(as an extension of the cruel symptoms plaguing the animal nature of anonymity on a public and collective reservoir of human communication) There is a lot of toxicity in MOBA’s! I encounter this issue, A LOT! As a personal symptom of my play amongst the populace of HotS’ “Quick Match,” I can reliably report that when my teammates’ are not (all of them, collectively) verbally abusing me in game-chat, they either do not communicate, or, OR they speak Spanish, and then gang up to verbally abuse me! I like your article, and I imagine this is the first step to opening up a dialogue amongst the game-playing community to changing the heat of toxicity. I just ran through this entire train of thought in my head,
“Well, game-players are not a community of DIY’ers, but of capitalist consumers, and so, they’ll never consciously choose to change their behaviour, so long as the free-market economy pampers to them. No, in order to make the changes game-players need to their communications, the changes must be set by the game-developers’ (who also play games). [ed: this was a space in my thought train which was not v specific] Once new lines of communication are opened in these game-spaces, like team-speak, all-chat, general quality-of-life improvements, the toxicity which we are afflicted by today would be no more. Of course, then there would be an all new sort of sensitive linguistics would have become the new base-line of toxicity, so, well, people will always have hurt feelings, no matter what we do! (Of course, this does not mean we ought to condone the verbal abuse our modern players use and some of it is, like, soo-o destructive, it just, well, this was my light-speed train of thought!) The problem of attitude in modern videogames breaks down to the purpose of intent, and, unfortunately, most people pick up a controller in order to gain validation from a human-created interface on their computer or TV screens in multiplayer games, where each opponent on your screen is controlled by ANOTHER human being looking to gain the same sort of validation as you and are awfully sad to lose their vindication in order that you can get yours. Game theory, in multiplayer game scenarios, is v sad.”
To be honest, I started writing an article of sorts about my “anthropological” experience with MOBA’s (I may have actually began a thesis paper, to be honest) leading through many strange intersecting pathways, all leading up to a punchline of body-blocking the gate, an article which grew unwieldy and without an audience to decipher the joke. But my efforts at understanding this MOBA phenomenon, the seemingly endless screen crawl of people broadcasting themselves on video-broadband to a [ed: Toxic] fans, the international stage, rich characters with no true discernible story, it tasks me. I must grok this thing. I must grok why I enjoy looking at what could be grokked as a virtual reality sandbox battle between Mary Sue persona’s of people without clear purpose. I do not need people to play with, I need to understand why so many people have chosen to subscribe to a capitalist economy of skill-based player avatars without a clear line of communication to the uninitiated welcoming them into the fold. (a symptom of modern man’s increasing disconnect from individual purpose in relation to a culture of society which pampers and panders a fabrication of average normalcy, when we still got all this damn plastic in the ocean crowding up my krill friends, OR, is the MOBA genre of game not particularly friendly to newcomers, OR, do teenagers use Tumblr today instead of crummy angelfire sites full of self-written articles? i no, i no) I play this game, HotS, and it makes me curious. Why is there not more about this than the simple collections of game data like at HotSlogs.com, and not a band of Geek & Sundry members
Who even are these games for? I got into games because I like escape and empowerment elements, like comicbooks and fantasy novels. I would go to brick-and-mortar game stores to find a community of similarly “outside of normal” mutants would turn up, but, nowadays games and comics are more mainstream than ever before, and while you will be able to make friends with the casual crowd you may not enjoy the same passion of intimacy earned from undertaking some grand and dangerous life-changing experience with your comrades-in-arms. I miss those people! I like Thrall, too, he’ll, “get you there,” even though I am a Greymane main.
HotS, MOBA’s, what do they all mean? What is this community of people who all subscribe to a similar play style, but whose streams NEVER cross? Where are their cool websites full of useful tricks I’m thinking of while playing? Why are the players of this game so mean to me, and only to me, even if they have a lower K/D/A? What are your fantasy teams??? (I like a Greymane Worgen-tank with Abathur, a Murky, Anub’Arak and a mystery guest, because, now, the Greymane go do burst siege with Abathur, who can also forty second clone the ten physical armor Worgen (v important!), while Anub’Arak disrupts the mage situation and Murky pushes the enemy team away) It’s frustrating, to me, that there is so little public knowledge about a MOBA phenomenon which fills arenas all over the world, which is where the RPS community pops in, slaps a web address on my forehead and runs off cackling into the night.