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Player Obsession: Fatal Attraction?

Detroit MI - December 1 2013

When does player retaliation cross the line? Is there such a thing as bullying a player by constantly attacking them; hampering their ability to enjoy the game, using multiple family accounts to gain an advantage? Anyone who has played QONQR for more than 30 days has likely had this experience or has been targeted for being new, or coerced into switching factions under duress. But an issue that I don't think is covered often enough is player obsession.

Any competitive activity can bring out the best and the worst in a person. QONQR is a fascinating experiment in aggression and social interaction. This is what I believe makes QONQR unique. You can play as a rogue operative, without a team or other players that may support you. You can also build complex social hierarchies to effectively control vast areas of the game map. This takes a lot of time, talent and coordination along with relationship building. It is very common that the extent of these relationships is online interaction through a group chat program like Groupme or even TeamSpeak. Factions with good relationships will commonly meet in person which is truly fun since you get to finally put a name to a face. For example: EvilBastard1985 (not an actual player) might in fact turn out to be a very nice and quaint individual with no outward aggressive traits or behaviors.

However, there is also a dark side when it comes to player personality traits, their motives, intentions and desires- both in-game and outside the game. I don't think this is unique to QONQR in anyway, but it is important to recognize. Occasionally a player(s) with great passion and enthusiasm for the game will take things too far. It is very easy to loose yourself in an game like QONQR. The murky walls that separate reality from the game universe can become indistinguishable at 2:30 AM when you are fervently waiting for another player to go to sleep in order to attack them and exact revenge. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it demonstrates great dedication and hard work to gain prestige and advancements in the game. However, when an operative becomes obsessed with another player, a real and dangerous problem can develop.

Obsession: A state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal.

http://www.merriam-w...onary/obsession

I have personally been dealing with an obsessive player here in metro-Detroit. There is no point mentioning the operative by name and making things worse, but bringing the issue to light might help other players who might be experiencing similar behavior.

The operative in question began trolling and sending me abusive and chiding message though the wire when I began buying cubes to establish some equilibrium from the player's never ending attacking (which included successive attacks using family/household devices, technically not multiscoping but just as bad). After months of suffering brutal attacks and unable to gain any meaningful ground I started dedicating some of my entertainment budget to buying cubes. After I learned how to effectively use cubes to defend myself and ultimately retaliate, the abusive operative began sending more in-game wires, trying to make me feel bad for paying-to-play. The player also tried to make me feel bad by saying that I was ruining the game for "everyone else" because of my paid-for advantage. The aggression has escalated over the last 4 months with more and more abusive wire messages and wider spread attacks utilizing multiple family accounts.

Now our entire region is engulfed in toxic drama brewed up by this operative. He has expanded his verbal abuse to other faction members, complaining about me, trying to turn them against me. He has gone to the forums and bad mouthed me by name and has gone so far as to warn all new incoming players not to consider joining our faction because I am a "the biggest bully in the game". The operative focuses 90% of his game time on a single player, myself. The player has been seeking out of state support from players who don't know me, our region or faction. The end result of all this is an operative who is constantly thinking about me day and night, and trust me, that is something I am not flattered about. In fact, my background in psychology would easily lead me to believe he is not just obsessed, but clinically bothered.

Steps I have taken

I have blocked the operative and his entire faction by going to the portal, clicking on the player's profile and turned off in-game messages from him and his entire faction. (However, the player just creates bogus, temporary accounts to reach me through the wire with new abusive messages).

I have encouraged our entire faction to do the same. This eliminates the possibility that any other player won't get dragged into the obsessive behavior of the abusive operative.

I spread my attacks around, diversifying the players I hit so I don't continue to encourage the operative to seek retribution. Unfortunately, the obsession is so deep that has not worked.

I have taken days off and not played in an effort show the abusive operative I don't share his obsession, yet he 'believes' that I am somehow controlling my faction members and they are my proxies, somehow carrying out my will to persecute him. This is both a delusion of grandeur and persecution.

The Regional Effect

Sadly, this toxic relationship that the operative is obsessed with pursuing has spilled over onto the entire region. Fingers are being pointed at players who have no interest in the unwanted attention or association with me or the abusive player. This is, in fact, what I believe the goal of the operative is. Since he has been unable to successfully defeat me, cannot take zones I lead in and cannot successfully QONQR with his band of operatives (which lack communication and the strong relationships of trust and dependability we have built in our own faction); the operative has opted to make his game play about creating suffering and discontent for anyone within Zone Assault range of Detroit.

The Apology

I for one want to apologize to any/all players who have been caught in this crossfire. I feel badly another operative's fatal attraction with me has caused so many other players discontent. If you are experiencing a similar problem with an obsessive operative I would like to hear how you have handled it and if it has also hurt your faction or your regional game play. QONQR is a unique and addictive game, easy to become obsessed with. But obsession with a game may or may not be a problem for an individual player and their real world life. Obsession with "another operative" affects everyone, their game families, factions and regional play. The game loses its status as "entertainment" and becomes nothing more than a vehicle for harassment, passive aggression and selfish and strange behavior. Please join me in sharing your similar experiences, solutions or acknowledgements from both the Detroit area and around the country.

~misterbig

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Firstly, if he is creating bogus accounts to send you abusive and threatening messages then contact support. If they can link these accounts to his main account then I think the ban hammer might be the order of the day.

Also, depending on the sort of abusive messages he has sent you, it might warrant a ban. This is entirely up to support to determine if the abuse is just in-game banter or if it crosses a line.

Lastly, if your professional background is Psychology, can't you use MK Ultra style mind games with him? Just kidding :P

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Report the player and all the info you have to support. This is very close to being unlawful if its not already. Support can access all messages sent to you, via the wire and check IP adresses of accounts or the mobile device used. They have the power!

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Yep, him and the others have been reported. The issue is they spill over onto other players now, trying to get at me through third-parties, which just drags everyone else into the obsessive behavior. I agree, the behavior should be ban-able, but I don't think support will do that. Abuse is also a possibility in a game like this. But when it becomes an obsession with another player, it goes to a whole different level. I wouldn't wan't him knowing where I live, I'll tell you that.

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Here's the thing I see with abusive players oh is it time to just watch them be idiots and mock them with modest comments and cuddle them with cold hard facts and why not show them they have no power over me with their words all I see is a blubbering idiot whining for zones witch he cannot gain through self effort or to damned reliant on his allies for protection let me hand down this wisdom: ignorance is bliss( ignore the **** idiot laugh at his precious cries for recognition look at him as the bug being squashed being crushed between the heel of your boot and the ground). I think I spent to long watching hellsing.

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That's pretty awful. Sorry to hear. This game can get a bit intense. I've recently quit playing but am still hanging around the forums for a while longer. It's just been stressing me out, all the political stuff. I think what you're doing is right though. I've never gotten an abusive message from an operative before but what I would do is what I'd do irl; Smother them with kindness. It's almost impossible for them to effectively retaliate against kind words. Though, at this point, that may not work. Just keep strong and qonqr on. Don't let a jerk like that ruin the whole game for you.

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I try to back off players I feel are being targeted relentlessly. I'm not perfect, but I try. This game can only survive if people are playing, and if we're ruining the game for people, then what's the point?

Depends on what you get out of the game... Chicago Legion likes the whole city and surrounding suburbs to be red, so if a purple or green pop up they are targeted "relentlessly".

That said, what is going on with misterbig is WAAAAAY over the line... attacking relentlessly with nanobots is one thing, using verbal assaults and multiple accounts is another. That guy should be banned. It is a game and that's the point... you PLAY qonqr. Far too much seriousness and over the top drama at times as that line gets blurred.

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7billion people and counting on this earth. Bound to be some crazies. If you pay for cubes that means you pay for the right to play. So report him then have your friends report him. Or send him really corny jokes. None stop. Its not abusive but it will irritate him. And that will be worth a laugh. Everyone in your group just stat spamming him back lol. With knock knock jokes.

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You know... the funny thing is, it all comes back to one basic issue. They can't beat me as a player or a faction. So, this is their in-game strategy instead. At first, I kinda laughed it off and though it was funny, because I didn't think they were this neurotic. But now I realize that it's way beyond "having a beer and laughing it off". I tend to get in my car and race to zones I have one to place lattices. Now I am being accused of GPS spoofing, lol. It's so out of control and ridiculous you cannot imagine!

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That's pretty awful. Sorry to hear. This game can get a bit intense. I've recently quit playing but am still hanging around the forums for a while longer. It's just been stressing me out, all the political stuff. I think what you're doing is right though. I've never gotten an abusive message from an operative before but what I would do is what I'd do irl; Smother them with kindness. It's almost impossible for them to effectively retaliate against kind words. Though, at this point, that may not work. Just keep strong and qonqr on. Don't let a jerk like that ruin the whole game for you.

I was always nothing but nice to the people MrBig is having problems with (I am nice to everyone, more fun to have friendly competition for me than this visceral hatred), at first he was nice back, then he turned on me and started sending nasty messages and resorted to name calling. I ended up blocking a bunch of people to prevent further attacks. I think it is very easy for people to forget that this is just a game and they turn every attack in game into a personal attack on them.

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You can block messages from selected players in Qonqr ? I didn't know that.how ? I have always encouraged my boys not to enable the messaging because of concerns like this but they regardless have sent and received messages and all our opposition have been real nice to them. We usually congratulate each other after a big zone takedown or crafty play. We even respond to tactical questions (without giving too much away - this is a war of course !).

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The ugly aspect of this game is the passive aggressive side of it. If you are a total psycho, you can basically cyber bully and stalk the heck out of someone. But, at the same time, it's not the game's fault, it's how people play the game. Spying, defecting, lying and being sneaky are all part of the game. Brutalizing new players into quitting and wire-stalking a player is crossing the line. And, like Evermor said above, when it crosses over to other players in your faction because you cannot get to your primary target to harass, well, that's downright disturbing.

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Attacking with bots is not bullying in my eyes. Attacking with words is. You can viciously fight off newbs and still be cordial. It is a war game. All is fair in war, and a game requires sportsmanship for all to be able to enjoy. Speak softly, but carry a big stick.

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Big I know of whom who speak of. I think I may have taken some of there zones. Do they use similar names? If so I will do what I can from where im at. Im right on the oh/mi line.

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