There are many types of gamers. Most player sign on to a game and are looking to have a good time. They are interested in doing something that they enjoy, chatting with their friends and beating the next level or the game. Most players are gaming for fun, but not all players. So, what is a toxic gamer?
What is a Toxic Gamer?
A toxic gamer is a player who has a bad attitude in an online gaming context. These players are players who are constantly complaining, swearing, being rude, acting out towards other payers, and bringing other players down. These players are considered toxic players.
Toxic players don’t reserve their toxicity for players they don’t know. They are typically verbally aggressive with their teammates as well. They talk down to the people on their teams the same way they would they talk down to players they don’t know. Unfortunately, a huge number of multiplayer games experience toxicity in one way or another.
Who is a Toxic Gamer?
Toxic gamers tend to be younger, male, players who are highly emotionally reactive and impulsive. They are fuelled by the anonymity of the gaming space. They rationalize that toxic behaviour is part of gaming .
Effects of Toxicity
There are many effects of toxicity and none of them are good. Many players report feeling depressed or even suicidal. Many studies have also reported that toxic behavior has caused around 20% of players to quit gaming altogether. Unfortunately, it has also been reported that women are more likely to experience toxicity in gaming and this leaves them feeling discouraged and stops them from gaming or pursuing careers in technology later in life.
What to do if your child comes in contact with a toxic gamer
- Report the player. All games and platforms have a process for reporting toxic players. It is essential that you report the player in order to get them to stop.
- Call the toxic player out for being toxic. It’s ok to say to a player “stop being toxic”.
- Don’t engage with the toxicity. The more they get a reaction from you, the more they get out of being toxic. Their goal is to ruin your experience so don’t let them.
- Anti-toxicity initiatives have been started by gaming companies to stop toxic behaviour. Educate yourself on what toxicity in gaming looks like and make sure to stand up to it. It is not just “part of the game”. It has no place in gaming.