Overwatch Toxicity and You

There is really no need to ever get mad at a game.  Okay, correction, there is usually no need to get mad at a game.  Frustrating things happen, you get titled, a certain player isn’t pulling their weight, you’ve been put in a lobby with a dreaded thrower… I’m looking at you Overwatch.  You?  Yes, you.

I really enjoy playing Overwatch, like a lot- not like it was one of the only games I owned on my PC or anything, but I really like it.  It’s just cool to be a part of the team, and know that victory is only possible if everyone works together.  Unfortunately, that’s the dream, and not always the reality.

In truth, Overwatch is at times an extremely toxic environment.  It is ripe with anger, hostility, irrational thinking, and people who are so quick to pit the blame on their teammates.  It’s not fun being on the receiving end of these comments or just being a bystander to it all.  It sucks and it’s just not fun.

Most people play games to get away from it all, to just relax and wind down after a long day.  Unless your career is Overwatch, then I guess you just play for a living.  Truth be told though, the majority of people are not playing Overwatch for a career, most people are in the huge percentage of people who just play for fun, enjoying a bit of competitive play every once in a while, but then that’s the part most people seem to forget; the whole “fun” aspect.

There’s just no need to get so mad about something so small in the grand scheme of things.  It’s not your job to play Overwatch, so why waste energy getting mad at something you have no control over.

I don’t have the best internet in the world (there’s a reason I don’t host the streams on the Lifecast), so I know I’m not alone when a ping spike can ruin your good time.  It’s tilting, but I find too often that everyone else is madder at my inability to play than I am at my internet.

In the past, I’ve always ignored the onslaught of insults I have gotten from picking a certain hero, or from my inability to properly play because of my connection, or even just from not playing terribly great for any number of reasons.  It doesn’t help me feel better that you’re yelling and honestly, I can’t imagine it helps you much either.

So, then that begs the question, why get mad in the first place?  That’s a question easier asked than answered.  I know I can’t just hardwire everyone’s brains to be nicer to each other, but I can ask people to just step back for a moment and really think if being mad is worth it.  I mean honestly, your either mad at someone else, or yourself, neither of which is worth the time or the energy- especially since it would be negative energy.

It’s exhausting being mad.  Like, truly tiring and draining and it’s just not fun and it’s not worth it.  It makes you mad, it makes everyone else uncomfortable and mad, it’s a vicious cycle of anger and frustration and it needs to stop.

I’ve stated before that ignoring the toxicity can work, but it only works for so long.  You need to step up, take a moment to breathe and ask if it’s worth it.  Probably not, right?  So, then what can you do to be a better team player, and less toxic person in the gaming community.  Well, I’m glad you asked.

1.) If you’re not in a good mood don’t play.

It seems easy enough on paper, but having restraint and knowing your own limits is huge.  I know that when I’m not feeling right I don’t want to make other people feel bad.  So, next time you feel like crap maybe don’t pick up a team-based game.  Might I suggest a nice single player immersion game?

2.) Get up and go for a walk.

You don’t have to go on a vision quest or run around the block a dozen times, but just get up from your computer and walk- to the fridge, to get a snack, to the grocery store, across town- pull yourself out of the gaming mindset even just for a few minutes and focus on something else.  It’s amazing what going to make a nice little meal can do for your psyche.  Who knows maybe you’ll go back to your game with a clear head and a full belly

3.) Try not to get tilted- and if you do, don’t let other people know.

Now this doesn’t mean you can’t offer constructive criticism, but you can do it in a more delicate way.  A friendly suggestion is A-Okay, but screaming and swearing is not.  Just don’t do it.  It is fine to be mad or disappointed, but pitting the blame on others just lowers team morale and that’s no good for anyone.

4.) Stop blaming others and start blaming yourself.

Okay, let me rephrase that.  Instead of constantly blaming your teammates and pointing out their flaws, maybe acknowledge that you’re not perfect either.  We all make mistakes, even professionals mess up and that’s okay, but it’s not okay to get so absurdly angry.

 

And finally, …

5.) Stop playing.

You don’t have to stop entirely, but if it’s too much just stop.  It’s not worth getting mad over and even worse, hurting yourself or others.  If you are so mad about losing some rank in competitive, then just stop.  Turn off the game, pick up something different, go out for a bit, or nap… personally I always recommend naps.

 

Getting mad is no good when playing games, so maybe next time you feel a little flustered of find yourself trying to bite your tongue… or if it’s too late and you’ve already succumbed to the evil that is toxicity, consider these strategies to chill out and cool off any hot-headed feelings.

And remember, it’s just a game.  🙂

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