Give an idiot freedom and they are likely to find nothing better to do with it than perpetuate destruction. Give a genius freedom and they will likely build something great. Such is the way with the online gaming world, where those who log on with negative mindsets often decide to act in anti-social ways, emboldened by the fact they are untraceable in the online sphere.
This phenomenon has led to some gaming communities being labelled as “toxic” due to many of their members harassing fellow players, often exhibiting behavior akin to that of playground bullying.
This is becoming a huge issue for many games developers and streaming platforms, as no one wants to leak players from their database just because a few toxic players are abusing them.
This is a list of some of the varied gaming communities that currently exist and how etiquette differs across all of them, allowing players to decide for themselves where they wish to take their custom.
Sometimes an apology can go a long way to healing an online argument or gripe
Tom Clancy Series
The helpful people at Ubisoft take the issue of in-game trolling very seriously, even hiring the services of rap god Ice-T to make a video extolling the virtues of staying respectful on the virtual battlefield.
However, the company were compelled to go to such lengths after multiple reports were made of poor behavior on the platform, with what’s known as teamkilling, whereby someone on your own team consistently kills you for no other reason than to wind you up. This even led to Ubisoft creating a five-strike rule, whereby anyone caught teamkilling is banned from matchmaking for an extended period of time.
As Ice-T details in his video, saying “GG” (good game) and remaining chill can go a long way to creating a desirable gaming atmosphere.
For many people gaming as part of a team is so much more rewarding than single player gameplay, but it can turn sour quickly
The online poker community is a tight-knit group of players and fanatical followers, who compete across multiple platforms and mainly watch their heroes via streaming site Twitch.
The etiquette applied at the gaming tables is very much the same as that in the chat sections of pro players’ live streams, with dark humor prevailing and trolls being ejected at the first sign of abusive or just plain annoying behavior.
In some ways poker has gone too far in its followers and players self-policing the game, with socially minded players sometimes being derided just for engaging in table chit chat or running verbal bluffs, a part of the game that has been sadly lost both in live games and online. Despite this, there are still universally recognized ways to approach the game in order not to piss off your peers. For example, don’t get mad when you lose a hand and refrain from discussing a live hand that you have no involvement in yourself.
It’s hard to image that a game whose title suggests the next coming of Armageddon would be a friendly place to pass a Sunday evening in front of the computer, but that’s exactly what’s on offer with this expansive RPG series.
The dedicated community who follow the series are a plucky band of characters, many of whom are as obsessed with the historical happenings that the games are grounded in than the game play itself. It is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that you may find yourself discussing the finer points of ancient Chinese dynasties, leaving no time for toxic trolling.
For similar online gaming experiences, but which are set more around fantasy worlds, the Warhammer series of games is also a good place to find friendly gameplay, just with a more competitive edge.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the most toxic games on the internet tend to be those that involve strangers shooting each other in the head or nether regions. However, there are games like Minecraft where things descended to a whole new level of pettiness, with players destroying others’ creations and being given free rein to run their mouth in chat.
This is such an issue for Minecraft that there have even been books written about how to behave properly while building your make-believe castle…