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The ways everyone can make gaming just a little bit better

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Let’s face it, the gaming community and the industry as a whole aren’t perfect. I would go so far as to say that some communities have become extremely toxic and those big publishers sometimes just don’t get the fact that we don’t want specific things, for example, loot boxes.

That’s why I thought I would talk to all our readers about ways I think everyone (yes, you too!) can make gaming as a whole just a little bit better. Sure, everyone should do as they please and I’m not trying to come off as preachy or demanding here, but instead, just giving some advice about how we could all improve the gaming world.

Keep in mind that these are just suggestions and sure, some of them might seem pretty obvious, but looking at the gaming world right now, it seems like it isn’t obvious to everyone.

Vote with your wallet

If you happen to dislike a publisher’s practices or a certain franchise has become extremely copy/paste in your opinion, then the best thing to do is vote with your wallet. I’ve seen so many people complain about certain franchises over the years, especially those that see an annual release. However, those same people sometimes still pre-order ever entry in the franchise then take to the gaming forums.

Guess what: The publisher already has your money now. If you disagree with a turn that a franchise is taking, maybe it is time for you to say no more and stop supporting them until they create something that you would really like playing or wait until reviews, as well as user reviews, are out at the very least. From personal experience, I know how hard this actually is, as the hype surrounding a new game sometimes still gets to me, even though I feel as if it won’t live up to the hype. One example of how gamers stood up and got a big publisher to take notice is that of the EA and Star Wars Battlefront 2 debacle, as the publisher even came out to say to that they are aware gamers do not like them and they are taking the matter seriously.

Basically, don’t just scream “shut up and take my money” the first trailer you see.

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Live and let live

Some of the biggest and nastiest fights that really just spoils a discussion is when two groups of gamers go overboard when discussing two rival games or consoles. League of Legends versus Dota 2, Call of Duty versus Battlefield, PlayStation 4 versus Xbox One. Sure, you can and should have that passion for the game or console you love the most, but I urge everyone (including myself) to practice a bit of restraint when an argument goes off the rails.

Over the years, I’ve seen threats to others, racism, sexism and much more break out against those that share different points of view. I’m not saying don’t lay down the facts, but when you do, make sure they are actually facts. Further, you have to sometimes realise that you can’t change everyone’s minds and every person has the right to their own opinion, even if you know they are wrong.

Arguing about which game or platform is better against most fans of the opposition is a futile practice. Letting go of an argument is definitely the road less taken, but if enough people start doing it, we might be able to get more civil conversations in.

Lend a helping hand

Not everyone can create YouTube videos and explain certain mechanics or, for example, boss battles in Dark Souls, to help others who are stuck or don’t understand a specific mechanic, puzzles, or anything else. However, helping players get past a roadblock or simply to get better at a game doesn’t have to come from articles on gaming websites or from YouTube.

Everyone can help other gamers by simply giving them a quick tip during a multiplayer match or on a gaming forum, Skype chat, or whatever other types of communication you are using. Too many times have I seen valid questions from Dark Souls newbies and recently, Bloodborne newbies after the game was part of the PS Plus free games line-up for March this year. Instead of just saying “Git Gud”, maybe take a moment to help someone. In multiplayer matches, you can help others by giving them a quick tip on which gun to use in CS: GO, how to get to a specific platform in Destiny 2 or which items to buy in Dota 2.

Sometimes even the most helpful comments do get some resistance, but then at least you tried. What do you get out of all of this? The satisfaction of helping others and maybe, just maybe, better teammates in a multiplayer match along the way.

Don’t feed the trolls

Trolls feed off the responses of others and when they get a response, they become ever stronger, growing in stature. You can find trolls in every corner of the gaming world, from those who just want to instigate a fight by saying something outlandish to those who say something that could potentially have some merit.

The latter are those well-disguised trolls that normally cause a lot of commotion, so the first step is to learn how to spot one.

The second step is simple, don’t initiate a conversation. If no one feeds them, they might go off and sleep under the bridge once more. Ridding the gaming world of trolls is probably impossible, but if we all work together, maybe we can at least minimize their impact on gaming forums and the like.

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Let it go

Letting go of something that you feel offended you or soured your experience in a multiplayer match is very difficult. Several matches later, some players are still hurt about the actions of another in a game they played, even if it was a few days ago. Examples of this are when someone steals your kill in a game like Dota 2, or someone even just gets some lucky rockets in Quake Champions.

Instead of moving along, some players start acting the same way in subsequent matches. I call this the Cycle of Toxicity, where one player gets wronged, then goes about doing the same to others in a completely different match. This cycle can continue on for a very long time and spread toxicity throughout a game, so I implore you to sometimes just let it go.

Report those cheaters

It’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t cheat in multiplayer games and ruin the experience of others, but you shouldn’t just not cheat. You can also help by reporting cheaters and most big multiplayer games do have a reporting feature built in. It is one thing to get angry and go post on social media about the darn cheaters in a match you just lost because naming and shaming without proof isn’t a good idea, but it is another thing to actually help rid the game you love playing of cheaters.

It might sometimes feel as if you reporting others does nothing and that the number of cheaters continues to increase. Well, this is not always the case as developers take some time to take action against cheaters and your report might just be the tipping point to get that cheater banned. Clicking a report button when you think someone is cheating doesn’t take much, but in the end, it can help that game’s community as a whole.

Don’t give up

Last but not least, you shouldn’t give up in a multiplayer match. Giving up or quitting in a match could very well feel like the most logical thing to do, but in the end, all it does is anger the other players in a match. This can also lead to others quitting and also lead to a cycle of rage quitting from games whenever a player sees fit.

The thing is, when you quit, you ruin the experience for other players. Not only that but by rage quitting, you can actually withhold one of the best experiences you can have in a multiplayer match from yourself and others: The epic comeback. Sure, not every match will turn around in your team’s favour, but when you do come back from a deficit that felt insurmountable, the feeling is like none other. Hang in there buttercup, you might just have a great time in the process.  

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Some of the points in this article might come off as preachy (or like motivational posters) and that wasn’t my intention, nor do I expect everyone to follow one or any of these suggestions. However, if we do, I believe there is a chance we could make gaming just a little bit better in the long run.

Which other ways do you think everyone can make gaming just a little bit better? Let us know in the comment section below.

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"You can find trolls in every corner of the gaming world"

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