their behavior in-world has no consequences. I'm talking about people who waltz into my house and avail themselves of the furniture (yes, even THAT furniture) even when I'm home.

As you mentioned there's nothing really harmful that these people can do to me and, since a lot of this stuff happens on land I control, I have several options for helping them leave, but I'm surprised at how many year-old characters think there's nothing wrong with behaving as they do.

I guess it's "just a game" to some people. I, on the other hand, live here.

LOL... I sound like an old man. "Kid's these days..." "Get off my lawn!"

Kanomi said...

I understand what you are saying about random bullies who harass strangers, because of course they can do harm in the long run.

Unfortunately a more insidious occurrence is when you are forced to spend time with them. A good example is when you work at a club. I have worked in a lot of clubs, and it's kind of common to find one or two people who take delight in playing mind games or power games.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Konomi, I would say if the club owner puts up with such people, or, being absent, doesn't give you the means to deal with them, it's time to find a new club-- or open your own!

Good luck with the mindgamers.