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Toxicity in Gaming

Rate this Article Toxicity in gaming is a very serious problem that developers seem to avoid addressing like its the plague with the exception of the very few exceptional cases. Find out more by reading on! MMO Square - Toxicity in Gaming

If you haven't seen or heard people being insulted in an MMO, then you're perhaps not as hardcore an MMO gamer as you might think you are, unless of course, you only play MMOs with real life friends that you know. Seriously though, toxicity in gaming is on a rise in MMOs regardless of the genre and it’s about time we do something about it!

First off, what “toxicity” actually mean? Well, in the simplest terms, if a player is the embodiment of every kind of bad (the universal kind of “bad”, mind you) that you can think of, they are considered “toxic gamers”. They ruin everyone else’s gaming experience and influence other more susceptible players to be toxic as well.

There are a couple types of common toxic behaviors such as flaming or raging, trolling and griefing. In raging/ flaming, toxic players will start sprouting profanity with the fluency that may even surpass their grasp on their own native languages. This is one of the most dangerous types of toxicity in gaming as it will spread its influential tentacles and grab hold of every other player in the game. Sometimes, things got so heated that the barrage of verbal abuse, including sexist, racist, anti-family or homophobic remarks, are brought from the match into the global channel.

Trolling is perhaps one of the worst in the lot as well. They just love their amusement of provoking other players into blowing their top off like a volcano. In fact, trolling is probably, 50% of the time, the cause of raging. Trolls can be really hard to shake off as they tend to harass you just as a blood-sucking leech would do. Also, “jokes” that are only funny to you or those rare few trolls, who are just like you, are best not mentioned in any public channel ... at all.

Unlike other forms of toxicity, griefing is perhaps one of the most frustrating toxicity to deal with as you couldn’t just mute them away. Griefing is not at all “verbal” (well, most of the time anyway), instead, they ACT out their toxicity via in-game actions. They may decide to steal your kill after you’ve waited ages for an elite to respawn, camp on a player’s corpse or spawn site, block a player’s way on a narrow path intentionally, or go all “Leeroy Jenkins” in every raid he/ she is in... and now comes the most defining word for griefing... REPEATEDLY. Once is bad enough, but twice? Or even thrice? Well, that’s enough!

In fact, if you’re a huge fan of MOBAs, you should already know the word “feeder”. For those who don’t, a feeder is a type of griefer, who intentionally throws a team-based match by giving the opponents’ multiple easy kills for the entire match. This doesn’t mean that he or she is merely a bad player, they will just run straight at an enemy without attacking or just stand there doing nothing out in the open waiting to be killed. To be on the record, I have nothing against noob players as we all have to start somewhere, but players who intentionally screw their team over when they know the team has to put up with it are practically the devil incarnates.

That being said, it’s great to see some companies, like Riot (League of Legends), taking a tough and firm stance against toxicity in their games. However, more companies should participate in the effort to curb toxicity before it is too late. Just take a look at Heroes of Newerth. It used to be a strong competitor to League of Legends and DotA 2, you know. Now, it’s barely a whisper due to the overwhelmingly horrendous “toxic spillage” in the game.

So, as players, let’s urge companies to help make our gaming environment better by preventing and reporting toxicity in games, and also do our roles to help the companies of the games we love in whichever way possible. Toxicity is not something that we need to tolerate – it’s a problem that can and should be solved!

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