About "Arrogance"


Hellfire is arrogant, Haujobb are arrogant, the German demo scene is arrogant. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, arrogance is a common vocabulary in the scene, as well as in the whole world out there. Sceners, just like peers in general, sometimes like to call each other arrogant if there is some kind of personal conflict between them. But what's even more common is that a person is attacked for being arrogant by a totally unknown peer, or at least one with whom he never had to do personally.

What makes a person appear to be arrogant? In most cases it's simply behaviour that makes him or her appear as if he or she was trying to point attention to his or her talents, performance or achievements.

The border between rightful exhibition of personal skills and creative works and a showing-off that triggers negative feelings in others is not very clear. Everybody has to advertise for themselves; it is thus justified to point others to one's special abilities and its results. But if there's too much propaganda, emotions are more or less consciously raised in some of the recipients which find their vague expression in the act of calling the responsible ones arrogant.

-=[ The Key Emotion ]=-

One of the key emotions is envy: envy that someone is so good that he or she is able to produce such great stuff. This leads to an important aspect of the perception of arrogance: Only people who do have skills, who are "good", risk being regarded as arrogant; average or even below average artists don't. If they behave like talented ones who are perceived as arrogant, others will either ignore this behaviour or smile at them; at worst these people risk being called lamers, people who want to appear like experts but in reality haven't made an adequate achievement. But they certainly won't be called arrogant.

Usually productive people such as demo makers or magazine editors use their special skills to create something new that is intended to please other people. For this reason, it would be awkward if they decided not to release their prods as they fear that they might be accused of being arrogant. In fact the fact that someone released something alone has never triggered the accusation of arrogance (at least not in the demo scene); after all it's common sense that sceners have to release something, or they wouldn't be sceners.

But the critical border can be surpassed easily by the next step: advertising for the production, which is always a kind of self-advertising. Even if you keep very factual, you may be exposed to the threat of being perceived as arrogant. Even mentioning some particular facts such as that the demo made 1st place in the comp might cause envy; and envy is never expressed as such, but most often as an accusation of arrogance.

So it is difficult, if not even impossible to protect oneself from such reproaches. Not even understatement, such as omitting facts about one's success or intentionally mentioning losses, even if they are not of the same quality as one's wins, is effective. Understatement may be perceived as irony and thus a more subtle form of arrogance. Not mentioning positive facts oneself may trigger anger in others if they learn about them from other resources as they feel excluded from information; in addition, it is not good for oneself to conceal achievements which required a lot of time and energy to make.

-=[ The Burden of the Gifted ]=-

In other words, if you are good, you'll always have to live with the reproach of being arrogant. Don't think that friendly, helpful behaviour will be able to change this. There will still be some envious of you. If they see that you are helping others, they will accuse you of trying to be "more godly than god" and looking for opportunities to yourself in the center of attention.

However, don't take this to heart, but go on. Don't hide, but show your works and show your skills. You are a free man in an open society (if your country isn't, then at least the scene ought to match these criteria), you're free to express yourself. Demos and other artworks don't harm anybody. On the contrary, they provide pleasure for other people. Don't feel guilty if someone reacts with envy - it's their fault, not yours. A stable person happy with his or her own individual personality and achievements wouldn't react with envy and unjustified accusations; such a person would, on the contrary, be pleased with the achievements of others.

-=[ True Arrogance ]=-

I often get the impression that those people who call others arrogant have no idea what arrogance actually is. So, here are some examples.

True arrogance is if someone, although he knows the answer, has enough time and is in the right mood, refuses to help others for the reason that he or she regards them as inferior, not worth being helped.

True arrogance is if someone who has already gained fame or respect for his/her skills or achievements and is aware of this claims that his excellence and uniqueness are still vastly underrated. Statements such as "I'm the best of all times" or "Only me knows what true pixel art is" would be good for a laugh if they came from the mouth of a "lamer". But they would sound truly arrogant if they were made by the person who is ranked #1 pixel artist in

all international charts worldwide. However, this person would not be behaving arrogantly if he or she mentioned the fact regarding his or her place in the charts.

I hope you get the idea. Hellfire isn't arrogant, Haujobb ain't arrogant, and the German demo scene isn't arrogant - they're just good.

Adok/Hugi - 30 April 2002

P.S.: I've really not ever experienced any Haujobb member behaving in an arrogant manner. But they've been called arrogant at pouet.net, that's why I've chosen them as an example.