It’s fairly well known that the gaming tends to be toxic. Having the data to show that is a different story though. Psychologists ran gamers through the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire which tracks physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, and hostility. While the study isn’t really representative with only 964 gamers across the United Kingdom, it’s representative of the population from experience. The study indicated that Microsoft Xbox players are the most toxic gamers, with Playstation close behind on the levels of physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger and hostility. It’s not surprising since the early 2000’s the marketing messages were built on aggression, anger and hostility.
The study goes so far to break down play time, and the games, not surprisingly PBG, Battlefield, Call of Duty, CS:GO are the Gems with the highest physical aggression, verbal aggression and anger. That the professional league is the epitome of toxic, just shows that the esports arena sets the low bar for this behaviour.
The above ad from Sony was an actual ad campaign for the Sony PSVita. Using misogynism and sex to sell a product isn’t new, or groundbreaking. What amuses me about this is that the internet created an equal opportunity version.
The value of violence for the sake of violence within video games on children? There are numerous studies with 130,000 participants that show that violent video games can lead to “an increase in aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal, including increased heart rate, and aggressive behavior. They also decrease helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others.” we can however media this that young adults get better stress management from the same type of titles. The take-away is age and ability to process what is happening on screen. When the only real attraction to a title is the violence, it becomes a problem.
What makes the toxicity of gaming a topic for today is Valve the guys behind Steam added a obscenity and slur filter for chat. While a chat filter isn’t new, nor exciting, its been around in various forms since the IRC days. Being able to game without being cussed out is nice. With the Steam Chat Filtering, words caught in the filters are replaced with “***” or “♥♥♥”. You have a fair amount of control to the options, you can upload and download a blacklist and whitelist of words or leave it off altogether.
With more than half the world population recently reported gaming to get through COVID. Gaming really shouldn’t be a angry, aggressive, and toxic environment and a small feature like this allows folks some control of that. Which is nice and makes the experience of gaming a better one.
Deon is a xennial professional manager, MBA Grad, Chartered Manager and Associate Fellow with the Australian Managers and Leaders. When he’s not geeking out you’ll find him on the Union Rugby pitch where he is a semi-professional player and a coach. He hangs out on numerous online platforms. Add him and get the conversation started.