Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gamers Are Awful. Basically.


Dan Ingram of Fear the Cacti and Crossover Appeal is now a regular contributor! You can read his previous posts here and here.

The Internet is generally a terrible place. If you’re new to the worldwide web, sorry to spoil it for you. But if you’re the kind of person that loves to look up the destroyed face of that dude in Florida in the “zombie” attack, then the Internet is the perfect place for you.

While I enjoy a Fail Compilation just as much as the next person, most websites are crawling with trolls more often than they are contributors that are actually bringing something meaningful to the table.

My personal belief is that Internet anonymity as a culture is trickling into every day life in the worst ways possible. See Glenn Beck for further details. 

Gamertag: “BushGivesMeBoners6969”, pwns with rocket launcher on Halo:Reach.
Even that was mean. Sorry Glenn Beck, I hope we can still be bros.

The Internet might be an especially disturbing place, but at least for the most part people can get on their copy of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and enjoy some of their spare time blowing shit up without causing a global incident. However, the gamer community is a pretty rancid place, and sometimes, it’s worse than the Internet in general.

That’s saying something because I haven’t found any listings for “2 Spartans One Cup” when I go into Matchmaking playlists. So the content variance is huge, and in that regard I’m not going to waste my time, because trying to say “Dead Space” is as bad as some of the stuff you can find online is a waste of breath and not true at all.

Where the biggest problem lies is with the content users. Every game that has an online component now comes with a standard ESRB rating system that has the disclaimer “If you get yelled at by some dick face with a microphone you can’t sue Ubisoft/Activision/Sam Worthington”.

Sam Worthington working out his demons for all his career choices thus far.
Every game has to do this now because invariably, you will run into someone that managed to purchase an Xbox screaming expletives I don’t even want to type.

Not everyone is terrible, and there can be some pretty generous teammates in whatever game you play, but online gaming communities are the best example of people hiding behind an avatar.

Video games are a showcase now, a place for suitors to go out and vie for the attention of their potential mate. Except in this case the mate isn’t a person, and instead it’s Major League Gaming.  And gamers will do ANYTHING to gain an edge, even if it means taking you down verbally.

Or at least trying to.

I have fallen victim to at least one problem of the gaming world and it can best be exemplified by this meme I’ve recently seen floating around the web:

I’ve uttered both sides of this statement AND had it said to me.
Gaming allows a unit of measurement. And that makes it terrible. If someone can provide “empirical” evidence that you aren’t good at something, they’ll rip you to shreds for being terrible at that thing. But if someone can “prove” that you’re way better than them at it only a few moments later, they’ll rip you apart for spending far too much time indoors in a dark room harboring violent tendencies via an electronic medium.

Online gaming has deep roots in trolling, or vice versa, I don’t know which. And from first hand experience, there is a certain adrenaline rush that occurs during a heated match, so maybe there’s some physiological desire to just flaunt your skills like a douche or hang your head in shame like a n00b.

Gamers catch a lot of flack from the outside world, and they’re not benefiting themselves by being egomaniacal douches on top of it. There’s a lot of work to be done outside of cracking down hardcore on online behavior policies. Especially where those policies pertain to sexism and the legions of fanboys asking to see some tits.

Unfortunately no game developers are going to throw the book at any of their generous customers. So until gamers themselves become responsible, the culture won’t change.

“Lag at thee!”
Dan Ingram works in television and has his Master's in Screenwriting from New York Film Academy. If he could live in a Ghostbusters costume while driving the Delorean, he'd basically never complain about anything ever again.

2 comments:

  1. Actually, the web show "Extra Credits" has a great discussion on this topic that also includes ways that the software developers can make it harder for trolls to have their way. I highly recommend it:

    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/harassment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I love their stuff. Extra Credits usually makes very good points.

      Delete