The latest patch of Warcraft has added a dungeon finder to the game. This allows players to easily form groups for the dungeons in the game. On the downside, the groups are random, so you never know who you might get.
While most players are decent folks, I sometimes run into players who complain almost constantly. For example, while running an instance one player started complaining at the start and kept up a constant stream of complaints. He complained about my friend’s ability to tank (get the attention of the monsters and keep them busy while the rest of the party kills them). He complained about my ability to heal. Interestingly, as he complained, he also did things that caused some serious problems-like starting up fights before the rest of us were ready. He finally left the group.
Interestingly, as soon as he left things improved. While an instance is supposed to be run with five characters and we were down to four, we had a much easier time after his departure. This was due to the fact that the player who left was actually a detriment rather than a contributing member of the group. While he was the one complaining about how badly things were going, he only offered complaints and nothing positive.
While WoW is a game, the same seems to apply in real life. To be specific, I have found that people who complain the most tend to be doing the least to improve the situation that they are complaining about. Further, such complainers often serve to make the situation worse by damaging morale and disrupting efforts to actually achieve goals.
At this point, some folks might suspect that I am advocating that critics should be silent (or even silenced). However, this is not the case. While people who merely complain should be allowed to do so, they should be criticized for doing so. However, people who offer criticism can actually be very beneficial. To illustrate this, I turn back to the World of Warcraft.
While I am an experienced gamer, I am always willing to learn about the game. So, when I am running an instance with hard core players and they have good advice and offer helpful criticism of my tactics and gear, then they are helping me. Not surprisingly, such criticism is often presented in a polite and friendly manner. After all, they are trying to help rather than merely complaining or venting rage.
It is the same in real life. A good critic is extremely useful. After all, s/he offers useful advice and is part of the solution rather than a screeching impediment.