Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Anonymity and online gaming: the "toxic" player
If you ever played an online game, whether it was a platform based shooter like Call of Duty or Halo, to popular MOBA games like League of Legends or DOTA 2, you most likely have come across a "toxic" player. While the general definition can vary from person to person, but the general consensus is that it’s an incredibly rude person who will most likely use inflammatory language, otherwise known as the "I f’ed your mom" guy.
Why do people act like this? This stems from internet anonymity. The idea of cyber bullying and the mysterious veil the internet provides. While this is an issue all of its own, it is worth talking about in the context of gaming.
While not always the case, run of the mill cyber bullying is a premeditated action, adding the element of gaming can enhance this. In competitive gaming, adding the adrenaline can make even the most mild mannered person can succumb to creative (or lack thereof) name calling. I consider myself a laid back person/gamer, but every now and then if I’m playing League of Legends I find myself saying in real life, or rarely in the in game chat, things that I wouldn’t normally say, and I can get away with it because it’s such a fleeting moment without any real punishment.
This topic can explore anecdotal evidence, psychological analysis of why things like this happen, or even if it’s really a problem in the gaming world at all, and it’s just some friendly and competitive smack talk and that people are just too sensitive.