[Editor's note: Tehmtnlion talks about what he hates most about online gaming for his Playing With Others Monthly Musing. -- CTZ]
I am a man of peace. In real life, I treat my fellow man with respect and I try to at least get along with people I see every day. I don't like to seek out conflict and I often try to find a solution that suits everyone when faced with a problem. I try to take this attitude to the gaming world. When I play a game, I want to have fun and when I play online multiplayer games, I want to still enjoy myself. I mean, playing with others is more fun right?
Wrong. There is an epidemic spreading across the gaming realm. A plague so devious, that no one really saw it coming. With the education system falling into ruins, parents overworking and a general social break down on discipline, a new foe threatens gamers world wide. There is no reasoning with this new threat, it does not think, it only reacts. All attempts to diplomatically deal with these devious devils has been met with failure and debilitating frustration. The only way to rid yourself of this heinous enemy is to destroy it completely. You all know of whom I speak o f...
Now, I'm not certain how to approach this subject in it's entirety, so lets start with some footage of what we are dealing with.
[Editor's note: It appears that Angry German Kid was just acting in this video. That's some good "acting", yo. -- CTZ]
Using this German specimen, I will now theorize as to how this beast has come to be. I will break down my argument into several categories. First, an analysis of the problem.
I cannot remember the last time I played a game of Halo 3 online that I actually enjoyed playing against my opponents. In every match, there is a snot-nosed little prick who constantly screams "faggot" and racial slurs. If it was an adult, I could deal with it a bit better because you know they are responsible for their own actions and are lost anyway; they're dicks.
But when it's a 12-year-old, I almost want to cry. Where the hell are this kids parents? All this child is going to do is continue this kind of disrespectful behaviour and just grow up to be an asshole. And we've enough of those. 12-years-old is a very impressionable age and if you allow behaviour like this, they will grow up ignorant and hateful.
So why do these children exist? Lets take a look at some reasons:
I don't know about you, but this embodies discipline to me. When I was a kid, when I was bad (and by bad I mean when I would scream if I didn't get my own way, acted out, misbehaved and generally acted like a little shit), I would be "disciplined". For you young kids who may not know this foreign concept, I'll define it for you.
tr.v., -plined, -plin·ing, -plines.
1. To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to.
2. To teach to obey rules or accept authority.
3. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience.
4. To impose order on
When I was a kid, parents could still discipline children through corporal punishment. Now, I'm no advocate of abusing children, anyone who does so should be thrown into a UFC cage match and see what it's like to have the shit kicked out of you by an unstoppable force. But I think a lot of kids today could use a good slap on the ass every once in a while. That what happened to me and I see myself as a very well adjusted person. If this little shit pulled that crap in my house, he would be introduced to the concept of a tanned ass.
Where are this kids parents? I can't imagine one person who would want to be around this kid if this is how he acts. He's destroying a valuable piece of equipment because the little punk ass can't wait because he's probably had everything given to him when he bitches about it. This leads me to my next argument.
How many times have you been out in public, be it at the movies, in a grocery store, the mall, or maybe even just the street and some kid just starts to freak out while it's parents either stand by and do nothing or immediately cede to their brats demands? How many times have you seen this and wanted to unleash the Falcon Punch on this little bastard? Both attitudes, I think, contribute to the epidemic we face. Most children I see in public have every desire catered to with startling speed. Parents are just coddling their children and this will spoil them. If they grow up with the idea that everything is supposed to given to them, why would they ever go out and work for something.
For an example of how to fight this kind of garbage, look no further
Supervision goes hand in hand with this. The role of a parent is to monitor what your child is watching and doing. I'm not implying that you constantly hover over them, that will hurt almost as much as not watching them at all. But allowing your 12-year-old to go into a public forum (for example the Xbox 360 community) and scream racial slurs and that word that I hate so much, "Faggot", reflects on you. For a parenting tip on how to deal with this, refer to section #1.
This is crucial. A lot of these little bastards could be defeated if they actually went out and learned something. The education system of Canada, which is the only one I've had exposure to, is failing. The concept of failure, and repeating a grade, is no longer apparent. A child that does none of the work, will now be granted at least a 50% in the course, due to mounting pressure to keep up statistics of passing children. I am told that the "No Child Left Behind" program enacted in the States has made matter even worse than this. A direct result of this is the next generation's lack of understanding of the English language. In most games I play with text messaging, I am constantly assaulted by the blathering of no grammar or punctuation, almost to the point that I can't understand the insults that are being hurled at me.
It pains me to see this because when I try to insult them back, they have absolutely no clue as to what the hell I am saying. Having generally stupid people in a social situation leads only to more stupidity. These children will feed off of each others ignorance and the problem will only intensify.
This brings us to the largest problem that has been reinforced by the previous reasons. Online gaming and the Internet give you almost complete anonymity and this has taught these kids that there are no repercussions for their actions. When no one can see you or know where you are, whats going to stop you from being a complete and total dickwad? This is the biggest problem because there is no real remedy for it. They can do anything from their fortress of untouchability and rain down some of the worst comments with absolutely no fallback from their actions. The gaming world almost encourages this trait of douchbaggery.
There's nothing that will change this problem (unless a society is formed that actively polices these douchebags and rains down fiery justice and the end of sharp, pointy sticks) other than responsible gamers ignoring this behavior and not egging them on. The majority of the 12-year-olds that flame will stop if they are ignored or put in their place via ownage in the game. Unfortunately, there seems to be more of them than there are of us.
Now I will delve into strats that I have come up with to fight the menace.
We, as responsible gamers, can give these creatures no quarter. Their parents have failed to discipline them and the education system has failed, so it is up to us to pwn and school them into submission. We must police these people and break them of their habits. Any time you meet them on the pixellated field of battle, it must be your duty to go and destroy them. Yet at the same time, we must reinforce the ideals of gaming that many of us love and respect.
There is one thing these kids respect and it is Ownage. When you get into any kind of game with these kids, find them and eliminate them with extreme prejudice. If nothing else, you may frustrate them so much that they will probably quit the game and go outside. Good. Get those pricks outside and getting some life experience.
Best scenario, they are taken into a back alley and are marathon raped. Maybe then they can feel the pain they have brought me. Seriously though, showing them that if they play a game and their nonsense will not be tolerated is a strong way to bring change.
A more noble way of beating the problem other than owning them is to flat out refuse to play with them. If no one would play matches with them, they would get bored and just quit. Just make sure you let them know why you won't play against them however. There may be hope yet for some of them. Hopefully with enough reinforcement of this standard, they may actually play the game for the game and not just to flame to their hearts content. They may actually try to improve themselves and be more fun to be around to get back into matches.
3. Be a Mentor
This is the most personal of all my recommendations. You can do this where ever you are. At videogame stores, game conferences or with your friends and younger siblings themselves. Show them how to play the game and let them know what acceptable and whats just downright annoying. Trash talk is a staple to gaming, where it is deserved. When you play set an example, don't openly flame people for no reason. Make valid points then burn. Just do what you can to break the habits before they start. We can all help our friends be better players.
4. A Tactical Nuclear Strike
Because, lets be honest. It'd feel so fucking good to do it, just once, to one screaming 12-year-old. And that would set one hell of an example to the rest of them.