Can't We All Just Get Along?

Illustration for article titled Can't We All Just Get Along?

Michael Abbott of The Brainy Gamer and Angela of Lesbian Gamers recently collaborated on a short essay aiming to address what they define as "the hostile climate that frequently arises within the gaming community." They tried isolating specific concerns about some gamer behavior and raising questions about how to handle them, and just published what they've come up with.

Here's an excerpt:

Ironically, the medium we love that provides us with so much joy has also developed a fanbase with a reputation for anti-social, intolerant behavior in both Australia and the United States where we live. We know it's a gross and unfair mischaracterization, but the broad set of cultural assumptions about games and gamers is largely negative, and we too often affirm those assumptions by our own behavior.


It's a topic I've also written quite a lot about. Like Michael and Angela, I've no designs on lumping everyone together under some big gruesome umbrella, or at tossing stones from my glass house. But as the essayists point out, negative gamer behavior on the internet and in online play has ramifications for all of us:

We're not interested in being scolds or behavior police, but we face an uphill climb convincing a parent or new gamer whom has visited a tirade-filled forum, or whom has been repeatedly attacked on Xbox Live as a "faggot," that video games are good for our souls, as James Paul Gee suggests.

Michael and Angela wonder just how broad the desire for a more civil environment among us is. They've asked some interesting questions — have we got any good answers?

Food for thought.

Questions for the Community [The Brainy Gamer]


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So... this isn't actually about gaming, but more about people misbehaving on discussion forums?

First of all, to convince a parent that gaming are "good for our souls", you need to makes things clear: Games are not like gaming forums (though some of them looks exactly like one, specially those with live chat).

Second: Usually, prejudice, cussing, and misbehaving on games and forums are usually done because of anonymity and lack of maturity by the people using the service.

So, it's not really that kids will become devils after visiting some forums... it's spoiled brats that needs more education at home.

Moderators on forums must keep a close look at what's happening and expel some people if needed.

Like they do around here, in blogs like Kotaku and Gizmodo.

Just like when you're on a meeting, a movie theater or some public space... if someone is causing trouble, there should be people monitoring and if needed, expelling troublemakers.

And if there are no good monitors to keep it a clean and calm space, just avoid those places or start complaining to the owners.

Because I think it's nice and all to ask people to have a better behavior on public spaces... but lets face it: There will always be people trying to create problems, trolling, being fanboys, cussing and doing stuff like that. Specially on games.