Thank The Internet For Creating Millions Of Hostile Gamers
It's what anonymity does. It brings out the worst in just about everyone, especially those of a certain age. And it just so happens that such ages are part of the targeted demographic for game makers.
During a time before the Internet, when gamers could only rely on their video game magazines and discussions with fellow fans at school, the only hostility to exist would come during a particularly intense game of Contra. "Stop dying; oh my God, you suck!" Yeah, things could get pretty heated when two would-be buddies were seated next to each other and engaged in a pitched battle to save the world. For kids, that was pretty damn important.
But that was about it. Now, with the vast majority of the gaming culture online, and the explosion of online multiplayer gaming, things are dark...much darker than they've ever been. While there are still plenty who simply wish to have some fun, the communities, forums, and comment sections of many a popular website are jammed with superiority complexes, lecturers, and overall douchebags. Or rather, it's the way they are when online; there isn't a sudden influx of douchebags in the world. No no, it's what they become when online. They don't walk up to random strangers in the street and punch them in the head for their opinion on the Mass Effect 3 ending. At least, I assume that didn't happen.
Furthermore, because there's no need for respect, dignity, or civility when online (when there are no consequences and repercussions, humans are always at their very "finest"), and those involved are typically at an immature age anyway, there's just no stopping the snowballing hatred and imbecility. I keep thinking that the reason professionals involved in other entertainment industries (movies, music, etc.) will never take us seriously is simple- They need only look online at the childish state of the gaming group and dismiss us all as kids who "just need to grow up." Yeah, well, we do. But it probably won't happen any time soon.
Bear in mind that this is not an attack on gamers, but more on the Internet. It has changed people; there's no denying that. And when something like video games is such a dominant online subject...well, it's like being exposed to an infectious disease that can only be cured by sunlight and normal association with three-dimensional peers. That tends to bring people back to earth, if only for a short while.
3/26/2012 9:11:24 PM Ben Dutka