I, Njub.

March 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Posted in General | 1 Comment
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Wotcha everyone,

Sticks and stones may break my bones…  Remember that one?  The one that continues:

But names will never hurt me.

Language is a strange beast.  Not only is it constantly evolving (much to the anger of those who feel that every change is obviously for the worst, and feel that language should be immutable and ever-unchanging) but so many words are invested with meanings beyond the sum of their parts, dependant on their context.

Society throws up new words all the time.  Some words are fashionable.  Some are timeless.  Some will change between seasons.

Syp put up a list of terms that he hated to see in MMO gaming, and whilst I feel he has a point, I also think that we allow these words to have power over us, to hurt us, *only if we let them*.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…  I used to have people accuse me of being a geek.  It was usually said by people who were not geeks, and said in that sort of sneering, accusatory way that meant they looked down on me.

And then, one day, I had an epiphany.  I *am* a geek.  Virtually every hobby I had was geeky.  I think geek.  I probably bleed geek.  And that there was absolutely nothing wrong with being a geek.  So from that day to this, when people accuse me of being a geek, I state, proudly and with no dissemination, no excuses and no shame; “Yes, I am a geek”.

Strangely enough, that shuts them up.  I realised that they wanted me to deny it, to try and point out how normal I am.  When I refuse to, it ruins their fun.  And when I point out how much enjoyment I get from being a geek, they usually have nothing they can say about it.

But people being people, even Geek society isn’t one coherent group of likeminded, supportive souls; there’s always someone to insult.  There’s always a section of the communities we form that is less cool than ourselves.

MMO gamers are no different to everyone else.  We’ve even created our own terms, and now we use them against anyone and everyone that isn’t in our social grouping, as a way of putting them down.

Sod that.

I’m Njub, and proud.  Spell it how you want: Newb, Newbie, Noob, N00b, Nub, Nubbin, Njub.  It’s a term that probably comes from “New Player”, but has gone through so many different forms and meanings that for a long time now it’s been an insult.

Personally, I use the term so that people know I’m new here.  I don’t know everything, and don’t profess to know everything.  And that means I’m willing to learn.  That I’m human.

And I quite like the spelling.  It’s funny.

Whilst I’m about it, I should probably l2p.  I don’t have the reactions of a startled mongoose to get me out of trouble when playing, so I’ll just learn to play the game, quite probably in the spirit of playing, rather than to the letter of the rules.  Call me weird and old-fashioned, but I believe in games being fun for all the participants, not just me.  Besides, I have the sort of mind that enjoys solving puzzles, so couple that with the wisdom and experience I’ve gained through living longer than most of my peers, and I’ll be fine.  Remember; “Age and Treachery will always beat Youth and Skill”.  I’ll sit down, figure out how to improve my healing, my dps, or my tanking, and apply it.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll try something else out.  How can that be wrong?  Yes, I’ll mess up occasionally.  Sometimes a lot.  That’s all part of learning too, and how can I be ashamed of learning?  Heck, we have entire buildings devoted to learning in the real world!

Oh, and most of the time I’m a Carebear.  I remember being forced to watch the Care Bears (younger sister, with me just at the wrong age to absolutely hate anything that’s pastel-coloured, but babysitting causes pain in the teenaged), and hey, those guys have a mean stare.  Which is, admittedly, quite cool.

You see, PvE mobs are easier to take out than players.  They’re designed to be, as they’re about creating a fun gaming experience.  Well, that’s the intention, anyway.  Besides, I’ve read enough Sun Tzu to know how he’d deal with PvP;  Anyone who recommends going into battle with a *minimum* of 10 to 1 odds in your favour was born to Zerg.

And if Sun Tzu recommends the Zerg, how can it be a bad thing?  He’s, like, a genius or something.

It’s just a way of playing the game.  Focus on “game”.  Not sport, not job, but game.

It is always nice to have the respect of one’s peers.  The people we group with often, our guild-mates, the members of our raid team.  We choose to associate with them, so they should be the ones we care about, but most often it’s the accusations of strangers, of players we’ll most likely never encounter again, that sting us most.

It’s probably all strange and arcane psychomentalology stuff to do with taking rejection far more personally than anything else, but a simple insult delivered in txt spk over a chat channel has the capacity to really ruin someone’s day.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.  Words can be reclaimed, and repurposed.  They only have the power that *I* choose to give them, when they’re thrown in my direction.  Insults from MMO players?  I laugh.  In the grand scheme of things, being insulted by someone whose sole interaction with myself is a bunch of pixels and a text chat channel is less than nothing.

We, as players, need to reclaim these terms.  We need to stop using them as insults, stop taking them as insults, and just accept them.  Then move on.

I’m Geek, and proud.  I’m Njub, and proud.



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  1. […] Hawley is proud to be a word I’ve never heard of before […]

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