For those of you coming into KindaGeeky for the first time: welcome! For those of you returning patrons: welcome back! This group of likeminded geeks extends the most gracious of gratitude for your support. So the plan every month for the KindaGeeky writers: the Cosplay Geek (Karlibra of Karli’s Corner) and myself the Gamer Geek, we will share our passions twice every month. The first article revolves around events, news, experiences of our passion; the second, opinions. This is the latter and today all new and veteran gamers reading this will be educated (or refreshed) on my definition of multiplayer etiquette.
Multiplayer refers to any game in which more than one person participates. In video games, players may recognize this as: two or more sits down next to the console, two standing next to each on a dance mat for DDR or like-games, multiple players playing worldwide in one game sharing one server. These players, depending on the game, will be gaming together or against each other, whether they are friends or strangers, competitively or casually.
Etiquette is defined as the polite behavior expressed amongst a society or group. When putting multiplayer and etiquette together it is simplified as “sportsmanship”. As a long-time gamer with a heavy history of MMO (massive multiplayer online) plays, it cannot be expressed enough how important sportsmanship is when in game with other people especially for games with hard PvP (player versus player) focus. To gain a better understanding of multiplayer etiquette or sportsmanship, here are the three do’s and don’ts.
DON’T RAGE. Whether it’s fighting a difficult boss or level, or poor plays are being made and frustrations are elevated, do not ever let your emotions get the best of you. Anger is an easy feeling to turn to and the most poisonous of the three thorns of toxicity in a game. When someone rages, they lose more focus and tend to blame their teammates or whoever they’re playing with to the point where they lose synergy and overall enjoyment of what is meant to be fun. Today’s gamers will find situations like this in League of Legends, arcade fighting games like Street Fighter, and especially FPS’s (First-Person Shooters) like Call of Duty, etc. It is infectious and can spread to other players like wildfire.
When this happens: DO REMEMBER TO REMAIN CALM. No one likes losing, but everyone wants to play for the sake of playing simply because it’s entertaining. Pointing the finger, cursing, and yelling will not make anything better; it will not make you feel better about yourself; it will not make your team/party feel better let alone want to play with you in the future. So when a game is looking bad, take deep breaths, keep communication with your party, and continue to play with a clear head and if it ends with a loss, it ends with a loss and you move on. Losing doesn’t mean the end of the world, but “Remain Calm and Game On” is a creed to live by and speaks a lot of character in sportsmanship.
DON’T BM. BM is short for “bad manners” and this can include anything between name-calling, verbal abuse, and taunting. This scenario is interesting because it can happen on both ends of a match. If one side is on the winning end, half the time you’ll see in the game chat someone flaunting their side by putting down your own along the lines of “Your team sucks” or “Learn to group better, noobs”. If one side is losing, players tend to do this with their own teammates similar to raging with “Learn how to play the game” or “This person is stupid and can’t do a thing”. All of these comments are light compared to what I’ve personally seen. If you’re winning, don’t be a sore winner; if you’re losing, don’t beat others while you’re all down.
To avoid behavior like this: DO SHOW RESPECT. Show respect to yourself and others by not engaging or encouraging bad behavior. When someone is bming, it is important to take every comment with a grain of salt because most of the time, this display of rude conduct is a result of that person’s own personal flaws and they have no other outlet for their frustrations/venting but towards others. It may seem like you’re simply giving up when someone is pushing you around, but honestly it isn’t worth it. If someone is bming or bullying you in game, you’re giving them power by responding. Show yourself some respect by respectfully ignoring them. If they persist, let them and if it makes you feel better, send a report to the game’s admins of the abuse, cases like these are taken in measures put in your favor because the goal is for you to have fun with their game without the pitfalls of bad players ruining it. When the game ends, show respectful behavior by commenting “GG” or “Good/Great game”, make your party feel good about the plays with a simple “Good Job team” or “Happy gaming”.
DON’T TROLL. What is trolling? Ever played with a team in Call of Duty or Destiny and see a teammate run towards the enemy all willy-nilly? Then they die? Ever hear them snicker or comment “LOL” in the chat after? This is bad manners with humor, which by the end of the day doesn’t seem hilarious to you or everyone else but that person. Trolling is a result from either raging or bad manners, or even both. Sometimes the troller instigates both, but most of the time someone resorts to trolling because they are a victim of rage/bm. At this point, the player has no intention of playing the game succinctly or seriously, quite the opposite. In fact, that person aims to make things as difficult for others purely for their own entertainment. Its one thing to have fun in a game on your own, but please do not ruin it for other people. That is a quick way to invite rage and bad manners and no one wants to suffer abuse of any kind.
DO TAKE ACTION. Unlike bming where it is better to let things go and play out on their own, trolling cannot be dealt with in the same way. Trolling needs to be nipped in the butt and discouraged as this form of toxicity comes in mass. Due to most games granting players anonymity, this form of negativity comes easy. To deal with this, communicate with the person and call out on their conduct. Half of the time, players don’t even know they’re trolling, and adjust their behavior accordingly. This is how it should be; everyone wins and continues to play the game. However, if you come across someone who trolls intentionally, report them. Don’t consider, don’t think twice, end it where it starts and expose this to game admins in feedback or community posts. Build a good enough case, it’ll stop that person from trolling (or ban them from the game worst case scenario) as well as encourage others from not following suit. It may seem like tattle-telling, but like bullying, it cannot be taken lightly neither can it be allowed to continue.
Overall, maintaining good multiplayer etiquette by being polite, friendly, and helpful leads to better, fun plays. Follow these do’s and don’ts to become a better player and a better character which will invite others to do the same in their own growth as a fellow gamer. Remember that gaming has a massive community and sportsmanship is the key to truly enjoy video games. Most importantly, remember to stay KindaGeeky. Thank you for reading!