Author Topic: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)  (Read 4980 times)

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Miss Unleaded

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Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« on: August 10, 2012, 10:28:23 AM »
I'm putting this here and not in gaming as I think it's on-topic as an etiquette issue.

In my spare time I play an MMO which doesn't appeal to a lot of women.   Unfortunately this means I get a fair bit of attention which isn't always pleasant.  One young man in particular is making me rather uncomfortable:

* he starts private conversations with me 90% of the time I'm playing*, sometimes seconds after log in, even though there are several public channels he can use to talk to me.
* he pushes me to talk to him on Team Speak (VoIP), and if I say no he doesn't take that for an answer and pressures me.
* he occasionally makes overt sexual comments even though he knows I'm married. 
* one day I started a voice chat with a guild mate I hadn't spoken to in months, and because I was on team speak to talk to that other guy and not him, he made sad faces at me in the private text chat, told me to 'have fun :(' and when I invited him to join us said he 'wouldn't interfere'.  Then fifteen minutes later he joined us and said I was mean a couple of times.  At that point I logged off voice and told him not to be like that in text chat.  He replied that he was sorry he offended me.  He said he was trying to be teasing but he's autistic and doesn't always know when he's going too far.

It feels a bit like being in high school but he's twenty five.  I've tried dialing back and not responding to him but then he sends me sad emails saying how much he 'misses me'.   ::)

Is it wrong of me to find this suffocating and unpleasant?  Do autistic people behave like this or is he making excuses?  How can I get him to stop it without being rude and making him feel bad?  I don't mind chatting with him but not every single day.  I also don't appreciate that I can't talk to other people without him joining in or making sad faces at me.  Some advice on how to get him to back off would be really nice, please.

ETA:

* To clarify, if we are both logged in he will start a private conversation with me 90% of the time, and as we are in the same time zone he is online almost every time I am on.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 10:34:42 AM by Miss Unleaded »

atirial

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 10:51:15 AM »
It certainly sounds unpleasant, however he sounds more socially awkward than autistic. Have you told him to stop, and that you aren't interested? If he is carrying on after you've asked him to stop, something as simple as blocking him on the chat or calling him on it every time might put him off.

If you are in the same guild it might be worth having a word with the guildmaster to see if it's just you or if he does this to other female players. It might get you some advice and hopefully some backup from the guild in handling him, since some guilds have rules on this.

jmarvellous

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 11:06:02 AM »
He sounds completely unpleasant and in no way appropriate. You are experiencing what I see as harassment. Tell him to buzz off, in no uncertain terms, and proceed to ignore him.

I'd avoid attributing this behavior to autism, though!

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 11:16:14 AM »
I hadn't told him to stop in so many words.  I was hoping that he would get the hint when I didn't respond to every message, or reciprocate his 'hugs'.  Every time he talks to me it doesn't seem like the right time to say it.   :-\

Shoo

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 11:20:30 AM »
He sounds completely inappropriate and tedious.  Is there someone you can report him to? 

If I were you, I'd never ever chat with him, at all.  He seems to be taking any attention you give to him as encouragement to continue harassing you.  Can't you block him?

Acadianna

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 11:25:02 AM »
I hadn't told him to stop in so many words.  I was hoping that he would get the hint when I didn't respond to every message, or reciprocate his 'hugs'.

If he really does have autism (as he says -- I'm not trying to diagnose him here), then he probably won't get hints, so you'd need to tell him in a more direct way.  I'd recommend using the "When you ... it makes me feel ..." format.

wolfie

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 11:35:20 AM »
Why are you trying to spare his feelings? He obviously doesn't care about yours. Just tell him that you don't want to talk to him and ignore him if he sulks about it.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 11:49:28 AM »
What MMO are you playing? Most of them allow you to report harassment, which this certainly is. Can you report this guy? I think first you would have to tell him to bug off, though.

Basically, it doesn't matter whether he's autistic or socially awkward, or if you telling him to stop would make him feel bad. His behavior is inappropriate, and there is nothing rude about telling him you don't appreciate it.

Things to say: "I don't feel like talking via PM/VoIP/etc with you today."
"That comment was completely inappropriate; don't say anything like that to me again."
"Thanks, I will have fun. Have a good one!"

And I just wouldn't respond when he says he misses you.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 11:51:02 AM by My cat is a ninja »
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Twik

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 12:07:51 PM »
If he really is autistic, it may be time to plainly tell him some ground rules, because as others have said, he may have trouble getting subtlety.

Stuff like:

I'll talk to you if I'm not busy. However, I need to concentrate on stuff when I'm playing, so I won't be able to chat much.
I prefer to talk on public channels, so if you try a private one, I'll remind you what public channel I'm on. If you don't switch, I won't continue on the private one.
I don't find sexual comments amusing.  Please don't make them. If you do, I'll end the conversation.
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artk2002

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 12:52:38 PM »
1) Tell him, directly and clearly that his harassment must stop; do so in a manner that leaves evidence (i.e. e-mail, or a chat log.)
2) If blocking is possible, do so as much as you can.
3) If that doesn't work, report him to any local leader of your group ("guild master?" sorry, I don't know the right terms)
4) Report him to the MMO for being in violation of any harassment policy.
5) Keep a log of any contacts after telling him no.
6) Do not in any way respond to him, ever after you have told him to stop.

Whether he has an LD or not is irrelevant. Don't let any sympathy for his possible condition keep you from doing what you need to do to keep you safe and happy. He has no concern for your feelings and you should return the favor.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

MrTango

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 01:06:07 PM »
1) Tell him, directly and clearly that his harassment must stop; do so in a manner that leaves evidence (i.e. e-mail, or a chat log.)
2) If blocking is possible, do so as much as you can.
3) If that doesn't work, report him to any local leader of your group ("guild master?" sorry, I don't know the right terms)
4) Report him to the MMO for being in violation of any harassment policy.
5) Keep a log of any contacts after telling him no.
6) Do not in any way respond to him, ever after you have told him to stop.

Whether he has an LD or not is irrelevant. Don't let any sympathy for his possible condition keep you from doing what you need to do to keep you safe and happy. He has no concern for your feelings and you should return the favor.

All of this.  Also, if he ever mentions anything about finding you in real life: contact law enforcement.

Reason

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 01:10:13 PM »
I know this may sound mean, but if I were in your shoes, I'd just ignore him in chat and mute him on voice servers. In the long run it will help him to adjust and not act in the very disturbing manner you've described as people will begin to avoid him over it.

artk2002

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 02:47:55 PM »
1) Tell him, directly and clearly that his harassment must stop; do so in a manner that leaves evidence (i.e. e-mail, or a chat log.)
2) If blocking is possible, do so as much as you can.
3) If that doesn't work, report him to any local leader of your group ("guild master?" sorry, I don't know the right terms)
4) Report him to the MMO for being in violation of any harassment policy.
5) Keep a log of any contacts after telling him no.
6) Do not in any way respond to him, ever after you have told him to stop.

Whether he has an LD or not is irrelevant. Don't let any sympathy for his possible condition keep you from doing what you need to do to keep you safe and happy. He has no concern for your feelings and you should return the favor.

All of this.  Also, if he ever mentions anything about finding you in real life: contact law enforcement.

Yup. That's what the evidence in #1 and #5 are for.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

magician5

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2012, 03:45:12 PM »
I hadn't told him to stop in so many words.

There's your solution right there. Or at least, the beginning of it.
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DaDancingPsych

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Re: Online gaming and unwelcome attention (long)
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2012, 04:00:05 PM »
I hadn't told him to stop in so many words.  I was hoping that he would get the hint when I didn't respond to every message, or reciprocate his 'hugs'.

If he really does have autism (as he says -- I'm not trying to diagnose him here), then he probably won't get hints, so you'd need to tell him in a more direct way.  I'd recommend using the "When you ... it makes me feel ..." format.

This is really caring and thoughtful advice. You need to set the boundaries and be very clear as to what those are. You may even be doing him a favor by being this direct. (It's possible he may begin to learn how to tailor his behavior.)

If he does not respond to your straightforward statements and continues to be harassing, then I would take steps to block him. (I am not familiar with the gaming world, but I assume that there are ways.)