The Daily Grind: How do you and your guild handle political discussions inside MMOs?

    
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ESO

I’m genuinely curious about this one, so indulge me. From my vantage, it’s seemed to me that casual discussion of politics inside MMOs has escalated. Yes, there were always idiots trolling every game’s general chat about the daily politic, and yes, mature guilds probably always had deep discussions about taboo topics. But I sense that it’s bubbling over much more than it used to be. And I’m wondering how you all handle it.

For example, my guild is ancient and embraces “be excellent to each other” rather stringently, but even we have shifted our political discussions into a separate space in the last couple of years, not so much to avoid offending anyone as to avoid drowning our guild chit-chat in what are frankly depressing and fury-inducing links and issues. None of us can really stomach a constant stream of that, so splitting it off means it’s there when people can handle it and out of sight when people really just can’t.

But for general MMOs? If I see a bunch of kids – or adults who should know better – ramping up a pointless political “debate” inside an MMO, I just block ’em. Not in my precious fun times! Thank u, next! Go troll Twitter or something.

How do you and your guild handle political discussions inside MMOs? (Please note, this is not an invitation to start a political flamewar in our comments!)

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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mysecretid

The Fleet (guild) I belong to in Star Trek Online has a non-negotiable rule: No discussions of religion or politics in open guild chat.

If you want to talk with someone about those topics in private chat, that’s perfectly fine, so long as all the people involved agree to it.

But in open guild chat? No. You’ll get warned a time or two (depending on the nature of the oops), but if you persist, you’ll be looking for a new Fleet soon.

We’re an international Fleet, with players all over the world playing regularly. We don’t need divisiveness that’s irrelevant to playing and enjoying the game.

That’s how we handle the issue, anyway,

semugh
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semugh

ahahahah zone chat in STO…
anyways I’m from a small country of which politics noone cares about. So I would be very lonely talking about politics lol…
mostly mumbling to myself hehe…

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Avoid it. The current state of society/politics does not allow for “agreeing to disagree” or for someone to have a different opinion. If the other person holds a different view then it’s D&D time: Demonize and Denigrate. People generally “listen to respond” because they are convinced that if they see a subject from the other person’s view point, even for a moment, that it invalidates their own view.

Unless you are talking to your own political click it’s generally best to leave it outside the game world. I mean, aren’t we supposed to be our characters in another setting entirely and not on modern day Earth in 2019?

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

In my experience most people in FFXIV don’t like to talk about that, not in FC or local chat or dungeons or anywhere. At least on Faerie.

Sure, there are a few people who, for example, name their FC “Trump Nation” with appropriate character names:
https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/freecompany/9230971861226060544/member/

But they’re just trolls who make fun out of such FC and character names and they don’t do anything else like spamming in chat channels.

Vexia
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Vexia

I don’t strictly discourage or encourage people to talk about politics in my guild’s rules or anything similar, but I don’t think people want to talk about it which is fine by me. Our rules probably kind of lean to gathering a decently like-minded set of people in the first place: people read them before they come in then decide whether they’re comfortable adhering to them.

If politics came up, I would not shut the conversation down, and even be glad to make my own stance on various things known, but the stipulation that we would ultimately have to agree to disagree and not try to forcibly change one anothers’ views would have to stand. At one point, something similarly hot-button but not strictly political came up in chat, but one person who couldn’t agree to disagree ended up taking their leave.

We are by no means looking to be edgy or get everyone’s controversial hot takes, but if our guild can’t handle a bit of difficult discussion then I kind of feel like I’ve failed as a leader.

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Paragon Lost

I really wish that real world stuff whether its politics or religion, would remain outside of the game world environment. If I’m playing an mmorpg, I’ve come to escape and relax, not deal with more real world crap.

Unfortunately the norm is and has been for many years to have all that crap polluting my enjoyment of the game world. Part of my avoidance of guilds in recent years has been due to that crap, or the sexist, racist, homophobic bashing/trolling that is the norm far to often. Saying something just brings a bunch of crap down on you and it’s just not worth it. (sigh)

xpsync
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xpsync

Whoa!!! you didn’t mention the LGBTTIQQ2SA to power of 8 peeps, you in trouble now bro. lol

I’m lucky or lucky to have found the right peeps at times, EQ2 way back and most recent SWL, no matter what was going on in the world no one ever talked abuot anything RL, it was great. True escape. Sure i’ve been in other guilds or whatever but i guess i always mention EQ2 and SWL as it was where it all clicked, right game, right challenge, right peeps.

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Schmidt.Capela

Whenever I get to be in a position to decide on the rules, the ones I tend to enforce about every kind of polemical discussion — including politics — are:

– Discussions that employ facts and logic, and where all participants treat each other in a courteous way, are welcome.

– Using false information in those discussions isn’t allowed. Insisting on using false information, after it has already been proved false using reliable sources, can result in penalties up to expulsion from the group.

– Arguments without a factual or logical basis, based on just blind faith on a system or a person, are treated the same as spam, which is to say if repeated too often can lead to (light) penalties.

– Personal insults are banned, no matter how much the other person might deserve them or whether the target of your insults has insulted you first, and can result in penalties up to expulsion from the group.

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NeoWolf

As my guilds are always small, close knit and with people I have known and played with for many years we do not really have taboo subjects per se.. largely because I know folks aren’t going to troll or flame and start controversial conversations to push some personal bias or whatever anyhow.

But just as a point of principle we typically avoid controversial topics anyway (politics, religion etc.. ) mostly as a courtesy to each other as we come together to play games and have fun, not get caught up in overly seriosuly debates or arguments over conflicting views that will detract from or run the risk of spoiling that fun.

Pretty much the most controversial things we talk about are movies and games reviews, developers etc.. lol

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Peregrine Falcon

Me and my guildies are all “Deplorables.” So we pretty much just agree on politics and move on to discuss other things.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

I saw a meme on Facebook recently that I thought was very poignant. Of course I can’t find it now but it was basically saying, “we’ve spent so long not talking about politics and religion that we’ve created a society of people completely incapable of having friendly conversations about political and religious differences.”

I think there’s some truth to that. Course there’s slightly different dynamic now, but in normal times I embrace friendly conversations about politics and religion.

Be the change and all that jazz I suppose.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

To speak to Bree’s situation, I’ve seen similar things happen in my own now-defunct guild (Politics didn’t do us in. We just skewed old). The few times it got bad was when some of the members lost jobs/savings or there was some other external stress that led otherwise mature and respectable people to lose their composure and self-awareness.

In those cases I tend to ride it out and be a helper, if only by not stirring the pot further with my own ego. General chat you can filter. Come-and-go guildmates can be rebuked or given the silent treatment. Friends I will tolerate, so long as it’s all in the family, so to speak.

Times are stressful. Good luck, and hang in there!