No More Drama in my Life

No Drama

Is such a thing possible?  Are people even using the word correctly?

I have to assume that when people speak of a guild as being drama free, they’re referring to the third definition here: “a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces”.  And further, they aren’t saying that such a state isn’t possible within the guild.  This would imply that the leadership maintain an iron-fisted grip upon the membership.  They are saying that their members are not prone to exacerbating such situations and/or that the situations are dealt with quickly and decisively.

But to eliminate drama itself from a MMOPRG?  Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?  Everything we do in-game is driven by conflicting forces (even if it’s conflicting forces between a farmer and a Kobold).

I think the whole issue of drama comes from a lack of visual interaction between players in an MMORPG.  Think back to the last face-to-face argument you had with someone.  In your choice of words, in your body language, how did things change based upon what you saw in the other person.  If you said something hurtful, did their reaction perhaps discourage you from going further?  If you admitted fault, did the change in their demeanor feel rewarding?

Even with voice chat, you just don’t get this.  Certainly Ventrilo and TeamSpeak help, as vocal inflection adds depth that SHOUTING and emphasizing and even swearing ffs in chat cannot, but it still falls short of face-to-face interaction.

Is it a sweeping generalization to say that if you could see the faces of your guild members, most of the in-game drama just wouldn’t happen, or would flare down as quickly as up?  Would you still say the same things to people in-game if you could see their face, see their reactions to your behaviour?

I am not in any way suggesting that Blizzard go and put video chat into WoW.  We don’t need a repeat of the time-suck that was patch 2.2.  Yet something within me yearns for people to act as though their words and actions im-game had real impact upon the recipients in real life.

Because they do.