I stared at the screen of my computer, in total shock. A lot of people were making fun of one girl, for no reason. I wondered how she felt, and how it made people 'cool' to tease her. Then I began to think; what if they became a Newbie, and were treated harshly, would they still treat this girl awfully? What about me? Would it change my outlook on Whyville if I became one again? In order to find out, I realized there was only one way.
I became a Newbie.
My username was Expriment, because that was what the account was. An experiment.
And so, I began my journey into the world of Whyville, pretending to be new along the way.
First, I went to South Beach. I ran into the same group of people, still making fun of the same girl, who seemed to have left the computer. I stepped in, asking why they were being so mean. They called me 'Betty' and kept laughing. I knew that they were insulting me, but I still played along, seeing as I was undercover. They took me as a joke, a gullible Newb. That's when I introduced myself as Lindsey. When I left, they kept on laughing, acting like they were sad to see me leave. But they were not the only bullies at the beach. People laughed at me, and called me a Newb. They told me I looked weird. But, the whole time, I had been decent, giving compliments and being friendly.
To continue my experiment, I went to the Woods. There, I was mainly ignored. However, someone that I knew, someone that I had actually helped out, was rude to me! I couldn't believe it. Someone who I thought was nice, treated people wrongly. I was tempted to just get on sqeakers1 and tell her who I really was, but that would blow my cover. For the time being, I wouldn't tell her. I tried to start various conversations, but no one paid any attention. Two more friends came on. I spoke with one, but he mainly seemed creeped out. Maybe it was because a random Newbie was speaking with him, or just because he's like that all the time.
For the last part of my test, I took Expriment to the Style Studio. Planning on getting a new look, only one person let me be in their studio. The others? They booted me, or left. In the lobby, I would try to chat with a few others, and they ignored me. One girl, a close friend, even left in the middle of our conversation! The same girl from the Woods tried to tell me to come to her studio, even after I told her that how she had treated me was wrong. I was incredibly disappointed in her.
Now, look at the graphs below. Notice that 53 percent overall ignored me, while a mere 15 percent were polite. Now, I'm not saying that everyone in Whyville is rude, or everyone has to immediately change their ways, but at least consider that on the other side of that computer screen, someone else's feelings are getting hurt on your behalf. I'm not saying to go out and give 1000 clams to every Newbie you see, or give all of your rares to someone who doesn't have the coolest things, but I am saying to at least give them a chance as a friend. Who knows? They could end up as a Senator, as a common BBSer, or a good friend.
Keep in mind that all your actions, positive or negative, have consequences.
Author's Note: Please, keep in mind that only a small amount of people were 'tested' in my experiment. This does NOT refer to the whole of Whyville, seeing as there are many incredibly nice people out there. The whole point of this was to inform people about how Newbies are people too. I didn't tell you that you always hurt their feelings, (even though you most likely do) or that all of Whyville needs to change. This is a cycle; a Newbie gets made fun of, becomes an 'Oldbie', then (may) continue to make fun of Newbies. I never said we needed to end it. As we all know, there are over 6 million citizens, so that would be pretty hard. But I just wanted to at least show you what (a very, very, very small portion of) Whyville has become.