This past week, I’ve been playing the widely successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the newest in the long list of CoD games. While I’ve been having a great time playing with some of my internet friends, I decided to stray away from them and to go level up on my own. After some good rounds of Free-For-All, I decided to easy myself into a lobby for Mercenary Team Deathmatch (for those who don’t know, it’s Team Deathmatch without any clan support). My side of the team (who eventually lost) was relatively quiet – besides the snickering of one player who seemed to die as fast as he spawned. Once the game was over and done with, we re-entered the lobby, and then all hell broke loose.
Around four or five different players – each of them sounding not of age to play this game – started throwing insult after insult to one another. One of the top players of the game then chimed in and threw some racist, homophobic, and derogatory insults at that one person until the next match started. I wish not to upset any of the readers of this article, so I will not post what this kid (about 15 years of age, according to his XBOX Live profile) had to say.
I’ve known for the three years I’ve been a member of the XBOX Live community, that the players of these games are not sitting down to play whatever online multiplayer game just for fun; they seem to just do it for the satisfaction of bringing down one another. Now, I’m a gamer through and through, but THIS would be the reason why I would ever quit: the complete disregard of the word “respect.” For a game that is Rated M for Mature, the community that surrounds it doesn’t seem to have the same quality. Everyday, I find a new way to get offended by some of the inflammatory language that these teenagers, and it irritates me that nothing is really being done to stop this, besides hitting the mute button.
Firstly, teenagers are not legally able to buy a game such as this without a parent buying it for you. And that’s where most of this blame lies, in the parental figures who will purchase such a game for their youth. The day I actually bought MW3, I was almost greeted by a little kid no more than SEVEN YEARS OLD, walking out with the game in hand and his mother in the other. Now, I am not one to not get a kid a game (if he/she would ask) but I would take some time and sit with them to hear and watch what they are saying and doing. I’d hate to listen to my kid play a game and use language that any normal adult would find offensive. Once I heard that type of language fly out of their mouths, the game would be over just like that. If they cannot show me the maturity while they are playing a game, then why give it to them?
Lastly, and probably the biggest reason why people do stuff like this is because there are no repercussions to their words. Sure, you can mute them, but that doesn’t mean that they still can’t send you voice messages telling you everything that you missed. They could go as far as to follow you into a party with your friends just to yell and scream at you some more. I wish the people working for Activision would actually sit down in their game and permanently muting those who which we find annoying. The game does have a “Report Player” option on everyone’s player card, but I’ve never seen any sort of repercussions for doing so.
After the whole lobby thing was back in order, I decided to play one more game with them, just to see if I could shut them up. Well, I had a decently good game (20-17 isn’t bad for me), helping my team destroy the aforementioned jerk squad. Once we got into the lobby, the insults were over, but the conversation turned into how I “modded my game so I could kill you more.”
XBOX Live is filled with cyberbullies; going through different games trying to see who they can get a rise out of. It’s sad that some of our youth can go to the extent of getting a smile on their faces not by completing a game, or even winning for that matter, but by making others feel awful about themselves. And hiding your tail after losing to the person that you once were ridiculing is not only funny, but a sad fact that they probably already know. If it wasn’t for the internet connection, but rather a face to face interaction, they wouldn’t have much to say.
This article was mainly for venting reasons, but I do not feel like I am too far off track here. Any other opinions on the matter? Please feel free to put a message at the bottom of the screen. Thank you.
You can follow me on Twitter @AlanHST