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The Importance of Online Gaming Etiquette: What It Is And Why We Need It

The Importance of Online Gaming Etiquette: What It Is And Why We Need It

By: Jessica Earle

While online gaming has opened many doors for cooperative play and meeting like minded individuals, an unfortunate drawback is the sheer volume of rudeness and unfair play that must be sifted through to find a truly enjoyable game experience. While some game communities are better at policing bad behaviour than others, there will always be those who spoil it for the rest of us with poor sportsmanship, unfair exploitation of others and plain old vulgarity.

Even the most reasonable person can exhibit bad online behaviour when caught up in a game they are passionate about. Hidden under the anonymous veil of the internet, it’s easy to forget that other players are real people with equally real thoughts and feelings. It is monumentally important to remember that common decency is just as important in the virtual world as it is in the actual one. Here are some good rules of online gaming etiquette that everyone should follow:

Remember that you were a beginner once too

Virtually nobody can be perfect at something the first time they try it. Everyone has to crawl before they can walk. Remember to have a little patience for those learning the ins and outs of a game. You could even take it a step further and share a little hard-earned insight with a struggling beginner. Remember, there once was a time when you were the ‘new guy’ as well.

Teamwork is key

In games that require you to play as a team, don’t abandon your comrades and try to kamikaze the enemy. In cooperative play it is often counter-productive to try and do things on your own. Plus, do you really expect your teammates to have your back if you don’t have theirs? If being at the top of the scoreboard is more important that your team as a whole winning the match, then be fair to everyone else and try out a solo game type instead.

Quitting is NOT better than losing

If things don’t happen to be going your way, don’t disconnect mid-game. Not only is it rude to the other players who actually want to play the game to completion (regardless of outcome), many game forums will actually ban users who do this repeatedly. Always take the mature route and keep playing until the end. Besides, you never know what sort of last minute tactics your teammates could use to sway the game back into your favour.

Watch your language and hold your tongue

Nothing is more counter productive than spouting off profanity and insults at everyone in listening range. Alternatively, if you hear a fellow player persisting at being vulgar and talking trash, don’t play into it. Save yourself a headache and just mute them. Gamers generally associate that kind of behaviour with immature or over compensating players for a reason.  Though it may seem ‘funny’ or ‘cool’, at the end of the day potty mouth makes you sound trashy and unsportsmanlike. On that note…

Be a good sport

Good sportsmanship in an essential pillar to any game, both on and offline. Nobody likes to play with sore losers, mean winners or people who are general jerks. Keeping it friendly – regardless of the outcome of the game – should be an essential part of online gaming. Remember, even though the internet is anonymous people DO build a reputation for themselves online. How do YOU want other players to view you?

Though it is impossible to control the actions of others, at the very least you can be the bigger person and try to foster a better playing environment through your own actions. By leading by example you may influence others to also follow basic protocols of online gaming etiquette; thus helping create a safer and more fun playing environment for everyone to enjoy.

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Jessica Earle
Jessica is a freelance writer and an active member of the gaming community. Aside from video games her interests include photography, board games, literature and all things related to coffee and tea. She lives in Southern Ontario, Canada surrounded by her friends and family. You can check out her blog Confessions of a Gamer Girlfriend, or follow her on Twitter @JessiRoseEarle
Jessica Earle About Jessica Earle

Jessica is a freelance writer and an active member of the gaming community. Aside from video games her interests include photography, board games, literature and all things related to coffee and tea. She lives in Southern Ontario, Canada surrounded by her friends and family. You can check out her blog Confessions of a Gamer Girlfriend, or follow her on Twitter @JessiRoseEarle

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