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#1 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4184 posts) -

GameSpot: Why are gamers so angry?

There's a whole lot of hmm in here. I don't want to be a Betty-downer here, but.. I just don't see this getting any better. Moderators I suppose, really do rule the world. And even like he said, they told GameSpot mods to be a little more laissez-faire, and those comments haven't ever been the same since. That chatroom sucks bad, same as IGN, and other non-chattish sites like: BGR, TechnoBuffalo, and I've seen some bad CNN stuff. Forbes, and then Engadget some. Weird really, because The Verge kids do alright. Over there, there's not too much because people just aren't that crazy.. They do wonders with gifs. Coincidences, really. (It seems people just hate Arthur Gies on Polygon than they do hate on .. err, games, over there.)

But right seriously. Why are gamers so angry?

#2 Posted by GeekDown (1170 posts) -

I completely agree with what Danny says. My biggest problem with gaming in general is the absolute childish and immature level of discourse that surrounds it. It's the reason why I don't really get involved in discussions about it online.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#4 Posted by oldenglishC (943 posts) -

I blame my anger on everybody else's stupid face.

#5 Posted by joshwent (2156 posts) -
#6 Posted by President_Barackbar (3448 posts) -
#7 Posted by psylah (2167 posts) -

Because there is only one Danny O'Dwyer.

#8 Posted by Pr1mus (3855 posts) -

It's laissez-faire.

#9 Posted by Brendan (7734 posts) -

People who are way into one thing can get irrational from a lack of perspective. It seems obvious to me that the most active people that make up the core of internet gaming culture do not lead balanced social lives, and therefore suffer from the above mentioned problems.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@president_barackbar: @joshwent:

I was just explaining my own situation right now, perhaps in a joking manner. On topic, though, I'd say maybe it's simply the nature of the Internet? Or perhaps humanity's focus on the negative over the positive? It's a complex issue, to say the least.

#11 Posted by chilibean_3 (1632 posts) -

I'm very angry that Danny O'Dwyer isn't a Giant Bomb dude.

#12 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4184 posts) -

@pr1mus: Fixed! Haven't finished my coffee yet..

#13 Posted by oldenglishC (943 posts) -

I don't think you can make the statement "people that enjoy video games are angry" based on the actions of a handful of the same people arguing about the same thing over and over again, and a few overzealous fanboys.

If someone is miserable, it probably has absolutely nothing to do with video games.

#14 Posted by Mister_V (1255 posts) -

@president_barackbar: @joshwent:

I was just explaining my own situation right now, perhaps in a joking manner. On topic, though, I'd say maybe it's simply the nature of the Internet? Or perhaps humanity's focus on the negative over the positive? It's a complex issue, to say the least.

Some people can't accept criticism of something they love. Because they think criticism automatically leads to change. end of.

#15 Edited by Sin4profit (2919 posts) -

BOZANIMAL! man, this episode was a nostalgia trip for me of the old days on Gamespot i was long gone before they asked the mods to be lenient but i remember HATING the Gamespot moderation methods...even blogged about it on my old Gamespot profile page.

Anyway, i think the solution is to empower users to moderate their own blogs/content where their personal code of conduct can be much stricter. This won't make comments any less terrible but it would provide the community with some sanctuary with which to find open discussion from within the individual blogs much like what @jadegl's thread is asking for.

Gamespot tried something like this with "Unions" but it was a fairly convoluted system for what was needed and i don't think it got much use.

[Edit] Oh yeah, i don't think it's games that make people angry. Like Danny says, it's insecurity (identity issues, lack of confidence) that make people angry and games give those people a sense of empowerment. So in other words insecure people (every damn teenager who feels a lack of identity) are attracted to video games.

#16 Posted by ProfessorK (820 posts) -

@geekdown said:

I completely agree with what Danny says. My biggest problem with gaming in general is the absolute childish and immature level of discourse that surrounds it. It's the reason why I don't really get involved in discussions about it online.

Amen brudda. You would think that a medium centered around having fun would have the most relaxed, happy fanbase. Instead, it constantly proves that it has some of the angriest, most toxic commenters and fans outside of politics.

#17 Edited by SharkEthic (1037 posts) -

Man, I really like Danny O'Dwyer.

Then again, if someone rates GTA V 9 out of 10 everyone's natural response is to call the reviewer a stupid transvestite, even though you haven't even played the game yet. Oh wait, that's just the 13-year old fucktards over at Gamespot.

#18 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

The gaming hobby is full of children, teenagers, young adults, and adults. Plenty of these people never advance past the mental stage of "children" or "teenagers". Finding a person in the gaming community who is a normal, functioning human is less like than finding a normal person in most other past times.

#19 Posted by mrfluke (5127 posts) -

I'd say maybe it's simply the nature of the Internet? Or perhaps humanity's focus on the negative over the positive? It's a complex issue, to say the least.

i definitely agree with you, there is some definite truth to what you say.

#20 Edited by CatsAkimbo (613 posts) -

It's because all the assholes drove the nice people away. I never even glance at the chat on any stream or the comments of anything except on Giant Bomb. Not that I'm necessarily a nice person (I try to be!), but I definitely don't want anything to do with those angry commenters.

@geekdown said:

I completely agree with what Danny says. My biggest problem with gaming in general is the absolute childish and immature level of discourse that surrounds it. It's the reason why I don't really get involved in discussions about it online.

^ and looks like I'm not alone.

#21 Posted by SharkEthic (1037 posts) -

I'd love to see a internet where people were forced to post under their real names.

#22 Edited by joshwent (2156 posts) -

"Why are gamers so angry" is the wrong discussion to have. As DO'D pointed out in that video, these terrible internet comments/arguments happen on pretty much every site. Limiting our understanding to just game enthusiasts won't get us anywhere. The motivations of these people are complicated, but the start of the solution seems pretty simple, really.

Users flagging posts that are obvious flame bait or direct attacks on others, and mods then deleting those posts and possibly contacting those users about their behavior. Easy!

#23 Posted by joshwent (2156 posts) -

I'd love to see a internet where people were forced to post under their real names.

Unfortunately, this has little effect on jerks. You've never seen people arguing and saying horrible things on Facebook, where you can easily see everything else about that person? Fuck, I don't even use Facebook, and just yesterday I was reading people in a ridiculous and mean internet argument on Hulu, which uses people's Facebook profiles. Anonymity probably adds to the problem, but it doesn't seem to be a major factor as one might think.

(also, by name here is my real name) ;)

#24 Posted by Humanity (9013 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

@video_game_king said:

I'd say maybe it's simply the nature of the Internet? Or perhaps humanity's focus on the negative over the positive? It's a complex issue, to say the least.

i definitely agree with you, there is some definite truth to what you say.

I dunno I'm a pretty positive person!

#25 Edited by Deathstriker (308 posts) -

@sharkethic said:

Man, I really like Danny O'Dwyer.

Then again, if someone rates GTA V 9 out of 10 everyone's natural response is to call the reviewer a stupid transvestite, even though you haven't even played the game yet. Oh wait, that's just the 13-year old fucktards over at Gamespot.

Yeah, but that silly review help change the entire conversation of GTA V from being about how awesome it is to being about it being great AND is it sexist or not. A reviewer should obviously talk about their opinion and POV, but she was off-topic and forced the issue. That would be like a hardcore Atheist saying Dante's Inferno was too religious. They can write a blog about it, but they're so biased in that area it shouldn't be in the review IMO. That reviewer is biased since they have gender issues from what I've read.

#26 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1557 posts) -

I like that he discussed it without just saying "the internet is totally fucked" or making gross caricatures of online communities.

I think, when it comes to the sexism stuff (and other issues, like the recent "Japanese games are creepy" stuff), there's also an element of people feeling like their voices aren't being heard or fairly represented. I like you @video_game_king, but I think stuff like this is part of the problem:

Is this actually a view held by anyone except the Darjis of the world, or a condescending strawman ignoring much more reasonable points people are making? Misrepresenting others' views is a great way to piss them off, and when we have influential members of the games press falling back on the same "little boys can't let go of their male power fantasies" vocabulary whenever there's any controversy about sexism/"sexism" (because there are legitimate and illegitimate cases), it doesn't surprise me at all that tension's going up rather than down. Setting a goalpost and calling people part of the problem if they disagree isn't a great model for progress.

I follow politics of various levels a lot as well (it's the other thing I'm a nerd about), and a lot of political anger (and subsequent co-opting and mobilization) comes from people feeling like their reasonable case is being ignored, oversimplified, or mischaracterized. Condescension breeds resentment.

I'm not at all defending the people writing the vilest personal stuff (who I also think are mostly teenagers and/or people with mental illnesses) -- just trying to get at what drives acrimonious debates over issues.

EDIT: I should also mention that it seems to me that a lot of the (often fair) criticism about women not being fairly represented in games comes from a similar place of feeling left out. It's frustrating that both "sides" are coming from a similar lower-level psychological place, yet insist on pushing the buttons they themselves were mobilized by having pressed.

#27 Edited by mrfluke (5127 posts) -

Danny is the best, Such a Awesome dude, i really wish GB would have him on more,

now as to why we are angry all the time, its a complex issue,

internet is full of young hormonal people, we cant change that, i bet some of us were real assholes back in the day, as we become adults, a new set becomes the new kids. our generation of adults generally speaking, are not internet savy, so as we become the new adults we're a lot more vocal.

and we generally speaking hate change, so whenever we see big opinionated posts on x subject, we immediately think change might happen out of it. or that said opinionated speaker is clamoring for censorship when bottom line its a real grey area statement said opinionated user makes,.

and also things are pretty shitty outside the internet, with the economy and whatnot, so that also has a mental effect on people hence how you have people saying they dont want to talk or take part in no internet discussion and just wants to play games in peace..

and then we all love to be winners in a opinionated discussion to where some of us shout down on people real raw like. and insult them in the process, especially one's who say they are about inclusivity.when they do the opposite,

#28 Posted by shinjin977 (754 posts) -

because its the internet? I have had people call me pussy, bitch, motherf****er, asshole and zipper head in the last two days online. I have never gotten anything more than a bitch please in real life so........

Yea people are asshole when they are anonymous news at 11!

#29 Posted by CornBREDX (5046 posts) -

I love Danny and Johnneh and those guys in the UK office. They're some of the best that gamespot has to offer right now.

I want to bring up, though, that not all gamers are angry. I'd even go so far as to say more of them are completely rationale than are not. We often forget that more people are not saying anything on the comments section of a video then people who are. A youtube video with 500,000,000 views will only have 1/10th of that in comments.

Why is that? It's something that has been hypothesized about before and I lean more towards: We tend to have something to say if something makes us angry. If you like something or agree, you don't tend to say anything because you don't feel inclined to do so. When you disagree, for some reason you get this impulse to say something. it wont change anything, and they're just words, but you cant help but disagree. I would guess younger audiences don't know how to manage that impulse and fly off the handle easier than older ones (although this is not always true).

It also comes down to life experience. Some people have shitty lives and would take it out on someone as much over the phone as they would on a message board. They have nothing but anger towards the world and anything that disagrees with them is an easy target. I work in internet tech support and it would be shocking to most how easily people fly off the handle about their internet. Most may just deal with it, but in certain parts of the US a majority of people cannot fathom waiting for it to be repaired or that it can be broken. The things these people say is down right vitriol, but it reminds me of forum and video comments on the internet every time I hear it.

I would wager the third class is people who just comment and then go. They make their comment, usually poorly worded and cruel sounding to read, but then they leave. They don't actually care about who their comment affects. This comment often gets the attention of someone else who for whatever reason has to disagree with it and be heard. I have seen entire forum threads or comment trees go on for pages over one comment someone made offhandedly and never said a word again.

Granted, at times, this can be trolling, but the fact remains that the reason we see mean/angry comments more than any other is because people get an impulse to say something when things are disagreeable more than when they are not.

That being said I make a conscience effort to always make a comment even if I like something so I know at least I have left constructive feedback on whatever I read or see.

#30 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@grantheaslip:

That comment was more because of a stat I cited stating that 45% of game players are women (according to a 2013 ESA report), and all the rebuttals of that being, "Well, they're probably counting all those Angry Birds Facebook women, so that stat doesn't really count." Like I said there, it's really frustrating and disconcerting to see that as much/as quickly as I did.

#31 Posted by mrfluke (5127 posts) -

@humanity said:

@mrfluke said:

@video_game_king said:

I'd say maybe it's simply the nature of the Internet? Or perhaps humanity's focus on the negative over the positive? It's a complex issue, to say the least.

i definitely agree with you, there is some definite truth to what you say.

I dunno I'm a pretty positive person!

lolllll. that made me laugh more than it should.

#32 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Gamers are angry because of articles specifically made for click-baiting to generate ad-revenue.(See: Polygon, RPS, Kotaku(better now than before) and The Escapist)

#33 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1557 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@grantheaslip:

That comment was more because of a stat I cited stating that 45% of game players are women (according to a 2013 ESA report), and all the rebuttals of that being, "Well, they're probably counting all those Angry Birds Facebook women, so that stat doesn't really count." Like I said there, it's really frustrating and disconcerting to see that as much/as quickly as I did.

Right, but when you say "mostly", it has certain literal implications about the group you're talking about. It's like saying most Republicans are libertarians because you got into an argument with some tea partiers.

#34 Posted by jimmyfenix (3851 posts) -

Oh Gamespot what has happened to you!

#35 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@grantheaslip:

I can't see the mostly part (that word was relating to my emotional state), but I can certainly see the misrepresentation part. I feel like there's some sort of irony present in all this (that I'm blind to a misrepresentation error when I'm complaining about misrepresentation errors).

#36 Posted by mrfluke (5127 posts) -

I love Danny and Johnneh and those guys in the UK office. They're some of the best that gamespot has to offer right now.

I want to bring up, though, that not all gamers are angry. I'd even go so far as to say more of them are completely rationale than are not. We often forget that more people are not saying anything on the comments section of a video then people who are. A youtube video with 500,000,000 views will only have 1/10th of that in comments.

absofuckinglutely, totally agree with your statement as well. im going to wager a lot of the negativity originates in the US though.,

cause i dunno, out in other places, people are getting real amazing shit done,

the goddamm league of legends community came together and did this, they are infamous for being a toxic community.

#37 Posted by AlisterCat (5520 posts) -

Good to see someone taking the problems with the internet seriously and not just letting it be the way things are.

#38 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1557 posts) -

@grantheaslip:

I can't see the mostly part (that word was relating to my emotional state), but I can certainly see the misrepresentation part. I feel like there's some sort of irony present in all this (that I'm blind to a misrepresentation error when I'm complaining about misrepresentation errors).

Hey, everyone does it! I bet I was unfair to someone's position in my original comment. Empathy is super hard -- probably impossible to do with any kind of consistency. If I'm remembering my psych 101 correctly, it's one of the last impulses to fully develop in children (after language, which I guess is kind of fitting here).

#39 Posted by falserelic (5394 posts) -

Every gamer has different personalities, and like someone mentioned on this thread it depends on their life experience, but at the end of the day were all just strangers talking with each other.

#40 Posted by Ares42 (2610 posts) -

I'd love to see a internet where people were forced to post under their real names.

Every time I hear this notion I just wonder what kinda dream world you live in. If you really think people will stop having stupid arguments and yell insults at each other just because they are no longer anonymous you need to broaden your perspective.

#42 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I can tell you exactly why.

Because games are more so than anything, beholden to the perceptions and personal experiences of the players with the respective videogame. While other media is usually static - everybody reads the same words, sees the same pictures, hears the same sounds - this is not how videogames work. Videogames come to life in the player's hands, and regardless of who plays, it's always a life of its own.

Add to that the inherent inadequacy of words to clearly communicate one's meaning - which leads to even more misunderstandings and confusions than with other subject matters - vocal videogame players seem more angry than most. It's super hard to get one another, when the same game can be so many different things, depending on to whom you're talking to.

#43 Edited by wjb (1653 posts) -

Dear Danny,

Please put your life and family on hold to move to Giant Bomb and work there. C'mon, it best for everyone involved (sure...maybe not you but sometimes life isn't about you, okay?!). I'm sure Jeff won't mind. Do it...do it...

Love,

Everyone at Giant Bomb

Also, about the angry gamers... Y'know, if those girls in high school/college just gave nerds consolation hand-jobs instead of flat-out rejecting them, we wouldn't have this problem (jkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjk).

And I enjoy Arthur Gies, but I can't follow him on Twitter anymore. He's more laid back on Rebel FM, but he has a real problem baiting people on Twitter. Like, he just can't be an adult and be above it. I think I remember Robert Ashley called him out about it in a Tweet months ago? I think that's why people get paranoid about Polygon reviews. "Did Arthur hire a woman just to stick it to the Internet?" "Did he put a woman on the Dragon's Crown review just to fuck with people?" Obviously, I don't care and I don't think any of that is true anyway, but his behavior on Twitter got old after a while.

#44 Edited by EXTomar (4629 posts) -

I don't think anyone, including gamers, are particularly more or less angry but that social media has changed. Now it is easier than ever to just spout off random thoughts one might not even consider let alone actually mean. It is now very easy to spout off "This game is stupid" when it turns out that they really don't think that the game is that stupid but that makes it appear they are very angry.

#45 Posted by spraynardtatum (2788 posts) -

I think there's a big difference between angry people and people that attack other users or reviewers. The attacking is where the line should be drawn.

Some people are angry and cynical, it's a part of life, they shouldn't be chastised for their personality or who they are at the time of posting. I have read hundreds of angry comments that were intelligent, funny, or from a perspective I'd never thought about. I think Danny made some fantastic points, people need to be more respectful of others but there should always be room for criticism and opposing viewpoints.

#46 Edited by spraynardtatum (2788 posts) -

I'd love to see a internet where people were forced to post under their real names.

I think that is going way too far honestly. It'd cause more problems than it would solve.

#47 Posted by Jimbo (9796 posts) -

Why are the Irish so terroristy? Sweeping generalisations rule.

#48 Posted by Demoskinos (14722 posts) -

I'd love to see a internet where people were forced to post under their real names.

There's this thing called Facebook and it doesn't stop people from being complete idiots even with their real names.

#49 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@seppli said:

While other media is usually static - everybody reads the same words, sees the same pictures, hears the same sounds

If that were true, then literary criticism would be a dead field.

Add to that the inherent inadequacy of words to clearly communicate one's meaning

Also, I have these Fragile Dreams screenshots, I guess.

#50 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6197 posts) -

It's good that people are angry about things. That said, immaturity is probably a better word in this case. The only thing you can really do about it is try to minimize it as best as possible.