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Gaming and Poor Sportsmanship

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May 24, 2007 11:15:10 AM

I work full-time, am nudging 30, and, in my spare time, I enjoy the odd game or two online.

Increasingly, I'm finding there to be an ever growing element of aggressive tantrum throwing gamers out there. I'm not talking about kids alone here either, instead (and more appalling in my view), I'm finding grown men to be spewing their guts out over the most benign of issues; this is particularly the case when it comes to them losing "team" matches.

"Its just a game, man" seems to have been lost on many. In fact, the competitive nature of many online games these days is so prevalent that for casual gamers like myself its often frustrating and downright disappointing to log on to see some guy chucking a spat at others or yourself just because you made a mistake.

I dont know if there's many others out there finding the same. All I can say is, that I find it to be horrendous behaviour, particularly when I know its adults being irrational and ridiculous online. Primarily, we play the games for fun -- that should never be lost on the greater gaming community, or so I hope.
May 24, 2007 12:14:46 PM

Yeah, I get angry, especially in BF2.
May 24, 2007 3:52:31 PM

More than anything, this is primarily the reason I don't play multiplayer online nearly as much as I used to. I'm so sick and tired of the petty insults, poor sportsmanship, foul language, racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation epithets that I'm entirely reluctant to fire up Call of Duty 2 of FEAR online unless I'm going to play with friends. The thing that is probably most disturbing about this is that it reminds me of the kind of taunting and abuse that I expect from the jocks and popular kids back in high school. So now I have to deal with the same type of verbal diarrhea, except from geeks and nerds. So sad...

I've always leaned toward the single player experience over multiplayer, and the over the last few years the apparent increase in bad behavior has simply pushed me even further to single player. One thing I will say is that I've found there's less bad behavior online with RTSs like Starcraft and Company of Heroes as opposed to FPS games. Just my personal experience, not sure if anyone has seen the same sort of thing.
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May 24, 2007 5:08:50 PM

In games like Starcaft, it's usually a bad idea to type, it was a strategy I sometimes used, just get in a casual conversation to distract the person (dont do it halfway, start it at the start). I usually only say the f-word to someone if they tk'd me for no apparent reason, they usually apologize for it though after... In battlefield you can't really type, and when you're dead, alive players don't see what you typed. And there's no time to type gg at the end of a round, pisses me off, although I usually gg after a ladder match.

I also turn off voip on most games, except battlefield 2. There's something wrong with voip from games like source........ it sounds the same from the xbox360 and ps, it's nothing compared to programs like Teamspeak.

My point is, I don't usually type bad words, occasionnaly my acadian (new brunswick, not the acadians like the scorpion king) heritage comes out and I start swearing in Teamspeak, but there's no one under 18 and it's not directed towards anyone in particular, just my own stupid failings.
May 24, 2007 5:32:01 PM

I agree with you that the competitive nature of some online games (especially FPS team matches) can bring out the ugly side of some people. What I find extraordinary is that most adults I meet in person usually act much friendlier than someone I might meet playing an online game. (I could never imagine an adult coming up to me and actually trying to insult me in the same manner used to insult people in online games. :lol:  ) I think I do a good job keeping true to my good nature as I pump my opponents full of virtual lead :)  . I also think some of the people that spew verbose insults are actually kids and I do not want to use any abusive language around kids. I think most adults recognize that "it is just a game" (they just tend to ignore the fact that they are adults :wink: ), but they use the fact that it is a game to act immaturely by venting their anger and frustration on others. The instances of bad sportsmanship (trash talking in this case) among rivals is unfortunately too common during online gaming. I have learned to develop a thick skin from playing online FPS for many years. There are some servers that have rules and moderators that try to create a more enjoyable playing environment, but there will always be people online that are quick tempered, verbally abusive, annoying, and downright unpleasant: therefore, if you can not tolerate some of the player interactions you might experience during online play, your only solution is to avoid playing online.
May 24, 2007 7:07:24 PM

Or do what most people do that play online - avoid people. Like in Guild Wars, the hero henchmen are awesome (better than most players, and don't leave your group yadda yadda..), but after a while I missed the interaction and finding a human group became alot harder.
May 24, 2007 7:50:28 PM

Forming LAN parties is one way to have more control over who you play with, but LAN parties require some level of planning and more time invested (something the OP was relatively short on when it came to gaming).
May 24, 2007 8:19:37 PM

Yeah, thats why my living room has been transformed into a LANning room. Several friends have computers over and we just don't bother with the general gaming population.

FPSs are the worst though, by far. I haven't enjoyed an online FPS experience since the original Tribes.
May 25, 2007 10:23:43 AM

Insults and poor behaviour happen in anything competitive from work to sport to gaming. You'll always get people who do it. It's arguably more prolific or intense when it's online cos you have your keyboard warriors as they hide behind anonymity.

Personally I don't pay any attention to it. I'm lucky in that the game I play online is Eve Online and the ppl I play with all have a laugh and even if someone makes a mistake the only insult thrown is a friendly jibe even if the mistake costs everyone in the group a chunk of money etc.

Anyway, it's a part of life is the ultimate point I'm making. Ya just gotta deal with it.
May 25, 2007 7:37:50 PM

I think it's rude and uncalled for to throw insults at random strangers, but at my previous job we had a 360 in a conference room and we frequently played Call of Duty 2 during lunch. I have to say the trash talking was loud but always in good fun and no one ever got angry.

Well, I did a few times, but that was because we were being raped in a CTF map. I hate that...

I mostly stay away from the multiplayer gaming unless it's with people I know. I don't want to take the time to find that one exploit that can be used to own everyone, and I don't enjoy being exploited by it.
May 26, 2007 4:48:39 PM

We play quake 3 alternate fire break/lunch/whenever.. can't swear though.. so hard not to.. except calling each other bastards..
May 28, 2007 12:17:25 AM

I do tend to get angry at my own stupid mistakes and sometimes at others aswell, but i never insult people or curse at anyone over TS, usualy just curse out loud when the mic is on mute.
May 29, 2007 9:05:35 AM

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More than anything, this is primarily the reason I don't play multiplayer online nearly as much as I used to. I'm so sick and tired of the petty insults, poor sportsmanship, foul language, racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation epithets that I'm entirely reluctant to fire up Call of Duty 2 of FEAR online unless I'm going to play with friends. The thing that is probably most disturbing about this is that it reminds me of the kind of taunting and abuse that I expect from the jocks and popular kids back in high school. So now I have to deal with the same type of verbal diarrhea, except from geeks and nerds. So sad...

I've always leaned toward the single player experience over multiplayer, and the over the last few years the apparent increase in bad behavior has simply pushed me even further to single player. One thing I will say is that I've found there's less bad behavior online with RTSs like Starcraft and Company of Heroes as opposed to FPS games. Just my personal experience, not sure if anyone has seen the same sort of thing.


Thanks for contributing Rob (I know you're a busy chap, so I appreciate it). :) 

Yeah, it does appear to be the case that FPS online games seem to attract a "rougher" element (extremely subjective, I know, but from my own experiences I can say that would be primarily true -- in most instances, that is).

And it is off putting. I primarily enjoy RTS games; my favourite to play online is Kohan 2. Tragically, I've not felt like heading back there much of late simply because of the poor attitudes of many players there.

Online gaming -- like any other human interest/sport/hobby that is competitive -- attracts all types. But what does it say of people's character when we consistently see many displaying poor grace when they lose? Or when we consistently see the "stronger" players blaming the "weaker" players for a team loss?

We play to win, sure, but winning isn't everything. Putting forward the effort to win should be more than enough, particularly when it comes to recreational pursuits like gaming.

Not to sound ridiculous, but I'm glad to read here that others are also concerned by what they're experiencing online. At first I thought it may have only been a few, but over the years I see that its a solid percentage of people who behave poorly online.
May 29, 2007 9:15:41 AM

Yeah, good points that you make there.

And that's the thing: in "real" life, adults (for the majority), do not verbally abuse people over something as benign as a game loss. People are not as quick tempered when they're actually having to face each other in person; neither are they as irrational.

Which strikes me as being terribly hypocritical. Just because the "gaming world" is virtual, doesn't mean that it's open slather on "doing and saying" whatever one wishes. In fact, if ever a place has needed both common courtesy and common decency, its the world of online interaction.

Sure, many juveniles behave poorly online and I'm sure most adults recognise delinquent behaviour online when they see it and choose to shrug it off, or, if they're feeling obliged, say something to try and teach the kids to behave better.

Maybe its because of the games I play, but I do tend to see an every increasing amount of grown men (and women -- rarely, true, but still some ladies cant control their tongues online) who behave poorly and this disturbs me.
May 29, 2007 9:25:43 AM

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Or do what most people do that play online - avoid people. Like in Guild Wars, the hero henchmen are awesome (better than most players, and don't leave your group yadda yadda..), but after a while I missed the interaction and finding a human group became alot harder.


Ah, you raise a good point there too. I tire of the "AI" in every game after a while. Sure, programmers often do a terrific job at creating challenging and interesting AI opponents, but they're not often half as fun as playing somebody else from around the world. I particularly find this to be the case for RTS games.

And its natural for us want to interact with other humans in our online "virtual worlds". It makes the experience so much more enjoyable. We only have to look at the Sims and WOW to see how true that is.

Which is one of the reasons as to why I started this thread: to lament the fact that the enjoyment of that "interaction" is being heavily sullied by the poor sportsmanship and poor behaviour of many who play online. It is still the case -- for the most part, that is -- that in many sports poor sportsmanship or poor behaviour because of a loss is not only frowned upon, but unacceptable to many who are associated with the game -- players and spectators/supporters/fans alike.

I truly don't see why the online gaming world should be any different.
May 29, 2007 9:32:06 AM

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whilst i'm all for having fun and all that, i do find that i get annoyed at people who do not play as a team.

so yes, i may have thrown an insult or two if they muck about. if people wan't to do what they want, play with bots or a single player game.

as to the competitiveness, i won't insult a rival player unless i know them. then again, in CS:S for example i only play on one server. i have been playing there for over a year and so "know" most of the reg's. this greatly increases the enjoyment of the game i find as even when playing bad, you can still have a joke about it.

true, you will always get some people who irritate you perhaps by their attitude in chat or their playing habits( why do grown men spawn fire i do not know) but this can be greatly reduced by playing on well admined servers.


If someone is not contributing to the team game, or they're "mucking about" then I can understand a stern word or two being said. I'm more so talking about those who lose control online for no good reason other than the fact that they lost and they feel obliged to "blame" somebody for it (often the new person who, despite his/her best efforts, was simply not up to the same skill level as the other players). But skill level should never be an excuse for somebody to chuck off at another player. In fact, the "veteran", in that case, should feel obliged to help the new player out, regardless of whether a loss was incurred. That's my perspective on that. If, however, its as you say and a new person is rude and ignorant of the team's objectives, then sure, a stern word (not blatant swearing and foul language), but a rational yet stern word or two is fine by me.

And you're right, admin servers do help, to a certain degree.
May 29, 2007 9:37:57 AM

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Insults and poor behaviour happen in anything competitive from work to sport to gaming. You'll always get people who do it. It's arguably more prolific or intense when it's online cos you have your keyboard warriors as they hide behind anonymity.

Personally I don't pay any attention to it. I'm lucky in that the game I play online is Eve Online and the ppl I play with all have a laugh and even if someone makes a mistake the only insult thrown is a friendly jibe even if the mistake costs everyone in the group a chunk of money etc.

Anyway, it's a part of life is the ultimate point I'm making. Ya just gotta deal with it.


I understand what you're saying, Wolfy, but mate, I dont believe that foul language and irrational verbal spews are a common "part of life" that we have to accept. Sure, you're right, there's always an element of people in life that behave how they wish and don't give a damn about what others think of them. But, for the majority, people don't easily act irrationally in real life and I don't see why the gaming world should be exempt from everyday decencies. I don't believe we have to "accept" it, is what I'm saying.

I do understand what you're saying though. I'm just suggesting that the common decencies that people afford one another in real life are often not the same as the traits they display whilst online and I think that's a shame -- for all of us.
May 29, 2007 9:42:30 AM

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I think it's rude and uncalled for to throw insults at random strangers, but at my previous job we had a 360 in a conference room and we frequently played Call of Duty 2 during lunch. I have to say the trash talking was loud but always in good fun and no one ever got angry.

Well, I did a few times, but that was because we were being raped in a CTF map. I hate that...

I mostly stay away from the multiplayer gaming unless it's with people I know. I don't want to take the time to find that one exploit that can be used to own everyone, and I don't enjoy being exploited by it.


And that's a fair point too: there is such a thing as enjoyable "trash talking"; good natured gibes between people (who often no one another) that are harmless. I don't have a problem with that kind of good natured banter at all.

I'm more so talking about derogatory language and the ease with which many use it. Also, it's most often between complete strangers that I'm seeing it. Maybe that's the problem: it's too easy for strangers online to "chuck off" at one another; that they don't feel obliged to afford a stranger the same decencies with which they'd display in real life.
May 29, 2007 9:44:35 AM

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I do tend to get angry at my own stupid mistakes and sometimes at others aswell, but i never insult people or curse at anyone over TS, usualy just curse out loud when the mic is on mute.


It's admirable to note that you display self-discipline and restrain from irrationally losing control online. Have you experienced much in the way of what we're talking about here though? I'm interested to gauge how many believe its a problem.
May 29, 2007 11:03:08 AM

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Online gaming -- like any other human interest/sport/hobby that is competitive -- attracts all types. But what does it say of people's character when we consistently see many displaying poor grace when they lose? Or when we consistently see the "stronger" players blaming the "weaker" players for a team loss?

We play to win, sure, but winning isn't everything. Putting forward the effort to win should be more than enough, particularly when it comes to recreational pursuits like gaming.
I used to play basketball a lot in my youth and became very good at it becoming one of the best players in my year at school. The thing about playing a sport and a very competitive one like gaming is that you do play to win and you need to be aggressive about winning as well. What’s the point in playing a sport to win to only say “heh at least I tried, shame about the other people in my team”. What kind of fighting spirit does that show, would you think of someone that acted like that to want to win?

Gaming is the same, sometimes I play just to relieve stress and sometimes I play to relax and sometimes I play to win. Of course you would get annoyed when someone else in your team looses you the game, there would be something wrong with you if you where not. But there is a point in taking things too far and insulting someone about it. Sure I have found my self saying “what a stupid f**k” with the mic muted and sometimes I laugh at how stupid people are but it all depends in how much I am in to that game at that time.

But as many people have said, there are servers for competitive play and there are also servers for beginners and there are also servers for chilling out. Can you blame someone for getting annoyed and lashing out in a competitive server when someone who has only played for five minuets joins? Just like a pro tennis player would get annoyed if they lost because the person they where playing doubles with couldn’t play worse even if they lost both there arms.
May 29, 2007 3:00:49 PM

I think a lot of the internet multiplayer nonsense comes from the anonymity and lack of repercussions. These guys know you can't show up in their living rooms and react accordingly to what they are saying, so they feel like they can say whatever they want. They are probably experiencing real-life frustrations and have a lot of pent-up anger towards someone that they are unable or unwilling to vent. If you could find those same abusers and tough-talkers in real life and give them a nice, firm open-handed slap across the face you'd see big tears well up in their eyes. Cowards and blowhards all. As a friend of mine used to say, "They've got kool-aid for blood."
May 29, 2007 3:03:20 PM

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It's admirable to note that you display self-discipline and restrain from irrationally losing control online. Have you experienced much in the way of what we're talking about here though? I'm interested to gauge how many believe its a problem.


Now that I rarely play shooters and such online I dont really encounter it all that often, though back when i played BF2 a lot it was very widespread and it drove me to quit. Same thing happened with Stalker, which is a great game to play online btw. Only recent incident that comes to mind was while playing WoW when one of my guildies lost his temper, but he appologized afterwards.
May 30, 2007 8:15:54 AM

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I work full-time, am nudging 30, and, in my spare time, I enjoy the odd game or two online.


Well Brett, let's start off with concluding that what is actually happening. You, my friend, are getting OLD.

So, with that out of the way, there've been a couple of interesting reactions in the thread already and parts of the answer to your queries are combinations of that.

However, what I find most interesting is that the "rude" behavior you talk about is not limited to playing games in my personal experience. I see a "hardening" of society as a whole, specifically in the Netherlands but from these comments about online gaming I suspect it may be more of a global or at least a "western society" thing. I think this deserves more attention.

With respect to those replying that competition incites such behavior if the range of skills in competition becomes too broad: there is no reason why that cannot be handled in a normal (more civilized) way. Of course one can be annoyed. This is not about people that should or should not be annoyed at things, this is about how people react to their own feelings of annoyance in relation to others.
May 30, 2007 8:51:11 AM

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this is about how people react to their own feelings of annoyance in relation to others.
You will always get people who will react in different ways, some will keep it in and some will scream it down the microphone or let their fingers smoke. You can’t expect everyone to behave in a civilized manner, that in its self is unreasonable. Everyone no matter how hard or laid back has had moments where they end up screaming at something, just imagine what it’s like for someone that is not as chilled out or as laid back as you are.

In my experience of 8 years in online gaming all the ones that are truly annoying and get out of hand are always the ones to either have very squeaky voices (balls have not dropped yet) over the microphone or are very immature (again balls have not dropped yet) over the text. Of course you hear the odd grown man getting a bit carried away about something but they soon settle down once they have their blow out. You even get the childish adults that go around doing stupid things like killing there own team and making things generally unpleasant for you (you get that kind of thing in life anyway), but they are few and far in between.

I don’t actually think there is a problem here, this is just life and I would bet you would find some of the most childish adults and most concentrated amount of them at that when playing video games. Also you have to remember a lot of the people that play computer games online are socially retarded and don’t know how to interact with people so you need to keep that in mind when people seem unfriendly.
May 30, 2007 12:58:44 PM

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this is about how people react to their own feelings of annoyance in relation to others.
You will always get people who will react in different ways, some will keep it in and some will scream it down the microphone or let their fingers smoke. You can’t expect everyone to behave in a civilized manner, that in its self is unreasonable. Everyone no matter how hard or laid back has had moments where they end up screaming at something, just imagine what it’s like for someone that is not as chilled out or as laid back as you are.


As far as I'm concerned any type of "normal" behavior that people would display when they were in the room together, is acceptable online as well. "Normal" as in behavior that in general is accepted by others (to some extent culturally determined).
May 30, 2007 2:49:41 PM

But then everyone’s perception on “normal” behaviour differs in some ways to the next mans. For instance my friends and me will sit down and taking the piss out of each other, giving subtle taunts and random insults that mean nothing. But other people who heard the way I talk to people might get offended. Xbox Live is good for this as I have mad many friends over that service an just sit back and spraff random nonsense till the night ends but many people would get sick of this too.

But anyway what do you do with the people who can’t act normally with others, even in real life. If you put them in a room with other people they would either make a tit out of them self’s or would sit there and not talk/be anti social.

Anyway I have had some great game over Xbox Live and have spent hours on end with out problems, maybe some people get annoyed more than others about the way some people act but that is more the person who is judging’s problem than the person who is being judged. In all I can think of 2 people who I have had problems with over Xbox Live, over many hours of play. One was being racist and the other was a kid that decided to make funny noises over the microphone… both times they where promptly booted for the server.

Still don’t think there is an issue here, just old fuddy duddys making a mountain out of a grain of sand.
May 30, 2007 5:25:48 PM

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As far as I'm concerned any type of "normal" behavior that people would display when they were in the room together, is acceptable online as well. "Normal" as in behavior that in general is accepted by others (to some extent culturally determined).


I agree with you that any normal (/civil) behavior people engage in is welcome while they are online. Unfortunately, what is considered normal behavior online can not always be defined as civil.

The online gaming community could be considered a culture of its own. The lack of rules on many servers means that what you can do (or get away with) is acceptable: rude behavior could become rampant in such conditions. Furthermore, servers need active "admin's" to ensure people adhere to the rules. It is no surprise to me that some people exhibit poor manners while they play online. Imagine how people might behave if there were no laws or cops to enforce them? What would happen if there were no rules or referees in sports? How efficiently would these forums run (if they could be run) if there were no rules and no moderators! In any case it would just take a few bad apples to cause all hell to break loose. :twisted:

I support people exercising good manners during online play; that is why I also support the presence of a few good rules and administrators on each server. With some extra effort and good rules, good behavior could very easily become the norm in the gaming community.
May 30, 2007 7:35:59 PM

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Still don’t think there is an issue here, just old fuddy duddys making a mountain out of a grain of sand.


Old fuddy duddys making a mountain huh? I find it interesting what you say about how you and your buddies or whoever get talking and the things you say would probably offend most people but this is apparently just because our perception of normal is wrong and askew from what it should be...anyone else see a problem with that line of thinking?

There will always be differing view points but when you have been into that for so long you become de-sensitized to it. Like sitting in a room with a 60-watt bulb...you come in out of the sun and you think 'damn, its dark in here' but a few hours later you don't notice it and then you go back outside and think 'damn, its bright out here' when in reality nothing has changed in luminosity.

People run smak more on-line because in reality, what are you going to do to them? ban them? neat, they go to another server or create their own. People run smak because they aren't afraid of an ass-kicking that would happen if they ran it when people were right there. Yes its getting worse IMHO because society is slipping farther and farther into a 'me-first, screw you' mentality and youth of today are growing up with a instant-on, no-wait, don't gotta 'be kind, rewind' influence and when they get 'pwnd' by some 'n00b' they get irritated.

Solution? Wish I had one. The clan I am in doesn't tolerate that and myself and the other admins are quick with a kick or a ban, that's why I'm there. Either play with people you know won't do it or don't play...or just deal with it. I don't see a way out
May 31, 2007 12:51:39 PM

Yeah, that's what crapped me off about BF2. In my first two games I have heard things like 'U r a team of f$%#wits, aren't u' over the teamspeak from my own teammate as well as a large range of other various insults. Also, there was stuff like total lack of acceptance of newbies: I once got into a plane with the other guy in the pilot's seat and he wouldn't take off and actually initiated a vote to kick me until I got off the plane. Needless to say it the game got uninstalled after that because I wont put up with crap like that and BF2 is garbage without vehicles of which there are not enough in the levels.
May 31, 2007 1:28:13 PM

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Still don’t think there is an issue here, just old fuddy duddys making a mountain out of a grain of sand.


Im 20 and i find such blatant disrespect towards others very irritating, is 20 an old fuddy duddy in your mind?
May 31, 2007 4:25:01 PM

Sorry take out the old part, being 22 my self I really hope that is not old :?

Anyway who is to say what is normal and what is not, I guess you can only state what is normal or a better way to put it what is not abnormal to the current group you are in. If you get a group of lads in a server that are all taking the piss out of each other and having a good laugh calling each others mothers nasty names and someone who would be emotionally hurt buy these comments comes in to the server then the normal person in that situation is not the person who likes polite conversation and has good manners it is the people who are being rude, obnoxious and letting out steam.

What I think is happening is that in the real world you have to be polite and you have to act in a nice manner towards people. But what happens online is that you can be your self from the get go, in the main part the actions you do on the internet follow no repercussions so you can just relax and chill out. So rather than people acting more rude on the internet what I think is happening is that people are acting more like them self’s with out all the face that they have to put on when they are out in public. After all would you expect someone not to be them self’s in the comfort of there own living room, internet or no internet?

Anyway this whole thing about normal people is complete rubbish the more I think about it, there is what is normal to you and nothing else. I don’t believe there is such a thing in this world as a global meaning of normal. I just think there is normal to what you are used to and you can’t expect anyone to act the way you expect them to because normal to you can be abnormal to someone else.

So with that in mind, what are you asking people to be? Polite? Because I think that is too much to ask for, for games that a lot of people use as stress relief. And again would you expect someone to be artificially polite in the comfort of there own home?
May 31, 2007 8:46:09 PM

I use games as a stress relief, but i dont concider verbaly abusing someone is within the acceptable boundries of stress relief. All im asking is for a little concideration towards others. Im not someone who shies away from curse words and such, in fact i use them very often, but not to belittle someone else to make myself feel better, which verbaly abusing people over the internet is.

When a bunch of mates play in the same server and rip on eachother i see nothing wrong with that, thats the kind of behaviour that runs rampant at where i work and its acceptable becasue everyone knows its in good humour. Thats the same kind of behaviour i engage in online games aswell, with friends i know in real life, but we do it in a different communication system that isnt open to everyone else playing. But the issue that bothers me is when random people belittle other random people in a game thats suposed to be fun or for relieving stress.
May 31, 2007 9:10:12 PM

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But the issue that bothers me is when random people belittle other random people in a game thats suposed to be fun or for relieving stress.


I believe that is the crux of the issue and what needs to be addressed. Talking smak on your friends is one thing in a private channel but running your mouth to random people just shows a lack of maturity...good call antikristuseke
June 1, 2007 12:05:47 PM

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Anyway this whole thing about normal people is complete rubbish the more I think about it, there is what is normal to you and nothing else. I don’t believe there is such a thing in this world as a global meaning of normal. I just think there is normal to what you are used to and you can’t expect anyone to act the way you expect them to because normal to you can be abnormal to someone else.


Apologies beforehand if I take this out of context or carry it too far but I really hope that we have a common ground on what can be expected to be normal and what is not. Some UN manifesto's spring to mind.

Whether that common ground extends towards behavior while playing online games, may be that is too much to ask but I would hope it is possible. I agree with previous respondents that circumstance is key here: if you are familiar with people you can act in a different way than when you are engaging in activities with total strangers. That holds for both on line or off line behavior, but somehow it seems easier to do irl. I would kind of be dissappointed in the human race in general if the only difference there would be the fear of repercusions from people that are actually in the same room, as opposed to basic human dignity and general pleasantness.
June 1, 2007 6:09:57 PM

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So with that in mind, what are you asking people to be? Polite? Because I think that is too much to ask for, for games that a lot of people use as stress relief.

I think it is just as irrational to expect people to tolerate blatant disrespect. Since it is not enough to simply ask people to be polite, the enforcement of a few simple rules would deal with those that ruin other people's fun in public servers.
June 1, 2007 8:14:59 PM

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I would kind of be dissappointed in the human race in general if the only difference there would be the fear of repercusions from people that are actually in the same room, as opposed to basic human dignity and general pleasantness.

Yes, that would be sad. I think it is important not to overgeneralize here. Although courtesy is something that is taught to us from an early age, I think nearly all the people that type and play online are intelligent and have some idea of common courtesy. Just think about it: we are all typing to each other in English and when we are taught how to read and write English we are also thought how to address people politely (or should be taught how to do so :wink: ). There is nothing artificial about courtesy: it is part of our language and the learning of speech comes naturally to the human race. I also think that there is nothing artificial about people cursing, because cursing is a way of showing resentment. I would also like to add that urinating is completely natural, but there is a time and place for everything.

It makes sense to show respect to strangers (whether your online or not) because it is less physically and mentally draining to get along with people rather than to confront and insult random strangers for no good reason. I think the majority of people playing online want to get along and show respect, but when they are confronted by someone that insults them, I believe they feel obligated to defend themselves (rightfully so) and show their own resentment for the offensive behavior. I also believe that the majority of the people that disrespect others are driven by fear that they themselves might get disrespected. (In this case it is an irrational fear. which causes them to confront people irrationally.) Replacing the irrational fear that they might get disrespected with the rational fear that they or anyone else that is disrespectful will get kick/banned will be a deterrent for them from insulting others. (In both cases these people's actions would be controlled by fear.) Then there are others that don't fear being disrespected and act like they are on some sort of crusade to disrespect everyone they meet online (like some sort of village idiot that decides to urinate in the town well :lol:  ): these people are obviously suffering from some sort of mental and/or emotional problem(s) in their life, but they should not be allowed to disrupt everyone else's fun on a server.

So, I basically believe that people want to get along with other people because they themselves want to be respected, but it is a fear of getting disrespected that causes some people to behave irrationally and start disrespecting others. Server rules are not there simply to pass judgment on other people; they are a means to achieve a more pleasant gaming environment for the general public.
June 2, 2007 9:13:10 AM

nice post. Could not agree more.
June 4, 2007 5:17:07 AM

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But then everyone’s perception on “normal” behaviour differs in some ways to the next mans.


General civility should never be an issue: good manners, ethics and honourable conduct might be old fashioned but are just as prevalent today as they were of yesteryear.

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For instance my friends and me will sit down and taking the piss out of each other, giving subtle taunts and random insults that mean nothing. But other people who heard the way I talk to people might get offended.


And that's fine. I'm talking specifically about strangers being irrational towards one another.

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Still don’t think there is an issue here, just old fuddy duddys making a mountain out of a grain of sand.


:lol:  If you consider 29 to be old then wait until you get here -- it aint old! I assure you.
June 4, 2007 5:49:12 AM

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Sorry take out the old part, being 22 my self I really hope that is not old


I thought you had to be younger. :wink:

You still think we're fuddy duddies though; that's a trifle disconcerting -- for several reasons.

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Anyway who is to say what is normal and what is not, I guess you can only state what is normal or a better way to put it what is not abnormal to the current group you are in.


I disagree. That's an extremely narrow minded perspective because it alienates yourself and "your group" from the rest of a society that you're obviously a part of; the interdependence within our societies is still as prevalent today as it was for generations past. Common civility -- and all that implies -- is still commonly accepted by the majority. These are social constructs that have evolved over generations and are commonly accepted by all as being the best way for people of our species to interact. "You and your group" are not separate to this and I believe its a tragic mistake to every believe you are. You understand and acknowledge good manners and common civil interactions -- you know of them, is what I'm saying -- so if you're not ignorant of said understandings why else would you not want to interact in a polite and civil fashion? What possible excuse could there be?

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What I think is happening is that in the real world you have to be polite and you have to act in a nice manner towards people. But what happens online is that you can be your self from the get go, in the main part the actions you do on the internet follow no repercussions so you can just relax and chill out.


That implies that people are walking around all day in some kind of facade: that people are actors who don't show their true feelings or emotions within their respective socieites. It's ludicrous to suggest such a thing. People are not being "polite" because they feel they have to: they're being polite because they understand and acknowledge that employing good manners/graces is an important aspect of living within a interdependent and civil society. Yes, people get to "relax and chill out" but if they're being rude jackasses online because that's who "they really are" then its hardly acceptable, especially not when so many others expect there to be civil and good natured interactions online.

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So rather than people acting more rude on the internet what I think is happening is that people are acting more like them self’s with out all the face that they have to put on when they are out in public.


That's farcical! What society do you live in that has shaped your perspectives so? I acknowledge that people do have "public faces" and "private faces" -- I understand what you're saying there -- but its hardly relevant to good manners and civil behaviour, unless, of course, we're talking about nihilists or sadists. I do not believe that people are only polite because that's their "public face". The world's people would be in conflict far much more if that was so. You're arguing against centuries of enlightened thought and social construct evolution. The "up yours" jackass, MTV, revolution is not here, I assure you. That marketeer's clever consumerist production is hardly commonplace.

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After all would you expect someone not to be them self’s in the comfort of there own living room, internet or no internet?


Absolutely! So at home you're not polite and civil towards your family? Or that you believe people at home are not good-natured towards one another?

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Anyway this whole thing about normal people is complete rubbish the more I think about it, there is what is normal to you and nothing else.


No, that is not correct. There are common civlities that people follow -- and have followed for many centuries -- whereby the individual understands the importance of his/her place within a community and that in being a part of said community, the individual abides by certain commonplace understandings on polite, civil discourse. An individual's perspective in this regard is secondary.

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So with that in mind, what are you asking people to be? Polite? Because I think that is too much to ask for, for games that a lot of people use as stress relief. And again would you expect someone to be artificially polite in the comfort of there own home?


So you're happy for people to be impolite and rude at their own whim? For them to abuse strangers for no other reason except because they can? So that they can "de-stress". That's an appalling attitude in my book. Its not about being "artificially polite". Only sadists and cynics feel they can act in such a fashion all the time.
June 4, 2007 12:23:04 PM

If you lived in Edinburgh and went out in the areas I used to live in you would soon see what people are like. I may be young but I have experienced a lot of things that happen in the world and I try my best to analyse the way people act. Even on the streets you get people who act rude and have nothing but contempt for other people, in the office and even back to school you always had people that just could not be polite no matter how hard they try. My self, I am overly polite when it comes to people and the face I put on in public is different from how I am when I am with my family and friends. My girlfriend even gets annoyed because some days I will come back from work and I will keep saying sorry too much and acting generally over polite.

What I have to ask is, are a lot of you oblivious to how the world is in this day and age. Might just be how I have been brought up, in a very rough neighbourhood in one of the worst schools in Scotland. But I see violence and down right arrogance on a daily basis, it could even be my background in sales as well because the amount of sleaze I have to work around is verging on the intolerable.

It is easy to say that the world has a general code of civility but in practice not many people keep to that. Sure when your on business you have to be very polite but when ever you become friends with someone just like I am with a few of my clients you can throw all aspects of politeness out the window. In all my experience with the people I work with and what I have seen from my point of view, politeness is not a way of life it is more of a screen put up to make sure you don’t have any conflicts, but then not everyone likes avoiding conflicts.

Same with my job, sometimes I need to make random calls to businesses. Some people will answer the phone very politely and some will answer the phone with the tone of “what the fuck do you want”. Thing is that does not bother me, I just see it as the way of the world, I don’t expect everyone to be polite. Expecting that in my view is truly farcical and shows great misunderstanding of the way in which people are.

Show me one truly polite kid and I will bare my bear back side on national television. Politeness is something that is programmed in to us from a very young age, it is not something we truly are. The thing you will notice, more so if you live in bad areas is that a lot of single parents will not teach their children common decency. So more than ever we are getting an influx of people being brought in to this world who are being more rude and more violent than ever.

Things are only going to get worse, with the break down in society we have today with what I have even seen first hand. Mothers are brining kids in to this world with out there fathers, and all they have in their minds is dumping off the kids and getting drunk and bringing men home. So when the kid needs any attention or any direct the words they get from their mother is “fucking shut up”. My view has been given to me by living life in a world where things aren’t filled with politeness and when the biggest problem is not how someone treats you.

The world is not fully civilized yet and anyone who thinks it is, is the truly misdirected one.
June 4, 2007 11:45:30 PM

Usually, multiplayer online game servers are administered by a clan or group, and it is up to them to monitor and kick or ban abusive players. I am part of a clan of Medal of Honor online players and although we do not currently have a game server running, we used to and we had rules about abusive players or behavior. Good natured fun and kidding are ok, but when it starts getting serious or someone is really being abusive, we'd usually kick that gamer off the server. If they come back and continue to be abusive, we'll either kick them again and continue to do so, or ban them. We have even kicked our own clan members who become abusive.

My advice is to try different servers and find one that is compatible with your sensibilities.
June 5, 2007 1:05:13 AM

I've been gaming online for quite awhile myself. I agree that it has gotten worse just as the world itself seems to have hardened. Those of you that say deal with it or that's just part of it are among those who have been desensitized and will help the next generation grow even more desensitized to the point of letting anything go. Sadly people don't care about this fact and don't want to wake up. I have a couple kids who are anxious to join me online as I'm the leader of a nearly 200 player gaming community but I don't want them walking away acting like the people I see online. What you hear eventually leaks into you and then comes back out. I think it's sad that when it comes to a game, something that's supposed to be enjoyable and not as serious as the other things around us, that we turn into such a serious matter and lose our minds over it.
You dissagree? That's probably because deep down inside you don't feel like you should have to change your behavior and because you just don't care. Throw that monkey off your back that's called pride and help the gaming community become enjoyable again for everybody. A little respect for others goes along way.
June 5, 2007 2:07:04 AM

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If you lived in Edinburgh and went out in the areas I used to live in you would soon see what people are like. I may be young but I have experienced a lot of things that happen in the world and I try my best to analyse the way people act. Even on the streets you get people who act rude and have nothing but contempt for other people, in the office and even back to school you always had people that just could not be polite no matter how hard they try. My self, I am overly polite when it comes to people and the face I put on in public is different from how I am when I am with my family and friends. My girlfriend even gets annoyed because some days I will come back from work and I will keep saying sorry too much and acting generally over polite.


Hi, Caf. I just re-read my post and I dont want to give you the impression that it was a personal attack -- it wasn't meant in that tone, I assure you.

Yeah, and those empirical observations of yours are fully objective and I respect that. Do you believe its made you a little cynical about our species, though?

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What I have to ask is, are a lot of you oblivious to how the world is in this day and age. Might just be how I have been brought up, in a very rough neighbourhood in one of the worst schools in Scotland. But I see violence and down right arrogance on a daily basis, it could even be my background in sales as well because the amount of sleaze I have to work around is verging on the intolerable.


Fair enough. I grew up in a relatively peaceful environment where good people were well and truly in the majority. I have to say, I've seen the worst side of our species up and close and personal over the last decade, but that has not shaded my thinking in relation to human behaviour and what we're about. I believe strongly in the "conditioned good" of people; and that I don't believe people are born "evil", for the lack of a better term.

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It is easy to say that the world has a general code of civility but in practice not many people keep to that. Sure when your on business you have to be very polite but when ever you become friends with someone just like I am with a few of my clients you can throw all aspects of politeness out the window. In all my experience with the people I work with and what I have seen from my point of view, politeness is not a way of life it is more of a screen put up to make sure you don’t have any conflicts, but then not everyone likes avoiding conflicts.


I understand what you're saying, but I'm sorry to say that we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I dont believe civil and polite behaviour are "masks" that people put on to get by in the world.

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Same with my job, sometimes I need to make random calls to businesses. Some people will answer the phone very politely and some will answer the phone with the tone of “what the **** do you want”. Thing is that does not bother me, I just see it as the way of the world, I don’t expect everyone to be polite. Expecting that in my view is truly farcical and shows great misunderstanding of the way in which people are.


Let's not put the cart before the horse there, Caf. Again, I feel I need to re-stipulate the context of this thread: strangers abusing strangers over trivial or benign issues in the gamin world; or, because they simply can abuse a player online and do so liberally and without reason.

You're example is a very specific example of a societal nuisance: cold calling. I worked in a call centre for 6 years and know every "slam selling" technique in the book. Its not the way of the world for people to unethically sell products over the phone and expect that "this is the way it is". I dont expect people to be polite to nuisance callers who are trying to flog often overpriced and unnecessary products to them. Its the cold caller/telemarketer who's "out of sync" with the world and not the prospective purchaser that he/she is "targeting".


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Show me one truly polite kid and I will bare my bear back side on national television. Politeness is something that is programmed in to us from a very young age, it is not something we truly are. The thing you will notice, more so if you live in bad areas is that a lot of single parents will not teach their children common decency. So more than ever we are getting an influx of people being brought in to this world who are being more rude and more violent than ever.


I know plenty of children (friends, acquaintances and family) who are polite and well behaved children. Sure, they're still kids, but they're not rude and they understand the importance of good manners, etc.. Like I mentioned, its the social constructs of good naturedness that we apply to our kids that help shape -- with social enviornmental factors -- who they become. I understand what you're saying about more children not having these traits, but are you not being a little cynical in this regard?

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The world is not fully civilized yet and anyone who thinks it is, is the truly misdirected one.


Oh, I'm not some Utopian dream-head. I'm not some idealist out there spruiking the "greater good is here and its never been better!" But its important to look at our sociatal evolution, and, in particular, to look at the last 400 years of philosophical and cultural development. Since the Renaissance, our species has made leaps and bounds in social enlightenment. This cannot be easily discarded or ignored.
June 5, 2007 2:10:39 AM

Thank you for contributing, Zor.

I dont have children, but can understand why you would be concerned about the "desensitizing" that could affect their online experience. In fact, it opens up a whole new can of worms: being confident that your kids are having a good time without being "slammed" verbally by some online thug/fool.
June 5, 2007 10:39:52 AM

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You dissagree? That's probably because deep down inside you don't feel like you should have to change your behavior and because you just don't care. Throw that monkey off your back that's called pride and help the gaming community become enjoyable again for everybody. A little respect for others goes along way.


I think the key word here is "care". We should care about each other, and we should even try to care for those that somehow seem unable to care for anyone else but themselves. There is usually a reason as to how they turned out that way.

Caring about someone you have never seen before in your life is not something that comes naturally to a lot of people, and so a good guideline that has been teached to most of us since aeons is to treat others like you would like to be treated yourself.

To Cafuddled: I know the world is not perfect, far from it even but that doesnt mean we should not try our bit to make it a better place?

There are not many people around that will abuse you, if you show them you genuinely care. That statement explicitly excludes people with a serious addiction, which is why addiction is as destructive as it is. Addiction can really kill human relationships.
June 5, 2007 6:31:44 PM

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I work full-time, am nudging 30, and, in my spare time, I enjoy the odd game or two online.

Increasingly, I'm finding there to be an ever growing element of aggressive tantrum throwing gamers out there. I'm not talking about kids alone here either, instead (and more appalling in my view), I'm finding grown men to be spewing their guts out over the most benign of issues; this is particularly the case when it comes to them losing "team" matches.

"Its just a game, man" seems to have been lost on many. In fact, the competitive nature of many online games these days is so prevalent that for casual gamers like myself its often frustrating and downright disappointing to log on to see some guy chucking a spat at others or yourself just because you made a mistake.

I dont know if there's many others out there finding the same. All I can say is, that I find it to be horrendous behaviour, particularly when I know its adults being irrational and ridiculous online. Primarily, we play the games for fun -- that should never be lost on the greater gaming community, or so I hope.


There are different levels of players and they play for different reasons. It's all about finding a group that you match up with. Having some dumbass noob on your team can really suck and calling them on it is entirely appropriate. There are, of course, varying degrees of politeness that this can be approached with but it's really best to base your response on how intelligent and constructive their criticisms were, not whether or not they dropped the F-bomb and told you to take a flying leap off a tall building. Sometimes people come across far more harshly then they mean to, sometimes they are just pricks. There's nothing you can do about it either way except leave so the real question isn't whether or not they were nice to you it's whether or not they gave you useful information or if they are morons blaming their own failure on their teammates.

I'd rather play with a skilled, arrogant, asshole who gave articulate criticisms then with some super-friendly cute-sounding-girl who constantly says "it's just a game" as an excuse for not trying to improve and never taking criticism seriously. If you want to chit-chat go to IRC. Games are for competition.

If any of you are familiar with "dives" of "Onyxia Wipe" fame that's a perfect example. The guy goes completely ballistic when people screw up. But if you're familiar with the encounters he is talking about everything he says (and you can find several recordings from different encounters) is completely 100% spot-on. I wish I had been able to game with someone like Dives as apposed to the crappy inarticulate and stupid people I ended up playing with instead :/ 
June 6, 2007 4:38:13 AM

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There are different levels of players and they play for different reasons. It's all about finding a group that you match up with. Having some dumbass noob on your team can really suck and calling them on it is entirely appropriate.


Nobody should have a problem with constructive criticism -- and if they do, then they're too sensitive, for sure -- but I'm talking about rude players who are simply that way for the sake of it. Also, its important to note, in the RTS games I play online whereby the teams are decided before the match is launched, the "Veterans" have every chance to see who's on their team and the skill level of each player. I see this time and time again: the veterans spew after the game -- blaming everything on the new guy -- but knew all along that they were new and couldn't contribute as much as a seasoned player. That, to me, is plain wrong. It's immature and arrogant behaviour; it's incorrigible.

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I'd rather play with a skilled, arrogant, ******* who gave articulate criticisms then with some super-friendly cute-sounding-girl who constantly says "it's just a game" as an excuse for not trying to improve and never taking criticism seriously.


And that's fine. I'm not talking about "it's just a game" being an excuse. However, it is, after all, a game and it's played first and foremost for entertainement purposes. It often surprises me how often so-called "veteran" players are willing to play with noobs who most often are not as half as competitive when they first start out as opposed to after they get a few matches under their belts, so to speak.
June 6, 2007 4:48:36 AM

I couldn't agree more that finding the right group of folks to game with is very important, but there will always be an even larger group that you must interact with and have no control over. I have always subscribed to Robert Heinlein's maxim that the first sign of a decaying civilization is a loss of personal courtesy, and as a teacher I do everything I can to train my students to be polite. Unfortunately, I see them 50 minutes a day, while during the other 23 hours and change they are bombarded with examples of the exact opposite behavior. Nonetheless, I continue to fight the fight everyday, in the hope that I make a little bit of a difference somewhere down the line. Our society and culture are what we as a group make them, and when we allow incivility, disrespect, and obscenity to become the norm we are ALL lessened as a result. Don't make excuses, don't condone the illiterate clods - exercise your right to make your culture a better place!
June 6, 2007 6:16:24 AM

Here! Here!

That's the vibe I dig reading. :) 
June 6, 2007 6:39:39 AM

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If any of you are familiar with "dives" of "Onyxia Wipe" fame that's a perfect example. The guy goes completely ballistic when people screw up. But if you're familiar with the encounters he is talking about everything he says (and you can find several recordings from different encounters) is completely 100% spot-on. I wish I had been able to game with someone like Dives as apposed to the crappy inarticulate and stupid people I ended up playing with instead :/ 


It's not just about being right, part of being a good teacher/sharer of knowledge is bringing your message across. And just ranting at someone is not even about sharing knowledge, it is about venting frustration and suppressing personal insecurity.

When there is a very close trusting relationship between the master/teacher and the pupil, years of working together at a very high skill level (of whatever it is they are doing), then you will see complete acceptance by the pupil when the teacher vents his frustration at times, not when you play with an anonymous newbie on a public server. It serves no purpose and it is rude.
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