Toxicity refers to the extent to which a substance is unfit for human consumption. In this context, it can refer to the effects of an issue on multiple and larger groups, which can be the society or a family unit. Toxic technocultures are form of doxing and cyberbullying by some individuals who are considered leaderless. These individuals have a particular bond of connection of harassing, embarrassing, and over attacking specific events, persons, or places. They do that by targeting specific broad audiences on the online sites where their opinions are heard. These kinds of people always stand together in a manner that seems like they have always been together. They fall under categories of sexual identity, gender, progressivism, multiculturalism, and issues about adversity. This paper will look at critics on the websites and especially Reddit. This is because most gaming communities now thrive in sites where there are fewer rules, control, and regulations.
Lack of enforcement and rules of anonymity in various websites makes individuals who are involved in techno cultures hide and fail to affiliate publicly in situations involving legal cases. The gaming community has turned out to be increasingly toxic due to the poor behavior associated with gamers. McCoy, who is a developer from Apex Legends, takes to the media the issues about the ‘Iron Crown event,’ which was considered to have ‘missed the mark.’ This is following the case where the event broke promises made by Respawn regarding the distribution of the loot. The developer said that the company would not engage in personal attacks, temper tantrums, and vitriolic threads that are considered unacceptable. The report indicates some of the negative implications that techno culture can bring and the wrong impression that can be generated about the company.
‘Review bombing’ is one of the trends where a significant number of people downvote a specific game to punish the developers (Joel, 2019). Alongside punishing the creators, the individuals can be downvoting if they find some changes that they do not find appealing. That has gone to the extent of gamers targeting other critical issues that do not relate the game in any way. Game creators and developers face torrents of abuse from angry people who threaten to pirate the game due to a perceived slight notice. Companies face great adversities from the public, especially when they make changes that heap conspiracies and attacks.
To some extent, they are forced to step out and give some discussion revolving the reason for the changes to the angry gamers. In the case of McCoy, he was frustrated by the fact that the developing team from Apex Legends came up with the ‘Iron Crown event’ to shake down the company’s playerbase. The developer had to provide some data to support his explanation about the pricing of the items, which drew a lot of controversies.
Gamers have perceived the act of buying Apex coins by use of ‘currency conversion schemes’ as consumer-hostile since it leaves some unspent cash that is considered ‘worthless.’ Only a few gamers can understand the costs and economics revolving around making games. They are always on the limelight claiming data from the developers, and yet when that data is given, they consider it as ‘bullshit.’ The data can only be valid if it can conform to their perceived notions, and if it looks the way they want it to be.
The above figure is a clear illustration of the kind of conversations that revolve around gamers and developers, especially when they fail to come into agreement. From week seven content on gamergate, gaming needs to pursued from several platforms as a severe culture that needs critical study (Mortensen, 2018). Many ephemeral media create chambers and opportunities of anger which is exemplified by what can be termed as ‘gaming hooligans’
Toxic community cases are huge as compared to any other incident. Players and developers share different sentiments when it comes to game critics, as each feels unappreciated and devalued by the other. Gamers consider themselves to be ‘at the mercies of developers,’ whereas developers feel ignored and abused by these toxic minorities of players. The issue regarding the conflict between gamers and developers is the fact that people take their anger to be an intrinsic justification for the terrible things said and done online (Mortensen,2018). That mindset causes them to fail to realize the implications that those acts can bring to them and the addressed companies as well. The individuals involved in techno cultures always think that they have the freedom to ruin everybody’s fun, and that is where the problem lies.
The gaming community has promoted the development of toxicity in the gaming industry in some respects. That has raised conflicts between the developers and the gamers since each party considers the other as an intimidator. The conflict mostly comes in when players are not comfortable with some changes by the developing company and especially when the changes do not seem to favor them. The abuses from the players to the developers cause the latter to feel ignored and disrespected. Many players do not understand the economics behind coming up with a game, but there are at the forefront in criticizing the data provided by the developers. Gaming should be taken as an artifact and a culture that needs to be valued.
Mortensen, T. E. (2018). Anger, fear, and games: The long event of# GamerGate. Games and Culture, 13(8), 787-806.
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