Online Etiquetteby Daniel Ryan
Online gaming seems to have a large concentration of racist, homophobic and generally rude people. If you’ve played online games, especially competitive ones, you would have come across this kind of behaviour.
Insults of all kinds fly left and right, over and under profanity filters. The slightest thing you do or don’t do can lead to complete essays from your team-mate on how your mother was a lady of the evening who only serviced Jewish zombie Nazis or something. Failed to read the minds of the enemy and know they were sneaking up behind Counter Strike? Well according to your ally it is time to unload in the chat window, “GG” “My team is retarded,” “OMG WTF lok @ my team such N00bS!!!”
That is when people are intentionally trying to insult you. Sometimes players just do annoying things like refusing to play, leaving before the game is over and even calling out your team’s positions to the enemy.
In real life, people are able to go through an amazing array of different behaviours. People all over the world go to clubs on a Friday night and have lunch with their parents Saturday afternoon without getting kicked out of either. It’s amazing how we know how to act in different social situations. I don’t help myself to the beers from the fridge in a club and I don’t dance terribly at lunch.Usually if someone is whining about being insulted I tell them to buy a bag of cement and harden up. At some point though we need to make a stand, or at least a half hearted sigh towards stopping this troll business. If someone you didn’t know pressed the wrong button in the elevator, you wouldn’t scream obscenities and call them a “Noob.”
The environment you are in determines the behaviour we view as acceptable. Most of the time on the internet there is no set protocol or etiquette on how to behave. Even if there were rules or codes of conduct, with no way to enforce them we all become tree humping monkeys.
A mate of mine used to work behind a bar, occasionally he got some aggressive abusive customers. Trying to tell grown men and women they can’t have another beer can be a crappy situation. Bar staff have their ways of avoiding situations and handling tempers boiling over. They have their own set of skills and guidelines on how to handle potential conflict.
The video game industry needs an effective way of giving warnings and policing their online games. I’m not asking for a warning when I start the game like, “Winners don’t use drugs” or even, “Stop being a douche.” One way to make people think twice about the reputation they are making is to charge for the membership. If it is too easy to create an account or ID then it is very easy for a player to stir up some hate, log off and start again under a different moniker.
In Heroes of Newerth an account costs money unlike DotA on Battle.net. Most players only have one account, $10 is still $10 after all and why would I need two? But if my account is suspended for a week/month because I acted like a reality show contestant, then my choices are to pay more money or be locked out of a game I enjoy. Either you quickly learn to stop being a prick or you keep forking out the, “Asshole tax.”
We as a player community and by extension developers, need to look into what other ways we can stop trolls destroying our gaming experience. Of course the first thing we can control is our own behaviour.For a reporting system to work, people reporting need to know that their claims are being actioned. “Your abuse report has been received and will be reviewed shortly,” doesn’t inspire me to spend time filling out forms to report douche-baggery.
Don’t be that guy. But, if you stand in fire, I will let loose with disparaging comments about your female parent being of the canine persuasion.