Monday, March 8, 2021

Tibian Girls: Safety in the virtual environment

Hello ladies! 

Today we are going to discuss how to remain safe in the virtual environment. It is natural in every gaming community just as in real life that not every person we meet will become our friend and wish us well. Just as some people may do you wrong in real life, so they can do inside of the game. It doesn't matter whether it is Tibia, other games, or just social media. We would like to put emphasis on how important it is to stay private in any internet community and discuss what to do and what not to do for you to feel safe and avoid situations that could disturb your inner peace. 

I. Privacy in the game

What does it actually mean to stay private in the game? What are the things we should avoid doing? This is what we think:

Lady Mass
Privacy is very important for me, as it should be for everyone. However, with the current progress of technology, it is indeed very difficult to keep our private life to ourselves. Nobody is anonymous on the internet, even if we think we are. I do my best not to share any information about where I live with strangers or even with people I talk to but are not too close to me. Ever since I started playing, I think there is only one or maybe two people who have my address. I am also very cautious with who I give my number to or show myself to. Of course, we need to find a balance. We cannot live in constant fear that someone will want to stalk us, but it is good to set some limits to ourselves of what we can and could say, and what we shouldn’t say.

Divine'Angel
I have been putting a lot of effort into controling what I post on my gaming social media for many years now. As much as I don't mind other people knowing how I look, I don't really give anyone my adress or my last name. I also use a different phone number for my businesses from the number I shared with my Tibian friends. That is what I've promised myself not to do and even though I sometimes feel I can trust someone, I warn myself inside of my head that it is better to be safe, than sorry. Unfortunately, I do realize that with a bit of effort anyone can find out whatever they want, anyway. The most important thing for me is to avoid sharing too much personal information on my social media. I don't want to create situations in which someone could disturb my carreer, my friends or my family and you never know who is there, on the other side.

 

 II. Consequences of failing to be private

A. Cyberstalking

If you fail to be private, you may experience unpleasant situations either inside the game and in real life. However, sometimes the problem is not entirely you. As a lot of people say, the internet is never fully safe for anybody, really. There are so many ways to find someone's personal data online that if someone is committed enough, they will do that sooner or later, anyway.  Then, we deal with cyberstalking. 

Norelli
I have been playing Tibia for many years and all this time I have always cared about my privacy. I admit that at the beginning I was way too much about that, though. I started playing at the age of 14-15 but for my friends from Tibia, I was 2 years older. I didn't even introduce myself with my real name back then. Definitely, my gameplaythose days was very calm and peaceful and I didn't have to worry about my social accounts in real life. With time, however, I started opeing upmore and more to the people I met in the game. I did not hide my data, my phone number, etc. from the people I trusted. Unfortunately, just as I had feared, this led to unpleasant situations, including my private phone number and my family's social profiles being posted on the forum. Sadly, there will be many people in Tibia who will not respect our privacy. I know that until this day there are people who still try to find my photos by looking for my friends and family on the social media profiles. From my own experience, I can also say that sometimes someone can reveal our data on an impulse and it is impossible to predict it. While trusting someone and telling them about us, we do not assume that they will spread our data on the forum.

Lady Mass
I deleted my personal Facebook due to one unpleasant situation, where one girl decided to stalk me to, according to her, check if I am ugly. I do not see why a woman would do that to another woman, instead of simply respecting the fact that one decided she does not want to show herself online anymore. I did not want the girl to start messaging my real-life friends or relatives, so I decided it’s best to just delete my social media account. Thankfully, it did not go any further, but I definitely learned my lesson. I heard that I was not the only “victim” of that person, and the other girl was not that lucky, as her relatives got involved in that sadly. The rule “better safe than sorry” worked well in my case!

Divine'Angel
In the past, I used to add everyone as friends to my personal Facebook profile where everyone could see my family members, where I study, where I work, and who I go out with. One day my boss told me he was getting phone calls from people asking if I work there and asking all kinds of stuff about me. My boss was a smart guy and simply ignored it but imagine how ashamed I was explaining to him that some people from a game googled the contact to my workplace by the name of the company I included in my Facebook BIO. I had to delete that Facebook and create a new one without my real name and even though it isn't easy to find me, I stopped posting anything on my Facebook profile. I don't add anything to my BIO, nobody can see my friend's list or my family members. One might say, all of that due to people from the game? Well, if you're a passionate gamer, you have to choose whether you want to let the people get to you or change up the things around you to prevent them from doing it. 

 

B. Reputation issues

Sometimes it takes just one day and just one wrong choice and your life might turn completely upside down. You might trust one person who will betray you and the consequences of this one act will follow you for years, either in the game and in your real life.

Michizita:
I am thrilled to be part of this section of Tibia Goals and being able to share experiences that may help someone going through rough things in Tibia like I did…
Bad luck in life usually comes from bad decisions and I have made a few in the past, namely sharing my nudity with someone I trusted.
Obviously, sharing what you want to share is entirely up to you. It is your body and you have the right to do whatever you want with it! It's like the Russian roulette, you just have to be careful and know the possible consequences of any possible turn of events. You have to be aware that doing this in an online environment doesn't always work out the same as showing yourself to someone in real life. If anything goes wrong, the “revenge” from the second party could haunt you and (if you were not careful with staying private on the internet) your family for a couple of years or even more. If the person you shared your intimacy with decided to share it, you cannot control them. In such cases, it doesn't matter if you are a good, humble girl, that you are nice, or whatever. You might have just as well ended on good terms with the person you shared your nudity with, but there will always be someone bothered by you, trying to cause you harm, and as they say “everyone has a price”, that's right, your confidentiality could be sold as easy as for a couple of tibia coins, believe me. And if not, there are plenty other ways for such things to be leaked.

 

C. Potential Danger 

Despite the fact that being stalked and losing your good reputation might make you anxious and is truly awful, there are situations that appear to be much more dangerous and those are the ones we would like to want you the most about. You might meet people who deal with their own demons who will try to destroy your inner peace due to their ego issues or obsession. It doesn't happen a lot but it does and we should always be cautious about that.

Pyzaa
I met a guy here who I got attracted to. We both got along and met in real life and started dating. I kept ignoring other people telling me various stories about him until I received a wanted note with his face and his exact data. It turned out he has a criminal record and has consequently been escaping from the police. When I confronted him about that my hell started. He couldn't accept the fact I didn't want to be around him anymore. He started tellin my friends untrue stories about me to manipulate everyone against me. He would send my pictures away and put letters with links to imgur with my pictures all over our server. Fortunately, the harrassment stopped when I contacted CipSoft and they removed all of his accounts. Now I can finally play in peace even though he still tries to mess with me every now and then. I take it for the biggest lesson. You never know who is on the other side of the screen! 

Estelania
In 2017 I created my RP Royal Pa Lady. I wanted to start completely new and save my progress from 0, mainly for myself to keep track of achievements and have a nice memory of my levels. One of my rl friends showed me Instagram and I thought it would be nice to use this and save my screenshots and progress of my tibia char.
Then, some guy added me on Instagram and we started to talk and became good friends. At that time I was already engaged in real life and he knew about it and said he respected it. Once he sent a video call that I accidentally opened and we spoke for 3 minutes but I asked him not to do that again because it felt weird considering I had a fiance. 
He asked me to make a char on Zeluna where he played and I was surprised how many people hated him there because I truly believed he was a great guy. We decided to get married there to trigger his 'enemies' and we had some good laughs about that. Then, everything started to change. He treated it as if we got married in real life and started getting super jealous of my fiance. Whenever I said I was going on a date with him, he would be sending me video calls and stuff.
I explained to him that I didn't feel about him the way he felt about me and I don't have any intentions of breaking up with my fiance for someone I've never even met in real life. Some days after that conversation he started sending me photos of my in real best friends taken from their Facebook saying that if I don't wanna date him, he would try to date them just to be close to be. This gave me a lot of red flags cuz so I  blocked him everywhere and said I don't wanna be friends more. He then started to rage saying that if i wouldnt leave my guy, then he would make my guy leave me. He would do this by making fake facebooks/instagrams and tibia chars and make fake screenshots as if i was cheating on my guy with him and he said he would send it to my guys facebook if I wouldn't leave him. 
Even though I had blocked him everywhere, he would continue stalking me in Tibia, creating characters to msg me or exiva me to see what I was doing. One day I got married in Tibia to another friend of mine and that guy completely lost it. He called me a cheater and said he wishes death upon my guy. 
I finally lost my patience and I showed all those letters to my fiance who even messaged him to leave me alone. It helped for a while until I got married in real life and changed my profile picture to a picture of me and my husband. Then, he started grieving, even more, saying he didn't deserve it. He even created chars to pretend his real-life friends and told me that he had committed suicide thanks to me, which was obviously a lie but scared me enough to unblock him. He acted as if he didn't know what I was talking about, which was one of his manipulation techniques to get me talk to him again. 
Me and Setrey, my friend, decided this has gone way too far and we decided to change characters, change instagrams and stop using real life names. Unfortunately, he found out about our new names and instagram profiles and the situation kept repeating. 
In December 2018 I found out I was pregnant and he got super angry about it. How could i do this to him, when I know he loves me, how I kept disappointing him, and again he said he wished my husband to die so that he could take care of me and my baby. Again he tried ruining a moment in my rl life that made me so happy with his negative talks day after day.
Meanwhile, in 1.5yr the tibian community on Instagram has grown a lot, and so I spoke to a few other girls wich he tried to manipulate also, apparently. By far not in the amount/sick way that he did to me though, but I think maybe if I should see the fault in myself it's that maybe I have stayed too nice/understanding too long and ofc this tibia marriage. But honestly, i don't know if it wouldn't have happened without that marriage. This is smth inside of himself and even though i always was very clear that for me it never will be more than friendship he still created an own version in his head about us living happily ever after if we would just meet each other. Until today we still talk from time to time, he did seem to calm a bit in this manic behavior or to be grown up a little at least and his raging mood swings seem to be under control now.

All in all, as you can see, anything can happen, and some events don't only depend on us. The important thing to do is to handle the situation well, learn the lesson and deal with the fact of having made a mistake because all of us make them. We are just humans and making mistakes is what we do. They make us who we are and provide us with the experience that enables us to make wiser choices in the future!



III. Learning the lesson and dealing with the trauma

Estelania
The thing I learned from this whole situation is to keep my private and my gaming life separate from each other. to not have my gaming friends mixed in things where my family or rl friends are in, and to maybe cut off people earlier after the first red flag is seen.
Michizita
After what I've gone through, I'd like to tell all the women that your world doesn't end on that. Let me introduce you to what I've learned about the healing process. 
First, it is a massive shock, not so much for the nudity but for all the nasty things they make up about them to say to your parents or the people they've found on your Facebook. “Hi mister, your daughter is selling herself online”, “She did it for a Ferumbras hat”, “she stole a ferumbras hat”, “she wanted better respawns”, “0 self-respect” and none of them are true, and no one will believe you. At that point, there is no sense trying to convince anyone. What comes next? Other people trying to add up to that saying they saw you too. “She sent to me as well”, “Really? To me too”, “she met with me IRL and showed them to me”. And you won't even know half of those people. But again. No one will believe you. And the best part comes when other women take part in this female crime to bury you further, but I won't even quote them.
After some time passes, you find the strength to start moving on, but still with a heavy burden on your back. Say you meet a nice guy and he doesn't know anything about this, you may think he won't because why would he? But in this era of fake accounts and stalkers, eventually, the haters will make sure to let him know what has happened and this nice guy will also know. If he is a nice guy, he will understand your imperfections and help you carry this burden; if he is toxic or judgmental, he will make you feel guilty about it every single day. Then, RUN. No one is strong enough to endure so much at once, NO ONE.
At the end of the day, you become stronger than you've ever been and none of this gets to you anymore.
Norelli
I think that if we want to avoid situations like the one I've experienced, we should choose our friends wisely. Friendships begun in Tibia may be long and beautiful so it's definitely worth giving them a shot, but also remember that trust builds up, which in turn takes time. I am also largely guided by my intuition so arguments such ase "we've known each other for two years and I don't even know what you look like" don't get to me. Tibia is a game - it is great entertainment, but remember that we decide with whom to share a part of our real world. Let us not do anything under pressure to meet the expectations of others, because we should be comfortable with how much others know about us!

Divine'Angel
Remember to be as private on your social media, as possible. Don't fill your biogram with details - your friends already know and your enemies will just abuse the information. Do not put the same pictures on your real-life facebook as you put in the gaming media - google will easily find you, then! Hide your friends' list. Don't let anyone know who your real-life friends are and don't give them the opportunity to 


We hope that this article will make you realize how various people you might meet in the virtual surroundings and that you are (almost) in full control of what they're privileged to know about you. We all know that Tibia is a place where we've met a lot of wonderful people and no one will ever convince us to stop opening up to the Tibians because all of us have been raised on that game. We all played it as children and we all share the passion for it, now. We want to make friends, we want to have fun chats and we want to fall in love. However, we have to remember that it is still a virtual environment, and not every person we meet in our ways will give us happiness only.

We also want you to remember that CipSoft will surely help you in case of any in-game harassment. They are also willing to share the data with the police once they ask them for it. Do not hesitate to contact the police if you feel you’re in danger. You matter and so does your safety and your mental well-being.


~Divine

5 comments:

  1. Although I met a lot of amazing people in Tibia, and have mostly positive experiences, there were also some "black sheeps" who really made my game-adventure a nightmare. I think the most important thing is to keep your mind clear and to not let others put you down. In Tibia, same as in real life, we can meet all types of characters, mentalities. We just need to watch out who will we trust.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also got stalked from a guy I thought he is "a nice friend" and realized he is not. He stalked me irl and scared me because he also tried to contact my family. It stopped completely when a guy told me that "the stalker" got wife and kids so I made him realize I got screenshots and stuff and will tell everything his wife.

    It helped me to talk with friends and family irl because they made me realize how fake his threat was but I still sometimes wake up at night (7 years later!) and think what could have happened. It seems so weird if the threat was "only" for a few weeks to a few months but it follows me for years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this article girls. I had a situation similar to one girl from the article. I met a guy in game and we fell in love, we met in real life, but then he started acting bad and flirt with other girls so I broke up with him, after he started haunting me in rl and the game, he sent embarassing pictures of me to my parents and made us argue. I didn't talk to my parents for a few months after. He made me quit Tibia, quit my job and move from my city. I admire the girls for not fearing to say their names, because I am still too afraid to talk about it openly. I am happy to hear we can count on cipsoft, but I didn't even think about it when it all happened to me. I now play again with my new boyfriend :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had a problem with a stalker girl too. She was sending my photos from my facebook to my bf telling him that I sent them to other guys to make us break up, but I explained to him and show proofs. I dont understand why some girls do that. I think they are unhappy. Thanks for sharing your stories girls

    ReplyDelete

Comment!