(Yes I realize the Destructoid panel is over, but forget that noise.)
Gaming communities suck. A lot of people generally accept this as a fact and move on. But a select few dare to ask WHY gaming communities suck. I am one of those few. Through my extensive research on gaming communities I have come across 3 things that I feel have become a plague of sorts for Vidja Games. My hopes is that this post brings these issues to the forefront to prevent them for ruining the fun of future (console) generations.
1. ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
I might as well start off with the proverbial elephant in the room: Trolls. Sadly, there is no way to eliminate trolls once and for all. The best you can do is hope to contain the problem. One of the ways to do this is to institute a TRUE zero tolerance policy. Sure, a lot of sites like to claim they have a zero tolerance policy towards trolling, yet almost ironically those seem to be sites where trolls run rickshaw over the general audience. I understand its usually not possible to have one person monitoring every forum thread/story comment section for trolls, but there should be someone (like the author) making sure his/her article doesn't start circling the drain because one idiot simply replied with "ONE MORE REASON THE PS TREY PWNS THE THREE SHITTY LOLOLOLOLOLOL".
9 times out of 10, trolls are looking for nothing more than a reaction. They create controversy because they know someone will get angry and reply to their comment, which in their minds is like getting a BJ from God himself. The solution to getting rid of those trolls? SMACKDOWN. Once brought to the attention/seen by an admin, the post should be removed. The user should be banned. All comments that are simply fuel to the trolls fire go down along with it. Leave him/her with nothing to show of their exploits. But like I said before, that only deals with the majority of the problem without removing the issue entirely. But also as previously stated, eradicating 100% of trolls is nothing but a pipe dream. Like a lot of other things on this Earth, if someone wants it bad enough, they will do whatever it takes to reach it. Whether it be pirating games, stealing something, sneaking into R-rated movies, etc.
2. DON'T BE ASSHOLES TO N00BZ, CASUALS, ETC.
This seems to be the trendy new thing that a lot of blogs are experiencing. Instead of embracing the new audience and helping them expand their knowledge of gaming and helping them with purchasing decisions, a lot of gamers have found it to be a lot easier to just be Elitist Bastards towards them.
"Whats that? You're not familiar with subtle intricacies of the Game.com? Then do get off my internets you lowly peasant."
Fun Fact: Out of 100 random blog commenters/forum posters, I can guarantee you that 100% of them were "n00bz" or "casual gamers" at one point in time. How do I know this? Look at the NES/SNES/Master System/Genesis eras. Back then, games weren't horribly made, they were "hard". You couldn't beat Castlevania II not because it was pointlessly obtuse, had a horrible translation and just all-around sucked, but because it was "too hard". Back then, you were too young to distinguish good design from bad, you bought your games based on hype/name recognition. The Megaman series has been slowly declining in quality since 4, yet when CAPCOM announced Megaman 9, people were jumping for joy. No guarantee the game will be good? Whatever bro, its MEGAMAN! Removing some of his abilities to "bring it back to basics"? Dude, I remember when I was 4 and I rented Megaman 6 and spent the whole weekend trying to beat it but I never could beat Wind Mans stage. CAPCOM selling things that would have been on the cartridge if this were a true "classic Megaman" as DLC? Dude, whats wrong with you? Of course its going to be good. ITS MEGAMAN! Here we have a game that could've just as easily been a lazy graphic swap (I.E. Megaman 2-Megaman 3), and yet people were ready to drop down on their knees and open their mouths nice and wide because they remembered playing the games as children. They were sheep lining up for what could've been a horrendous slaughter. Hmmm....that sounds awfully similar to why people hate "casual gamers".
Lastly and probably most important would be for everyone to STFUAJPG. Are the textures in the PS3 version of a game slightly better than the 360 version? STFUAJPG. Is the online multiplayer running a bit smoother on Xbox Live than on PSN? STFUAJPG. Learn how to love and forget how to hate.