“You guys are a bunch of stupid, pussy, ballsacky… (insert racist and homophobic slurs here.)” is not something one usually hears someone say. That is, unless you have ever set foot in the virtual world that is online gaming, where such language is an everyday thing.

Hector Garcia, film, had just that combination of profanities and slurs hurled at him while playing HALO one day.

So what is it that makes someone feel they can spew such vile things at complete strangers? Robert Randall, psychology instructor, says that violent video games have something to do with the problem.

“Some true experimental research has found that playing a violent video game does have short-term effect of increased [violent] behavior,” said Randall.

Julio Cristales, computer science, feels the lack of actual human interaction is what makes people think they can sling insults at each other.

“The reason they are terrible is because you are not meeting them face-to-face. They are just trying to vent and feel powerful,” said Julio Cristales, computer science.

Hector Garcia said that all the interaction online is bound to lead to scuffles and several things like immaturity and egos are what cause this type of behavior.

“Some people are not mature enough to handle online gaming and invest too much in the game, so when they lose a match they don’t like it,” Garcia said. “Not to mention the ego’s a fragile thing and if you’re mature enough to handle it you should take some time to reflect on that.”

So what do you do when you are playing online and someone starts badmouthing you, your mother, and your dead dog? Some people like Garcia makes full use of his mute whenever this becomes a problem.

“There are two ways to handle it: you egg them on or you mute them. I muted him,” said Garcia.

Sometimes the mute button is not enough and in order for justice to be properly served, the authorities must be called in. In the online community the authorities are the moderators of whatever game it is you are playing.

Julio Cristales does just that whenever players get too out of hand.

“I usually just mute them and it doesn’t get to me but if it [gets too] bad I just report them,” he said.

Not everyone online is an obscenity-screaming monster, however. Losing for Nick Farwell, networking, is no cause for verbal attack. Instead he takes it as a learning experience.

“You are just a player, you are nothing special,” he said. “I play for fun and if I lose, so what. It is just training me on how to become better next time.”

Next time you’re playing online and you get upset, just remember there are people on the other side of those myour microphones and if you would not say something to someone in person, don’t say it to them online.


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