This is something I find myself thinking of a lot of the time. I remember when I was a lot young games were just something that you played. A lot of the time with your family. I feel like there wasn’t this concept of a gamer as we now know it. Perhaps it was because we didn’t really have the internet, wireless wasn’t so much a thing so a lot of those games were couch co-op instead of being online. I imagine that has something to do with it. When you’re playing couch co-op chances are you’re with friends (unless you’re playing Mario Kart) so you’re not going to say all these foul things to them. And it’s fun.
Now though the culture has become so toxic and full of itself. It’s intimidating to pick up a multiplayer game as a first timer because you know you’re going to end up surrounded by people who’ve spent so much time getting good at the game. And there’s nothing quite as unpleasant at the screeching of some asshole upset because you’re not as good at them. It’s almost always men (boys, teenagers, adult men) who go up several octaves and then scream about raping people and toss around the word faggot. It’s unpleasant.
Add in being a girl and it’s just on a whole other level.
I don’t think I’ve spoken in a multiplayer game in a long time. I have a headset but I don’t use it. If I’m playing a multiplayer game I tend to keep the volume really low or off entirely because I don’t want to deal with people yelling at me for not being good. I want to have fun. That’s why I game, that’s why you should game. Sure, e-sports are a thing now. But if you were really that good, I would hope you wouldn’t get that worked up about it. You definitely shouldn’t be getting worked up over a girl playing the game with you either.
Gamers want to be accepted. They always rally against the stereotypes of the anti-social gamer, sitting in a dark basement somewhere but then they refuse to accept that maybe that stereotype has some merit. Maybe some people are taking this all too seriously and making everything shit.
Maybe I’d just like to be able to play a game and not have someone saying they’re going to rape me.
But that may be too much to ask.