This week Eurogamer published a video highlighting the sexist comments that female Overwatch players experience over chat. This bleeds into a larger, ongoing conversation about the toxicity in the Overwatch community, as brought up by Jeff From Overwatch. At VideoGamer we are in favour of such issues being highlighted, and wish to applaud Eurogamer for its video [pause for applause].
Unfortunately this kind of targeted abuse happens more than you might think. But luckily there is a simple solution.
Here it is: you need to stop being such a massive bag of spanners.
I can't believe you still have to be told to just be nice to people. Why are you – and you know who you are – like this? Honestly though? Right now I'm guessing entitlement makes a bad cocktail when mixed with self-doubt and an unmoored sense of identity, but whatever the cause, your response to it isn't acceptable. And you don't get called out enough, so you think the rest of us are just like you and we're all okay with the behaviour. I'm taking this opportunity to be very clear: we're not okay with it.
Yes, teenagers often engage in spannery behaviour, but even though I was a terrible teenager I never reached 'You dumb cunt, learn to play a proper character' levels of spannerdom, and you're definitely not all teenagers anyway. You don't routinely walk up to strangers in real life and call them a 'fat, ugly pimple-ridden-faced whore', as you would correctly assume you'd be liable to getting punched in the dick on a regular basis, so is it just the lack of reprisals online? Do you not care that it makes you a bad person? Because it does. You don't get to behave this way and then enjoy a delicious chocolate biscuit, safe in the knowledge that, because nobody really knows it's you, it doesn't count. It does. Right now you're objectively making the world a worse place, so fuck you.
If your mum knew you regularly said that kind of thing she'd stop giving you lifts to the pub. She'd be a bit sad, and would wait until you'd gone to bed to sit at the kitchen table with your dad and ask where they went wrong with you. They wouldn't say it outright, but they'd wonder if maybe you had something to do with the neighbours' cat going missing a few months back.
Yelling 'Make me a sandwich!' is just a remarkably efficient way to communicate that you are lazily sexist, have no imagination, don't often engage in independent thought, find it difficult to move on from things, and are apparently so ineffectual that you cannot even prepare your own food. That's why when you send a creepy friend request to the girl you spent the match calling a whore (and you do do that) it gets ignored.
'That's just the internet, everyone gets insulted.' Oh, okay, so you think that saying 'You don't understand, I'm a giant asshole to everyone!' is somehow a good defense? Then go and explain that to your boss. Go and tell your boss that you throw the word ‘faggot’ around like confetti and through the Family Guy Theorem of Universal Dickbaggery that means it's fine for you to call women in games fat sluts.
You drive people away from a fun thing that could help them or make them happy because you think it's your toy and you've made yourself the shitty, angry, spannery gatekeeper. You stopped me talking on Left4Dead2 and Team Fortress 2 because my friends would play fine but if I spoke I got comments about my period, and it was easier to just stop.
Games are not your toys. You do not have exclusive rights to enjoying them, and if you're one of those lads who keeps saying 'games are just meant to be fun!' then realise that you are a huge barrier to that. It's embarrassing that you, the loud, shrieking minority of players, and your behaviour is what a lot of the mainstream associates with games (particularly when you could so easily not be that and it would make everyone feel better, including yourself) and it is continually hurtful to the hobby we love.
Just don't be a dick. Christ. It even takes less effort.
Really this post isn't even for you (I'm like Carly Simon. Exactly like Carly Simon). It's for everyone else.