May 31 2012 4:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Hate Culture in Multiplayer Matches

Gaming Roundup: Hate Culture in Multiplayer Matches

Anyone who’s ever played a multiplayer game with a bunch of faceless strangers will hear some disturbing trash talk. Some gaming communities embrace this gendered, sexualized, and homophobic language as another form of competition to see who can best humiliate another player. Female gamers are especially targeted for such attacks, which is no big surprise. There are whole blogs devoted to showcasing some of the worst encounters with misogynistic jackasses who think rape jokes are the height of comedy, like Fat, Ugly, or Slutty. “Macho,” militaristic franchises like Call of Duty and Gears of War are particularly prone to this disgusting behavior.

Over on Kotaku, a rape survivor talks about how she herself tends to get caught up in the moment of a multiplayer match and seeks to completely dominate and dehumanize other players. It’s a well-written article about the psychological warfare of online gaming and its real-life effects. Which of course means the comments will make you want to scream.

In other gaming news this week, 38 Studios, creator of Kingdom of Amalur, has ceased to be, Capcom looks to accelerate their development process, Elder Scrolls Online attempts to stand out from the pack, a new Carmageddon is now a reality, and Diablo III replaces night life in South Korea.

  • Not a good month for gaming studios as a whole. Konami is being sued for fraud by City National Bank for money borrowed to develop Def Jam Rapstar.
  • 38 Studios, creator of Kingdoms of Amalur, officially went under earlier this week. Any and all work on current patches and future games, including an Amalur-based MMO, will have been for naught. Owner Curt Schilling claims comments made by Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee scared off $35 million in private investment into 38 Studios that may have been able to keep their MMO development running.
  • We are not linking to the new Hitman Absolution trailer that shows Agent 47 killing a bunch of sexy nuns in vinyl and stilettos because it is so very boring and tacky.
  • The developers of Carmageddon: Reincarnation have reached their Kickstarter goal, and development is officially a go! Prepare for Carmageddon’s return by allocating kill points to random pedestrians on your drive home today.
  • For the technically inclined among us, Kotaku has been closely monitoring what is currently only known as Project Outerra, an ambitious game engine that allows for the literal creation of entire worlds, and also renders some real purdy-lookin’ grass.
  • Who needs girls and hard liquor when you’ve got Diablo III? According to a Korean newspaper, Blizzard’s latest online drug is having a noticeable impact on South Korea’s night life.
  • On a somewhat related note, gaming is now grounds for divorce, as far as Japanese women are concerned. Careful, guys....
  • A new Batman: Arkham City DLC launched earlier this week. Harley’s Revenge adds a new story mission, featuring the response of the Dark Knight and Robin to the re-emergence of Harley Quinn in Arkham City. Available now on your gaming platform of choice for $9.99.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

Carl Anderson
1. Carl V. Anderson
It can be a hard sell to point out bad behavior when you are playing a game where you are sawing someone in half with a chainsaw, but it is certainly necessary. I find it a weak argument when people posit that the name calling, especially the sexist, piggish and downright nasty stuff, is in some way okay because it is a cathartic game experience, or they are just "caught up" in the moment or whatever. Poor, tasteless behavior is poor, tasteless behavior.

On a different note, I'm really looking forward to the Skyrim DLC.
2. Lincolnzombie
Is there any news out there for Star Wars the Old Republic?
3. TheMadLibrarian
Is it my imagination, or does the cover of Carmageddon look like an even more psychotic Spider Jerusalem, sans glasses?
Theresa DeLucci
4. theresa_delucci
@1 Absolutely agreed. The excuses people make for that kind of behavior is sickening. "Don't take it so seriously. It's just a game/TV show/movie." Especially "it's just a game." These are the same people who will be the first to complain that video games aren't taken seriously as art. I don't think you can have it both ways. And I do believe games, like movies and books, are an art form. So you can't just dismiss people's behavior as if it exists in some vacuum devoid of humanity.

@2 I did a little digging and couldn't come up with much beyond EA laying off a big chunk of The Old Republic team.

@3 Holy cow! You're right! That's totally Spider Jerusalem. Kind of fitting.
James Whitehead
5. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Reinforces my decision not to let my sons onto these open gaming sites; they're not old enough to shrug commentary like that off & I do not want them emulating that behavior.

Simple rule should be "Would you say that to someone you beat in a game of kickball on the playground?" If so, then go for it. If you think you'd get smacked around then maybe it isn't such a good idea to say things like that.

People are very brave in 'cyber space' as you never see the person you are talking smack to & so they say whatever they want because there's never any consequences to their actions; unless it's the rare gaming site that enforces some type of civility code.

Sky Thibedeau
6. SkylarkThibedeau
Anonymity is the thing with Greifers. I used to shrug them off as acne faced 14 year old boys in Mom's basement but meeting more and more of them in real life at cons, I find many are adults who should know better. A bully is a bully.

You can hide behind pixels but that character you play and the way you treat people in game is probably the way you are deep inside your spirit. It is just held back by societal mores. Your really Dr. Morbius and your avatar is your monster from the ID.
Pritpaul Bains
7. Kickpuncher
@2 There was a bit more on The Old Republic we meant to include this week, but forgot. Apparently the developers are looking to consolidate their servers because right now, they're too spaced out and the average TOR (heh) server only has 350 players on it in a vast, vast world. This is really detracting from the MMO aspects of the game. More here:

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