There has always been this thought in the back of my mind that the original days of Xbox live(on the original xbox) were way better then the cursing little kid jungle that it has sort of become today. When I first ventured into online territory I owned the original Xbox. I was 13 or 14 at the time. Young enough to be considered a stupid little kid. My main games back then were Halo 2, Project Gotham Racing, and Need For Speed Most Wanted. If I remember correctly I almost never cursed somebody out over the internet. Mainly because I feared that one of my parents would hear me yelling Fuck you about a thousand times for no reason, question if this is really what I should be doing, then take away my system. Instead I remember getting into serious relationships with the people I would encounter. The racing games had this vast community of people that would share their secretes about their cars and all sorts of things pertaining to that game. With this community came a sense of companionship. I could go on every day and talk to some random stranger without the risk of being molested or even worse, cursed out by some little(r) kid.
Maybe it was just the nature of the games. NFS:MW and PGR were very in depth games at the time. Everybody had a collection of differently tuned cars. Everybody had their favorite tracks. It was almost like a car club for people that could not drive. Most of all the people during that time would talk. Some of the most intelligent online dialogues I ever remembered would take place over these races. What is the point of sitting online and playing a game if you are not going to socialize? The conversations where not just about the game either. I could go on and talk about anything and somebody would at least be interested enough to make conversation that lasted longer than some one telling me to STFU.
Durring these days of online gaming I made serious friends, one of which I still talk to almost 6 years later. I had a small group of about 4 other people that would play these games everyday. We would get together and spend days just playing and talking together. This lasted for at least six months. Then the group slowly drifted apart. Newer systems came out and not everybody got them right away. At this point of my online voyage playing socially with other people turned into ignoring everything. That is until Call of Duty Modern Warfare came out. Once MW came out talking to people became a normal habit again. Even my real life friends joined the game. We would sit around and play MW religiously. Then it started happening. Insults started flying around about as fast the hatred for Jersey Shore grew. I remember spending one night playing with about nine of my friends. The whole three hours consisted of three kids going at each other. Some of the most ridiculous insults I have ever heard were being told. Every once in a while one of the other six people would chime in and start flinging insults at other people. The more this group played the more it turned into my friends vs everybody else. It wasn't just one night like this either. It was pretty much every time I went to play Modern Warfare with this group. Finally I just stopped playing video games for a while. If I did pick up a video game it was some single person game that I could play by myself, or I just simply would not talk to anybody if I did decide to go online. Why would I want to litter what is supposed to be an enjoyable experience with people insulting each other? It doesn't make sense. It's funny every once in a while but every time Im playing I don't wanna hear some 20 year old telling a 15 year old boy to go jerk off into his mothers face then go to bed.
I tend to think that I'm not the only person that went through something like this. To often I will go into an online game and hear crickets chirping instead of people talking. Could it be that the PS3 community is not as rambunctious as the 360 community.(I own a PS3 now and not a 360 anymore) I own several of the same games. Black Ops seems to be the same type of people. Little kids and grown men in their 20s just yelling at each other. Sometimes people will be talking about what set up they use on their game and thats about it. Maybe I just don't care enough to make an effort to socialize with people. Maybe that horrible time playing MW with my friends has scarred me enough to prevent me from socializing online. I can't even remember the last time I added a random person on Xbox live or PS3. I have my small group of real life friends and that's it.
Every once in a while I will hear glimpses of what was a fantastic period of gaming for me. I will hear a group of people just talking about things. Socializing with no cares. Making friends. It makes me happy to know that there are still just genuinely nice people playing video games. I wish more people were like that.
PS. After reading this I realized that owning a PS3 kinda makes things better. I don't have to pay $50 a month to listen to someone insult me. LOL!!!!!
PSS. Next time I'll post something where Im not bitching. :D