Online gaming has remained a niche market in a country where so few have access to basic amenities, nevermind the internet, but things are changing as #datamustfall. Now you don’t need a law degree to afford a few games of GTA: 5 before turning in, and with more of us online, playing with new friends from different backgrounds, gaming culture has the potential to bring people together.
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But some have used this new frontier to create platforms that free-fall into toxicity and lawlessness – the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Wild West. Now, gaming journalists tend to be a touch irreverent with hyperbole, it’s true. But anyone who’s played their share of Dota 2 will tell you I’m hardly exaggerating. Marginalised communities seeking digital asylum from real-life harassment are finding that the same behaviour awaits them online. There’s a lot to be done to change this culture, and it will likely take some time. We propose the following as a good starting point: three proper etiquette rules for online gaming.
THOU SHALL NOT SAY ‘GG EZ’
People, stop. Stop. You’re so much better than this. Writing ‘gg ez’ (good game easy) is the online equivalent of a sucker punch aimed at someone you’ve already thrown on the ground. You won. There’s no need to be a dick about it. Next time you win, you say ‘gg wp’ (good game well played) or you say nothing at all. Got it? Good.
THOU SHALL NOT SEXUALLY HARASS ANOTHER PLAYER
Do us a favour. Take out your phone. Yup, go ahead. What’s the date on there? You also got 2017? Well now. Isn’t it about time we stopped hurling profanities at women online? If you’re not sure if something counts as harassment, maybe hang back and ask a (female) friend first. Or read like even one book. Heck, you could just read Toni Morrison’s Wikipedia page, or listen to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’. You’ve got options. We believe in you.
THOU SHALL NOT SABOTAGE A GAME ’CAUSE IT’S NOT GOING YOUR WAY
It’s difficult to imagine what people who do this were like as children, if the development of the frontal lobe and the social context of a few decades on earth have mellowed them out. Yeah, some of the people we meet and play with online aren’t always going to be down to do things our way. It’s not realistic. But don’t throw the game or take extra long on your turn. If you’re not having fun, rather leave and let the people who are get on with it.
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