Pop culture nowadays is any form of media that becomes popular enough to have a fandom. While the majority of the fans express positive emotions like shared love and passion for the characters, comes the negative. Toxic behavior on the internet isn’t something new and most of the time, and it’s these people who ruin the fandom. This type of manner is seen in different aspects of pop culture including movies, bands, and even video games.
Most people turn to video games because it provides low-effort entertainment value. Playing can be done at the comfort of home. Video games are not problematic in itself, it’s a mixed bag of toxic fans and opportunists who use any “issues” to further their selfish platforms, like social justice warriors and politically correct people piggybacking on controversies to seek attention.
Other notable toxic behaviors are by fans who are overzealous in pushing their views on others and defending the fictional game they love whether from criticism or against other people who don’t share the same opinion as them.
Toxic behavior has become rampant in online video games and most people ignore fans like these for self-preservation. Don’t let that stop you from sharing your thoughts about the game, but if you ever encounter toxic behavior online you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you out:
#1 Don’t Fight Fire with Fire
Most online trolls and toxic fans are after one thing: attention – and it’s best to not give it to them. When you get lured by their bait of trash talking or saying some slurs about genders, races, or stereotypes, they succeed in their mission to antagonize. Online people are more aggressive with harassment because they do so in the guise of a persona or under the cover of anonymity.
It’s best to step away peacefully and leave them to it. They’ll eventually get tired or in the best case scenario, be discouraged because no one is giving them attention. If you see something like this happening to somebody else, you can comfort them by advising them to ignore it and just move on.
#2 Mute Them
Nothing kills passion and love for the game than seeing someone being rude and unruly for no apparent reason. One way you can disentangle yourself from situations like these is to mute them in the chat or in the audio. This way you can still continue playing the game with no problems and they won’t know that you’re paying them no attention.
#3 Report Them
Due to the pervasive nature of toxic behaviors in the community, some games are structured to have limited interactions with strangers in the game. If the harassment goes too far like excessive name calling or threats, you can report them using the game client. Another instance that is report-worthy is when they go out of their way to message your game account to continue their slurs against you.
Organizations who receive the reports have a protocol that takes care of infractions like these. Penalties may include a strike or warning. In serious situations, their account is banned forever with no chance to plea which means that their rank, items, and skins will never be retrieved as punishment.
#4 Never Trash Talk
If you want to prevent toxic behavior in the community you love, you must first uphold the principle of never trash talking other players. Perhaps it’s fun and acceptable within your own set of friends, but never do it with people you don’t know. Spreading negativity even if you don’t mean anything by it will grow and multiply when you do it to others.
New players might also think that trash talking is acceptable behavior when it is not. This will lead to copying it in order to “belong.” The cycle will just continue on and on but you can prevent abusive online behavior by starting with yourself. It never hurts to be polite so be a good example to others.
#5 Remember That It’s Not Your Fault
It’s impossible to know what goes on inside the head of people with toxic behaviors. Others may be in pain in real life and use their anonymity online as an excuse to let out the hurt they are experiencing. There might also be others who are projecting their incompetence or insecurities onto others.
The onslaught of negativity may be overwhelming at first and it is an inherent instinct to feel hurt or anger. However, you should remember that in cases like these, it is never your fault nor is it about you. Be the bigger person and brush it off.
Final Word: Focus On the Fun
You play video games to have fun so choose to focus on that. If you’re trying to improve your gameplay or looking for ways to be better, consider getting or upgrading your gaming PC. The great thing about computers is that they’re multipurpose so aside from video games, you can do a variety of things with faster loading times making it efficient and convenient for you.
How do you handle yourself in situations where toxic behavior in online video games is very rampant? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.