ONLINE GAMES



The Good, the Bad and the DOTA: not all gaming communities are toxic

We've all played at least an online game or two in our lifetime, so you've probably realised that there's a strong shield that separates people's online and offline identity. When online it offers more confidence to the player to act as they wish, negatively or positively towards others. Online game communities can be described as 'bullies', 'toxic' and tend to 'bring the worst out in people'. So let's delve deeper into what these communities are all about to see how gaming communities are much deeper than just the game and the player.

The worst offenders
In a survey about online gaming for Tag '20, 42% have felt intimidated by users in-game, and 100% believe people act differently online in comparison to offline. When asked which gaming communities are most toxic, the most frequently mentioned were Overwatch, League of Legends, Call of Duty and Dota 2, the latter of which has had its notorious fan base analysed.

Tag '20 interviewed a student who holds positive views on gaming communities:

What do you think of gaming communities? Gaming community/communities are awesome. Through gaming I have met some of my best friends in life and they allow you to socialise and improve your social skills.

Have you ever experienced abuse or hateful behaviour by another user in-game? Of course, I think everybody does at some point. That's the spirit of games. Trash talk is a huge part of gaming but some users take it to the extreme.

What good and/or positive acts have you experienced in-game? Sometimes the smallest things can count! Sometimes in midst of gun fire, demon slaying or planet conquering, someone offers you their help and can bond with people that way!

Positivity
For franchises such as Dragon Ball, there is not only an animated series but also a card game that encourages fans to gather for yearly tournaments to compete against others. Despite a player's defeat, the tradition is to shake your opponent's hand and move onto the next round - no violence involved!

To shed light on the communities that are viewed more positively are games such as Minecraft, Guild Wars 2 and Little Big Planet. Unlike Dota 2, Overwatch and pretty much every Blizzard game in existence, these games seem to have more light-hearted and supportive gamers in comparison.

In conclusion, it's never really a community that causes a game to be portrayed as some evil-infused software, it all comes down to the few negative people who have an enormous effect on others. However, the overwhelming amount of positivity in each community overtakes the bad by miles. Plus, gaming significantly improves memory and reaction times. So gaming isn't so bad, it seems.