Opinion: American teenagers, abuse and trash-talking killed online chat and team-work
- Posted March 14th, 2013 at 13:10 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 28 Comments
(continued from previous page) ...the face of online gaming and communication over Xbox Live and PSN – Halo and Call Of Duty. Aggressive marketing campaigns made these two series the talk of the playground. The gates were opened to under-age and rude teenage gamers who could easily persuade their parents to pick up a copy of a Mature-rated game. They then invaded the online servers like a plague, and still do.
The rise of these multi-million pound franchises coincided with the death of many clans, ladder and tournament sites and real-world team competitions. Across the entire gaming community, communication online dipped dramatically to where we are right now – in an era where you’re likely to play in silence with other strangers because people just don’t bother to talk anymore.
The tide started to turn with the release of Halo 2 in 2004. I loved this game and the clan scene was still going strong, but then…it happened. Anti-English, anti-European, anti-American, anti-jew, homophobia, racism and ‘mom’ jokes became part of the nightly experience. One American kid would hear an English accent and that person would then get every stereotypical comment thrown at them, from being a “tea-drinking faggot," to a “crumpet-eating limey with bad teeth." The U.K. lot would give as good as they got (and there were some idiots in the U.K. too who also got a kick out of a verbal assault on others) but the abuse was largely from American teenagers. U.S-based kids* sucked the interesting chat and intelligent conversation out of online lobbies almost overnight.
I put up with it for a while and so did many other gamers from all corners of the globe, but there came a point where we would just mute most people who had their mics turned on because the abuse became so frequent. Online lobby conversation was quickly replaced with Party Chat sessions where only people we knew were invited.
Immature attitudes from kids crossed over into other online shooters too, with Call Of Duty being the worse. Every single Call Of Duty game has been swamped with annoying toe-rags that have sought to ruin the experience for others just so they can reel off their latest gay jibe, or stereotypical remark based on the country or accent an opponent is from. The amount of times I’ve heard the word “nigger” online is quite shocking, and it’s clear that a massive chunk of the gaming community just doesn’t want to listen to it anymore, despite there being ways of reporting people.
As a result of muting and not even bothering to use a headset, gone are the days when gamers actually speak to each other online, sensibly. Since day one there has always been annoying individuals with headsets and mics but at one point they were in a minority. Now, there’s so many of them that game lobbies of the most competitive titles out there are now as silent as a graveyard.
If you played Gran Tusismo 5 online you've likely experienced your fair share of hate speak while playing with strangers from around the world. One of our editors has plenty of first-hand experience playing with his brother online and competing against random people from around the world. They frequently play with guys from South American countries and while their Spanish and Portuguese aren't so great, our editor and his brother can pick up English words like "faggot," racial slurs, and other homophobic comments. Like those competitive first-person shooters, this racing game once had players who, while they were quite competitive and offered plenty of trash talk, were at least fairly respectful and tried not to alienate anyone. Today if you check out lobbies, you'll find the occasional room name that clearly designates some people--usually gay or black people--are told they are not welcome to join. Trash talking is to be expected, but labeling your online room "no faggots" is beyond childish; it's pathetic.
Now, unless I already know the people I play with, my headset remains on my desk and I don’t bother to attempt to communicate any more. Neither do many others. The online servers may be busier than ever, but teamwork has disappeared. Team deathmatches are no longer about shouting out enemy positions to help out your team, or joining up in pairs to work together to infiltrate a ... (continued on next page)
- 1:26pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
- 1:50pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Great article. Not only have online games have been bombarded by loads jell-o, juvenile brains. All online social oulets, online reviews such as amazon, comments sections and oh my, good ol you tube comments. It's keeping allot of adults in participating in online gaming with the general public. This generation is a mess.
Eliphaz Levi | Eliphaz
- 1:53pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Great article. I agree totally, and dearly miss the ps2 era of o/l gaming. Playing Socom on ps2 was a entirely diffrent experience then any of the cods, & you've put your finger right on the mark with those 2 franchises really representing the turning point. I remember being surprised to enter a competitive multiplayer lobby & notice no mic indications onscreen as this trend began, now its common place. It really is a tragedy, taking loads away from the overall experience with each mic left on its charger. I watched a valve interview recently & the gentleman was saying that players are a form of content- a active community bringing substance and replay-ability to titles. I fear that there really isn't a road back to the open mic, & its unfortunate that the immaturity of players has really effected the quality of o/l experience. On a side note ps3 didnt have the ram available for cross game party chat, & not only is it possible on ps4 but if you take que from what they're saying it'll happen this gen. It's a sad day just the same when you'd rather be talking to someone playing another game instead of coordinating with team mates....
- 2:05pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
My opinion: YES! But at least I got to enjoy solid teamwork by playing SOCOM before all the idiots started playing online. When headsets were actually used for teamwork, not mindless banter. Nice article PSU. You guys are really starting to address things I've seen for years. Nice job!
- 2:35pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
SOCOM had an AMAZING community for using "comms" and in genral really....i dont even bother using a mic anymore...pointless, for all the mentioned reasons :/
- 3:03pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
ok, I wrote a decent response to this and the site says I have 2 banned words. I'd like to know which words are considered 'banned' as I didnt write anything offensive to begin with, so going over my post again and again editing/not finding a solution then trying to re-enter the post to have it fail again isn't fun.
Ghost-Rhayne | Ghost-Rhayne
- 3:14pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Sorry for your issues cheetor. On the forum side of the site we have no swear filter, I'll ask the admins to see what they can do about your issue.
vladspartan | vladspartan
m a brazilian guy, i play all nights on my ps3 system. i play a lot games,like socom 4, battlefield 3, resident evil 5, 6, gta iv, ghost recon, and too many others. i have more than 200 games. and never, never!i say never! i was one time that i not be insulted for a guy(americans,english,japanese and many others. include brazilian guys like me).is a totally disrespect with the real players who just want play a nice game with nice friends.before the online gaming was to good.but now? srry is totally crap! no one play with education or play serious. theres no coop anymore. the games are lost they soul. (the players) the real players. is too badps: i hate deathmatchesi just want with nice guys,play coop games or group. but with peace and no more insults or racist thing.or religious.peace to all friends
- 4:17pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
- 4:28pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Totally agree with a lot of these comments....I personally get attacked on such a frequent basis that it's numbing to me nowadays. Especially here at PSU as many veterans of the site probably notice.
Sad, because a lot of people like me, really know what they're talking about and even remain polite and respectful while posting. A person's screen name or a picture is enough to breed hatred and jealousy within shallow minded people.
I'm so proud of myself for never ever being a cyber bully even though I have the abilities in gaming to compeltely belittle others when it comes to their skill level or even knowledge.
This article and the comments are so refreshing. I'm glad someone is taking a stand (kind of) against these cowards who act all tough while safely hiding in their homes and behind their mics. Gross.
- 4:44pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
I wholeheartedly agree with this article. I remember a time when going online to chat with the people I was playing against was fun, now it's just a bunch of children bragging about how great they are and then b****ing and moaning when they are utterly destroyed by others.
I'm hoping when the PS4 is released WE(the real gamers) can enjoy a few years of true online gaming without all of the children ruining online interaction.
But, as we all know, eventually Little Jimmy's mom will get him a PS4(when the price drops) and a copy of a game he's way too young to play so he can annoy people other than her.
- 5:04pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
You say you hope that PS4 includes an option for Party Chat, but from what I've heard, many Xbox gamers lament that the introduction of the Party Chat option was one of the biggest reasons why game lobbies are so silent and devoid of chatters, headsets, and people who generally want to make conversation. As you said, a lot of players have simply resorted to Party Chat to not hear anyone else talking, but that action has contributed to the silence of lobbies and lack of communication nowadays. It used to be that everyone in a game was eager to chat and make new friends, but that is no longer the case when people simply mute everyone who's not a friend automatically by default. Thus, I'm not quite sure Party Chat is a good thing.
Seren | Seren__
- 5:43pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Great article, but while I completely agree that kids (from all countries) are spoiling the experience I would add that the attitudes of some of the adults are not great either. Lately it seems that any multiplayer game that my friends and I play is full of these trash talkers, and as a female player I seem to get twice as much of this than the guys I play with - it usually starts with inuendos and then when they realise I am good at the game the insults come thick and fast! Some of the worst talk we have heard has been from kids and it makes me wonder 1. What kind of morons their parents are to let them play games designed for adults and 2. What kind of parents let their kids talk like that to other people.
This happens so frequently now that, like others, we tend to just mute everyone who is not part of our group as soon as we enter a session.
As others have said, bring on the PS4 for a little respite from the kids.
Gameoholic007 | Demented007
- 5:57pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Very good article. Im a Grand Turismo player, and I know what PSU is talking about of what they wrote. Sometimes I use to get attacked from teenagers, just because of my welcome greeting that would appear when I hope into a room. Its hard to find mature, respectful people to play online with anymore, so most of the time, I don't even wear my headset, so I don't have to listen to anyone. Oh, and the mute feature works out very well too.
- 6:04pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
ok, i agree that these things have been ruined. By why does it say "AMERICAN teenagers" in the title.. and you instantly start off talking about English teenagers? I very much take offense to the title. I was a teenager...an AMERICAN teenager. Playing games online like socom... and i wasn't a little jerk over the mic. Now im older and i dont play with a mic for obvious reasons... but WOW do i hear things coming from all sides... and the english are clearly no different as you yourself described. So WHY is america being singled out in your title?
i think im done with this site. and i think im going to recommend others to be done with it. If you're going to vilify a whole nation of people then you're not worth anytime. You're just as a bad as the people you say ruined your little chats.
- 7:17pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
I am 12 yes, but not all people are like that, but some are. I don't even like playing online. I play video games because they are interactive television shows, and even interactive books. I started playing video games when I was very young. I played call of duty because it was ww2 related, and when i was in 4 and 5 grades, this was the best thing ever to me. Playing assassins creed gave me info of history and some of it was similar to the actual thing. I have friends like that, but I most certainly am not like that. So don't pay attention to all players. When I do play online, I don't even say a thing. I get grounded when I cuss, so Idont even think to do it. Give some of us a break.
- 7:36pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
I am a gamer and am tired of teenagers on any social media making it so that I cannot band with team networks comfortably to play games. I, will no longer play with any teams online through MMO, PS3, Wii, etc.. I have given up and it's not just about trash talk, vulgar language, profanity, and hate speech. I'm getting angry with the kids who get online to play who either can't play and give people a hard time online, or don't play and just talk a lot of vulgarity. I am also tired and angry at the level of violence coming out of kids mouths, sometimes it seems as if they are gangster, pimp, prostitute, assassin, or something like it type wannabes. I really do not want another kid telling me I would like what they do, and asking me if I wanna see what they do and how they move. Come on, you are a child! I like adults, thank you very much. Especially polite ones, who have been around the block, have gained a bit of knowledge, know how to handle adult emotions, and adult responsibility
- 7:43pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
i know right from wrong and want to be educated, not some gangsta ok. im ashamed of this generation im in persomally.
- 7:59pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
awesome. love when psu randomly resposts my same comment just because I visit the page again. not only are you prejudice but you also can't code a website for s*^t
- 9:08pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! As a UK citizen, with a Swedish father I've had to put up with my fair share of racist abuse growing up in the UK. For the record I do have blond hair and blues eyes and no I don't know ABBA!!! :P
I'm not going to take issue with the main thrust of your argument, that whiny little kids, safe in their bedrooms have somewhat ruined online games. They've certainly made me less likely to buy certain games, and indeed to play them online. Just why the h*** did you need to single out Americans. It is uncalled for, not necessarily accurate, and I'm afraid racist. I'm not a happy bunny about this and the author needs to change the title and post an apology.
Bang out of order. I've been abused by French, British, German, Spanish, Austraian and yes American gamers. Most of whom probably haven't got a p**** hair between them. No one single country has a monopoly on idiots or poor behaviour. Despite what prejudices you clearly hold, I'd be grateful if you could keep your narrow minded bigotry to yourself.
- 9:25pm EDT - March 14th, 2013
@permanentlyangry thank you for being one of the only other people, who doesn't have a cultural biased in this case, that can clearly call out this article for the prejudice/racism that it spews forth
I ask you to email PSU directly at "firstname.lastname@example.org" to let them know that you feel this way. since my own email to them was met with resistance and the ultimate feeling that I'm the lone wolf in this emotion and im somehow wrong.
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!