Help a slightly older person please

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stantongrouse

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#1  Edited By stantongrouse

Hi! I feel old. Although I am younger than most politicians I am older than what the industry tells us is the average age of people who regularly play games. Anyway, I finally got a PC that can play games more intense than solitaire so have been enjoying all the millions of Humble Bundle games in my back catalogue, yay! Previously, the only online game I had played to any extent was the fantastically anonymous Destiny, which I quite liked. Other than that, I have literally no experience with the online games community, being playing, forums or reviewing/commenting on games. Weird perhaps, but when you grow up on C64 and Spectrum games and magazines moving through several offline consoles it's just not something I ever bothered with.

So my question, to the Giantbomb hive mind is, how do you all deal with it?

Seriously. I wrote a review for a game that made me think about it a lot and since then woke up every morning to a list of people who've kindly taken the time to abuse me about so many, many things. If I have played a game where my Steam profile name is obvious online, again, abuse for either being too rubbish or being a "insert massively offensive term here". Now, I am not so naïve to not know that there is some unpleasantness out there regarding these things, I know from the GB podcasts some communities can be pretty toxic. But I am guessing that most of you all out there are putting up with this sort of thing too - doesn't it start to get under your skin?

Aside from how you deal with it, how do you avoid it? Non of my IRL friends play games anymore or if they do it's friends on the couch gaming. Coming into this a bit later in life, is there a pain free way to find normal people to hop onto a game with?

I am fully aware I might be called out for being overly sensitive about things, I probably am. But then I used to teach prisoners, and that was a pleasure compared to some of the things online gaming has chucked at me.

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TobbRobb

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What game was the review for and what was the tone of it? You might've hit a sore spot for some community that flipped out.

Honestly I just play premade groups with my friends for online games, and then mute any other voice chat in the game so I don't have to listen to random people. For text chat it's more of an eye-roll+ignore. My steam profile has comments disabled and I don't accept friend invites from obvious trolls or assholes.

You just kind of have to decide who is worth listening too and develop thick enough skin to ignore the ones that aren't. Not very easy to do, and also time consuming. But that's just kind of reality. I'd personally argue that's life outside the internet also, but people reign it in more in person.

As for how to find people online? Got no idea man. I met a bunch of gamers in school, and then it expanded from there. I've become strong friends with a small handful of people off of forums and games, but that's like, 5 people in over 7 years. Interacted with more than that share of friendly people for sure, but you don't find too many that stick.

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mems1224

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Honestly, people being assholes online doesn't bother me anymore. I've gotten completely numb to it. If someone is being loud or annoying I just mute them and keep playing. If they send me hate mail I just report it, block them and delete it and get on with my life. I don't bother responding or engaging with people who are being dicks

Try finding communities you like and join their discord or reddit groups and group up with them. The GB discord channel has a looking for group section and most of those dudes seem pretty chill. If you're playing with randoms just tell them you're new and not very good. I've had people help me out and teach me a game I was new to.

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Choi

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I'm often wondering that myself. Although I've been playing games alot my entire life, I've never found a constant, long lasting community of "normal" people to play with (outside of MMOs and the occasional hardcore ARMA guild) and as well, most of my real friends don't play so many games as I do.
But, there is a way (I just don't use it as much too)- play with random people, and contact people you had fun playing with. "Hey, was nice playing with you, can I add you so we can play some more?" can go a long way I guess...

For all the assholes and shitty people you come across there's always a mute button or block- don't let them get under your skin.
I must say, the internet is full of great and amazing people, the problem is only, most of them don't engage or turn on their mics... But with my experience with some of the tightly run, small and serious, "grownup" communities (ARMA 3 for instance), you can have some of the best gaming experiences EVER.

P.S. if you liked Destiny, you should maybe give Warframe a chance. It's going "open world" with the next big update ;)

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stantongrouse

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@tobbrobb: Ahhh, this thick skin - is it available on Amazon? My partner has definitely pointed out thicker skin is needed, I tend to think adjusting how I play games online might be easier than building up my resistance.

However, I will change my Steam settings, didn't even realise that they were there! Thank you!

Regarding the review, it was a for a hunting game (I realise my error in even touching a subject like that now) and I was trying, foolishly, to suggest that it was a fun game even if you don't hunt IRL. It seems that I had clearly walked blindly into a minefield full of extra mines while wearing clown shoes and wearing a target the size of a country. Just coming from a non-gun using country seemed to upset people too and I really have no say over governmental law. Yet.

Thanks for the help!

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stantongrouse

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@mems1224: Cool, I shall check that out. Thank you.

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stantongrouse

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@choi: Thanks, I'll check Warframe out - if I ever finish Xcom 2. I realise that nearly 50% of my 360 friends were people that I had helped randomly in Destiny who then sent a request over. I guess finding the right game might just help with that. For all the faults of the first one, and all the faults the second one will probably have, maybe Destiny 2 will help that - even if I have create a Battle.net profile to do so.

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BoccKob

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#8  Edited By BoccKob

I'm going to make some broad, sweeping statements, but my experience playing games online has largely been that American children are shits in skin and are largely the cause of nearly everything wrong with the internet. If it's feasible to play during their normal school hours, you may have a better chance of finding human beings.

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TobbRobb

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@stantongrouse: Developing resistance ain't so bad. The first little while of playing online competitive games, I was so nervous my hands would shake in the loading screens, and if anyone talked shit it was just instant demoralization. Nowadays everything just bounces off the armor like it's nothing. They would have to really bring out some deep penetration to get through.

Changing how you play or how you interact is also a bit of a slippery slope. If instead of taking some of the abuse head-on (I do think mitigating it a ton is worth it though), you always find more ways to avoid it. You will eventually get to the point where it comes down to not interacting with people at all. Or in cases where a full-mute isn't possible. Just stop playing. Not a great way to go for my money.

Though last thing I'll add. It actually does help to be positive yourself. It's kind of high maintenance and hard to do if you feel tired or something, But just being positive and encouraging, taking it on the other chin etc. will sometimes make the nice people crawl out of the woodwork. And the very occassional ass will stop talking. Though a lot of the time you will be rewarded for positivity with vitriol, so it's a pretty thankless effort.

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stantongrouse

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@bocckob: Hahaha, I think you might have hit the proverbial nail on the head. Although, having taught some of them, British school kids are doing their best to catch up to their US cousins.

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stantongrouse

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Well, I have to say everyone, thank you for making me feel a bit less insane about it all. I think my tougher skin might take a bit more scar tissue to develop fully but it'll get there. I shall think a bit more about planning when I am playing and look at some of the GB and Reddit communities before settling on Randoms. Right, I really have to get back to work. Again, thanks for the brain consolidation!

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hippie_genocide

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  1. Never read the comments.
  2. Don't allow users to communicate with you unless they are on your friends list.
  3. Never read the comments.
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craigieboy

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Honestly I think the main thing is just getting used to it, I'd be lying if I said seeing hateful comments being thrown around doesn't bother me anymore but to a certain point I just ignore and move on. I think that overtime not only will you become more resistant to what some people think is acceptable but you will also learn the best places/ways to engage with the community and avoid the toxic side for the most part.

I can imagine that in your case being new to all this at an older age than most of us makes it a bit more difficult for you but I'd still urge you to perceive as being involved with such a wide and diverse community is great and I genuinely believe that despite the internet's reputation for trolls and haters that they actually make up a much smaller percentage of the whole community than people would think.

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Sloktor

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#14  Edited By Sloktor

I have to say it was interesting to read, your feeling of coming into it at this point.

Personally i used to play more online games (MMO and some FPS games here and ther) before as a student. Now i have turned 30 and alot of time I just play alone or maybe some coop with a friends or family. In a weird way i havent lost the interest but i kind of lost the will to sit down and play sometimes. So i have ended up gravitating more to games like Diablo 3 and similar, when i play i might just solo and listen to some podcasts or audiobooks.

Though I feel like i need to expand the group of people i play with, even if it is just causually. Hoping that can revitalize my interest in games alittle more than it currently is

@mems1224 Thanks for pointing out the discord/reddit will have to see if i might find some fellow GB duders to play with.

Regarding people just being shitty online i as most people just end up ignoring those and reporting commenting as other people have mentioned. I know that isnt a good answer, but some people just seem to have the need to scream into the internet.

Edit: Sorry for any typos or bad grammar.

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cyberbloke

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You don't say how old you are, but talk of a Spectrum makes me think you are from England.

I am part of a gaming group called Old and Rubbish.

We started out about a decade ago when we all started posting on the Sony forums that we felt a little overwhelmed by teenage chatter when sticking our toes into online gaming.

If you feel like joining drop in at http://www.oldnrubbish.com

Most of us are based in the UK, we are all older gamers, and none of us take it too seriously.

Cheers.

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kcin

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I'm not super clear on how you get harassed. For the Steam review, I'm guessing they comment on your review, is that right? That's how I was insulted when I wrote a very negative review of The Escapists, a popular game. How else are you contacted?

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Naoiko

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I have the same problem with most online games. Honestly It's not the answer but I tend to just not talk to people outside of maybe the giant bomb forums or the GB community. It's not perfect but the butt head to cool person ration is way more in the cool person section.

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Slag

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@stantongrouse: well first off, I'm sorry that happened to you. Insulting comments are unfortunately part of life online anywhere you go really. It's a fiendish problem that no one has an answer for. It's only gotten worse as some of that behavior has become normalized in regular society.

What I do to minimize my chances of running into that personally is basically hang out in places that have smaller communities that are well moderated and/or have a reputation for being at least civil. Like here for instance. Steam otoh is basically completely unregulated and is an environment run by the lowest common denominator. I also tend to leave my social profiles as private as I can conveniently.

Not an ideal solution by any stretch, but it's what works for me with the tools that are currently available.

as for finding decent people to play with Discord has been a really useful tool in the last couple years. As a gaming old timer myself, I can honestly say I've never had as many people to play with as I do now in my entire life. Not to mention I find the call quality to be significantly better than Skype once you get your arms around how to use it.The trick of course is finding the right channels. Your best bet is to find online communities (like this one) and seeing if they have a discord channel associated with it.

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Moztacular

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#19  Edited By Moztacular

Don't know if you've spent any time on twitch watching streams or anything, but I get the impression certain streamers really strive to keep their viewership kind, respectful, and friendly. I can't think of anyone specifically off the top of my head, but you might be able to track down a streamer like that and see if they have a discord channel where like-minded viewers can group up for games. It might not be the "top streamer" for a particular game, but someone who regularly has a few hundred to a thousand viewers.

And like others have said, don't read comments, block/ignore/tune-out is unfortunately par for the course around most online communities, not just games. I will say that I've been frequenting the Bob Ross subreddit called 'happytrees' and everyone in there is super friendly and helpful with all the would-be painters like me, so positive communities certainly exist out there =)

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Justin258

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A note for several people in here - you can't turn off the text chat in a lot of Valve games. So even if you do mute everyone's voice, they can still say anything they want about you in the bottom left corner.

Me? Personally? I don't play enough online games to get a lot of it and when I do, I just don't care. It's somebody on the other end of an internet connection with nothing better to do, while most of the time I'm either relaxing from or avoiding the "something better" I have to do. I realize that not everyone can be as dismissive as I am of painful comments made on the internet, but it means that I don't really have many suggestions beyond the obvious "mute voices and avoid most forums" thing.

There are definitely places you can go to find groups of friendlier players, but the caveat there is that those places are probably full of people who expect you to regularly commit to playing at certain times.