If you’ve played an online game and looked at the chat, you’ve most likely experienced the type of negativity I’m talking about here. The type that just completely ruins the game and pulls the fun right out of the experience.
I’m going to pick on the Call of Duty player base specifically here, because that is where I spent most of my time online, but I know this problem happens in many games, cough cough LoL:
I’ve been playing games for most of my life. Online games have been part of my gaming experience for much of that time. I’m not sure the exact year I first started online gaming, but to give you an idea, we had a PC with a 32mb graphics card, and I had to use dial-up to even get onto the internet. Now don’t think I’m shaking my walking stick at the screen every time someone types “Get good scrub!!1!“, but I have played for long enough to remember when talking with people in game was actually fun.
It all started back with good old Call of Duty 4. When I played that game I had an awesome time, and to add to that the game had a really long life and a really nice community! Sure, there where obviously the tryhards moaning about how they were carrying the team and the occasional 12 year old (to be honest I wasn’t much older back then) who would whine about how everyone sucked except for him, despite the fact that he was peaking at a 0.5 KD. Those people will be everywhere, you can’t escape them. The difference was that they didn’t make up the majority of the CoD community.
I used to log in and actually chat to people, all in text since no one used voice chat on PC back then, and it was just a really fun time. I’m sure if you remember a time like this you will be putting on some nostalgia goggles right now.
The next game I moved to was CoD 2. Not Modern Warfare 2, no literally old school CoD 2. And amazingly the community got even better! People were friendly and wanted to chat and even find out how your day had been, or what you thought on a specific topic. I had quite a few really deep chats with guys from my CoD 2 clan, discussing things like religion, all through the text chat. Try bringing up your views on religion in a Black Ops 3 lobby now and see how deep of a conversation you get, that’s if anyone even responds. Or don’t, because it will probably just depress and annoy you!
After that Modern Warfare 3 came out and, if you don’t mind me bragging a bit, I was very good at that game! This brought a whole new side of the chat to me that I didn’t see coming. Suddenly my being good, must mean that I’m hacking. Right?!
“Click is obviously hacking”
– Some guy who is obviously not salty or bad at the game
I mean its the only way I could possibly be better than ‘that guy’, the greatest CoD player ever known! So while I was pulling 5-6 KDs, everything was ruined, especially by one person in particular. Looking back I honestly can’t remember his name, but there was one guy, who always ended up in the same lobby as me, and continually called me a hacker for the year odd I played the game. I loved that game, but looking back I remember the bad times more than the good, and I think I only really made one or two friends off the game.
Then I gave Black Ops 2 & 3 a try, and in those games I simply turned off all chat. That meant that I could just enjoy the game right? Unfortunately not. The reason I played more multiplayer than single player was because I enjoyed the interaction, the fact that I was beating or losing to a living breathing person. And crucial to that was the communication with them. Have you ever heard of being in a crowd yet feeling completely alone?
But if this is where we’ve gone in the past couple years, where exactly are we going to end up?
The next time someone is ranting at you or you feel like giving another player a piece of your mind, just take a second, take a deep breath and realise its not worth getting pulled into a toxic conversation. Just mute and report the person and carrying on enjoying your game!
I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to seeing this kind of behaviour in my VR headset one day!
How do you find chat effects you in game? Let us know in the comments below!