Why are Kids Singled Out in Multiplayer Games?

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#1 Edited by Vampire_Chibi (496 posts) -

Ever played a multiplayer PC game these days?

As soon as kids use voice chat, they immediately get targeted by older people.. Why?

Why do some people feel the need to shut down people, let alone kids?

Back-in-da-day, this never happened to me as a child playing xbox 360 games online.

Is it the platform change or has the playing field just changed?

Alot of communities refer to kids as "Squeakers", because of their underdeveloped voice.

But imagine if people went after you for something that you cannot control, like the color of your skin or your sex, why is it "ok" in alot of communities to go after someone because of their age?

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#2 Posted by impartialgecko (1941 posts) -

This may be the ambiguous and disturbing thread name ever.

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#3 Posted by ThePanzini (744 posts) -

I know this is anecdotal but my recent online experience this gen with Destiny, Division, H5 and Battlefield has been golden I can't remember ever coming across someone as hateful towards another player, in fact its pretty hard to come across anyone in game chat and even my day with the BLOPS3 beta didn't produce any drama. The last time I remember wide spread salt online was last gen Halo but kids being targeted I've never seen.

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#4 Edited by BrunoTheThird (844 posts) -

I would guess it's the same kind of communities who feel the need to "target" anyone, and they're less common than players looking for a good time. When it's a competitive shooter and you hear a pre-pre-teen mumbling and constantly talking into the mic, it is annoying, and most will simply mute them or quit before the next match.

I don't think kids should even be playing online games of a certain kind until they're around thirteen anyway, and these potential confrontations are why. It's usually shooters and fighting games, let's be honest. My six-year-old niece had great experiences with the Little Big Planet 2 community, and stuff like Roblox. Some gaming environments are just much more likely to develop antagonistic sub-cultures or harbor trolls and bullies; it's endemic of a certain mindset.

For me the 360 was the worst. I was thirteen and was attacked in Street Fighter IV, Guitar Hero, Halo 3, etc. Hacking and griefing are bigger PC annoyances, for me.

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#5 Edited by an_ancient (306 posts) -

My guess it is shame for enjoying a passtime for kids, the general awkwardness of playing with some strangers children and the idea of pre-pubescent children not being skilled enough yet.

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#6 Posted by StressedOutCat (288 posts) -

Same reason grownups don't wanna see a kid at a grown up party
their not worried about the kid and more worried about the effect the kid has on the party.

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#7 Posted by BoOzak (2648 posts) -

Just out of curiousity which PC multiplayer games are you playing?

Last time I played with someone younger (12-13?) it was in a raid in Destiny the guy even apologised for having a high pitched voice (i'm guessing hes been given shit elsewhere) and everyone was cool with it/him. There was a raid awhile ago where a kid kept blaming everyone despite him being the route of the problem (we beat it as soon as he left) in my experience if you dont act like a kid people dont give you shit but obviously it depends on the game you're playing.

COD and Battlefield can be rough if you're anything other than an American male adult.

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#8 Posted by htr10 (1065 posts) -

I mean, why do people who have a voice suggestive of being African-American get called the N word with voice chat? Why do women get harassed with voice chat? A lot of people aren’t good people.

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#9 Posted by cikame (2915 posts) -

I don't like kids.
I stay away from kids as much as possible because i don't like kids... simple as that. That's not to say i give abuse to kids online, i've had voice chat muted for the most part since 2006, but before that the shrill, belligerent ramblings of a child would send them straight to mute camp.

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#10 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7838 posts) -

I usually don't have a problem if a kid shows up in a match with me. But sometimes this means I will hear more obscenities, racial slurs, homophobic language, etc. To put it bluntly a lot of (not all mind you) kids are immature. This is the simplest element I can attest as to why people don't like it when they show up on a team. To be 100% fair, there are just as many adults who are even more immature; younger age is not a prerequisite here. I think it comes down to this. Be nice to people and people will (usually) be nice back. This is the easiest courtesy to lend to others, especially in the gaming community.

And yes, I might change the thread title something a little less... questionable. Maybe changed "targeted" to "discriminated against" or something to that effect.

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#11 Posted by gamer_152 (14778 posts) -

I mean in a lot of these communities they still do go after women or non-white people. You still hear and see terrible shit in the chat for all sorts of games, and remembering the early days of 360 voice chat, I don't think this is new. Some people find children's voices grating, and some people are worried that kids are likely to use the voice chat more immaturely (the irony of this is through the roof) or play worse. In general, a lot of gaming communities are terrified of the idea of any perceived outsiders encroaching and "ruining" the game. As ever, the anonymity, perceived lack of consequence, and casual hostility of a lot of gaming spaces creates an environment where people feel comfortable insulting other people.

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#12 Posted by Marcsman (3823 posts) -

They deserve it This younger generation are weak and soft.

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#13 Edited by Justin258 (15690 posts) -

Same reason grownups don't wanna see a kid at a grown up party

their not worried about the kid and more worried about the effect the kid has on the party.

If the people who verbally abuse kids who get online with a mic were actually grown-up, they'd simply mute the kid and move on with their lives.

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#14 Posted by BicycleHam (1391 posts) -

Kids probably shouldn't be hanging out in a PUBG lobby full of people saying some rough shit

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#15 Posted by kcin (1005 posts) -

@marcsman said:

They deserve it This younger generation are weak and soft.

not like us Gamers

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#16 Posted by Memu (454 posts) -

Little kids should not be playing Friday 13th. It is a reaction (in some cases over reaction) to: this kid is lowering my enjoyment of the game, combined with: where are this kid's fucking parents?

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#17 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5990 posts) -

Kids are probably better than them and their sad ass egos can’t take it.

This has been going on since the dawn of voice chat though in my experience.

Is it worse now? Maybe. Pretty much everything is.

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#18 Posted by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -

Who the hell uses voice chat with randoms?

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#19 Posted by OurSin_360 (6201 posts) -

I always wonder how/why parents let these little kids play online games anyway. Last time i had gaming experience with kids online was them screaming the n-word over and over, i guess things are different these days?

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#20 Edited by Coryukin (109 posts) -

Most people don't wanna be around a child when they're looking to relax. I don't get angry or shout down kids that are playing games like you speak of, but I still don't like being around kids.

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#21 Edited by NTM (11872 posts) -

@werupenstein said:

Who the hell uses voice chat with randoms?

I don't play online much other than when I play with my brothers, so voice chat is only with them, but yeah, I second this. We also never hear anyone else talk; we mute that stuff.

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#22 Posted by iam16bit (33 posts) -

Because there's a stigma regarding kids in online games. They've always been annoying, screeching into the microphone and generally being a nuisance to everyone playing.

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#23 Posted by DJMoo (175 posts) -

From my personal experience, I feel like targeting kids or at least being a kid online has been used as a point of insult for a while. Back in the day, I played a lot of warcraft 3 online. Frequently, people would call someone 12 years old or a kid to imply the person was inexperienced, naive, immature, or to de-legitimize the individual. I feel like the logic was: "Why should anyone take your input seriously since you are young and inexperienced in life? Since you are young, you don't know what you're talking about and you should stay quiet," which is obviously nonsense. Unfortunately, I was guilty of doing this too (even though I was myself a kid :P). For me, I would use it as any means to just try to jab at someone cause I was angry and frankly immature. And even though there was no voice chat in the WC3 days, people still managed to throw "I bet your just a little kid!" to complete strangers to shut them down. So basically, I would say it comes from a place of immaturity but it's certainly not a novel thing.

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#24 Edited by Sweep (10609 posts) -

These days if I'm playing online I just turn off voice chat completely, so I very rarely have to deal with it. It's so much better that way.

My hatred of children is not exclusive to online multiplayer games. If I could I would mute them in the real world, too.

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#25 Posted by Vampire_Chibi (496 posts) -


@htr10
: : : : I disagree, i think kids should be able to do what they want, play games or watch movies, it should be their choice. Why do you think some people have it so hard to mute others or just turn off voice chat all together?

@boozak I dunno about that, most people behave out of game but ingame they're different people.

@stressedoutcat Mostly Team Fortress 2 these days. Why do you think people still treat this "mature" thing as a real thing? If anything the most immature people are adults, i don't think most kids would dare to act the same as some adults.

@brunothethird But games aren't for grownups only, some would argue that games are only for kids

@thepanzini:Are you playing exclusively on consoles?

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#26 Posted by Marcsman (3823 posts) -

@sweep said:

These days if I'm playing online I just turn off voice chat completely, so I very rarely have to deal with it. It's so much better that way.

My hatred of children is not exclusive to online multiplayer games. If I could I would mute them in the real world, too.

Sweep you are my hero of the day.

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#27 Posted by Vampire_Chibi (496 posts) -

@memu: What if someone told you, that you couldn't play a game because of something you couldn't control? Kids are playing Five nights at Freddy's, a horror game, yet humorously popular with kids. I think it should be to the individual child, what he/she can or cannot take in of content, who better to make that choice then the person that will be using these games/movies.

@xolare : What about girls? I don't think kids should be filtered out just because of their age, alot of children play CS:GO and other hugely popular multiplayer games. What if we did that for any other attribute for a person, it could be racist, sexist, but when it's a child it's okay, why? It's an innocent videogame, that everyone should be able to enjoy.

@justin258: I think we have to move past the "be an adult" thing, because being an adult entails you to be very toxic to underaged people, it's the no true scotsman fallacy, just applied to age instead.

@marcsman : : Outdated meme, humans are fragile, they need love and care to succeed.

@gamer_152: I guess back then that being a child, i was always around other kids in online games, i guess that's what's up, kids are nicer to each other when no "adults" are around. I've noticed a phenomenon that only occurs online, if you say or try to do something about the harasser, you're suddenly just as bad, because you said something, you're put in the same category as the offender.

@themanwithnoplan: A further discussion element could be that girls are also "singled out". How often is it a girl that's being the asshole? It's rare that i hear any girls even use voice chat at all. Why it it always guys? I really don't think that most people that play video games are guys but even if that was true, girls rarely use voice chat.

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#28 Posted by Vampire_Chibi (496 posts) -

@iam16bit: : Dunno about you but generally speaking, i've been bothered more by adults then kids.

@oursin_360 : It's an easy way to keep your children busy, while you yourself do other things. It's also a good way for kids to spend their time, instead of just waiting around or staring into nothing, they can stimulate their brain and have some fun in the meantime. Games and kids have always gone hand-in-hand, no reason to stop that now.

@geraltitude Maybe it's because alot of multiplayer games now are free2play, probably having a higher influx of children on the PC side of things.

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#29 Edited by kindgineer (3102 posts) -

I don't single out kids in multi-player games, nor do I live under the illusion that 'kids' are the most toxic ones in chat, either. Playing Rainbow Six: Siege, I would say the majority of "adults" are the most toxic in the community whereas the "kids" mostly play the game like it's Call of Duty instead of a breach & clear tactics shooter. Both are annoying in their own right, but the toxic "adults" shouting the n-word, calling everyone a faggot, or spouting the latest meme are by far worse than the alternative.

We, unfortunately, have formed this belief that any toxic behavior is due to the player being 'young,' rather than admitting to ourselves that some people never grow up.

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#30 Edited by Dray2k (884 posts) -

Personally I live by the "live and let live" credo. If theres a person who I know annoys me I just press the mute button so hard the impact my finger does on the mouse ripples through the universe with the force of several billion quasars.

This doesn't apply to kids or everyone who stands out, but simply boils down to everybody I personally believe will make my day worse by being a shitheel. Don't waste your time listening to people you don't enjoy hanging out with online and just be around people that make your day better instead.

As for this thread, I don't really remember that kids, or "people who stand out" would act obnoxious. However in the last 20 or so years I've been online I've met a couple of adults (or so I think, you can never be sure online) that behaved way worse than I even I possibly and potentially could act. Again, just mute and move on.

The internet is full of trolls (which, quite often, are adults) and I feel that its better to focus on that specific problem.

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#31 Posted by hippie_genocide (2456 posts) -

I don't mind playing with kids. It can even be kind of funny sometimes. Garden Warfare is mostly played by kids it seems and it's funny listening to them try to strategize. I used to go into public matches of gun game in Black Ops II and try and get reactions from demoting people. If I got a kid on the mic, it was like reeling in a whopper.

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#32 Posted by ThePanzini (744 posts) -

@vampire_chibi: Yeah I play online games mostly on consoles, Halo last gen was pretty bad its a very competitive game and voice chat became very vitriolic.

However this gen my experience has been mainly through Destiny and its been surprisingly good. Raiding is a long and stressful process but everyone I've come across from LFG have been great and despite how sweaty and frustrating PvP/trails is I've hardly ever got any hate mail.

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#33 Edited by habster3 (3685 posts) -

@marcsman said:

They deserve it This younger generation are weak and soft.

Nah, kids have always been like that. A kid on the mic can be annoying, but they'll grow out of it. Responding any way other than muting them won't really be doing them any favors, and this is coming from someone who used to be bullied for similar reasons and learned absolutely nothing from the experience.

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#34 Posted by Justin258 (15690 posts) -

@memu: What if someone told you, that you couldn't play a game because of something you couldn't control? Kids are playing Five nights at Freddy's, a horror game, yet humorously popular with kids. I think it should be to the individual child, what he/she can or cannot take in of content, who better to make that choice then the person that will be using these games/movies.

@xolare : What about girls? I don't think kids should be filtered out just because of their age, alot of children play CS:GO and other hugely popular multiplayer games. What if we did that for any other attribute for a person, it could be racist, sexist, but when it's a child it's okay, why? It's an innocent videogame, that everyone should be able to enjoy.

@justin258: I think we have to move past the "be an adult" thing, because being an adult entails you to be very toxic to underaged people, it's the no true scotsman fallacy, just applied to age instead.

Kids are almost universally bad at video games. OK, they can be good at Call of Duty, but Siege and CS:GO are vastly different games despite looking similar at first glance. Exceptions exist, but a ten year old just doesn't have the experience or brain power necessary to think about everything he's doing. As far as voice chat goes, kids are loud, annoying, and whiny. Again, exceptions exist, but they're few and far between and if you think you are/were an exception, you aren't/weren't.

That's not why they shouldn't be allowed to play these games in the first place. They shouldn't be allowed to play CoD, Siege, CS:GO, or Battlefield, or whatever else, because all of those games have a realistic aesthetic depicting brutal slaughter of human beings. A kid's brain is still developing, still absorbing everything they see, and they don't yet have the maturity or understanding to separate fact from fiction. Beyond that, they certainly aren't old enough to determine what's best for themselves - if they were, then they wouldn't need adult supervision. I should note that by "child", I don't mean teenager, I mean someone who is 12 or under, although teenagers almost universally need adults around as well.

As far as what "being an adult" means - yeah, it does mean something. Nobody who is actually mature and actually an adult has the time, patience, or drive to get in an online game and make fun of people. Sure, there are plenty of people over 18 who do that, and have jobs, and even maintain their own living spaces. But that only makes them an adult in the most basic, legal sense.

Back-in-da-day, this never happened to me as a child playing xbox 360 games online.

So I'm guessing you're still a teenager, then? This is one of those "when you're older" things, I guess. I was playing PS2 games online in middle school, I also spent some time wondering just what the hell was wrong with people that didn't want kids in their online games, ever, for any reason. Then I grew up.

Being toxic to anyone, for any reason, in any context, is inexcusable, I should make that one clear. But if I get into an online game and someone squeaks, they're getting muted instantly.

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#35 Posted by ripelivejam (13227 posts) -

@xolare: Also all those human centipedes must be jarring.

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#36 Posted by sravankb (544 posts) -

Constantly talking during a raid where communication is key.

That's mainly why I don't usually prefer playing with kids. There have been exceptions, but they're few and far between.

And another problem is when they just straight up lie. "I've done this section multiple times" -> proceeds to instantly fail the most basic mechanic. Not knowing mechanics is one thing; that can be taught (and I like going over this stuff with new players). But just lying to just get into the group is an instant black mark from me. I don't want to play with someone who takes themselves so seriously, they'd have to lie about how experienced they are in a goddamn video game.

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#37 Edited by TravisRex (819 posts) -

Its because their voice stands out and people i think want to establish that theyre the asshole/"funny" guy. These things happen to let you know who to mute or report. Its the circle of life.

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#38 Edited by sammo21 (5975 posts) -

@vampire_chibi: Personally, its because their voice stands out and many times in a bad way. Super high and shrill. Also, most kids talk way too much on the mics. Anytime I have done rando duo or squad in PUBG and its a kid? they are practically narrating every single thing they do and I can't focus so I end up muting voice all together. Also, on consoles, I hear the most racial garbage from kids or at least people who sound like they are pre-teens/early teenage.

Don't get me wrong, its also bad when there is a dude blaring his rap music over the mic or someone practically streaming EDM in their mics in Counter-Strike, but kids are consistently annoying on the mics. Generally I only run into that on stuff like Counter-Strike.

Am I saying that its appropriate to berate them? No, but I will tell someone to shut up if they are constantly talking on an open mic and keeping people from focusing or from being able to hear other people. If they don't I will mute them. The stereotype exists for a reason.

Back-in-da-day, this never happened to me as a child playing xbox 360 games online.

That's because most people back then were probably around your age group and for console players that experience was practically new for everyone. Everyone was on the mic all the time; its why Xbox Live got the reputation as being THE terrible place to play online: screaming kids, racist voice chat, dudes who flip out when they find out a girl is in the game, etc...most people got this experience on Xbox Live and not PC. The only real places I got that before Xbox Live was Counter-Strike, Team Fortress Classic, and maybe some other Half-Life mod games. Most games didn't have open voice chat as much as those did. When it came to Xbox Live and online games all of them practically had it and every single 360 came with a microphone so the barrier of entry went from easy to practically non-existent.

Alot of communities refer to kids as "Squeakers", because of their underdeveloped voice.

Never heard of this but it sounds hilarious and not that big of a deal. I'm also willing to bet its not really as big of a problem as you make out.

But imagine if people went after you for something that you cannot control, like the color of your skin or your sex, why is it "ok" in alot of communities to go after someone because of their age?

OK, I don't know if the oppression Olympics approach is the best way to get someone to commiserate. This is not the same as saying, "LFG for Vault of Glass. Please be familiar with the fight. Also, no black people." Yeah, not funny and not appropriate. Saying, "No kids"? Not a big deal at all.

Having been in charge of raid runs in World of Warcraft for years (no longer, thankfully) and even clan runs in Destiny 1 and 2 I will tell you that children are mostly the ones causing "issues" on voice chat. They want to talk the most, they are the most hyper, and that's why people in LFG for stuff will sometimes say "no kids" (on top of them not wanting to feel like they have to censor themselves for anything). With how easy it is to mute people, if its a game like BLOPS3 I generally will auto mute the entire game as voice chat doesn't matter in those games. As far as console voice chat these days? I rarely need to mute anyone because people are either in private parties or they don't use mics, which is annoying when queuing up solo in Overwatch ranked because no one communicates.

@brunothethird But games aren't for grownups only, some would argue that games are only for kids

That argument doesn't hold water and hasn't for like a decade or more. Just like comic books, the main demographic for most of this stuff is like 28+.

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#39 Edited by elmorales94 (373 posts) -

The only game where I encounter kids is Overwatch. Usually, I just mute them. When I'm in competitive and communication is important, I don't do that and I have to talk to them. I almost always hate playing with kids. I never go out of my way to yell at or abuse kids online, of course, but I do speak up sometimes to either try and coordinate or reign in the madness. I usually hate playing with kids because they're either bad at the game or seem intent on trolling/griefing/memeing it up. The times when I've found myself most annoyed, the kids in question have been obnoxious, yelling, and at least sort of racist/homophobic because it's "edgy." This obviously isn't universal. I wouldn't question someone being bad at the game if they didn't have a mic, but the fact that I can hear it's a kid gives me an explanation/scapegoat for my frustration.

I've heard people (clearly teens) being rude to younger kids online and... teens gonna teen. "Squeakers" is so lame that only a teen could think it's a cool thing to say. Never seen an adult grief a kid though. There's a mute option for a reason.

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#40 Posted by iam16bit (33 posts) -

@vampire_chibi Well I think everyone's interaction can vary but my interactions have been the same as everyone. I've had my fair share of dealing with obnoxious kids online. Of course this is an issue that's been going on for longer than I've been gaming online, hell I remember when I was in high school over a decade ago me and my friends laughing at the "I Want My Chocolate Milk!" Kid.

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#41 Posted by gamer_152 (14778 posts) -

@vampire_chibi said:

@gamer_152: I guess back then that being a child, i was always around other kids in online games, i guess that's what's up, kids are nicer to each other when no "adults" are around. I've noticed a phenomenon that only occurs online, if you say or try to do something about the harasser, you're suddenly just as bad, because you said something, you're put in the same category as the offender.

I'm sceptical. There are plenty of kids that when left to their own devices become bullies and in that bullying a lot of other kids take sides. This happens on playgrounds all the time. But yes, there are also people who hate people talking about de-toxifying game spaces or extending compassion to harassment victims. A lot of the mentality behind this seems to be that those defenders are perceived as some outside force trying to disrupt the culture and when people integrate that culture into their identity, they begin to feel personally attacked.

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#42 Posted by CurseTheseMetalHands (182 posts) -

I've made it a point to always Mute All when playing online. It's just better that way.

Seriously, when was the last time you heard a random person saying anything worth listening to, anything you'd want to respond to? Sure, there are a handful of people playing Battlefield who actually make a point of calling out snipers or people sneaking around the back in Rush, or who'll let you know they're coming to revive you or ask for ammo when they need it. But, before I started muting people, it was typically just people being obnoxious, spewing profanity for no good reason, sounding all wasted/high and mumbling incoherently, or just being general pieces of shit. I don't think I've ever heard random people talking to other random people in cordial, pleasant tones about just random topics and just having a good time.

It's not an age thing. It's a people thing.