Roars and cries wailed throughout the battlefield, accompanying the unforgiving clanks of battered swords. The 2 armies, once beautifully adorned with flag bearers and heralds, have now dissolved into utter chaos.
The scent of blood wafted along with the morning mist, rolling between the forest trees and settled on the fallen bodies. Quietly we tread; hidden from the battlefield, blending in and out of shadows. My two friends and I soon realize we have stumbled into the battlefield at the worst possible time.
The enemy forces have been bolstered by four of their strongest Heroes, and we were clearly no match for them. With their scouts closing in, it is only a matter of seconds before our unwelcomed presence is detected.
Turning to face us, my friend asked:
“So, how’s does Chinese sound for 2nd date?“
“Hmm. Depends. I always liked them for being comfort food – you get all warmed up on the inside.“
“Gee, Sam, it’s only the second date and she needs a pick-me-up already?“
-Exposed to enemy vision-
-Panicky, high pitched screams heard over the VoIP-
//As we almost managed to outrun our opponents, an infernal descends, momentarily stunning all of us.//
-Lamentations and whines-
“HEY! EVER HEARD OF TABLE MANNERS?”
I haven’t played together with the group in months, almost half a year. I’ve spent my time meditating in a damp cave playing my Single Player releases. 2-4p co-ops are a stretch for me, and MMORPGs? Hell no.
I used to play multiplayer games fondly.
People have always told me, once you grow up, you’d stop playing games. Being an adult means having less time to squander, and your taste would “evolve” to find that games are for youngsters and their pubescent frontal lobes. Real life calls of duties as you wade through the office battlefield. One day you got to give up the mountain dew and start the morning coffee(or coffees).
I don’t know if this is going to happen to me, but chances are pretty low. But anyway, my point is that I haven’t just decided to become a pompous adult who is all too ready to denounce his younger days. In fact, some of my happiest days are in my virtual worlds.
What forced my hand and made me pull the plug on myself? Truth is, I couldn’t stand to be part of the community anymore. The game above mentioned, if you could tell, was DotA. Sadly, this feeling of dread is spread across multiple titles. I’ve played the Battlefield series, Maplestory and countless other virtual worlds. I’ve had fond memories, and honestly, these games molded me into the person I am today. Its a love/hate kind of relationship.
Why the egoistical and arrogant behavior?
Hardly was there ever a game where there are no bright displays of pride and arrogance. They all talk highly of their in-game achievements, how they totally owned someone in game, and everyone should check out his 1080 noscope double kill. I have friends that do this; engage in conversations for hours on end, each bringing up their own stories of glorious victories. They’re not braggarts, and normally I would love to listen to your achievements – but not when you try to plaster them all over the place.
When their acts go over the top, it doesn’t seem like self-appreciation(or self-love) anymore. Its becomes more of a demand for attention and admiration; and more often than not it grows aggressive and overbearing.
And we haven’t gotten to the mud-throwing yet.
Most of you probably know it pretty well; the veil of anonymity that is the internet provides a safe zone where everyone can freely lash out at each other. People claim that such crude behavior is an essential part of gaming. It’s going to be sexist, racist and just plain rude. Such philistine and crass attitude towards social etiquette leaves a swarming and thriving mess of toxic in every game.
And of course, the easiest way to deal with all this was to walk away, like I did. Why expose yourself to unjustified disdain and name-calling? Although leading gaming distribution platforms like Valve Corporation have started taking mutual community respect very seriously, we just can’t seem to purge all the antagonism; particularly xenophobia and misogyny, from the virtual world. When you win a game, you sort of earn a status of superiority over the enemy team.
I think we, as people, if at any point of time we become ignorant of who we are and lack an acknowledgement for those who are around us, are in for a rude awakening. Perhaps we’ve gone too far with self-esteem campaigns; we tell our kids that they can do anything and become anything they want, and losing is no big deal. “Trying and losing” becomes more important that “doing”. We coddle our kids, telling them that as long as they lose gloriously, they will still receive medals and cheers at the end.
We set them up for failure.
We instilled in them a false sense of entitlement.
We think that we should always deserve something – like we are owed.
No one owes you anything.
I think growing up isn’t about learning how to not play games, but learning how to manage your ego and pride.
And then suddenly, you realise you don’t need to brag about your (online) achievements anymore, that’s why people stop playing games.
This is an article written by PP1MT.
It is free for sharing, reblog and other forms of use.
tl;dr: I think the gaming community needs to grow up.