This is an article about maturity and disagreement.

Too often, people who are trying to do the right thing try to avoid conflicts at all costs. When it's just them, this is perfectly fine.

But when people start to try and force others to back away from any and all disagreements, there is a problem.

That's not to say disagreements and conflicts should not be handled in a respectful manner. But that DOES mean that actually using someone's name and addressing a perceived issue head on is not necessarily disrespectful or immature.

I'll offer an example: Chris Hooper liked to snipe. A lot. At least in 2142, he would always snipe. He would join pub squads so that he could snipe without having to pay attention to team-goals. It's not that he was a bad sniper (although he was not the best the server has ever seen), but this was how it worked. Still, he gained a certain notoriety on the server, and there were many players who viewed his tactics in a positive light and in many threads would praise him to high heaven.

That was perfectly fine, but it bothered a lot of people because it indicated a lot of people were buying into this as a way of playing -- a way they didn't want to see new players buy into. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but because there was a common perception that dealing with the issue head-on would be "ragging" on Hooper and be viewed as inappropriate, it became a problem. People would make snarky, sarcastic remarks in threads, talk about him in TS with obvious and undeserved disdain. While the snarky and sarcastic remarks were immature, it's likely they were in some ways a release valve to try and get a point across without having people jump on them for using his name and speaking with less than admiration.

The point isn't about Hooper. It's about the feeling that the only way to criticize is obliquely. Fortunately, in Hooper's case he was above responding to snarky remarks. But for many others (and this type of problem is not unique), it's hard to resist, and that leads to truly hurt feelings and threads that really do have to be closed because of animosity. Compare that to what could have been fairly easy: a direct post using Hooper's name in a respectful way but disagreeing with the way he plays the game.

I don't want to limit this to only things about how things in-game are handled. Recently, there was a thread where people vehemently disagreed. But there was not, to my knowledge, any point where people were called names, treated others disrespectfully, or who otherwise acted in a way that is immature. Yet someone came in, full of good intentions, and asked for the thread to be locked.

I suspect the reason he thought, not having participated in the actual conversation, that the thread needed to be locked was that people were directly stating their opinions and having a lot of back-and-forth. But that's not a bad thing. In fact, so long as it is mature (no name calling, no harassment, etc), contentious back-and-forth can be good for the community.