Voice Chat Toxicity Whilst Gaming. - Elle May

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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Voice Chat Toxicity Whilst Gaming.


I speak about this all the time to people and most of the time others can relate, I decided to do a written post on it because it's come to my attention that people don't know how to just keep quiet instead of being horrible when it comes to voice chat whilst gaming. I have been playing online games for years, love them and I did a post about how online gaming makes me anxious before but what I want to delve into a bit more is how words can have an effect and often some people become ableist nasty players who find enjoyment out of putting others down.

There are some games that you can play where they don't have the option of turning off voice chat, unless you choose to unplug your mic, these days headsets have mics built-in so even if you want to listen to gameplay via a mic it can be hard to keep it plugged in when the game has no option to turn off voice chat. If I see a game has a voice chat option I always turn it off, I don't want to deal with other people and it's tough luck if they want me to hear them, the only exception is if they are my online friend already and then I will happily chat in voice chat as I know they're not going to be a troll or abusive towards me.

When I play games that force voice chat on you I found that even being silent would set the trolls off, and once they hear that I'm a girl it usually leads to a whole game of "get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich" which just sets of a whole other sexist argument that I would rather not get into right now. Voice chat makes it easier to target people online and it's a huge reason that parents need to keep an eye on what their kids are doing and playing because online bullying doesn't just occur on social media, gaming can be a huge breeding ground for this kind of thing.

For example, when I watch streams on Twitch I often find that people are picked apart solely on how they sound and it puts them off streaming due to this, I, myself have a lisp and I'm very self-conscious of it, I would often stay silent when I streamed and people would say what's the point in streaming if you're going to talk and my answer to that is, it's for the gameplay! I don't watch streams just to hear the streamer talking, I want to see some of that gameplay and enjoy it. There is no need to ever give someone hate for not talking in-stream or voice chat, it's a personal preference after all and takes the enjoyment out of a game by being forced to do something to make others happy.


I absolutely love that Destiny has a button you press in order to join in with voice chat which makes my gameplay enjoyable and I don't have to hear other peoples voices whilst I'm playing Unless I choose too and that's what I wish all games that have an online mode would do that way a lot of people could avoid the abuse they get online. Now don't get me wrong voice chat can be useful when gaming especially when it comes to working as a team but when you're put on a team with someone so toxic and you're forced to have to hear the drivel that comes out of their mouth it takes the enjoyment out of the game.

A lot of games focus on teamwork so having voice chat on is a must a lot of the time and it almost feels selfish of me to turn it off in order to avoid people getting mad that I don't talk or work as a team and this has a huge effect on my gameplay and my want to carry on playing. We have come to terms with the toxicity side of voice chat and I don't feel that we should, it would be nice if more people were banned due to their behaviour on voice chat. I refuse to accept toxic attitudes online by reporting this behaviour and don't think it's fair that people should have avoid it by not playing a game or not using my headset like I often do.

A huge issue of mine is when people start to become ableist dicks on voice chat, they will hear someones voice and take it upon themselves to use ableist slurs such as "you sound like a retard", I'm not on board with this and never will be, if you think this is just banter or a bit of fun you're wrong. things you say to people can leave a lasting effect and I personally wouldn't want to be viewed as an arsehole who tore someone down for a bit of fun. It's so disheartening to see people uploading videos of the abuse they get in games because others feel the need to put people down, I have seen a lot of  "abuse I get in games" videos and they're pretty hard to watch, the things people say in these videos are unacceptable and these people need to be held accountable for their actions. 

Voice chat can be positive though, I have met a lot of gaming friends through voice chat just by sharing a common interest and that's what gaming should be about. The media already view it in a negative light and we need to make others see that it's much more than that which is the point I was making on my latest post Gaming, Grieving, and Trauma. If you feel the need to abuse someone based on how they sound in a game you need to take a good look at yourself and realise no one is perfect nor should they be judged by the way they sound. It's our job to set an example and show other players how welcoming the gaming world is, so let's try and do that instead of making others feel like crap!


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