Online Gaming and Bullies

This one goes out to all my online gameplayers. My World of Warcraft guys and gals, Zelda, and any other game of your choice. We all know how intense it gets on gameplay. Especially live gameplay with avatars. It’s so easy to hide behind our avatars, and separate their actions from ours. We can spend hours invested into these virtual worlds with people we don’t know. And when things go wrong and tensions run high, there can be a lot of aggressive comments made. But harsh words hurt no matter what. Now more than ever there is a growing number of bullies within these virtual worlds. There is a hierarchy within the gaming community. It spans from sexism to social constructs within a gaming world. I remember when I joined these communities it was to get away from the craziness at home and school. An outlet to be a “nerd” that I couldn’t be within my friend groups. But the more I played, the more I realised it wasn’t like that. There were some who tried to bully me online as well. Because I was a girl, I wasn’t supposed to be better than them, or even play for that matter. I was better suited to watch beauty gurus (don’t get me wrong though, I’ve been known to binge watch that for hours as well).  Heck my own brother found me and tried to sabotage me because I was getting better than him. But its more than sexism, guys you know it too. When people make comments, they aren’t always just related to the game. They can get personal. And those hit deep and can mess with your head. These communities should not have been built on hate, they should be based in passion and genuine enjoyment for the game. When I’m in a community, in reality or a virtual one, I look for a supportive and inclusive one. One where we don’t bring all the bad crap and hatred that we see in the news all the time. Free of the social constructs that I and so many others feel chained in. It takes all of us to try to keep these communities kind. There will always be bullies, but the less accepted they are, the less they will get attention. That’s all for today my friends. Keep gaming, keep having fun and keep “nerding” out however you may choose

C xx

Side note if you see this happening, please know there are resources to stop it. I’ve linked some here:

http://www.haltabuse.org/help/

https://www.fightcyberstalking.org/

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/2016083724

http://mentalfloss.com/article/83214/world-warcraft-introduces-silence-penalty-bullies

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/11/what-the-law-can-and-cant-do-about-online-harassment/382638/

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