This is not a follow-up to my post on Conflict Resolution and Gaming. This is a response to posts I’ve seen recently and a trend I’ve noticed in gamers. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of gamers have the inability to argue effectively. Instead, they see something they don’t like and immediately label it “stupid” and will try to defend their point of view even though folks on the outside looking in can easily notice how transparent they are being and that they’re still arguing because they don’t want to admit that they are wrong or even try to accept the other point of view. Most of the time, the person who thinks it’s “stupid” just doesn’t like it but doesn’t know how to argue why they don’t like it and it’s just easier for them to shout their opinion in hopes that nobody will question it.
1. Replace “You” with “I”
People don’t like to hear things like “Your way of doing it is wrong” or “You are an idiot for doing it this way.” Instead, say things like “I don’t agree with the way you’re doing it” or “I was thinking of another way of doing it.” When you start off calling someone out, they immediately get defensive. It’s human nature. By not placing the “blame” on the other person, it’s less likely they will become defensive.
2. Don’t call people names
Seems simple, doesn’t it? For some reason, perhaps because of the anonymity or perhaps because people don’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions immediately, folks are more than willing to call other people nasty names. They never resolves anything. It only leads to hurt feelings.
3. Don’t be condescending
People don’t like being talked down to. I don’t like it and, more than likely, you don’t like it. Well if you don’t like it, why would you do it to other people?
4. Apologize if necessary
If you apologize, it doesn’t make your argument weaker. It doesn’t make you weaker. Let’s say that someone thinks you are being condescending and tells you so. If you didn’t mean to do it, apologize because you didn’t mean to. If someone misunderstands what you’ve typed, don’t say “You misunderstood me” or “Try for better reading comprehension.” Say something like “I’m sorry I wasn’t clear” and then try to explain it in a different way.
5. Don’t get personal
Remember, you’re arguing about a gaming system, not about the other person.
6. Be ready to swallow your pride
If someone makes a valid point, swallow your pride and admit they have a good point. Don’t be so prideful that you’re ready to dismiss any counter argument off-hand.
7. People are different than you
This is a big one for gamers. Some people like to game one way, some like to game a different way. That doesn’t make either group wrong or stupid. It makes them different. Both groups are having fun, so is there really a problem? For example, I don’t like 4E. I’ve tried to enjoy it but couldn’t. I’ve posted before about it and tried to be respectful because I know there are a lot of gamers who do like it. I have nothing against those folks. I’m glad they’ve found a game they enjoy and wish them all the best. I would like them to be just as respectful to me.
8. We are family (I got all my sisters with me)
As gamers, we belong to a subset of society-at-large. As long as there are gamers, regardless of whichever system they’re playing, be happy that there are gamers at all. Who else is going to listen to all your stories about your character?!