A problem with game communities

I’m all for MOBAs. They require skill and strategy, and are also very entertaining. I spent hundreds of hours playing the original DOTA when it first became popular. That’s one of the reasons that League of Legends sucks for me, as I miss the good old days of DOTA. However, when I played DOTA, I typically played with my friends over a network on our desktops; I never played with the online community. I consider this a good thing, because for the most part the community in League of Legends is a bit of a disappointment.

Honestly, this isn’t really that big a deal. Lots of communities have many toxic members when it comes to video games. However, it’s very off-putting for any newcomers. Level one players are looked down upon and mocked for their lack of skill, and it gets very excessive. It’s honestly why I stopped playing League of Legends for a couple years. This is a shame, because League of Legends is a great game. This problem with some members of the community is mostly made apparent by the inclusion of the honor system. With the honor system, you can reward other players for being honorable, friendly, or a great team player. However, you can also report a player if their behavior is an issue.

Though the honor system isn’t without its faults, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Every community needs some kind of moderator, so if toxic players get out of hand they can keep the chaos in check. Nothing’s perfect, but in this case something is certainly better than nothing. Developers can’t really take this too far because countless toxic players will inevitably fall through the cracks, and even if they could weed them out it would be something akin to a dictatorship. Please don’t misunderstand me, there are plenty of awesome gamers out there who are friendly and honorable; that goes for League of Legends as well. Honestly, I would say most people are fun to play with.

One good experience comes to mind. I believe I was around level 9 or so when the following story happened. After a match in which my death count was literally more than triple my number of kills, my team proceeded to tell me that I need to never play again, and that I should go hang myself. I didn’t reply, as I had no words to respond to what had to be the most awful thing anyone has ever said to me. Eventually everyone left except one person on the opposing team. They told me not to listen to the other players, and that I’ll get better the more I play, and that I should stick with it. That player is still in my League of Legends friends list to this day.

Why am I going on about this? It leads me to what I truly wish to discuss. I suppose that my previous complaints are simply how the world works. It’s full of slander, impatience, and high expectations. I understand that a lot of people don’t really care about the community. They simply ignore everyone else and have fun, and that’s a must because sometimes there are communities with members that can mar your experience.

I started writing this article with the underlying intention of complaining about the League of Legends community. Then I realized that most communities I’ve interacted with have their fair share of toxic members. Games are only as fun as we make them, and we can’t let other people change that. For instance, I absolutely love the game Darksiders. Even though it’s got several game-breaking bugs and glitches, I had a blast with the combat, puzzles, and story. Lots of people would disagree. They’ll say that the game is awful because of these glitches, and that it’s not worth playing. Others fail to see the entertainment that I so easily found. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Another example would be the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy. I have yet to meet someone who enjoyed the ending like I did. Everyone else seems to hate it, and the developer for creating the “travesty”. I thought it was a great ending even though some people may threaten to throw a bowl of salsa in my face because of it (that’s a true story by the way). Even though it seems like everyone in the world disagrees, I can’t let that stop me from getting enjoyment out of my own experience, because that’s what video games are about.

When you play a game, it’s like it’s your own story. You’re at the helm driving the plot forward. The world revolves around you, and it’s up to you to have fun with it. If you let others taint your experience with their opinions and criticisms, then you risk losing the magic of that experience. I have one final story I would like to share to drive my point home. As a huge fan of Dark Souls, I thought it would be fun to join a Facebook group and have people to talk with about the game. After a couple of days observing my fellow Souls players, I realized that the community revolving around the game is severely different from what I had imagined it to be. They hardly helped each other, or speculated the lore, which is where I get most of my enjoyment. Rather, they spewed hateful words at each other for being ‘noobs’ and ‘casuals’. Rather than finding the fun community that shared my love for the series, I found a group dominated by a tribe of ruthless and hateful people trying to one-up everyone else.

I realized that I would much rather stay a loner with Dark Souls, and keep that feeling of it being my game, rather than letting my fellow gamers ruin it for me. It’s my experience; no one should be able to take away the amazing time I have with the game, and that should be the same for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s someone who is anti-video games, or a fellow gamer who hates your game. If you love the game, you can’t let someone ruin it for you. Some communities can do that to you, and that’s why I have a problem with them. However, there are also many communities and members that are helpful and fun.

In closing, I would like to point out that I’m not saying that all communities are evil, or that anyone who joins them is. Communities aren’t a completely negative thing. In fact, they can be great! The fighting game community is – at least from my experience – a great example. There are countless forums full of veteran players who are willing to share their tricks and secrets to help out new players. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I’ve rarely regretted getting involved with a community surrounding a fighting game. I love the idea of being supported by a community: a bunch of gamers joining together to enjoy their favorite game. Many communities are great, while several are volatile. It’s up to you, which is which and if you want to get involved.

Did I make no sense whatsoever, and you want to clearly tell me so I can learn from your example? Did you think I made some good points? If you have any comments to throw my way, or to the IM PLAYIN’ team in general leave a comment down below! We love to hear from our readers!

  • Sean Onyx Windley

    It’s sad when people would rather berate, and belittle others, rather than help them become good at the game. Most games are the same and what it boils down to, is that people only care about themselves. If they lose a game, its not their fault, it has to be the fault of someone else. Whether that person was feeding, or kill stealing, or even just not healing right, or not supporting correctly. People will always find things to complain about, instead of trying to help other become better.

    It sucks, but thats the world we live in 🙁

    • ADRNTESPDR

      Totally agree Sean. I find that it’s true that players do better when they have a supportive team, rather than one that tears them apart. Unfortunately, like you said, most gamers are the latter. It just makes the friendly gamers all that more friendly though!

  • Sean Onyx Windley

    It’s sad when people would rather berate, and belittle others, rather than help them become good at the game. Most games are the same and what it boils down to, is that people only care about themselves. If they lose a game, its not their fault, it has to be the fault of someone else. Whether that person was feeding, or kill stealing, or even just not healing right, or not supporting correctly. People will always find things to complain about, instead of trying to help other become better.

    It sucks, but thats the world we live in 🙁

    • ADRNTESPDR

      Totally agree Sean. I find that it’s true that players do better when they have a supportive team, rather than one that tears them apart. Unfortunately, like you said, most gamers are the latter. It just makes the friendly gamers all that more friendly though!

  • Sean Onyx Windley

    It’s sad when people would rather berate, and belittle others, rather than help them become good at the game. Most games are the same and what it boils down to, is that people only care about themselves. If they lose a game, its not their fault, it has to be the fault of someone else. Whether that person was feeding, or kill stealing, or even just not healing right, or not supporting correctly. People will always find things to complain about, instead of trying to help other become better.

    It sucks, but thats the world we live in 🙁

    • Totally agree Sean. I find that it’s true that players do better when they have a supportive team, rather than one that tears them apart. Unfortunately, like you said, most gamers are the latter. It just makes the friendly gamers all that more friendly though!