When Did Gamers Become So Angry?

1 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:10 ID: rdiqj2

I’m a 47 year old who has been playing video games since the early 80’s (I’m looking at you E.T.). Gaming was meant to be an enjoyable hobby to decompress after school/work. Sure there were games with difficult bosses or levels. Sure there was frustration. But you kept grinding and when you succeeded there was a massive sense of accomplishment.

We didn’t angrily attack the developers, publishers, studios, etc. We didn’t lose our temper if a game wasn’t designed to our exact wants. We adapted and moved forward.

However, now…now…I don’t even know where to begin. There’s simply so much anger, hatred, vitriol, and spite that it’s hard to comprehend.

What happened?

2 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:13 ID: ho1bmcd

Social media lol now people have access to forums, emails, or anything they can do to reach anyone they want with a few clicks of a button.

Back then if you wanted to say anything mean, you needed to send mail, be a reviewer for a magazine, or just local gossip around.

ID: ho1fw23

Social media created keyboard courage. People can now hop onto a throw away reddit account to vent because there's no consequences.

ID: ho1uk5c

No, it's because our society is ill, makes us tired and ill, working people to dust for a pittance, so we take out our exhaustion and frustration online.

ID: ho1uzpd

There shouldnt be consequences for venting lol..

ID: ho1qbe8

Now it’s just a bunch of bandwagons on a nascar track going in a circle (jerk).

3 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:38 ID: ho1fc2f

Its a full on societal issue, not a gamer issue.

4 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:11 ID: ho1bbjd

I’d say about the time online play became a thing.

ID: ho1cfmh

I agree. Back in the old days we would play friends head to head and when it got too heated went outside and hit each other with sticks to decompress. Once we got older we upgraded to bokken, but there was never the raw animosity people send to some stranger on the internet.

ID: ho1ggfm

Damn son I felt this in my balls

ID: ho1k14x

See this cave painting for further information.

ID: ho1mw97

Yup, when it came to not playing with your friends but some random person in the world, shit was unleashed

5 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:22 ID: ho1czg3

Once upon a time angry nerds didn't have the platform they do now. And people really only socialized with other, well adjusted people.

Nowadays everyone is talking to everyone regardless if they're disjointed in some way.

In the 80s+90s, if someone started beaking off and ranting about something, you'd just walk away and not talk to that person again. And they'd go back to their home and rant at the wall or something.

ID: ho1txak

Also, it’s anonymous. You have no way of knowing if someone saying some stuff online is crazy or a huge loser in real life. All subtext and nuance is lost or misinterpreted online.

ID: ho1mxgj

They would beat the dog. ;(

6 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:17 ID: ho1c6r0

internet happened, online gaming

7 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:27 ID: ho1dock

I often wonder about the same and I concluded that today's gaming environment is 100% different from what we are used to from the early years of gaming: - we would play together physically in the same location, and it is a lot harder to be a d#ck with the other kids mom close by. - we would often play with kids who were already our friends, thus adding a positive bias to the experience. - games were vastly different and grinding WAS the game, no public bragging rights or sh!t talking involved.

Today, the difference is that there is a lot more exposure to a very broad, diverse worldwide audience that will practically never have to get out from behind the veil of anonimity and will therefore never have to look a fellow gamer in the eye after having been rude or otherwise demeaning to them.

That said, I have experienced some really awesome individuals with whom I have enjoyed many hours of gaming. The odd rude kiddo? Encounter them all the time, I shrug them off as much as I can. I am too old to let some loud mouthed junior ruin a perfectly good gaming session.

Find the good and keep plugging mate, us old guys are who built that house.

8 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:33 ID: ho1eoh0

I feel you and agree 100%! My gaming experience goes back to Intellivision, Atari 2600, Sega Master System, NES... and on from there. And it was a happy experience to release tension from homework and parents...

I don't even play online anymore (one of the places people rage and become "internet gangsters") since back when the 1st COD: Modern Warfare was popular.

A guy asked for my address and said he'll come and "Whoop my ass" because I sniped him from a window.

Yet gaming isn't even the stopping point to the anger... we get mad at everything because we are so thirsty for instant gratification and to get our way... if we don't get it, we have a fit.

9 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:12 ID: ho1beuv

I think it's representative of society in general; a sort of seething is normal now.

I think we need more acorns in our diet.

ID: ho1ciei

Its magnified by any angry person finding other angry people on the internet. They feed each others' anger.

ID: ho1etv8

This is true; I'm guilty of getting drug in for sure.

ID: ho1bu2d

Ya, this is more then just a gaming issue. People are angry at everything, and not enough acorns are being eaten.

ID: ho1eq0z

We have a craving we cannot fill -- for a food we forgot that we evolved with.

Also, it's fun to just suck and spit -- people are always sucking and spitting on stuff.

Also, if they were sucking and spitting -- their mouths would be too busy to talk shit all the time.

10 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:41 ID: ho1fs9w

Online games. It shows too, ive experienced it, and i get a lot more angry at online games. While with single player games i enjoy failing over and over, and the rush of goodness you get is amazing, for example i beat pure vessel on radiant difficulty (no hit) recently and that felt great

11 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:11 ID: ho1bd9v


12 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:22 ID: ho1d151

We were always angry, we just didn't have a platform to express the anger. As a teenager what annoyed me the most was patches. We didn't have internet and the only way to get patches was from free CDs in payed! gaming magazines. I had to pay to patch a game I had already bought! So yeah that angered me back then quite a lot. All I could do was rant with my friends about it.

ID: ho1oui3

Also, there were absolutely gamers in the 80's that would "lose their temper if a game wasn’t designed to their exact wants", but there are just flat out more gamers nowadays, and even if the percentage of the community these gamers take up is the same, you're going to see more angry gamers in absolute terms, which is how outrage is experienced.

i.e.: Suppose 1% of gamers in 1981 were these "angry gamers". Well, there were approximately 35 million gamers in the US, so 350,000 of them were "angry". In 2020, there were approximately 227 million gamers in the US. Even if the percentage of "angry gamers" is the same - for a total of 2 million "angry gamers" - that's still 6 times as many "angry gamers". If you're a game dev, even though the actual demographics of gamers hasn't changed, you're receiving 6 times as many angry messages as you did in the 80's. So to you it feels like gamers are angrier, because you see more "angry gamers", even though gamers haven't actually changed in those 40 years.

(Obviously these numbers aren't entirely accurate (and they only cover the US), but the point is the same regardless of what the exact numbers actually are.)

Edit because I forgot: also this comic is relevant.

13 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:37 ID: ho1f976

You probably did have angry gamers back then, you just didn't know them. Social media has brought all the minorities to the forefront.

14 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:52 ID: ho1hi1a

I imagine it's a few things.

The industry has been pulling some downright unethical behaviors against their customers.

People are identifying themselves as gamers like it's some kind of impressive personality trait, which means when they lose they might interpret it as a personal offense.

Tournament and competitive play has real money involved with it now, which always brings out the worst in people.

I'm sure there are tons of other reasons

15 : Anonymous2021/12/10 22:20 ID: ho1lm9c

I’d say what happened is that slowly over the last 40 years society began to reward the loudest, most obnoxious voices when making decisions.

Add in the slow erosion of social behavioral standards, thrown in groups that are dedicated to cultivating the worst possible noise from their target communities, and mix that together with the total anonymity the Internet allows and you have how people interact now.

If your in the same side it’s shibboleths and echo chamber memes. Civility is dead.

16 : Anonymous2021/12/10 22:53 ID: ho1q9eg

The internet. Not just online gaming, but social media as well.

I would just like to say that I wasn't around back in the 80s and 90s, a lot of this is just speculation on my part and some other comments in this thread, but a lot of this applies to being a kid without free reign on the internet as well. Please feel free to correct me

Before, you had to play in the same room with people you already knew, so there was no chance you were going to be rude to each other and discussing games was mainly during recess at school (again, with people you knew). There's always adults or others around and your break, be it recess or work break, ends, so arguments never get too heated.

Now, both you and your opponent are hidden and see each other as nothing more than a tag and an image. It's not like being a jerk at school or work, you're just insulting a nameless, faceless being with no consequences.

Before, buying a game or renting at blockbuster was just seeing the cover and thinking "oh, that looks neat," and maybe a few recommendations from friends. If you were a kid, 50% of the time you didn't even get a say, your parents just bought it for Christmas or something

Now that gaming is so mainstream and with the addition of social media, people can build expectations, only for them to be shattered, then complain about it with no consequences. Everyone else then fuels the fire by agreeing or yell at them for complaining.

Everyone is right, and everyone else's opinion is wrong. Since it's all digital, the argument never has to end and anyone can join at any point regardless of if they have all the context.

Tl;dr It's an endless argument fueled by anonymity, expectations, and "right" opinions. No one has to face the consequences of being an asshole anymore.

17 : Anonymous2021/12/10 23:08 ID: ho1sf39

Yes things are more interconnected. But has that really inhanced the social side to gaming? Or has it done the opposite and downgraded people's empathy for one another.

I believe gaming platforms have a responsibility to release games that are more socially friendly, more games need to be introduced to accomodate split screen.

Group games so 8 players can participate, I have a console where 16 players of all ages play using a touch pad and my immediate and extended family gather and often play on it increasing the bonds between us with laughter and banter.

Is online really connecting with people? Or are you fundamentally playing alone?

Empathy, laughter and comoradary has been replaced with anger, angst and retribution, playing online is quite souless, feels like ships passing in the night. You build rapour with people for one session of gaming to never see most again.

The responsibility for gaming platforms is to build gaming communities. Enable consoles to use the native technology, for instance Bluetooth natively allows 7 controllers to connect but some console companies have capped this native ability to 4 controller connections.

Is the gaming community in the right hands? Are we asking for a more friendly gaming community? Well we will ultimately shape it, with what we buy and what we demand.

If you love gaming you should all care.

18 : Anonymous2021/12/10 23:18 ID: ho1tt0w

Now it’s super easy to have a platform to rant on and a keyboard to hide behind

19 : Anonymous2021/12/10 23:25 ID: ho1upw0

The internet plays a huge part in this. The fact Cory Barlog had to come out and defend his developers, against such vile threats, just because the date of God of War release got pushed back is ridiculous. They should be able to delay a game and people be a little disappointed sure however not attach the developers over it.

20 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:42 ID: ho1fxn6

You didn't have the capability of going off on developers because the internet didn't exist. If I'm remembering correctly, the video game crash happened in the 80s. There was plenty to be upset about, just nowhere to vent about it anonymously. I'm certain if the internet existed back then people would be doing the same thing.

21 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:47 ID: ho1gog7

( insert long block of text you will probably scroll past )

ID: ho1kysn

Damnit I scrolled right past this one!

22 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:12 ID: ho1bhsm

I'm going to quietly point my finger at Gen Z and Milenneals (like myself) who are used to instant gratification. If a game is delayed, or isn't what was promised, they lose their temper. If they lose, there's no participation award, they lose their temper. This very much comes from upbringing. Not the hobby.

ID: ho1mfli

As an elder millennial, I always looked at delays in a positive light. This means the publisher cares about the quality of the game over simply rushing it out for quick profits. Now who would be angry about that? Bonus points: developers aren’t being abused with severe crunch periods to finish a game when the suits want it to be.

There’s always plenty of other things to play while you wait for a new game to be finished properly.

23 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:14 ID: ho1bqzs

we didn’t lose our temper if a game was designed to our exact wants

It's beyond that at this point. The majority of the gaming market is predatory as fuck with always online drm, unfinished products, and microtransactions. It would be against all our interests to shut up and buy the crap being put out.

I am in no way defending those who attack people in the industry, but I fully support people's criticisms.

ID: ho1c5ws

What about just shrugging it off and not buying it?

ID: ho1cd96

Because the general consumer doesn't know any better and this market is very monkey see monkey do. If nobody complained every publisher would join in on the predatory practices and we'd all be stuck with only crap options.

I totally get "this product isn't for me anymore" but watching gaming continue to decline without any push back would end horribly for consumers.

24 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:15 ID: ho1bx7z

Really this depends on the person yeah you always have people who like to complain but this is made a lot worse by social media. People have direct access to tell a game developer what they think about their game. Some games are in truth bad but I feel like people also disappoint themselves when some games don’t live up to what they thought in their head.

25 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:13 ID: ho1bngc

First of all, how dare you.

26 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:13 ID: ho1bojn

Parents stopped disciplining their kids.

27 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:36 ID: ho1f1i0


28 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:39 ID: ho1fiub

Maybe an unpopular opinion but the drive for better and better graphics power really changed how companies develop games.

Simple stories were developed simply but with really solid mechanics (I’m thinking like Mario and Donkey Kong). If there’s a snes around I can still play DK a whole bunch and have a blast looking for secrets and beating levels.

And really great rpgs couldn’t rely on graphics to grab attention so story and mechanics were super important. Shining Force and Final Fantasy, for sure. FF6 isn’t my favourite but the story depth and complexity is fabulous for the medium. FF7 blew people away with the graphics at the time but they still weren’t great, and story is still the driving force.

I think also, challenge and puzzles. So much is spoonfed now and explained, when before you really needed to explore the systems of the game to figure it all out, and that would be your grinding but figuring it out was rewarding.

Having a two hour tutorial to teach me how to track and climb ledges and change weapons killed my interest in RDR2; but fire up 7 Days to Die and I will freaking survive even if all I have is miles of wooden spike traps.

29 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:48 ID: ho1gthl

Some of the reaction to The Last Of Us Part 2 typifies this unnecessary anger for me. I played the game. Was the story everything I expected - no. Did the story go in the direction I expected or wanted - no. Did I like every aspect of the story or characters - no.

Did I enjoy the experience overall - yes. I enjoyed it because I didn't let minor points that I didn't like prejudice my overall experience.

Increasingly we seem to be living in an entitled world where having a tantrum is the go to state the minute things don't pan out exactly as imagined. This fake indignation is fuelled my mainstream and social media.

I appreciate frustration especially when games are buggy or not as advertised (we've all been there), but seriously some people need to pour a coffee, go outside and just watch a sunset for a few minutes.

30 : Anonymous2021/12/10 22:17 ID: ho1l2ur

I was a global community manager on some major titles for 12 years or so. From early 2000s until not that long ago. I managed those communities both before the social media explosion and after. I can categorically state that gamers have been angry since: games.

Since social media, though, they have gained a magnificent amount of entitlement.

I don't do it anymore.

31 : Anonymous2021/12/10 22:46 ID: ho1p8e8

I agree. Im 35 and lately every game that comes out just gets hated on so bad. Every game can't be that bad. There are going to be some glitchy things that happen with new games. The gta definitive edition for example. All they did was upscale and re-release games that were loved by the fan base. How could this go wrong they thought...then the internet was like hold my beer while we hate the shit out of this.

32 : Anonymous2021/12/10 21:15 ID: ho1by2y

Day damn one.


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