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Background:

In a certain video game, people can trigger a certain event, using items they have to work for to get (It is considered a moderate deal to get the items.) The event is wanted by all people, but the items are also highly sought after and can be sold to make good profit.

However, the prerequisite is that you have to progress enough in the game to be able to have a higher chance of getting them. Naturally some people aren't there yet, but nevertheless want the event (which is understandable), and ask if others they can use the items to trigger the event.

In this case, a lot of people chastise people like this because they are merely asking other people to spend their hard worked items. However some people do it in a rather mean way, using vulgar language etc.

I try to resort to more moderate language. For example, a conversation might go like this:

Person A: Can we trigger the event

Me: Well do you have items?

Person A: No.

Me: Well then maybe you shouldn't ask as other people worked very hard to get the items and they might not want to use them.

Person A: Well I was just asking...

And then as the conversation continues, Person A would just repeatedly emphasize that they are merely asking and you can't prevent people from asking a question. Person A would also say that they are not "demanding" and are fine if they don't get it, but they just want to ask. I have tried to tell Person A that they are asking for others to spend their hard work without Person's A contribution, which is different from merely asking a question and is considered as begging.

In the end, it usually gets to the sentence, "This is just a game." This leads me to conclude that the majority of such people ask for these things because they feel that it is a game and they can act however they want.

Questions I would like to ask:

How can I make clear to person A that their asking is not ok, while doing it in a manner that they can listen to? I feel rather uncomfortable with using the term "begging" as it is a strong word, so I'd rather not use that.

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  • Hey Mathmaniac, thanks for the interesting question! I do have a few questions though: Is this person A always the same person, is person B the same? Is there any kind of moderation or policy that 'forbids' this behavior? Is this on a game chat with just A and B or are there more people present?
    – Tinkeringbell
    May 17 '20 at 8:12
  • I've also edited your question to remove the part about whether this is asking or begging: The definitions of those words are more a matter of linguistics, and we can help you get better answers to the part about telling person A to stop if people aren't focusing on the meaning of labels. I'm not to sure about the title though, so feel free to edit in your answers to my questions and rephrase the title/question further too :)
    – Tinkeringbell
    May 17 '20 at 8:18
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    Hi Tinkeringbell. In theory, there are such rules, but in practice, it is not followed. When reporting others, the main options are for cheating and for toxic chatting, as this is across the entire game server in which the game I'm playing is one "minigame." The interface of reporting also does not include the "other" option. May 17 '20 at 17:51
  • You said some people can't get the item due to their current progression, but you also say the items are possible to sell (and presumably can also be bought). Have you ever offered to sell them the item to trigger it?
    – Kat
    May 17 '20 at 22:13
  • Its not that they can't, but they have a significantly lower chance. Also, many of the people who ask either can't afford it or aren't willing to spend the money because it will cost a large portion of their savings May 18 '20 at 5:00
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What if you didn't engage in long discussions when A asks this:

Can we trigger the event?

Sure, go ahead, now's a good time

No, I don't have the items, I was asking someone else to do it

Oh, ok

That's it. No "well I could but I'm not going to because I worked hard to get these things and I'll use them when I decide to and yes of course you want me to but it's not up to you and . . .

Engaging in all of that just upsets you. It doesn't really have any impact on the asker.

Now perhaps over time, the askers can get more specific:

Does anyone have the item? Can we trigger the event?

[silence]

[silence]

They will realize it's not going to happen. If the asking gets annoying, you can say something like

A, please stop asking when we're going to trigger the event. It will happen when it's ready whether you ask or not.

If you have any control over A's presence on your screen, such as "we're on the same alliance" or "we're in a guild" or whatever it's called, you can threaten to kick them or to leave yourself if the asking gets to an annoying level. I would be super clear about this level:

A, you asked 6 minutes ago. Nobody new has come online since then and nothing interesting has happened that might make this a good time to trigger the event. You're annoying the group by asking so often. If you want to stay in this group/team/alliance/guild, try not to ask for favours more than once a day.

(If you're not able to kick A, then "if you want to stay in" might have to be "if you like having me in", or whatever threat you have available to you.)

Do not engage with "I was just asking" and "nobody can stop me asking" and that sort of thing. It's nonsense. Anyone with a younger sibling knows that being asked the same question over and over again is aggravating. And anybody can stop anybody from doing anything, if they want to. Many trolls make great use of "I was just asking an honest question and you haven't answered it so I'm going to keep asking it" with some sort of implied contract that all questions must be answered and acted on. This is not, in fact, how society works, and you can ignore questions you don't feel like answering, you can decline to answer, and you can request that the person stop asking. People who explicitly tell you otherwise are trying to push you around and make you feel it's only polite to move where you're pushed.

Have I tried this in action? Of course I have, both with small children in real life who "just ask" repeatedly and online with people who ask "the room" or ping me individually to make sure I know they want my help, still, again, and still again. It has never been useful to explain in detail why I am not going to do something that I could do but choose not to. At best it leads to an argument. I have had great success with short answers like "not yet", with just plain silence, with suggesting they do it rather than asking me to, and with the occasional short reminder not to ask too much. And in my experience, the people who defend their behavior and spend a lot of energy telling you they were just asking and are allowed to ask and so on do not improve if you spend a lot of energy arguing with them. Getting drawn into meta talk will not improve your gaming experience.

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  • Thank you for telling me how to deal with these people. However, this usually happens in a "lobby", where I can't really do anything about it. There are so many of these people that there is usually one in every "lobby", and makes me sometimes unable to enjoy the game. Do I keep evading them, or is there a way I can change their thought process so they voluntarily stop? May 17 '20 at 17:38
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    You don't have to reply to them. Even if they poke you by name, you can ignore them. You can try imposing consequences for asking too often, but if there are legions of askers I wouldn't. You could also ask the lobby owners to pin a message saying something like "don't ask others to trigger the event please" May 17 '20 at 17:53
  • Ok thank you for the advice. May 17 '20 at 17:57
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    @mathmaniac88, No, you can not control others. May 18 '20 at 21:49
  • Most lobby have /ignore functions. If they annoy you type in the ignore and their chat will stop showing up.
    – Nelson
    May 26 '20 at 7:30

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