Dealing With Online Gaming Friends Who Become Toxic
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Dealing With Online Gaming Friends Who Become Toxic

October 9, 2019


It can be so galvanizing to just connect with
someone through a really good strategy or a really good snap decision or like a really
great coordinated, in Overwatch, like ultimate attacks and—I don’t know. The fact that you can win this super-complicated
game with 6 different people all working as this well-oiled machine is
so beautiful to me. Nobody knows each other, but they’re still
anticipating each other’s movements and supporting each other and encouraging each other. I know it sounds corny but like,
that’s why I love online games. Because you get this entirely different experience
when—for instance, I play a lot of rec soccer, and the people I meet and hang out
with that way, we have a very different relationship and the relationship on the field, when
you’re playing, is very different. And you get to interact with people in a way
that you don’t in other parts of your life. I don’t play with many friends online, so it’s
usually some people I’ll slip in with from Twitter or Facebook or something. And inevitably within a couple weeks, you
get to know just enough about them where you’re like, “I actually don’t wanna play with you
anymore, so it’s a good thing we finished that Nightfall or won that Dota match because I
think this relationship is over.” What is like a checklist that you go down
when you’re trying to figure out whether someone is chill enough to keep playing with? Usually how many random internet jokes
are they making? Because there’s so much meme culture in esports,
I think a lot of that has to do with people acting differently when they’re playing
a game, versus in real life. And so if I get the sense that someone is
being just themselves through the headset or through the chat, then that makes me a lot
more comfortable than someone who’s putting on an online persona. I had been playing with this one guy for a
lot of weeks and we just met up through solo queuing in Overwatch’s competitive mode. You know, we’d queue up a bit together and
always kind of just joke around and I do like the memes and the trolling a little bit. Not like too much but a little— light memeage I think is fun. A few weeks into playing with him one night,
I was doing my competitive matches and I had won 8 in a row! 8 out of 10 and I was like, “Yes! I’m gonna rank up. I’m gonna feel great!” And he joined us, and in the second to last
match, he started saying some racist stuff, and the team is all people I’d met online,
but cool people—we were thrown. We were distracted. We were upset. We were like, “Wow, you’re not the
kinda guy we thought you were.” All of us were just like immediately—
coordination is just diminished. It’s like the level of trust we had for this
person, the degree to which we could rely on him just totally dissolved. I don’t know, I was struck by that. I didn’t realize that I trusted this
person until I didn’t trust him. Well, I think there’s an online sense of camaraderie
that you get in a lot of different places whether it’s in a video game, it’s on Twitter,
it’s on Facebook. You can have someone—an old friend or acquaintance
from high school or someone that you used to follow on Twitter a lot and all of the
sudden they drop in somewhere and just say something that completely throws you. Whether it’s just something that’s sexist
or racist or just something that’s mean or abusive, and all of a sudden you have to—
you had this map and you knew how to interact with this person and how you related to them. All of a sudden, that just gets scrapped and
you’re immediately fumbling like “wait, I’ve gotta completely reorientate myself, and especially
if it’s in a game, the mics go dead, people stop talking, they lose that connection they
had that was helping them to win or to get an objective or to complete whatever the task
was, and you struggle to rebuild that and either you have a relationship that’s durable enough
offline where you can come to some sort of understanding or the person apologizes
or they change. Or it’s like, all right, well, that’s it. I gotta cut that loose, that part,
and move on and find other people. It can be so hard to tell people why things
they say online through video games is offensive or upsetting to you because what if people
who are teammates with you don’t understand also? Or are gonna make the situation worse. That’s why I think it’s important for people
who aren’t necessarily the targets of things that are upsetting to say something first. Like I felt really galvanized when the other
day the person I was teaming up with said something kind of racist, and I wasn’t even
the first person to be like, “Hey, man. That was racist.” Two other people got there first! And that was amazing. The important thing is to create a culture
in which everybody feels comfortable and everybody feels like they have the same amount of entitlement
to enjoying this online video game. And it shouldn’t be on the people who might
have a disadvantage to be constantly advocating for themselves. I think that everybody should be working together
for that goal.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. if you're not toxic "for" your friends when they turn toxic, you're not a real friend.

    BOY YOU BETTER KNOW YOU BEST BE WILLIN' WITH ME IF WE RIDIN TOGETHER

  2. "Toxic" is literally just the leftwing (SJW) version of calling something "Cancer" — both buzzwords are implying the same meaning, i.e. some shit that eats away and grows.

  3. Next Video pls how to deal with little Snowflakes online.

    I played like 13 years the mmorpg Dark Age of Camelot and I cant remember one person being racist, except against a half orge those were super ugly and deserved it.

    Guess just stay away from voice chat then or from all those new multiplayer titles or both if you are a snowflake.

  4. (Auto-Tune) Oh yeah oh yeah Mario Oh yeah Mario number one, I'm gonna get you I got you I'm gonna get you I got you bye bye yahoooooooo…

  5. There's no such thing as 'toxic' people. I thought we gamergaters beat the SJW out of you, Kotaku? Do you need a reminder?

  6. You know, people keep claiming SJW, but sincerely that's way better than being "toxic" or "cancer", as Ministry of WrongThink mentioned. I'd be much finer with people harassing me for not being a saint than people TRYING to harass me for any and every thing without any reason or even the least bit of coherence. Seriously, people don't know how to troll anymore. Nowadays I never feel harassed, just annoyed. Today trolls are dumb. They think repeating the same thing over and over again for no reason is trolling. Seriously, I might as well replace every word with fart sounds, which might even make them seem more eloquent and funny, South Park is proof that it's not impossible.

    In any case, right now most people who consider themselves "trolls" in games aren't even borderline funny, just boring. Watching a troll in LoL or Dota is like a really boring video commercial that popped during the video you are watching and you can't close it, so you just sit down with your "oh god, this shit again" face and wait, wondering if it's going to take much longer to end so you can watch something else. After 2 or 3 consecutive games of that, I just call it a day and go play something else, because it'd be too unrealistic to think the next one would be different.

  7. This chick's logic. We were playing so well it was like a well oiled machine but then a guy said some racist stuff. He can't be trusted. His genji skill went right out the window when he said the N word.

  8. It feels good when you’re good at a game and you jump into a lobby and everyone acknowledges it and they’re happy to see you, but then that pressure to perform kicks in because it’s expected from you to do good…I love that feeling, ya know? Just like in real life sports.

  9. The gaming community needs to be more accepting of minorities. Children growing up in the 70/80/90s know what it's like being bullied for your gaming hobby, and should be welcoming too any new gamers regardless of who they are.

  10. yeah please gag the San Francisco SJW police, fuck these hipsters. America has its head way too far up its own ass. You're gonna have to deal with people who think differently than you, grow up.

  11. Thin skin, congratulations, you've found someone capable of offending you, by all means be offended. Then get over it. You should be thankful you live in a world where you can get to know someone, and still never see them again if you don't want to. Where in real life, you can get to know someone, dislike them, and have to put up with seeing them every day for most of your life.

  12. I read the article on Kotaku and enjoyed the read, but this is beating a dead horse. Not sure what's going on with the 'SJW snowflake toxicity' terms being thrown around in the comments, but being offensive behind your screen name just makes you a chicken s***. I'm not mad, it's just the truth. Many people throw insults around just to get a reaction, using excuses like 'i bought this game same as you, and can say what I damn well please,' while others verbally degrade and insult specific people online to be an a-whole and for no other reason. This upsets people that treat others as they would in person, or expect the same amount of respect that they give to the game, but that's a perfect world and we live in one far from it. As for seeing this behavior in an online friend, you just have to tell them point blank that it had to stop or you're out. It sucks but people who don't care about others online aren't worth your time if you're primarily only going to interact with them online.

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