The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
For all intents and purposes I was born a gamer, and I
decided early on to "boldly go where no man had gone before." The first games I
played were in ASCII. In particular, one simply called Super Star Trek that used the
letter E to represent the Starship Enterprise, and K to convey the vile Klingon
warships. If those stars made of asterisks were any hotter, I think my screen
would have melted.
I moved on to better things with more advanced graphics
like the Atari 2600, but my love of gaming was born in those early ASCII days
connected to what was, at the time, a super computer.
When I met other gamers as I grew up, I was astounded
they were as fascinated by games as I was - gaming was a glue that held my
early friendships together. My father even made games for me to play, so I
learned to love and respect the effort and care that goes into making a game.
If this sounds like some love letter to gaming, it's
because I want to drive home a perspective of respect for gaming and those that
dare to call themselves gamers.
I think you can understand why I never thought there
would come a day when I would find myself appalled by another gamer, as I
always thought that gamers were better, smarter, and faster than normal humans
who didn't share my passion.
The sin I speak of is the way gamers interact and
behave from the anonymity of the Internet (Epic design director and outspoken
gamer Cliff Bleszinski once called it "the Beavis effect" which has stuck with
me as a great descriptor). Now don't get me wrong, I am all for trash talk. In
fact, I think I'm quite good at it. Giving my friends grief for poor play or
making smartass comments is just part of the camaraderie and fun of gaming.
However, far too often gamers use online gaming as a way to insult people on a
personal level regarding their race, their sexual orientation, or even
something as simple as how they speak. It doesn't just happen occasionally in
passing. It is a relentless assault on good taste in game after game.
I often refuse to play games online without friends due
to the fact that the gamer community is so cruel and heartless. This truly
makes me sad, as I expected more of gamers.
Gamers and the gaming industry just won a major victory in
the Supreme Court, but I feel our biggest challenge is in the court of public
opinion where we have to show the world that we aren't childish idiots who spew
slurs anonymously while mowing down virtual avatars. We need to show the world
that gamers are just regular everyday Joes who like to blow off a little steam
in a match online and can do it with respect for ourselves and others. When we
win that battle, I'll feel the same level of respect for games and gamers I had
when my E attacked a K. Otherwise, this childish behavior will always be the
black eye that keeps the rest of the world from respecting the medium.
Follow me on twitter!
Email the author Andy McNamara, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Agreed. There's a reason I mute everyone I play with online.
I completely agree with you. I do not play games online, simply because of the other gamers. Most of them are more focused on being better than everyone else, than actually playing for fun. I much prefer single player or co-op because I an choose who to play with.
I am curious about the kind of people who are using hate speech online. I wonder if its a child's parent using video games as a babysitter, or if the anonymity allow for people act in ways that glosses over not being comfortable with who they are, or not dealing with a painful situation. If those are the cases, in what way can the gaming community to help gamers who might need it, and help clean up our matches?
It's unfortunate that anonymity breeds anger online but what can you do besides using the mute button and playing with friends? There will always be the minority who ruin online gaming for the rest of us.
Wow I started to feel it right at the end and thought of my baby-boomer dad who thinks that since I play video games I must be the most unpopular guy at school when in reality if you don't play games it seems like you Lose talking points with just about everyone this was really why I felt obligated to buy games such as CoD so I wouldn't feel odd when people talked about there rcxd kills and I had no clue what they were talking about.
Have to agree all the way. I rarely will play online without a friend on as well. I'm normally cool with trash talk. Seriously whats not fun about gloating a bit. But then there's the people who take it too far. Then its just a friggin pain to be on the same team as them. Though it is always good to hear the one guy who comes out, and tells them to shut it.
I think the real issue is not people in online matches but the majority of people who frequent 4chan's /v/ board.
Could not agree more. I have never been able to fully enjoy myself in games like call of duty or other competitive online shooters because the ratio of assholes do human beings is so out of whack.
Hit that mute button and only chat with those who want to work together and joke around. If you mute them u don't need to worry about it. This is not something that is going to change over night. Mute those people they won't be heard from again.
I couldn't have put this better myself. I never play MMORPG anymore because of it, FPS's are dead to me. The guy who plays video games religiously needs to connect with other gamers too, but can't because with mommy and daddy watching every move you make people don't know how to behave themselves. It says a lot about society as a whole, that even in a simulated reality, we can't co-exists.
This was beautifully written and had me nodding the entire time I read it.
Great job as usual, Andy.
I'm glad someone else is tired of saying, "That's what the mute button is for."
Hitting mute is like turning your back on a bank robbery. This has turned into an epidemic that could destroy online gaming. If you can sue a fast food chain because the cup didn't say, Caution: Contents may be hot, then why not about a death after online trash talking? This almost happened once before, the only difference was, the two guys involved were sitting on the couch together.
Hopefully, some of these gamers hiding behind the veil of anonymity, will read this article and realize their maturity level. I did say hopefully.
... i think its an age effect... the internet is still young, many people haven't developed nettiquette yet. they will, and at least here on gi its pretty nice.
Just my $0.02:
The fact is that gaming, like most leisure activities, is an amoral endeavor: it requires neither morality, nor the lack of it. Therefore you will find the best and worst of humanity, and everything in between, in the gaming community.
That being the case, and all things being equal, you won't find the "battle" won in any way other than perhaps a small increase in civility as the gaming community is firmly established in all age ranges (with the generally calmer, older gamers balancing out the rude ten year olds who should never have a copy of CoD in the first place).
Another alternative is stricter regulation, and I'm not sure you (or I, or anyone else) really want that. It seems like an invitation to quash creative freedom and impose nanny state laws on a generally harmless community.
The last and best option is to be a good example to other gamers. Don't be afraid to say that some things are right, and some things are wrong. I'm not talking about imposing a morality system on anyone. Let's just start with the simple recognition that a few behaviors are generally unacceptable, now and always, and make sure we pass that understanding on to other gamers.
It may not seem particularly fulfilling, and there's little in the way of instant gratification. But it's our best chance to make things better.
I haven't personally had too much of a hard time with this, but my brother has. Some of the stuff he told me that he had to put up with online kinda turned me off of most MMOs. When I decided to do online gaming, I had to tell myself that this type of stuff happens no matter what online game you play and that you can't let it stop you from having fun. Besides, if anybody annoys me, I just press the ignore button and never hear from them again. Thank you to whoever created the ignore button!
Anyway, I think that people outside the gaming community should take it upon themselves to learn more about all of us, rather than just judge us based on the inappropriate behavior of a few bratty, foul-mouthed kids.