The very act of bullying is an outward expression of an inward reality. Not every environment in life allows the bully to safely express his/her need to be hurtful to others and out of self-preservation, they keep their personality disorders in check; some do, anyway.
Now, introduce a game where the impossibility of adequate moral policing is well understood by the game maker. They give players 2 choices: be totally safe except by mutual agreement, or go wide-open in the world with all the attendant risks and frustrations.
So far, I'm totally in agreement with this philosophy.
Now, introduce the variety of human personality. Yes, of course there are going to be some people who maintain their sense of decency in the characters that they play in the game. Nobody really has an cause to complain about that.
The complaints come in when other people abandon that sense of decency at the login screen. Being free to be a jerk doesn't imply that being a jerk is appropriate to the context of the game. What context is that? Well, first, it's a game. It's meant to be played, and it's meant to be fun.
Second, as you pointed out, it's a game being played by people, not pixels, or toons, or levels, etc.
So then, as people playing a game, ask yourself whether you have any morally justifiable ground upon which to defend your right to make other people miserable simply because the terms of service provide the space to make those choices? And, if you don't have any morally justifiable ground for bullying other people in the way you play the game, then why bully other people?
I can't stress enough the importance of comprehending the idea that the freedom to behave badly isn't an invitation to do so; isn't an endorsement of said behavior.
PvP isn't a bullying environment by definition, but by participation. PvP may continue, quite enjoyably to some, in a PvP realm without requiring a bullying dynamic. How many times will you ignore the simple truth that just because you can doesn't mean you should? Again, permission isn't endorsement.
For this point you have no rebuttal; no refutation. All you have is your mantra about the terms of service allowing such behavior. Why does it say that players/people should expect such dynamics? Because Blizzard actively endorses and encourages it? No, not at all. It's because they recognize that some people will refuse to police themselves and introduce this jerk-dynamic into a game that could be just as fun without the jerks.
Well, not fun for the jerks, actually, because a bully needs a victim. I'm betting that Blizzard has determined that it's profitable to provide bullies with virtual worlds where they can express their personality disorder choices without physically harming other people. And I'm betting that Blizzard has determined that there's no legal liability to them in so doing. Neither of those determinations in any way endorses or encourages such personality disordered choices; and those disordered choices certainly aren't definitional elements of PvP proper.
So when you're ready to take an honest look in the mirror at the implications of your current perspective, please do. Until then, realize that intelligent people will always see through the smoke-screen of bullies who try to present themselves as if they're just doing what's expected and allowed; that they have no moral obligation to evaluate their behavior or to police themselves on a level beyond the 8-year old mentality of doing/taking whatever one wants by whatever means is accommodated.
That probably sounds like a sarcastic slant but I assure you that it's nothing of the sort. There's a clinical edge there that's quite worthy of your time and attention if only you would give it that. There's also a clinical edge that recognizes the unliklihood that you, and others similarly oriented as you are, will give the time and attention it deserves.
Because bullies don't really care about anything except their own interests. And your interests, based on your comments in this thread, include preserving the freedom to be a bully.
When you stop pretending that you're only doing what's expected of you (Nuhremberg trials, anyone?) and/or that you're only doing what's inherent in the definition of PvP (minimization/denial, anyone?) and own the fact that you, and people like you, taint the PvP realm experience with your admitted bullying, has this topic a snowball's chance in hell at being correctly understood in an appropriate context.
Until then, it's just pathological personalities en masse criticizing other people for calling out pathological behavior (bullying) for what it is.[/QUOTE]