[Editor's note (Yes, I'm the editor and the author, shut it)] I’m having trouble getting the full emotion of this post out into the writing. I may be writing in a pretty technical way and presenting facts of why this is bad, and saying it is bad, but I really hate bullying, racism, or harassment in games. So much so that I have a hard time dealing with it when it happens to me or others because I feel like I start to rage when I talk about it. Carry on.
I’m referring specifically to the actions of people in online games to other players, and how they treat other players. A good example of it is from tl-dr’s own Diane, on camping and griefing. I think camping and griefing are a small form of harassment and bullying, and there are many ways around it.
It becomes more difficult when the griefing is written or verbal. There are two different varieties that I want to point out and talk about; both are equally bad, just very different.
1) The Rager
This one is easy to see, but hard to combat. Easy to see because it’s the person that screams “OMFG you NOOB! That isn’t how it’s SUPPOSED TO BE DONE!”* Nothing said will calm this person down, as they are either 1) so angry they won’t see reason, or 2) trolling you and looking for you to get all worked up.
*Sprinkle this sentence liberally with the terms: asshole, noob, fag, faggot, rape, raped, nig, or nigger depending on the severity.
^That’s another problem. How do you deal with blatant, overt racism, homophobia, or hate speech while gaming? This isn’t subtle racism perpetuated by a society, it’s in your face hate that there is no way of combating. (Or so it feels)
2) The Trolls
These are the people in games who do almost the exact same things as the rager, but they do it for attention or to get a reaction. It’s hard to differentiate them, and in practice, there’s really no reason to do so. It’s how they react to being combated that changes.
Bullying for competition
I’m no stranger to competition. And one of the tenets of competition is sportsmanship. Learn it, love it, stick with it. It will make gaming for you and everyone around you better in the long run.
“It helps me win, it’s the other guy’s fault they can’t deal with it.” This is a cop out, and people who bully, rage, or troll to gain a competitive advantage are just applying gamesmanship to the game. Yes, it’s within the rules of the game. Does that mean you should still do it? No.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Trash talking, harrassment, or bullying to get an edge up on the competition means you just can’t handle the competition anyway. Play within the rules and leave the gamesmanship out of it. There’s no place for it in multiplayer video games.
GTFO Man, I can do what I want. Besides, you can’t change the way things are.
Bullshit, I can change things. That’s what I’m trying to do right here. People WANT the change. People WANT to see this type of harassment and bullying go away. So let’s do it.
They’re Just Trolls! Don’t Feed Them!
In small doses, sure, not feeding the trolls works. Like that asshat in trade chat who says “Zelda was so cool in his game when he killed Ganon!” That’s a harmless troll trying to get someone to rage and say “Zelda was the princess, Link was the guy with the sword!”
What about the troll that comes into a game (any game) and says, “Hi guys! Glad you’re all here to play today, this going to be fun! As long as there aren’t any faggot niggers here.”
That one statement ruins the game for everyone involved, whether the person saying it is truthful, trolling, or something else. It automatically injects social, cultural, and political conflict into the game.
Should you feed this troll?
Should you ignore this troll?
Being silent empowers this kind of troll, and silence sounds a lot like agreement.
So what should you do? Go watch this video.
So what should we do?
Here’s one idea from the Extra Credits crew. I think it’s a good start.
Another is the justice system that is in place for League of Legends. It may not be great, but it cuts down on a lot of the worst offenders. Gotta start somewhere.
Not just about the completely horrible people
It’s about the middle of the pack people as well. Sure, getting rid of the 10% of people that are THE WORST offenders would be amazing, but that does not stop the trolling. Or the raging. Or people being just assholes in general. Think of that the next time you’re angry in a game, or that you’re angry at a troll. Raging at them, calling them names, or doing anything similar just increases the problem. It’s not even them “bringing you down to their level.” It’s you becoming one of them; just because they started it doesn’t change anything.
Stand up for a healthier, more relaxed multiplayer experience.
Don’t feed the trolls/ragers.
Don’t become a troll/rager yourself.
DO stand up for yourself and your beliefs online in a coherent, calm, fashion.
This. 1000 times this. Read it.
Ding! You’ve Leveled Up! Please see your local librarian for training.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License