Thanks to actor Tom Hanks, we know that "There's no crying in baseball". I guess certain basketball players from the Miami Heat didn't get that memo, or at very least didn't watch that movie, as their coach threw them under the bus the other day saying during a press conference that there were a coupld players in their locker room crying after a particularly difficult loss.
But what about gaming? Is there crying in gaming? I'm not referring to complaining, but rather real emotional outpouring in the form of real tears, difficulty breathing, all out crying. Should I share anything that's ever happened to me where I allowed myself to cry or perhaps stopped myself? Maybe...I'll think about it.
What brings on that powerful manifestation of emotion anyway? Death? Joy? Pain (physical or mental, etc)? Certainly everyone has different thresholds, different breaking points for different situations. I just wonder how much crying in front of the monitor actually goes on in online gaming. What would cause you or me to flood our cheeks with the salty moisture of the entrance to our souls?
Crying in General
I just had this talk with my kids the other day, where they mentioned to me that "if you cry in school your life, your reputation, everything that you love and want out of school will be destroyed...forever...never to recover." A bit of an overreaction, I suppose, but what do you expect from an 8 and 10 year old boy? My basic stance on crying is this: There's a time and place for everything, usually, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with crying in general. It would be wise, like my kids say, to control yourself in public if you can. But there are definately circumstances where it's acceptable to cry in public, for example if you were told of a death in a public place, everyone would understand your emotional response, even mean little kids in elementary school.
Crying is natural, we were all born crying, or cried soon after birth and long into our first few years of life. It's a means of communication, it let's people know that we have a need, whether that's physical or emotional comfort, and let's others know that we deem some issue important. Frankly I despise the macho male society that I live in. Especially in sports. As a "MAN" I'm not supposed to cry, like ever. I'm supposed to, per some unwritten cultural rules, remain stone faced and play the role of the tough, good solier. THAT'S BULL CRAP! There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING WRONG WITH CRYING. Anyone who says any different is, in my sole-important opinion, mentally disturbed and example of a repressive household. How are humans supposed to make any lasting bonds if their not allowed to express their true emotions? We're NOT animals, we're above that, our capacity to think and feel make us so.
But I still teach my kids to be aware of your surroundings, and protect themselves from unnecessary ridicule by expressing themselves, ALL OF THEMSELVES, to the appropriate person at the appropriate time. This means they work hard not to cry at school, but when they get home, I let them and encourage them to pour out their hearts about the pain they suffer at school from bullies and other affects of really bad kids. So, if you want to cry I got nothing against you. The more the better I say.
Crying in Games
So I'm not raiding anymore. Like...ever. Unless I get a new back or something, it's done, I'm done. And for me that's a touchy subject. It's a recent decision, really. I tried to get strong for Cataclysm raiding, but when it came to it I just can't take sitting in a chair for 3-4 hours, it's too difficult on my body. I had to tell my guild leader, and that was difficult.
My wife tells me I take everything too seriously, and she's probably right. It's my personality to take ownership of my life's activities, to give them meaning. Even sitting in the park on a blanket with my kids, that's important because it's a time of bonding. Equally the last couple years I've come to bond with the people I raided with. We're not lovers or lifelong friends, but I internalize my contributions and view them as significant because I've had to suffer through some painful nights, nights which physically hurt me for days after in the real world, for the sake of contributing to the team and driving us to success. That success meant something to me, it meant that I had sacrificed physical comfort for an opportunity to achieve something with 9 other human beings, even if it was a game, it was done with other real people.
So when I had to tell my guild that my body was just too broken and I couldn't contribute any more, I do recall my eyes watering. So for me, I guess there is crying in MMO's. Who woulda thunk it? I'm not ashamed, I am proud that I feel, and more than that that I value human connections enough to allow myself to feel loss when I cannot enjoy those connections as much or in the same way that I used to. I have my breaking point, and for the first time ever playing a video game I reached it. In the end it's about the people. Because I helped form the guild, I'm allowed to stay and do whatever I can whenever I can, and I still help cut gems, make flasks, etc. I still run some fun things on the weekend when I don't have to give up too much time. It's nice.
Crying and You
There is a time and place for everything, for the most part. I still feel that while on vent or whatever, people should control their emotions, or at least control to whom they express them. It's ok to let it out to the right person at the right time, but I still think one should protect him/herself from general ridicule. What we do, what we play, because it's with other people who feel, I think in principle there is no feeling that needs to be repressed, nor any manifestion of those feelings. Just do it at the right time. Most circumstances in gaming really don't merit crying, but I think there are a few that do, and all of those deal with the relationships we forge with other sentient beings.
So, Tom Hanks, there may not be crying in baseball, but maybe there should be...in private.