Does The PSN Have A More Mature Userbase Than Live?
With the latest Nielsen data, we noted that while the majority of males aged 18-24 played on a PlayStation 3, the 12-17 demographic was most prevalent on the Xbox 360. This represents a possible answer for the online experiences I've had in the past few years.
Now, because I'm always required to throw in four and a half thousand disclaimers in almost every article these days, lest certain people freak out and start assigning inaccurate labels to the site and myself, let me just say this- obviously, that data was only taken during the fourth quarter of 2008. It's not definitive; no survey data is. Furthermore, I'm well aware that any evidence I'm presenting is personal, which is inherently flawed to begin with. But it will be interesting to see the responses...am I the only one who has had the following online experiences? It appears that the aforementioned age difference has confirmed - to some extent - my suspicion that Xbox Live is infested with far more nastiness, ugliness, and immaturity in general. I also hear obviously younger voices more often when playing Live, so that's another clear sign.
Has anyone else noticed this? It's almost 100% for me. If I play one hour on the PSN and one hour on Live, I will invariably hear far more in the way of disgusting commentary on the latter than I will on the former. They're all strangers, but on the PSN, I hear many more gamers who are both older and more civil. Of course, both online services have their share of useless crap (it's unavoidable), and I will freely admit that during the launch of PlayStation Home late last year, I really needed to turn my headset off. I will also admit I spend more time on the PSN, but oftentimes, that's because I weighed one experience against the other. I would say, "hmm, I can either listen to the petulant 10-year-old racist freaks who play Gears of War 2 all day, or I could play with some decent people who just want to kick back and have some fun with Resistance 2." For the record, I know more than a few people who have all had similar experiences.
Obviously, I would always recommend playing with friends and people you know in the first place, but that's not always possible. And as I simply don't have the motivation to take online gaming seriously, I just can't abide the swearing and trash-talking and worse that typically assaults my ears. It just seems to happen way more frequently on Live. So the only conclusion I can reach, from my own perspective mind you, is that the PSN crowd is simply older and more mature. Am I entirely off base?
2/19/2009 Ben Dutka