Are online games with player chat, always prone to developing toxic communities?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Lord KJWilliams, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    So I have been studying the issue of toxic players, or toxic communities. But what is the cause of it? Where do you draw the line with toxic communities for online gaming?

    I would like to know your opinions about this....

    Consider the following questions :

    • What do you do, when you have been playing a online game that has player chat, that has evolved into a toxic community, from the non-toxic community that you remember ?
    • Is it the fault of the game design, the fault of who plays the game, the age demographics of who uses the game, or a combination of the three that creates a toxic community?
    • How do you adapt to a game, that you have invested in ( time and/or real money ) and have enjoyed playing in the past, that has become difficult to enjoy because the people who now play it really have no respect for playing the game fairly with other online players currently?.
    • Is it hard to deal with a toxic community from the start , when your new to the game? ( e.g. RUST , visit Steam's website for more information )
    • Are online games with player chat, always prone to developing toxic communities vs. a online games that do not have any kind of player chat ( microphone or text )?
    • Is it inevitable that all online games will evolve to having a toxic community, regardless of a chat feature?
    What do you think?

    Thank you...
     
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  2. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    TF2 felt fine ish when I played it. I'd play with high level players and I only remember 2 or 3 people being absolutely toxic that I think we and the rest of the community blackballed them from their terrible attitudes. Back when I wasn't at that level, one of them was pretty hateful toward me, but it never bothered me. Most of the community would teach one another how to get better, because no one wants to play with an idiot on their team so you encourage them and give them tips and hope they listen or can manage it.

    It's the people in general and their backgrounds. Through my other TF2 friends I knew these three toxic people. One was a bell boy at a hotel in real life that was spending all his money on the game and stuck living in a terrible environment. One was just an absolute jerk because he thought it was funny to say the harshest things possible. Like he didn't play the game to enjoy the game, he played the game to insult people. Literally. As for the third, he was toxic in a different way... he'd be the star of the team and bail before victory on the hardest difficulty of Mann vs Machine. It was his way of saving money to leave before the last round, leaving the five lesser players to languish unable to finish the map.

    Beyond that, with trading there were a lot of scammers preying on idiots, new players and children. That makes for a toxic community, but there are others that look out for the idiots and just kick or ban the sharks. With that said, there are so many public communities for the game and public servers that no one monitors, so they can always shark people out of their good items.

    Even outside of TF2, there were games that would make fake TF2 items for the community market. I think that's a different issue with the point that anywhere there is money to be made, people will do what it takes to make it. Sure TF2 might have a micro economy, but there are plenty of lesser economies where a little money is big money.

    This all revolves around chat, but for TF2, instructions, talking and bargaining.

    You can always take more control of a community. I know plenty of developers / publishers are hands off. My friend works for a company that has 3 people hired for the company's Facebook page just to delete mean posts. There's probably now a catch all system in place. But she said it cost $60,000 a year to have 3 people working round the clock because their company made cheap knock offs for kids purses and that garnered absolute hatred.
     
  3. Cloaked Games

    Cloaked Games Member

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    This is a really interesting topic to me, and I want to see what others have to say about it. EDIT: Consider requesting this to be moved to Game Design and Publishing? I don't think this is off-topic at all!

    One game I've been playing recently that is relevant to this is Sea of Thieves. I think that as much as it technically depends on the people in the community as to whether it goes bad, that is also a rather useless sentence. To say one community is particularly toxic or nice is silly because I think the reason that happens is that either a game ends up fostering a nice community, or a toxic community. Nice people don't play in toxic communities, and toxic people go to other games where they can be toxic without being held accountable by nice people.

    So in Sea of Thieves, there's this tension at the very moment. You have two crowds of people. There are a lot of people who play because they like to role-play, they just want to #BeMorePirate and call their buddies "Scallywag" and "Scurvy Dog" and "Rapscallion". They might sink an enemy ship and take their loot since that's what pirates do, but they'll also look to team up to conquer a skeleton fort together because it's more fun with more people. There is also toxic player behavior, but it's really hard to define because Sea of Thieves is a pirate game, so the line between toxicity and good-natured piracy is fairly narrow. This question has come up a lot recently, particularly in concern with Summmit1g (which I will not comment on because I don't watch his streams, though I suspect I have a higher standard for fair play than he does).

    I've played Sea of Thieves since launch, and I still sometimes can't believe how easy it is to find a ship and make an alliance. Almost everybody I meet in that game are just other chill gamers, and if I want to hang out with some fellows on the sea, or build an epic fleet, or try trick-shots with the cannons, or play hide and seek on Wanderer's Refuge, or do voyages, then I can. They'll help me take revenge against that one dude that boarded my ship and stole my golden chicken (yes that happened. There was a pile of treasure and he just took the chicken). Or, if I want a battle at sea, people are game for that too. The most fun I have in that game is with other people and most of the community is on the same page and helps build that fun.

    And while it's easy to attribute that just to a bunch of cool people deciding to play the same game, that would really overlook all the effort Rare put into fostering that community. From the beginning, their design for Sea of Thieves was a community game, and they created that game intentionally. The pirate code right in the first tavern makes that intention clear (though on it's own it would be a pathetic joke). The Megalodon update required players to work together to meet certain goals, and while this was a clunky way of doing it, it worked. People liked playing with each other, and having a goal to meet encouraged gatherings at Shark-bait cove of friendly players waiting to help you sink the new dreaded beast. Later updates they continually add new tools for encouraging good player interactions. The flags made it easier to state your intent, the megaphone made it easier to communicate at distances, the alliances allowed people to share loot, and so much more. And, they direct address toxicity in their developer updates, saying, "this is not okay". While it might not convince the toxic players, it does encourage the friendly players to keep doing what they're doing and not give up. That's how you build a community.

    Not as related: For those who say "it's Sea of Thieves, not Sea of Friends"... first of all, the theming of a game has nothing to do with the gameplay or the designer's intent for the players. That's a ridiculous assertion to make. Second, I think "pirates" has a much broader definition than "jerks who kill noobs for fun". I imagine Sea of Thieves as the game of Captain Hook and his Jolly Pirate Crew, and while that might not be what everyone thinks, you can take a look at the art direction of Sea of Thieves and let me know if you see the connection. It doesn't look like Black Flag for a reason. I think to address the question of what toxic behavior looks like in Sea of Thieves, I like to think about it this way: is what I'm doing causing the other person to stop having fun? You can steal treasure and sink ships without making the other people feel upset, the treasure isn't worth anything anyways. You make it fun by bantering, using ridiculous strategies, and giving them a fighting chance even if you're going to crush them in the end. If any SoT PVP expert wants to spend a day obliterating me, but teaching me how they do it--entirely in pirate speak--please let me know.

    The point being, a friendly community can be developed and nurtured by the developers and the community alike. And, that's something we should strive to do.
     
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  4. Rob

    Rob Member

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    There are two games that I've played a LOT in my life. Infantry and Warband. They're both PvP multiplayer games (although Warband also has single player of course) and both games have/had their fair share of "toxicty". I could probably write an essay or two on my experiences but my main take is that people who play the same game 24/7 can turn from "I love this game" to "I hate this game for X reasons, and I'm still gonna play it because I miss the old days, but I'm gonna be a jerk doing it."

    And I'm not gonna lie. I've had my butthole moments too. When that happens, it's time to take a break, lol.

    I've also had the "pleasure' of being an admin on several servers for Warband and some players seem to just live to troll, to see how far they can get away with racism or to see if they can get people in trouble. I figure these types are probably young and/or immature though.

    I would expect all multiplayer PvP games to be like this but I guess not? (regarding TF2).
     
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  5. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    Online always toxic, because there's no repercussions being idiots on internet.
    Heck, you can even toxic on facebook.

    Try that stuff offline and you got a knuckle sandwich.

    The best to approach this is just using recommendation system, like being friendly puts your reputations up, and you can buy in-game items with those reputations.
    While being a jerk will mark your ID with red name.
    Also make it sure for some system to counter fake IDS, so they cannot do the fake reputation or reputation bomb.
     
  6. MishMash

    MishMash Member

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    Some games dont develop toxic communities. I personally found the Age of Empires community to be one of the most respectful. It seems that games with a high degree of strategy, where you are undeniably responsible for your own loss tend to garner less toxicity towards other players. Granted, there will always be frustration, but not necessarily a need for full blown toxicity.

    I also think the average gamer is more toxic than they may realise. "It's always someone else" "All these trolls" etc; are thoughts that the average gamer will have, however, often times people descend into a bad mentality or mindset and carry that forward into their other games. To be honest as well, sometimes people are just pissed off, they want to come on games and chill, and can't be bothered to deal with this all. I am definitely guilty of muting out my team and going off solo in team games e.g. Overwatch, because I enjoy playing the game, but don't have the energy to talk and be super positive after a long day.
     
  7. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    My worst kind of game is PVP teamwork games. I never want to play those kind of stuff anymore.

    The feeling of carrying your team is the worst.
    The feeling of toxic people blaming their teammates, while he playing bad is just disgusting.
    The feeling people bragging their PVP skills, is just ugh, who cares, you're not an athlete.

    I hate teamwork PVP game. Especially popular PVP teamwork games. So toxic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  8. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    We live in a society ... >ยจ: /
    I don't know, they're everywhere, would be a bit weird to make a circle around me or ask "can you move a bit, please"...
    *Press Start*
    Are you sure you've been studying or are you doing your homework based on the opinions you can find...
    *Press Start*
    I love seeing people make fool of themselves in their belief they're "better" than others.
    Good joke.
    We live in a soci... ok I stop : P
     
  9. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    Such subjects make me feel like a vegetable; it's like those reporters when they ask a poor citizen how it feels when something bad has happenned when the answer is just there. For me, at least.

    We have come to accept fantasy and a good sense of humor in society, based on the fact that most people know the difference between neglecting others and considering them. It was already complex before and it has always been "good exemples compared to misdirection". Now reverse and confuse a whole generation by encouraging the new one into the opposite of everything through stronger tools; with the fragile balance and different interests, the unfairness, unecessary directions, people start to dance an unecessary dance against others like in a bad reality show; you get its quality in the medias and the behaviour that comes with it. We have seen the evolution of entertainment and have adapted to its multiple changes; we "understand" what we're doing; but the youth discovers a world where killing is seen as fun as a game, with tv-ad talking about ruling on others, songs about beating others and more movies based on sophisticated violence than families, friends, values. You cannot be surprised by "toxic results".

    We have witnessed a bit the same in our own time, still not at such level, without absorbing everything. And many have had better social conditions to counter balance negativity. All this made it fun to get out an evening, sit in a park, go in a arcade and have a good time. I've never seen a person there making a fight for winning or losing; idiots would just place all their money on one cabinet and surround it to make sure others wouldn't join; you just went for something better then, and shared with the open crowd of players. Players wouldn't follow others as easily in their dance like today. I haven't even seen anyone making fun of a player new to a game or not as experienced; the pro just played or passed their turn but usualy it was the beginner to save money..

    I remember later when computers got connected in LAN; games like "duke nukem3d" "day of defeat" and "call of duty" made the place loud with great laughter and vocal with "cursing contest"; when they were not friends, players were just expressive, a smile on their face; they respawned, ordered food, and continued for hours; in the end it was "see you later". Games like "red alert" "ages of empires" "warcraft2" "starcraft" got players concentrated into their strategy, then shouting when the other player rushed in and when the battle was over; in the end, they congratulated themselves and followed with a new game. There was no personal attack against the person. But online, strangely, even during that time, the end was often the other player frustrated more than "wow that was fun!" but usualy it was just the "gg" disease; I've never understood why it was so important but not writting it could start a debate.

    I never buy a game for its online mode; a game is not supposed to be based exclusively on others; specialy with people cheating, hacking the games, the lag and line cut; as if the chat fight wasn't sufficiant; and if you pick a game for its chatroom, something isn't right; when I bought my first online pass, I wasn't happy because it was usualy free, but I thought twice before paying for a second one; I came to the conclusion that games are given free because it's not funny for the player in the long run; even the prices of dlc for some games are a joke; why would I give you money to face negativities; most games aren't even funny, joyful or interesting. Your console is not even a game console anymore but a record box. Some of your games are ideology promoters. And your sound device broadcast often worst things than the hotspices I thought I would get. So what do I do, I don't chat, I play; it's like real life, let them believe their actions, they're just lying to themselves. I still haven't paid for their new consoles and don't regret it.

    When I read this I believe you are trolling..
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  10. Roa

    Roa Member

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    Honestly, any competitive environment is going to be toxic, and its not the devs fault ever. **** talk and trying to one up people is always a thing, and being "toxic" is just the bad sportsmanship version of this.
    Any game or community where you are going to have competing over a value or resource like points/kills/loot/ or opinions is going to have this.

    You know how you handle it?

    Don't be a ***** and grow a thicker skin, and or block them if its really that bad. They only do it because they get fed fuel for the fire constantly with people bitching about it so much. You are giving them the reaction they want. There are options to block people, that's all you need. You're not going to just change the person's attitude. Its not the dev's job to control their audience either and is just a natural thing people do. They give you the tools to deal with it, with blocking and disengaging from chats. The more accessible and competitive the environment is, the worse it will be.

    People are more sensative to this than ever, and always trying to point fingers and come up with stupid unproven schemes to limit people's use in game and control people, and all the whining about it. That's far more annoying than a 12yo telling me I'm hacking, throws edgy racial slurs, and ****ed my mom for the 100th time.

    Its not nearly as big of a deal as people make it.

    edit: besides all that, when people are trash talking, it usually means they are losing, and not focused on the game, which means more wins for me lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  11. TheouAegis

    TheouAegis Member

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    I like trash-talking someone and building up the toxicity to the point that it escalates in a "heated" quarrel and then just leave with the last word. That dude will probably have a couple really, really crappy games afterward because he got so worked up over something that just became a jest for me. But in my next game, I'm back to being a nice, supportive teammate. LOL

    Although I do go toxic if people get upset at me for playing out of meta. Like, seriously bruh, if you think you need to play in meta, then you don't even know how to play, do you? It's at those times I either go full-tilt toxic with that guy (really pisses people off when you're toxic to them alone) or I straight-up break meta completely and politely bid the idiot well.

    On MMORPGs, though, I never dealt with toxicity that I can remember. I mean, you got a few people mad at you for stealing their kill or drops (bruh, if I could pick up your drop, it was no longer yours per the game's mechanics), but typically things were pleasant in MMORPGs that I played. That's why I stopped playing them -- everyone was so filial, the personal attachments became painful.
     
  12. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    I was talking to a friend about this and he said in a FPS community such as Borderlands, you have two sides that you encounter, you have toxic players and then you have the whiners and rage quitters. Especially, noticed in a mic chat set up, one person will whine because they were not moving when they spawned after they got killed, and when they spawned they got shot because they didn't move. So they whine, b*****, moan , and accuse people of spawn killing - when its their fault. But in the end they up being a mark for everyone to take advantage of. But the true example of an environment that I have watched youtube videos of is a game, called Rust . Rust has a reputation for being extremely toxic, which is noted on the remarks on Steams website which is where I found the game. And some people mark this as a downside - and stop playing it.
     
  13. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    Rust is a game that is intended to be toxic, and I found this youtube video of this kid who is playing this game getting looted and his base destroyed, and he starts to whine at the guy who keeps knocking him dead....

     
  14. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    Lol... Of course it's the dev's fault; give one player a gun, give the other player a gun; set them in a different corner; order them to kill the other; create a shiny colorful window named "leaderboard"; tell them they are special if they have a score; create an "achievment" section with cute little icons; plug them online for more nonsense with text, video options and updates of their progress; and ta-daaa!

    For greater laughter; give consoles and games an high price; focus products on a limited category; bring the spotlight as if it's the "great thing"; the more thrill and stress the better; and don't forget to call it a "game"; they gonna be so pissed when losing and so proud when winning, they will chew everything, believe it's their freewill, and will give you more money; you won't want to miss that reality show! And it's not the dev's fault if he was hired to make a game about trolling; we believe in a salary.

    Naa, can't be only the dev's fault; there's so many reasons to get toxic. And medias focusing on specific behaviors can make reactions "ordinary". Any competitive environment will have words, but to the point of being "toxic"... maybe in "hellkitchen" and those other shows... ah it's "hellkitchen"'s fault!

    "Go through" is the way, best is to just play, or to not play. It's disapointing to see some conflicts when knowing it can be different; it's irritating in the worst case. "Block" option is good but limited. Everyone builds and loses strenght; in the long run, we don't want debate and trolling, we want a pleasant time. The problem and solution will always be our consideration and our understanding.

    grow a thi... joke. ; D

    Most players have passed by that road. I don't see anything special about it. The person will progress and adapt in most cases or change game. Videogames are unreal, unimportant, pointless, empty; there's nothing in them that makes someone's existence better. Those who troll that person do so because they have lived the same and they use this low opportunity to feel "accepted" by the other players, it's just a weak expression; a need to be recognized and/or to find appreciation and/or to show strenght. All pointless. I haven't clicked the vid; those who want to be negative will succeed; then later they will step in someone else's shoes and change direction. Gotta play the mad hatter...
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  15. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    Yep, violence + competitive it just will bring any combat sport mentality trough table. Plus because it's online there's no penalty.

    Try that stuff offline, prepared to get penalty + booed + viral media talk.

    It even might destroy your career and your life.
     
  16. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    I like to think that he was trying to make Tennis as visible as possible. But running after a ball during hours can make things funny... Sport has become a business with millions on the line; anything is possible.
     
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  17. scorpafied

    scorpafied Member

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    It depends on the players u meet. If u run into higher level players people who are committed and love the game. Generally u will have a good positive experience.

    But most casual players tend to be rather toxic.
     
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  18. RefresherTowel

    RefresherTowel Member

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    The internet in general is toxic, especially the gaming section of it. Unfortunately, you only need a small portion of complete idiots to be very vocal and they can drive the narrative. The only real thing you can do is speak up against the toxicity every time you see it. If every average joe did that every time, it'd quickly kill the toxicity because there really is a lot more of us than there are of them. But that's unlikely to happen imo.

    EDIT: I mean, there's a few people in this thread alone saying basically "Just deal with it". That's why things won't change.
     
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  19. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    Darn it, I get an headache just trying to figure out on which side I stand >.<!
     

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