I choose you…
I choose you…

Best to pick your battles. Even if they’re Pokemon battles.

News: Posted May 24th, 2019 by Alina

^ 24 Comments to “I choose you…”

  1. SaphDragon Says:

    To me, this is the point the ref/marshall/storyteller team need to step in.
    Someone needs to tell Mark that his behaviour is now disturbing the game for others, and maybe what he needs to do is leave the venue and go sort himself out.
    Reassure him anyone he was the lift for will be sorted out to get home, and if he came with a lift ensure he has a way home himeself instead, reassure him he is welcome at the game, but right now he’s harming the game everyone came to play and needs to take his issue/problem somewhere else for the duration.
    It’s not easy (had to do this myself before now running LARP) but if his outbursts are projecting into the game space (particularly if what the comic implied with his “!!!” was swearing).

    Is it me or is it also a bit telling that Sarah didnt protest the implication she was a bit too “invested”. Kinda keeping my fingers crossed for poor Hadeed that she’s just being really honest with herself and he’s not going to end up hurt because she kept that torch burning when she should have put it out first before getting involved with Hadeed.

    Posted May 27th, 2019 at 5:50 am
  2. argentlupus Says:

    If I remember the character’s name right (I do have a bad habit of forgetting them when I have not seen them in a while) Joel, knows that Sarah likes Mark more than she realizes. He stopped her from going in and getting hurt.

    Posted May 27th, 2019 at 8:56 am
  3. Oz Says:

    Well, on the one hand I think it’s entirely reasonable for Sarah to still have feelings for Mark, even if she is more invested in her new relationship now, considering how recent everything was… but on the other hand, maybe it’s just that Sarah cares about Mark very much and feels responsible for him since she was part of the cause of his recent breakup.

    I mean, either way, Sarah could really get hurt if Mark lashes out at her and throws her own guilt in her face.

    Posted May 27th, 2019 at 3:47 pm
  4. Gene Wirchenko Says:

    Who let the non-players in? That action led to the current issue. Will that person be spoken to?

    The group seems awfully eager to make a pariah out of Mark. The idea appears to be that the game is more important than a person.

    Posted May 27th, 2019 at 7:11 pm
  5. AtWork Says:

    “Speaking of people being foolish”, yeah sure, pile another one on Mark. How dare he be upset and interrupt the game. I mean – i get it, if I was in Mark’s shoes I would’ve left the game immediately. But still, he doesn’t really get much support from his friends in my eyes. It’s more like “Hey dude calm down let’s enjoy the game” and completely ignoring his turmoil.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s “on him” or not, but if my friend was having so much trouble I’d go in there, get him out, leave the game and talk to him outside. Not try to hush him until he calms down so I can go on playing.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 2:00 am
  6. Jess Says:

    So let me guess… Did Damien walk into the men’s locker room where Mark was hanging around last?

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 7:18 am
  7. Shinji Schneider Says:

    Sure Gene and Atwork.

    Everybody should just drop everything and just be there with Mark. Ensuring him that his behaviour is completely reasonable and everyone elses fault….

    I repeat. They tried helping him and he can’t be reasoned with at this point. And yes. There are DOZENS of people involved in this game. Who have put hours/days/weeks into preparation. They do matter more than him throwing a temper tantrum.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 8:06 am
  8. Lacynth40 Says:

    AtWork, his friends tried. He’s lashing out at them, and frankly he’s acting like a sleepy toddler. As a parent of an adult myself, I know what sleepy toddler looks like. And that’s it. He needs to sort himself the hell out, and start acting like the adult he is. Relationships are hard. Hell, I’ve been through a very nasty divorce, and I still didn’t lash out at friends like that. His head is firmly wedged up his butt, and he is the only one that can pull it out. But he needs to leave. He’s disrupting an event, and it’s not just his friends that are attending. There are loads of people, and most of them aren’t involved in this fiasco at all. No reason Mark’s temper tantrum should ruin game for them, too. He’s being a child, and he needs to get over it.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 9:18 am
  9. Will Says:

    “His friends should be in there, helping him!” – Dustin tried. That ended wonderfully. I’m sure Sarah, who liked him and was liked back by him, would end -even- -better- /s /s /s /s.

    “Who let the non-players in?” – This was probably okayed by the STs as someone who was interested in playing and wanted to watch as a policy. It’s not their fault for someone not being able to deal with it.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 10:26 am
  10. SaphDragon Says:

    Dont get me wrong, I dont think Mark’s friends are wrong to be concerned, and indeed if it wsnt for him taking his feeling out on them right now because he is in such a bad place I’d be all for them trying more.

    But at the same point there are people here who are not part of Mark’s close friends group who also came to game (and I assume paid for the privelige) who are being impacted.

    Mark’s trying to deal with something very difficult (and unfortunatly I feel somewhat self inflicted because he hasnt really thought heavily about if he is fully okay with the situation he is in, but also the other people in the ploycule perhaps needed to check he was fully aware of what he was getting into once his lack of experience and understanding of it all was apparent)
    He does need help, maybe not right this second but as soon as he isnt lashing out. His friends are utterly right to want to be there for him, thats what makes them friends.
    But he needs to be away from the environment that is twisting him up (and the people) and his needs dont trump the other players needs either.

    Personally, I’d say having spectators at LARP isnt a great idea unless checked with the player group first. Dropping a partner he hadnt met on him when he’s at the game was insensitive to do on the part of the ‘spectators’. Joel is being a good friend to both Mark and Sarah here, he’s looking out for Sarah, and I think he knows Mark well enough to know Mark wouldnt want to hurt Sarah either particularly not by lashing out. Joel’s doing the only active thing he can here.

    I wonder if the “Speaking of being foolish” comment is more exasperation that Mark’s dived into something complex he hadnt got any experience with and someone outside is seeing a car crash he sort of saw coming going down. Mark seems t have needed to make himself more aware of what he was getting into, and Revina (sp?) needed to check a LOT harder that he knew the score when his utter lack of awareness and experience became apparent right at the start. Yeah they are both adults but yeesh She’s the one with more probable awareness of what could go badly and the responsibility to help ensure Mark was educated about that and had thought about the things he needed to be able to be okay with which he obviously hadnt run into before.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 11:02 am
  11. Mags Says:

    I feel bad for Mark, really, but he should have been self-aware enough to excuse himself from the game (not because the others TOLD him to go) and tell Ravenia how he really felt once it started noticeably bubbling up. Since neither of those happened, then he should have at least cared enough to leave before this “!!!”ing, whatever that amounts to, started up. Honestly I get it, things suck for him right now. But owning your feelings and controlling your reactions is a necessary part of existing in the world.

    Mark has some awesome friends who obviously care about him, and they clearly can only do so much now that everything is boiling over… I just hope Mark gets himself back under control before they become collateral damage. ):

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 12:06 pm
  12. Gene Wirchenko Says:

    Shinji Schneider: Do you really believe what you wrote about my and Atwork’s opinions? It seems as if you are just trying to wind things up. What should we do about your tantrum?

    The issue of spectators was discussed here before the blow-up. It was stated to not be a good idea. We are seeing why or a why.

    Somehow, it is all Mark’s fault. It is partially his fault, but there are others who are also responsible. How about we take the same amount of time to dogpile on them as has been done with Mark? Oh, wait. That would not be right, would it? Well, the dogpiling on Mark to the degree that has been done is not right either.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 3:03 pm
  13. Gene Wirchenko Says:

    Thinking on that phrase “collateral damage”, it seems Mark might be collateral damage from Ravenia et al.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 4:19 pm
  14. NeverNever Says:

    How come everyone is quite happy to criticise Mark about his mistakes and throw him under the bus when at the same time Dustin was in a similar storyline and treated his roommate so badly he moved out of the house but no one batted an eye?

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 5:58 pm
  15. TaroCard Says:

    ok i know that everyone is all worried about mark(he’s the closest this comic has to a main character after all) but im a bit worried about Joel. I know that he probably just has contacts in or something buthe’s not wearing his glasses and its worrying me. he could get a migraine from doing that. same deal with sarah but we know that she puts in contacts dispite hating how they feel so I’m a little less concerned.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 5:59 pm
  16. Urikanu Says:

    I’ll have to side with most folks here. The gang -tried- to help him. He’s the one with the issue, he needs to leave the venue.

    I’ve had to do that myself. Went to a game while dealing with outside shit. Outside shit ended up getting sort of ‘jumped on’ by something in the game. I lost my cool entirely, and had to just… walk away. Started going to the offgame area, realised I wasn’t calming down, and texted the Game Master to let them know I was leaving (so no-one would worry), then got out of costume and went home. Exactly because I didn’t want to mess with everyone else’s game.

    The time to talk to someone who’s upset to that degree, imo, is once they’ve calmed a little down. As long as you’re up on that wave, you can’t react rationally.

    So yeah. Someone go send Mark home. And someone go bob Ravenia on the head for not doing this in a controlled bloody environmemnt. When you want your lovers to meet and hopefully befriend each other, do it somewhere calm and private. That way, even if someone doesn’t like each other, noone loses face in front of a bunch of people…

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 6:13 pm
  17. ShuxTehUber Says:

    Nobody should feel sorry for Mark.
    He knew what he was getting into and should’ve prepared better. Everything negative that’s happened to him during this game is something he brought on himself. He also knew the terms of his relationship with Jess, so why is he still shocked that he feels guilty about lying to her and then giving her reason to suspect he was cheating on her?

    He’s acting even worse than Wayne did and I’m sure people remember what happened to him. He’s gone, buh bye.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 7:17 pm
  18. Ferret Says:

    “The group seems awfully eager to make a pariah out of Mark. The idea appears to be that the game is more important than a person.”

    So this is an interesting point. It’s not strictly wrong, but it ignores the greater issues involved. It’s not that the game is more important than the person, but that the one person is ruining the evening for many more people than himself, an evening that everyone here probably looks forward for weeks in advance, people who are *not* among Mark’s tight knit circle. The way that Mark is handling this is unhealthy and the way he’s taking it out is disruptive to people beyond himself, to say nothing of how he’s responding to every attempt to help him.

    Posted May 28th, 2019 at 11:12 pm
  19. Oddtail Says:

    OK, if anyone thinks Mark is being treated unfairly…

    First, this is not a “Mark’s dog died, he’s devastated and he really needs his friends to put the LARP on hold and be with him” situation. This is “Mark is literally upset because he feels someone is more physically attractive than him”. Context to why someone is upset matters. The worst thing that happened to Mark is arguably that Dustin made some ill-thought statements while trying to calm him down. That sucks, but it’s hardly “yell loud enough that most other LARP participants hear him” bad. Mark wasn’t ignored by his friends. They didn’t put the LARP before him. Right now, Mark seems to *want* to have an excuse to be angry at someone.

    Friendship works both ways. If you try to talk to a friend and they treat you as a verbal punching bag, you have a right to step back and say “you seem upset right now, I’ll talk to you when you’ve calmed down”. Being upset is not a “get out of jail free card” for being a dick to others. Mark’s friends also have feelings, they also deserve to be treated fairly. There’s a word for when a person puts their own inner life before everything else, including the people they care about. It’s called throwing a tantrum. Should Dustin and others hate Mark for it? No, it happens between friends. But they also have no obligation to indulge him.

    Second, Mark is not the centre of the universe and he’s not everyone’s close friend. This is a social gathering and people have other priorities than pleasing this one dude they may or may not know well. I think people who say Mark is being treated too harshly are ignoring that. Imagine being in the situation of one of the LARPers. Or even in a similar situation.

    Imagine you’re in a cinema (let alone theatre – at least in cinema the actors are not having to deal with you), watching a movie and a guy you sort-of know is having a loud argument with someone else over… something. You’re not sure what, you… THINK it’s about a girlfriend? At any rate, there’s a lot of yelling and you can’t watch your movie.

    Imagine you’re in a restaurant and a couple two tables over is having a loud, prolonged argument. Is your first instinct to feel for them? Maybe, but after a few minutes, you probably just want to enjoy your damn meal, even if you know one of the people arguing.

    Imagine you’re at a party and a guy you sort-of know from before is being loud and he seems unlikely to calm down soon. Do you think the host of the party is supposed to stop everything and say “OK, everyone, now pay attention to Mark”? No.

    This is what the situation looks like from the perspective of the average LARP attendant. Mark is an adult. If he was 13, his outburst would be understandable. Heck, it’s understandable even as-is. But it’s no-one’s obligation to calm him down. It’s not other LARPers’ job to put their fun on hold because Mark is upset right now. It’s not even Mark’s friends’.

    I mean, there are how many people in the LARP? A dozen? Two dozen? More? It’s not the focus on the story, but surely more than one person has their own serious problems right now. Maybe someone broke up with their girlfriend/boyfriend recently. Maybe someone has a sick aunt. Or financial problems. But no-one makes it everyone else’s problem that they’re upset. That’s called being “an adult”.

    Weregeek is a comic, so we obviously see the story from a certain perspective. Mark is a protagonist, and other characters are on the periphery from the *reader’s* point of view. But in the comic’s world, Mark is not more important than others. I think people who complain that Mark is being treated unfairly are doing so because he’s centred by the narrative. But by in-world logic, Mark is not more important than others, and he doesn’t deserve special attention because he’s upset.

    And even if you ignore everything above and think Mark needs attention and care from his friends right now… what exactly are they supposed to do? At this point, Mark thinks he’s important enough to yell so that he brings outsiders into his drama. Should the LARP be put on hold? Should Mark and all his friends leave immediately? More importantly, would that help right now? From what we’ve seen, Mark would not be satisfied unless others agreed with him that Ravenia’s other boyfriend is wrong because… because of what, exactly? Mark probably couldn’t tell you himself what is wrong and what he needs to calm down (other than many everyone agreeing that he is the victim ight now, which he… emphatically isn’t). What exactly should people do or say for Mark to not “ignore” him? What exactly does he deserve that he’s not getting?

    I can’t answer the question. I can’t think of a single way to calm Mark down right now, based on the previous several strips of the comic. Can you?

    Posted May 29th, 2019 at 1:36 am
  20. SeriousBiz Says:

    Sadly, this seems to be going in the exact direction I was fearing: Mark making a scene in front of strangers and half-acquaintances. We have already seen Dustin leave a game on his own terms, but Mark… could conceivably be kicked out of this one. Storywise, that’s good drama, and an opportunity for Mark to grow further as a character. But damn, would that be a bummer. News tends to travel fast in geek circles, and this might conceivably affect how people who aren’t already his friends and don’t have a perspective on him come to view Mark in the future, even after his public meltdown is ancient history and he’s super embarrassed about it.

    Posted May 29th, 2019 at 2:01 am
  21. AtWork Says:

    Yeah sorry but I still see it different. Dustin tried, yes, but having myself been in similar situations at LARPs or other Roleplaying events the best course of action has always been:

    – Talk to the person
    – If that fails, get the person the hell away from the event
    – Help the person off-site if possible

    Of course there are other people there and in no way I said *everyone* should drop *everything*, but Mark is not a stranger of the group. He is a part. He is their friend. At least one of them should’ve “escorted him off the premises” so to speak and talk to him. Not in the locker room, where the root of his issue is right outside, but offsite, somewhere quiet. Even if that just means out the door and a 5 minute walk down the street.

    It’s entirely possible and reasonable to excuse oneself for a few minutes to do that. Yes, he needs to sort out his feelings for himself. Yes, they tried to talk to him. Yes, he should’ve left on his own volition. But he is emotionally hurt/confused, and in my experience you can’t expect rational behaviour from people in these circumstances. Not in the heat of the moment. So IMHO someone should’ve taken the time to escort him out and talk to him.

    But they didn’t do that. They just left him in there to stew. That was a disaster waiting to happen.

    “There are DOZENS of people involved in this game. Who have put hours/days/weeks into preparation. They do matter more than him throwing a temper tantrum.”

    I don’t know man. To me, if it was my friend and he was in distress, this would be more important for me to sort out than an event, even one I’ve done a lot of preperation work for. To be clear: I’m not saying everyone should drop everything (I never said that, you said that) – but if I was a part of that group I’d volunteer to take Mark outside and talk to him.

    Screw the game. Friendship is more important.

    Posted May 29th, 2019 at 7:13 pm
  22. AtWork Says:

    Addendum:

    The only thing I didn’t like was – as mentioned – the “Speaking of acting foolish”, it just undermines Mark’s emotional trouble, labels it as “not important” and his behaviour and pain “childish” or “foolish”. And that is not okay in my book. Not when it’s concerning a friend.

    Posted May 29th, 2019 at 7:15 pm
  23. Oddtail Says:

    @NeverNever: I had a huge problem with that, too. Granted, I was in a minority. But it’s hardly true that “no-one batted an eye”. I think (not sure right now) that other people than me also stated their opinion that Dustin was not entirely in the right. Even if most people in the comments were on his side.

    That being said, I think Dustin was still somewhat more justified. He was treated unfairly and he overreacted, in my opinion, a lot.

    But Mark wasn’t wronged, not even by accident. His attitude “the whole world is out to get me” is due not to what happened. It’s all in his head.

    And that’s a very important distinction.

    Posted May 30th, 2019 at 6:58 am
  24. Strix Says:

    When it comes to Darren’s comment we need to remember that Darren has been watching this Raveina situation from the beginning, and was one of the people that was attempting to warn and explain the poly thing to Mark. Now, I feel the most telling thing about Marks behavior was that he wasn’t bothered the situation when the only other partner he knew was Dustin, sure, he might have felt a bit guilty in the beginning and it could be argued that he wasn’t prepared to feel jealous of another lover and it was certainly a bad time to introduce them given that Mark is super-self conscious about his hobby to begin with. I suppose we have to consider how much has he really verbally explained that feeling and difficulty to other people, how much do other members of his friend group know about how he feels about the hobby and the internalized bias he feels?
    At the same time, the implication has been here that Mark didn’t have a problem sharing with Dustin because he didn’t feel threatened by him because he feels that he’s the more attractive. Might be a supposition on my part. However, its pretty clear that the big thing that set mark off was not another partner but that other partner was perceived as a *threat* and more handsome, more *manly* than him. Which to be honest is pretty douchey and a massive relationship problem.

    Posted May 30th, 2019 at 10:47 am