Hate Mail

What is it that compels a person to message another person after a game? Online matches can be intense, there's an emotional investment, and a strong drive to win. But after it's done, why waste the time it takes (especially slogging through the XBOX messaging system) to send what is usually an inane and profane note? Perhaps just to blow off steam? So that the losing player feels a little better about themselves? Not everyone does this, of course, but it's interesting to think about who does and why. At least to me anyway so I'll continue.
 
Recently, I've been playing Halo Wars again after a several month hiatus. I'm working on the Legendary co-op campaign with a friend for the most part, but we also will play a few matches of multiplayer here and there. The highest frequency of hate mail comes to both of us from this game. My friend is a legit 100 in Gears of War 2 who was once ranked in the 20's on the Annex leaderboards and he got fewer messages in that game then he does in Halo Wars.  I think that in some cases people go into that game being good at Halo 3 and assume they'll be good at Halo Wars (even knowing full well that it's a completely different type of game).  The actual content differs but generally it comes down to the fact that we suck because we won. Backwards logic!
 
So I'm approaching this whole this as a sort of meta-game alongside any particular online game I'm playing at the moment. Rather than being annoyed at these messages I'll respond back in an attempt to elicit more responses. Maybe that's a childish thing to do, but hell what can I say? What's of particular interest is if I get a textual message to begin with and then it escalates into a gout of profanity laden voice which is pure comedy gold. Good thing I play after my kids go to sleep! In the past I'd simply block communications, naturally. Now I'll see how much effort this person will put into chiding me for: having no life, sucking, being a douche, etc. 
 
Anonymity is a funny thing. It affords a particular kind of freedom in this online environment so many of us frequent. How like this seething mass of hate filled text are the authors? Would they say the same thing directly to my face were we in the same room? I wonder. For now I'll enjoy my messages and try to work out a reasoning behind them. Until they become annoying again, anyway.

37 Comments
37 Comments
Posted by amarriner

What is it that compels a person to message another person after a game? Online matches can be intense, there's an emotional investment, and a strong drive to win. But after it's done, why waste the time it takes (especially slogging through the XBOX messaging system) to send what is usually an inane and profane note? Perhaps just to blow off steam? So that the losing player feels a little better about themselves? Not everyone does this, of course, but it's interesting to think about who does and why. At least to me anyway so I'll continue.
 
Recently, I've been playing Halo Wars again after a several month hiatus. I'm working on the Legendary co-op campaign with a friend for the most part, but we also will play a few matches of multiplayer here and there. The highest frequency of hate mail comes to both of us from this game. My friend is a legit 100 in Gears of War 2 who was once ranked in the 20's on the Annex leaderboards and he got fewer messages in that game then he does in Halo Wars.  I think that in some cases people go into that game being good at Halo 3 and assume they'll be good at Halo Wars (even knowing full well that it's a completely different type of game).  The actual content differs but generally it comes down to the fact that we suck because we won. Backwards logic!
 
So I'm approaching this whole this as a sort of meta-game alongside any particular online game I'm playing at the moment. Rather than being annoyed at these messages I'll respond back in an attempt to elicit more responses. Maybe that's a childish thing to do, but hell what can I say? What's of particular interest is if I get a textual message to begin with and then it escalates into a gout of profanity laden voice which is pure comedy gold. Good thing I play after my kids go to sleep! In the past I'd simply block communications, naturally. Now I'll see how much effort this person will put into chiding me for: having no life, sucking, being a douche, etc. 
 
Anonymity is a funny thing. It affords a particular kind of freedom in this online environment so many of us frequent. How like this seething mass of hate filled text are the authors? Would they say the same thing directly to my face were we in the same room? I wonder. For now I'll enjoy my messages and try to work out a reasoning behind them. Until they become annoying again, anyway.

Posted by Bombs_Away

I don't play online and this is one of the main reasons why.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

Nice post. I've wondered this before, and I've gotten a handful of hateful messages after playing some online multiplayer, though I've never felt compelled to do so myself. I just don't see the point in stirring up shit with someone I don't even know for no reason. 
 
I specifically remember the last time someone sent me a hate-text on Live. I was playing 1 vs 100 back in the summer, and some random guy I was playing with was doing really, really horrible. I guess he felt threatened by me and my knowledge, though I really wasn't even doing that good - I had gotten like the last 8 questions right out of like 16 or so - it's just that this guy was a complete and utter moron. So he sent me the following message (as I remember it best at least): "ur 2 good at dis u need 2 get a life/gf". I would've responded, but I was too busy laughing.

Edited by ProfessorEss

I know, even if i did get mad enough to even think about it i can guarantee that anger wouldn't last long enough for me to get any kind of message out. :P
 
Now anger at a single player game?
That's a totally different story.

Posted by amarriner

 @OneKillWonder said:

"I just don't see the point in stirring up shit with someone I don't even know for no reason."

Yeah that really should be my response and it used to be the way I handled things like this, but for some reason I do it despite myself these days. I'm sure that'll pass soon. I suppose it's just that I'm intrigued by them rather then angry which I assume is the intended outcome. I, too, get a chuckle out of the ones telling me to get a life. Especially if the sendee has a higher gamerscore than I do, but also because I own a house, have a family and a full-time job so I think I'm doing just fine in the life department. :)
 

 @ProfessorEss said:

Now anger at a single player game?
That's a totally different story.  

Ha, totally agree there! Ah gone are the days of chucking a controller because of Ninja Gaiden or Castlevania or Mega Man. Good times ... good times ...

Posted by NakAttack
@Bombs_Away said:
" I don't play online and this is one of the main reasons why. "
this, probably why i have so many d ranks
Posted by amarriner
@nk19 said:
" @Bombs_Away said:
" I don't play online and this is one of the main reasons why. "
this, probably why i have so many d ranks "
Yeah that's a legitimate concern. I really enjoy online play, though, so I try not to let it get to me and work through it. Honestly the ratio of junk mail to games played is not high enough to make me want to stop playing online.
Posted by Evilsbane

My favorite is a little black kid, met him in Halo 3, he started singing as loud as he could ( sucking I might add, but how many 8 year olds have good singing voices?) so I told him stop (In a civil manner) he then proceeded to call me white trash and told me I enslaved his family, after the game was over I got a message (in voice) calling me things that I honestly have not and never heard of again.

Posted by bhhawks78

Takes one button press to delete it, just deal and ignore.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Let me explain this a little bit:
 

Oh, and throw in a shattered ego, for good measure.
Edited by amarriner

 @bhhawks78: I'm not complaining about it. I'm intrigued by it.
 
@Video_Game_King: Heh yeah I've seen that. Pretty accurate actually. The 2+3=Cats part is my favorite.

Posted by Alex_Murphy

I've gotten some FU kind of messages, but I've also gotten some good ones. Like one time I got a message after I beat somebody in SF4 and I thought they were going to tell me I was being cheep, but the message was just something like 'thanks for the ass wooping buddy'. So now sometimes if I have a real fun match I'll send somebody a message like 'call the cops, my whole team just got raped'. Just something to show that not everybody on XBL is a sore looser.

Posted by amarriner
@Alex_Murphy: Yeah that's a great approach, actually. I hope it's not lost on the people who get sent those messages, but it looks like you're proof that it isn't!
Posted by Fallen189

I used to get them on here from Linkyshinks and Metal gear sunny. lol.

Posted by Virago

I dunno, when I get pissed at someone stupid, I have been known to write a nasty comment at her. I mean them.
 Yes, it's childish, yes it's hurtful. But it's arguably better than punching them in the face instead. Maybe.

Posted by MikkaQ

Well it's the internet and you gotta keep in mind most people on the internet are dicks. It's no big deal, they try to tell you off, you tell them to fuck off. 

Posted by Kenobi

Sometimes cussing out is all these people have.  And othe times they are just complete asswipes.
Edited by Kohe321

But you do like fe-mail, right? 
 
Holy shit I'm on fire tonight.

Posted by rp108
@Bombs_Away said:
" I don't play online and this is one of the main reasons why. "
That is too bad. Playing online, in my opinion, is the definition of gaming this generation.
Posted by Skytylz

I love getting those hate messages, it makes me laugh.

Posted by Sh4ft3d
@rp108:
I do agree with you to some extent, but single player games have not been losing steam in terms of depth and character. As far as fps's go, multiplayer is all that matters to me; games like Braid occupy a completely different set of standards.
Posted by Out_On_Bail
@Bombs_Away said:
" I don't play online and this is one of the main reasons why. "
Because someone might send you a nasty message? Boohoo. 
 
There's got to be a better reason to avoid playing online then that. 
Posted by Bombs_Away
@Out_On_Bail: I prefer story driven games, rather than doing the same, monotonous thing with a bunch of people who measure their sexual virility on their rank on MW2. Good enough for you? 
 
Oh and try not to be a dick in future, not cool.
Posted by Tireyo
@bhhawks78 said:
" Takes one button press to delete it, just deal and ignore. "

Posted by Out_On_Bail
@Bombs_Away said:
" @Out_On_Bail: I prefer story driven games, rather than doing the same, monotonous thing with a bunch of people who measure their sexual virility on their rank on MW2. Good enough for you?   Oh and try not to be a dick in future, not cool. "
But that's not even close to what you said earlier. The OP had a complaint about nasty emails/messages and you responded with "That's why I don't play multiplayer." What else was I supposed to gather from that? I wasn't trying to be a dick, you are just too sensitive.
Posted by natetodamax
@Bombs_Away said:
" @Out_On_Bail: I prefer story driven games, rather than doing the same, monotonous thing with a bunch of people who measure their sexual virility on their rank on MW2. Good enough for you?   Oh and try not to be a dick in future, not cool. "
You said you didn't play multiplayer because of hate mail, but now you are saying you don't play multiplayer because of the gameplay.
Posted by Brunchies

I usually never play online that much but when I do I delete the message if it isn't on my friends list. 

Posted by Chokobo

Only time I ever send messages are when someone quits as I'm about to win in SFIV.  Generally just a "GG, Douche" so as not to waste my time in the awful typing interface.  
 
More often than not, I just add them as an avoided player so I hopefully don't get in any of their games anymore.

Posted by Zabant
@Bombs_Away said:
" I don't play online and this is one of the main reasons why. "
What sort of attitude is that? Do you also not talk to women out of fear of rejection?
Posted by Breadfan

I usually just delete any voice message from anyone not on my friends list. Most of the time it is either just some sort of spam or someone in a fit of nerd rage over something that happened in the game. 

Posted by Matthew
@Skytylz said:
" I love getting those hate messages, it makes me laugh. "
I typically reply with 'cool story bro' 
 
Never hear from'em again.
Posted by carlthenimrod

I periodically get hate messages over XBL, but I usually delete them or sometimes I will send a reply like "relax bro". You don't want to get drawn into long drawn out flame wars, because at that point nobody wins, you're both losers.

Posted by Bombs_Away
@Out_On_Bail: @natetodamax: Read what I said again knobheads, I said one of the main reasons. Out_On_Bail asked for another reason, so I gave it to him. And then you two have a spaz attack cause it's different to what I originally said. Once again, a person with over 1,000 posts and another with over 9,000 posts, the so called more mature members of the site show that they have no desire whatsoever to make this a community, rather try and turn it into XBL and show how big your dick size is with how many posts you have. Well done, you've got no life and type a lot. Be proud.
 
@Zabant:
It's also ironic that we're talking about hate mail and the negative effects it has, and then I get comments like that. Mature man, very mature.
Posted by Out_On_Bail
@Bombs_Away: What in the hell is your deal? What does post counts have to do with any of this? You sure are good at bringing up things completely unrelated.  
 
You are only proving how sensitive you are to peoples comments. You've proved it by your initial response to the OP, you've proved it by the way you handle people who disagree with you, and you've proved it by bringing up completely unrelated things like post counts - something of which you look at more then I do it seems. 
 
It's all good though, to each their own. I don't hate you if you don't like MP. I just think hating it for the reason you mentioned first was lame. Forgive me and my 1000 posts for arguing, the world would be a better place if we all just agreed with you and moved on about our business.
Posted by amarriner
@Out_On_Bail said:
But that's not even close to what you said earlier. The OP had a complaint about nasty emails/messages and you responded with "That's why I don't play multiplayer." What else was I supposed to gather from that? I wasn't trying to be a dick, you are just too sensitive. "
Just to be clear, I wasn't in any way complaining about hate mail. I was just curious about the whole thing really.
Posted by mylifeforAiur

If i get irritated usually my controller recieves all the "attention," not too much though controllers are expensive :P

Posted by natetodamax
@Bombs_Away said:
" @Out_On_Bail: @natetodamax: Read what I said again knobheads, I said one of the main reasons. Out_On_Bail asked for another reason, so I gave it to him. And then you two have a spaz attack cause it's different to what I originally said. Once again, a person with over 1,000 posts and another with over 9,000 posts, the so called more mature members of the site show that they have no desire whatsoever to make this a community, rather try and turn it into XBL and show how big your dick size is with how many posts you have. Well done, you've got no life and type a lot. Be proud.
I try not to cuss, but this is a situation where I must say, what the FUCK are you talking about? This thread was about receiving hate mail when you play online, and you said that was the reason you don't play online. You then said you don't play online because you prefer, and I quote, " story driven games, rather than doing the same, monotonous thing with a bunch of people who measure their sexual virility on their rank on MW2." You completely changed your reason, and I responded to this sudden change in reason. First of all, I was not spazzing out. I have no clue where the hell you got that. And second of all, me having over 9,000 posts means nothing. And then you say I have no life when you are putting up the dumbest argument I have seen in a while. Sorry for liking video games and enjoying posting on a forum devoted to video games. Now would you kindly get your head out of your ass and GTFO?