6 Ways to Deal with Toxicity in Online GamesNov 10, 2019 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate Toxicity in online games has always been a concern when MMOs became mainstream. Today, it’s everywhere, and even if you’re minding your own business, some won’t definitely be on their best behavior.
MMOs brought forth a new age in gaming. People can now go on adventures online, build empires, form alliances, and become a force to be reckoned with in the digital world. This is good and all, but it also brought in a lot of concerns. One of the more pressing ones is online toxicity.
In a nutshell, toxicity in gaming refers to obnoxious behavior. This includes offensive trash-talking (as opposed to friendly banter), racial and sexist (and homophobic) slurs, griefing for fun, and behavior that downgrade’s everyone’s experience. Examples include a player who ridicules his teammate on chat for no apparent reason and one who deliberately helps enemies.
There’s no way to stop people from being toxic. There will always be bad eggs in the basket. In your case though, you can always lessen your experience with it and deal with the situation well. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do:
Don’t be toxic
To avoid toxicity, don’t be toxic. Personally, I can’t understand why people find trash-talking and offensive banter fun. This is a common occurrence in shooters, PvP adventure and survival games, as well as in sports. Even in gaming, it pays to be on your best behavior, cooperate with your team, and accept losses gracefully. For example, don’t be a sore loser when you lose in FIFA, play loud music on the mic, deliberately kill your teammates, and make the game bad for everyone.
Team up and play with friends
We meet a lot of people online and on many occasions, they become part of your circle of online friends. If you have friends in real life who play along with the nicer ones you meet online, it would be best to stick with them. Playing with randoms exclusively may pave the way for you to meet new people, but it also means you may have to deal with toxic people on a regular basis.
Don’t take it personally: it’s just a game
When people act toxic online like calling you offensive names and being just jerks, don’t take it personally. It’s just a game, the words of a stranger with issues shouldn’t sting and affect you as much as the words of someone you look up to. Simply press the mute button or block them if they start getting annoying.
Try to empathize: people who are toxic in online games have issues in real-life
Empathy goes a long way, even for toxic gamers and people with questionable morals. Most of the time, toxic gamers have issues in real life that cause them to vent or lash out on those they meet online. They might have ego problems or simply be bullies wherever they land themselves in. In any case, it would be best to not stoop to their level. Respond with class and if they act like sore losers or arrogant winners, simply commend their efforts and just block them.
Make the effort to report
Most online games today ensure that you’re able to report abusive players and those who engage in toxic behavior. Team killing, feeding of your own accord (especially in MOBAs), and launching expletives are mostly grounds for suspension and in severe cases, permanent bans.
Thing is, some developers aren’t taking an active approach when it comes to handling reports. Lots of cases are ignored and unresolved. Even if the system is slow and ineffective, it’s still best to make the effort to report toxic players. After all, it barely takes two minutes to fill out a form and press a few buttons. Moreover, if your report results into something favorable, you’ll be able to do good and prevent other players from experiencing toxic behavior from the person you reported.
Don’t play online without mastering the basics
Sure, we want to “get good” fast and this usually entails playing against stiff, online competition, but it always pays to start slow. In this case, it would be smart to start from the top, go through the tutorials, and master the basics first prior to playing online.
Well, you wouldn’t want to be the target of frustrated teammates and gloating winners telling you the way you play is terrible in rather creative ways, right? Being bad at a game will make you a prime target for toxic gamers. It’s best to be proactive and hone your skills first before diving into the fireworks.
Overall, though you’ll inevitably encounter toxic people when playing online, you can always numb yourself to the effects and take the necessary steps to avoid experiencing it. Avoid it by not being toxic yourself, by playing exclusively with friends, and by mastering the game’s basics. Report players who engage in toxic behavior, have some empathy and don’t take things personally. Remember, a random stranger’s hurtful words should have no effect on you.