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How Toxic Communities Ruin Online Gaming

Updated on December 22, 2017

Toxic Community in Online Gaming

I have been playing PC games for many years now, and find myself consistently attracted to online and massively multiplayer video games. Some of these include Counter-Strike, Tom Clancy Rainbow Six Siege and of course, Call of Duty. Although, in the past year and a bit, I have cut back the time I spend playing online games. Unlike most cases, it was not because I got bored, but it was due to the unappealing community, and toxic players that ruin group chats for everyone.

How Are Communities Toxic?

If you play online games, you most likely experienced someone screams rude, vulgar or even racist slurs through the game microphone. Despite how it may anger us, we tend to mute these players, and move on with playing the game. Unfortunately, this can really damage the gaming experience, especially in the case of tactical multiplayer shooters. In games like CS-GO, team communication is a necessity to playing the game well, and most of all, to have fun. In the early days of Counter Strike, playing with a team was a great experience, everybody seemed nice and had a positive attitude, with the occasional outliers. If you fast forward a few years, the percentage of obnoxious teammates dramatically increased. In some cases, more than half of your teammates with microphones have negative attitude, and often appear fairly rude. At this rate, within a few years, online gaming will be ruined for everyone.

Why This Ruins Online Video Games

This is one of the most unappealing features of online gaming. I can never pinpoint why the community within games like CSGO have become toxic. If we boil down the possibilities, one of the most prominent possible reasons for a toxic community is how many people start playing games as a competitive activity, and no longer for the sole reason of having fun, which can create tension and aggression. When these emotions are expressed through in-game chats, the bad attitude can become infectious and influence other people to act the same way. I’m not trying to bash on competitive games, in fact, I think making some games more competitive is a great thing, and a great way to motivate players to keep playing. I’m simply saying that with a competitive attitude, online gaming can also be polluted with negatively, since people are overly obsessed with getting better and climbing the ranks, and forget the most important aspect of gaming, which is to have fun.

Fixing The Issue

Unfortunately, there really is no obvious solution to this issue, and it's a real pity that online gaming has been littered with toxic communities. The only hope is if we bring awareness to the issue, and help the new generation of gamers understand that gaming is still supposed to be fun, even if it's played competitively. Another solution is if games enforce proper behavior through in-game chats. If players fear about being punished by a ban or penalty, then they may refrain from using the in-game chat in a negative way. Unfortunately, enforcing these rules may not be the easiest thing since controlling and tracking in-game chats can be difficult, but effort to enforce it is better than none.

In retrospect, I am not trying to say that all online games are no longer playable due to their unpleasant community. At this time, online gaming is only beginning to be affected by toxic communities, and can still be changed. I wrote this article to bring awareness to the issue, and try to fix it before it's too late. The truth is, if we keep progressing negatively at this rate, a grim future may ruin gaming for future generations.



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    • Nadia Nieuwenhuiz profile image

      Julia Crawford 4 months ago from South Africa

      I completely understand. The people on Call Of Duty can really lose it sometimes...

    • profile image

      Iain Lawrence Ralph MacKinnon 5 months ago from Richards Memorial Library (Sails network)

      i totally agree. try RPG single player, like Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age II. it's fun, and ultra non-competitive. yes, when you die, you may have the sudden urge to scream and cuss and chuck the controller, but it's not my fault you brought only mages in your party.


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