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Dealing With The Perpetually Offended

Updated on March 7, 2016
Jim Gleeson profile image

Jim has been an avid World of Warcraft player since 2007 and hosts a weekly gaming podcast known as Stormchasers of Azeroth.

If you make this face or assume this attitude toward life, your face could freeze like this.
If you make this face or assume this attitude toward life, your face could freeze like this. | Source

The Perpetually Offended People

In gaming as well as in real life the preemptively offended abide, not that I want to hang out with them.

This past week I participated in one and spectated another situation of what might be called tangling with the perpetually offended You know who I am talking about, you roll your eyes when you see these people, you want to make way, find the next line, or avoid their path altogether.

Example one: is I am getting out of the car and want to get to the laundry out of the back of it, but the guy next to me has his car door opened/passenger side and was currently unloading his car. The route to my truck tailgate is obstructed.

Let me add this, he wasn’t there when I first parked there, but moved in between his car and mine once I parked. If he had been there, I would have parked elsewhere to not be a distraction/interference to his unloading. So there to my left, blocking my foot traffic to my back is laundry unloading guy. College Student, mid twenties.

Now if I our roles were reversed and I saw some guy slide into the space next to mine, I would have given the driver the driver’s side and would have either waited for him to get out of his car and do his business before trying to access the passenger side of my car, or I would have done my business on the driver’s side. So it ended up I had to improvise.

The problem is that there wasn’t much room between my car and the SUV next to me. As I go around to the back go my car a man runs out and asks in a loud voice “Could you park any closer to my car?!? Watch my mirror won’t you!”

To my utter amazement, I had words at the ready. I said something that shut him down. I said “Okay, thank you!” Out of a number of sarcastic answers and retorts, as well as push back I actually said something devoid of all of it. It seems more often these days, I too have a nest egg of ill will gestating.

I think he was sporting for more than that answer. He looked ready to throw down, and really get into it. Maybe I was the spitting image of "the man" in his mind. It's hard for me to imagine myself as "the man" as I often am afraid of "the man" and would rather not get "the man's" attention at all. But For whatever reason, my answer either mollified him or didn't fit into his lexicon of responses, and he went back to just inside the laundromat, staring through the translucent windows waiting for other infractions to catch his attention. Five minutes later, I moved my car.

Second example: I witnessed a similar act as a woman at a convenience store, had billfold open, money out, receipts ready and was in a heated exchange with the cashier about the transaction recently made. There was discussions of coffee and other items and amounts. It was painful, and my guess is it was over less than two dollars. There was math being done, and by a woman who I believe wasn't very good at math from my modest observance of the conversation.

I think that woman probably had either a bad day or week and was just looking for something to be upset about and this cashier was in the right place at the right time. As I left the other cashier who was handling the overflow actually apologized to me. I said “No apology necessary” For some reason seeing this actually felt freeing to me, as well as made me ask myself how many imagined infractions do I get offended by over a given week? A month? A year?

In the gaming world, the preemptively offended also abound. Some of us go through our gaming to blow off some steam, and we come to a world where we are not only perpetually offended, but in the gaming community there is plenty of grist for the mill. To be honest, to find toxicity in the gaming community you don’t have to look far.

You get in a dungeon group and even if it is going smoothly the "offended" will point out any deviation from the norm to which my response is usually “did the boss die? did the party not wipe?” if the answer is yes, then it’s time to move on. It is sad that I think it is a great dungeon going experience when I finish one without anyone saying anything. But these people take personal offense if you pull one mob wrong, or don’t do above average dps. Some people just want to run a dungeon after work to blow off steam, others blow off steam sadly by confronting others who just want to run a dungeon, not treat it as if it were an Olympic sport of the elitist.

My response is to ask the above question, because in the end, loot and other rewards is the objective, not topping the dps charts. Even if someone in the group dies, the objective still completes and we all have our loot. If you are expecting more than that then please don’t sign up for a random dungeon group, get together with more like-minded people, maybe even start your own private island nation. An island nation of the perpetually offended. Now that would be our tax dollars at work.

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