What I’ve always loved most about playing online is the little interactions between players as well as the bonds formed.
Logging in and being able to say “hi” to people, laugh when someone makes a hash of things or end a match in good spirits with comments such as “gg” and “wp” makes the experience all that more enjoyable, well at least for me. I recently suggested that this makes online action games far more social than the likes of CityVille. Particularly MMORPGs or the likes of APB where you have a character, image and reputation.
However lately I find playing online is just full of hate, nerd rage, keyboard warriors and just general trash talking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get offended or hurt when someone uses the ‘n word’ (n00b) but instead I find it sad and to some extent it angers me. Why be such a fucking douchebag? You get half decent players mouthing off when the scrape a victory due to good fortune or solid work by other members of their team all too often. Then of course anyone who kills these people are obviously cheating, or the game is lagging or somehow things conspired against them so that they lost despite being oh so more skilled. Nothing to do with letting your guard down, screwing up or just being outclassed. Etiquette is almost absent at times with rage quitters in abundance and all too many people looking for the cheap win over good gaming.
It does take a lot of enjoyment out of the game and I find it a little disconcerting that such behaviour is on the rise. I find it harder to just join a game and immerse myself when there’s nothing but trash running through the chat. No light hearted banter or joking. Having no/little chat in many games is a little shallow and cold, feeling not too different to battling AI, but having to put up with some pre-pubescent lippy kid is not my idea of fun. Of course this isn’t new, there’s always been keyboard warriors, but it is undeniably on the rise.
Online gaming is far from a nightmare and I have regular great games with my clan who are an excellent group of folk. Most of the arseholes out there are solo players, no doubt because they are anti-social loner douchebags, and clans regularly play within closed groups, making it harder to get to play with the more amicable type of gamers. However it is quite evident that there are more and more douchebags out there with new, younger markets playing and general changes meaning to player bases. We are quite far from the days when gamers were the geeky sorts with CoD and alike bringing in wider range of people. Whilst a great thing for the market and growth of the industry, it does mean that there’s a lot more crap to put up with.
One of the wonders of the modern online era is that everyone has a voice, everyone is connected. Unfortunately many of them are arseholes.