GLHF – pt 10: What we’ve learned

GLHF is a series that looks to better understand the dynamics of sportsmanship in video games, today we are taking a look back at the series and what I’ve learned from playing multiplayer games and the various communities. If you like this article please feel free to check out the rest of the series:

In pt. 1: Sportsmanship in video games we discussed sportsmanship as an emergent behavior, and the use of emotes as a shorthand way players are interacting with each other.

In pt. 2: Selfishness / Noncompetitive play, we explored how players use selfishness and trolling behaviors to antagonize other players but also to help them cope with being in teams of people who are uncooperative.

In pt. 3: Kindness, we talked about how good manners are being propagated by the phrases we’ve standardized in our lexicon, good luck, have fun, and good job to show support for our teammates.

In pt. 4: Respect, we considered the importance of “gg” and “well played” as the foundation of showing respect for our opponents.

In pt 5: Rage Quit, we took a look at how the bad manners of teammates and or opponents can cause frustration, to the extreme of causing a player to rage quit from a match and the ways to manage those feelings.

In pt 6: Toxicity, we examined toxicity and the persistence of bad manners within our communities and how they hurt our culture, and divide our players from each other.

In pt 7: Honorably Growing Culture, we looked at how League of Legends developer Riot Games has been seeking to grow honor within their community through rewards for the naturally honorable and a rehabilitation focus for dishonorable players.

In pt 8: Sadness & Defeat, we thought about how to combat a defeatist mindset and overcome the failures we are bound to encounter as we get better at the games we play.

In pt 9: How to play for friendship, we shifted our focus from only looking out for number 1 to the ways we can play to make the gaming experience better for all those involved, and how doing so can make you some friends in the process.

I sincerely enjoyed this journey of analyzing the sportsmanship norms and emergent behaviors within our community.  I have taken to heart a lot of the lessons I’ve learned along the way and am happily surprised at the outcomes I’ve encountered from trying my best to play with good manners and being a supportive member of the games I play.

It is our responsibility to improve not only the optics of our community for non-gamers, but also the experience of multiplayer playing games for the next generation of gamers.  They will learn from us how to be a good player and what it means to be part of our special and uniquely connected community we are all so passionate about.

How do you feel about the state of our gaming communities? Are you hopeful for the future or weary of the different groups who tend to clash with each other?  Do you identify as a hardcore gamer, a casual gamer, or just a person who plays games from time to time?  Do you believe that those identifiers are important as part of pride in the games you play or more divisive and exclusionary?  I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please respond to the thread for this article, or talk to me through my email or any of my social media: playprofessor@gmail.com, FacebookTwitter.

Play Professor is the blog of ludologist and video game journalist Andrew Mantilla. You can check out more of his content on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Youtube.

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