Friday, February 11, 2011

"Morons & slackers"

If you've ever read any Greedy Goblin blog post, you've probably heard of the notorious M&S - morons & slackers. This is a term Gevlon enjoys using, and that - from what I've been able to tell - is sometimes imported by other WoWers in the blogosphere.

Somewhere in the comment pages, Tobold apparently stated he did not believe there was such a thing as M&S, and so in his last post, Gevlon disagreed and explained what it meant to be an M&S.

As such, I wanted to post my say on the matter. Kinda funny, considering that neither of these people have a clue who I am.

To be, or not to be
First of all, it seems important to establish that M&S even exist. I would not have thought this explanation to be needed, but seeing as Tobold appears not to believe in them, there may be others out there who share his opinion.

Being an M&S is the demonstration of either a choice or unintelligence. To say there are no M&S is to say that there are no stupid people, and no lazy people, which is simply preposterous. In our modern society of today, we tend to sugarcoat everything. We don't criticize anymore. Everyone is "equal."

In reality, nobody is equal. Some people are utter failures. Some people are utter geniuses. Some people will show up the morning of an exam, not having spent even one second studying, and ace it. Others will have studied during the entire preceding week, and get something like a C or worse.

It's difficult to talk of this subject without sounding insulting to sensitive ears. For example: I remember, back in high school, how my Algebra class operated. The teacher would explain a new concept each day, and assign homework for the next. The homework consisted of doing multiple problems related around that concept we had just learned about. The homework was repetitive - its purpose was to help anchor the concept in the student's mind.

To me, it was dreadfully boring. I assimilated the concepts the moment the teacher presented them in class. Some other students, however, would listen to the teacher, take notes, do all the homework, read the book, and still seek aid from the teacher the next day, because they did not understand.

What is the logical conclusion, here? I am smart, and the other student is stupid. But saying this to almost anybody is bound to invoke some negative sentiments. The common reaction is to think "you're no better than him" or "you're arrogant." But I am not trying to bring down the other student, or to make myself seem important. I am stating a fact.

Funnily enough, most people react to "I am more intelligent" by interpreting it to mean "I am better." Just because I may be smarter than somebody does not mean I feel I am better than that person. For all I know, the other student could be an exceptional painter. People react like this because in our society, intelligence is often used to "rank" people, and because in reality, intelligence does tend to make you better off as a person.

We have become too caught up in not hurting each others' feelings that we avoid reality. Yes, that 300lb person is fat. Yes, that teenager who got drunk and drove at a really high speed into a wall with his 4-wheeler is an idiot. Yes, that student who cannot understand simple mathematical concepts, despite constant studying, is stupid. It is not bad to say these things. It is the truth.

But - back to the game.

M&S in WoW
In WoW, there are plenty of idiots, just like in real life. Statistically speaking, 50% of people are below average, and 50% are above. Based on standard deviation, 68% of all people have an IQ between 85 and 115. 16% have an IQ under 85, and 16% have an IQ over 115. I realize that some people think "IQ means nothing," but nonetheless, it is highly regarded as an accurate measure of general intelligence. IQ is like an average of your intelligence - there are different type of intelligences. The higher your IQ, the faster you will understand, retain, and adapt to information.

I think WoW is comprised more of slackers than of morons. A lot of players do not feel as though a video game deserves to be the recipient of too much thought. Many people just play to relax, and could not care less whether their gear was enchanted or gemmed. These people are not competitive. Video games are relatively young in this society, and we still live in a world in which "competition" is something we expect to happen in physical sports or other "meaningful" things - not video games, unless you are doing a LAN racing game party, or something.

A lot of players cannot associate the concept of fun with performance. For example, some players do not understand why they should use a DPS rotation. They feel that Wrath has the cooler graphic, hence they do not understand why they should sacrifice their fun of using it, over using an actual rotation that will benefit the group. Performance is not a goal to them. Because of their non-competitive nature, performance is not fun. To me, performance is extremely fun. Being the best that I can be - at anything - is exhilarating.

This, however, does not necessarily make one a moron or slacker. This is mostly casual. What makes one an M&S is refusing to become better while still expecting some sort of group reward from the game. If you are doing a random Heroic and you are only pulling 1k DPS, you cannot expect to be rewarded for it. You're a 71/0/0 Mage and all you want to do is spam Ice Lance? Fine - but don't count on getting any loot. You don't want to listen to my polite advice on a better build and rotation? You're a slacker.

A moron is someone who does not understand something even after repeated explanations. When my guild was still recruiting, we tried out an Elemental Shaman. On her first raid with us, we called out for Heroism, and she did nothing. After the fight, we pulled her to the side, and she told us that she did not have Heroism. I calmly explained to her what Heroism was, and where it could be found in her spellbook. Eventually, it seemed as though she had found it.

On the 2nd attempt, we called for it again. Still no Heroism. It was announced in /raid, /rw, and /guild, to no avail. Her excuse that time: she was too busy focusing on stepping out of Coldflame. What? Heroism is instant-cast, and it should require no focus at all to press the button. You can cast Lava Burst and Lightning Bolt, can't you? Nothing stops you from casting Heroism! We gave her one last shot on Lady Deathwhisper, and once again, she never cast Heroism. I'm not sure she paid any shred of attention to anything going on while DPSing. That person is a moron, and we kicked her from the guild.

There are plenty of morons and slackers in life and in WoW. The people who ride around on their mounts in the middle of all the PvP in WSG are morons. The level 80s running a dungeon who pull - on purpose (or out of repeated inattention) - packs of mobs while the group is already busy with another, is a moron. You've had plenty of time to understand that it is a stupid move. If you don't understand it, you are stupid. The players who refuse to go through the effort of improving their rotation, or to gem/enchant their gear, despite knowing that it will make them better players, are slackers. Especially if they still expect the same treatment as those who are actually making the effort to be good. The guildmates who constantly ask what raid to expect that day, and at what time, even though all of that information can be found in the Guild Information (and has been repeated several times), are both morons and slackers and should be kicked.
"Moron describes the guy who doesn't move from the fire because he doesn't understand that it is causing his drop in health. Stupid describes the guy who doesn't move from the fire because "it's the healer's job to keep me alive." He knows that he can improve his (and his group/raid's) performance by moving, but he refuses." -Tonus
Quoted from a commenter on Gevlon's comment page. I'm quoting it, because I feel he hit the nail right on the head.

These people exist. Both the moron and the stupid are terrible players, and it is because they are M&S in real life. To say there is no such thing as M&S is to be delusional.


  1. "What is the logical conclusion, here? I am smart, and the other student is stupid"

    I'm sorry, did you actually just claim that being able to pick up high school algebra means you are smart? Really? Algebra? How fast did you pick up calculus? Differential equations? Non-linear partial differential equations? Not as fast as me? Then the logical conclusion is I am smart, and you are stupid.


  2. "I'm sorry, did you actually just claim that being able to pick up high school algebra means you are smart? Really? Algebra? How fast did you pick up calculus? Differential equations? Non-linear partial differential equations? Not as fast as me? Then the logical conclusion is I am smart, and you are stupid."

    Sounds fair to me. I was (also) one of those kids that understood everything in high school very easily. When I got to college I had to actually work at it... I didn't want to work at it and I wasn't smart enough to understand it instantly. I was a moron and a slacker, and I got what I deserved; a boot out of the school.

    You being better at something than him or me means you're better at it than we are. Saying anything else is a lie.

    If we take offense at this it is our problem not yours. Be glad that you do not share our shortcomings (such as they are).

  3. So where does it end? If X knowing more than Y about a particular subject means Y is stupid, then every human being who has ever lived is a moron. Which renders the term meaningless.

  4. @Wilson
    That was just an example. I never said Algebra was difficult, though to the other student I mentioned, it obviously was.

    Also, if you insist on knowing my situation at the time, you should probably know I was two years younger than everybody else in my class and I was STILL the best student.

    And I had no issue with further math.

    Finally, you seem to think I am calling the other stupid just because I am comparing him to me. Maybe I should have worded it differently. I think that the average student could have understood it just fine after the lecture and the homework. But that student did not, even after MORE resources were provided. That makes him stupid (relatively, and because he is below average).

  5. @wilson

    The fact you choose top pick at and example presented in a post, rather then considering it in its whole, shows me you're a moron.

    Even IF you could demerit that particular example the whole of the post and its conclusion still stands.

    Take some courses in logical argument. Maybe you can pick it up, its no harder then algebra, really...

  6. If you were such a genius, you'd have done the minimal bit of research (aka Google) needed to find out what I actually said. I never said there were no slackers, I just said that the people you observe are extremely unlikely to be "morons" in the scientifically correct definition of the word, that is having an IQ of less than 70. "Moron" is a term for a handicapped person, a mentally retarded human being. You really think everybody who doesn't move out of the fire in WoW is medically speaking mentally retarded?

  7. I see on my blog that you appear to have a problem making the difference between "moron" and "slacker". I have no problem with the "slacker" part. Slacking is voluntarily, somebody simply chose to to put a lot of work into a video game.

    But if you call somebody a moron, you call him mentally retarded, you call him handicapped. That is simply not justified.

  8. "People who stand in fire are bad at maths."


    Conversely, if someone has good grades in school they are not responsible for any group wipes in the LFD! It makes sense.