Aspects of the player's true self are always reflected to a certain degree in any avatar based MMORPG.
Whats interesting is, there is both good and bad to be seen. FFxi is alot like war, go with me, you see the best and the worst of humanity reflected in the way people behave, except in a online environment.
Some people are great friends, wonderful helpers, and selfless with their time and talents. While others are selfish, act ignorant, and will do anything to get what they want.
Given that last statement, its very clear that real world aspects are apparent in the virtual worlds like Vanadiel. Since we are able to communicate and interact with other human beings, there is a Reality in the virtual world. But it is because our Humanity is relfected in our avatars, that we are constantly changing.
No one player is always going to be helpful all the time and inversely, no one player is always going to be selfish. This is truely the reflection of ourselves in the virtual world. I can say for a fact, that there have been times when I myself have been selfish or even cheated people.
That being said, and given the fact that we take our humanity with us into the virtual world. We are also required to take our Ethics with us because they are intrinsically tied to our humanity. Which brings me to my point. Since people are bringing thier humanity and ethics into the game world, we have to realize that not everyone shares a similar ethical outlook with us in real life. There will be moral conflicts in the virtual world, just like there are in the real world.
On a side note, one thing that alarmed me was Kingofthejews' comment in the previous thread on LM17
" Morals in a video game are you kidding me. That has to be the most idiotic thing I have ever heard. "
I dont care if your ethical outlook is corrupt or not. But for god's sake, do not forsake your humanity or your ethics simply because you think its only a game. ><!! If anything your acknowledgement that this is JUST A GAME, should point you to pursueing some kind of morals of Sportsmanship and Fairness which are a part of every game's basis. There are rules based on moral and ethics in every game and penalties to be paid for violating these rules.
There is morality in any online situation with people intereacting with others. Google "to catch a predator" and then try and tell me that you think its ridiculous to have morals in a virtual world. Or that our actions online are without moral consequence.
That is also not to say that Morals are only existant in multi-person interactions. You cannot forsake your ethics even in situations where you are the only one present. Take for example, what ive been hearing used alot, in defense of people who cheat in multiplayer games, the arguement "Well its just like using gameshark offline."
We really need to ask ourselves the question, is doing something wrong only wrong if others are hurt as a result of actions? My personal belief is no, if you do something wrong, it is not justifiable as long as "no one gets hurt." Take for instance, DUI, you can do it and not hurt anyone, but that doesnt change the initial inherently wrong and dangerous action.
When you use gameshark offline, you of course are not placing anyone in danger or commiting DUI, but really, the initial action is cheating. And by most ethical standards cheating is wrong. For example say, you cheat in FFX to get all the ultima weapons and have a more enjoyable game experience. That action is cheating, but its small time cheating. Its like stealing that 5 dollar bill from your grandma's purse. She was going to give it to you after you mowed her lawn but, you didnt want to do the work. You wanted it now. YOU deserve it.
Thats what cheating is. Selfish-ness. Impatience. Laziness and Greed. These are all aspects of humanity that get reflected in the virtual world.
LM17 may be bad at times, but I'm positive we are not in any position to judge them for their actions. There are also probably many redeeming qualities to the members of the LS. But once again it is not our place to praise or protest their way of life. If it is wrong, then give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. Or if it is right, let them show the entire server their benevolance. Either way, their final destiny or fate is in their own hands.
Most LSs in the game have a certain aspect of selfishness involved in their actions. And rightfully so, we all strive to be the Best and to "beat" the game. But we cannot forsake our morality along the way to becoming the best. Compare the pros and cons of botting. They are able to get every monster they want but they have to cheat. We all think those who bot have it easy but when we look at the action of botting in an envious or jealous way, we forsake our only defence against such injustice. Ourself and our own way of thought. We should feel sorry for them. They have lost sight of their dreams. They have lost sight of who they really are. They think that in order to win, they need to cheat. They are afraid to lose the claim because then they feel as if they will lose their friends and LS mates. Anyone else see the flaw there? They are afraid.
If you knew a botter for example, and were able to travel back in time to find him when he was noob to ask him what his dreams were? what do you think he would say? (this whole situation reminds me of the ending of Mr. Deeds lol (INTERNATIONAL HOUSE PANCAKE!)) I'm sure tho, they would not say, "i want to be the best botter there ever was, i want to manage a corporation-like community that is all about getting items."
When we were noobs or kids, we were un-clouded and unjaded. Everything was fun, everything new and exciting. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who immediately after buying a new game, goes straight into using their gameshark. This is because there is still potential to be had. uknowns to be confronted and journeys to discover.
People who bot, need to ask themselves. Why? what do I really hold dear? Is it the items i have? or the people who helped me get them? one of my friends, said in his bazzar for a long time "you see items, but i see friends and people i care about - TY" That is the attitude we should never lose. We should never lose our sense of childlike wonder in video games or in real life. For when we do, we actively expose ourself to the many dangers of boredom and jadedness.
Those who bot, are ruining the game not only for us, but for themselves. Take for example steroids in baseball as an analogy to botting in FFxi. The people who use steroids usually have tremoundous selfishness. They have thrown all their morals and ethics away to be the best. They lose sight of the journey and instead only see the result. They must win. They cannot lose. Whatever it takes.
But what I say and have always believed is that whether you win or lose, whether you get that item or not, it doesnt matter. The result cannot change the journey. If you camp King Behemoth with your friends and try your best, it shouldnt matter whether or not you get the claim or not. Its about friends and giving it your all. Likewise if you bot for the claim on KB, and have to spend a miserable time sitting there running a computer program with only yourself and the result in mind, you have endured a torture far worse than going 0/100 on KB claim.
I am not a LM17 hater, I just wanted to say that there is no way to deny the fact that morality comes into play with human interaction online and there are plenty of interesting situations that arise from this fact. What you deem "right" and "wrong" is entirely up to your own belief. You can always be a relativist when it comes to online problems. But there is no denying that there is an Absolute Virtue in game and in real life. That absolute virtue is Truth. Like an unfiltered chat log, Truth displays our actions to all those around us and ultimately determines if what we are doing is good or bad.