What Do We Want To Contribute To The Online Community: Negativity Or Positivity?

stop negativity

I know that nothing is static, especially something as huge as the mood of a community.

When you start thinking of the collective mood of the internet community, you then have an exponentially wider span between positivity and negativity.

I understand there will be an ebb and flow to things (moods, opinions, and life), but lately, I’ve seen far more negativity online than positivity, and that’s concerning.

Saying these things, I am not necessarily referring to the community on my website, though that also goes through an ebb and flow of various things (e.g.: views, comments, likes). I am referring to something I’ve noticed about the online gaming community in general: it seems to be going through a collective cranky.

Please make no mistake: I know there are still lovely and wonderful people out there, but the negative ones seem to be getting louder and more numerous, and that’s concerning.

I have never been someone who is content to just let things be, especially if they aren’t great. If I see a situation that needs righting, I often find myself trying to do so in a diplomatic way. Does this mean I don’t get irritated or frustrated or opinionated? Of course it doesn’t. I can be all those things.

I just try not to infuse the internet with them.

I know there are certain websites that are known for their toxic communities, but there is at least one on the other end of that spectrum, and I had been quite active there. Lately, it’s been increasingly full of vitriol, and that concerns me. For many reasons.

Gaming is a glorious thing. It brings people together. It allows us all to have extraordinary experiences we could never have in any other way.

And, to me, gaming is inclusive.

The gaming community should be inclusive.

Not exclusive.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t have differing opinions (of course they should!), but my concern comes from the expression of those opinions. When people quickly shift into name calling, public rants, and snarky banter, I start to get concerned.

How many times have I already used that word in this piece?

Too many.

Onward.

Gaming is what you want it to be. It’s accessible to more people than ever. It can be a wonderful thing, and there’s room for everyone. So let’s all extend an olive branch to our fellow gamers and try to be a bit more understanding, shall we?

If there is an article online about something you dislike, why read it and comment something negative about it? Why not focus on the zillion other games out there you are interested in and comment on those? I’m not saying people shouldn’t dislike things, I’m just saying, why put more negativity out into a space that’s intended to be a positive atmosphere?

I know the internet allows everyone a public voice, I’m just saying perhaps folks should think about what they want their voice to bring to the world. Do you want to bring a little more positivity and objectivity? Or do you want to bring a spike of negativity to the tone of the community?

The decision is that easy.

I recently allowed that same negative tone to keep me from my favorite online gaming community and that was a mistake. By avoiding the issue, I wasn’t doing a thing to turn it around. But that changes now. I’m not a great example of much, but if I can bring a bit of an even keel to something, then by all means, I will.

I’m grateful to be a part of the gaming community, and I hope the positivity famine turns into a feast. We all come here to celebrate something we love. Let’s keep that in mind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, friends. I wish each of you a glorious weekend of gaming. Cheers!

Categories: games

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13 replies »

    • See? That makes me sad. You are one of the greatest people in that community, and it’s less than ideal that the tone over there has kept both of us at arm’s distance due to the uptick in vitriol. I really hope things start turning around. I do. GI has always been my favorite gaming site for many reasons. The integrity of the site and its editors being foremost. The community used to be so wonderful. I hope we can get it back.

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      • I certainly hope so,GI seems to be the new IGN now. Thank you,you’re one of the best also. The editors are the best.

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  1. Thank you for being a beacon of light in a community, with a small boisterous flock disgruntled sheep.
    Braised lamb anyone?
    S

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    • I’m not sure I’m a beacon, but I will do my best to keep my side of the street clean.

      Thank you for the offer but I will pass on the lamb. I’d far rather see them frolic around.

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  2. It’s that lovely combination of loud people at young ages with access to everything with a few swipes of a thumb, and without consequence. The odd contrast is that the example of quality, objective discussion, isn’t seen because it throws no sucker-punches towards the opposing view. I still feel that GI is far better than the rest, but its own community is slowly bringing it downward like the rest because of the aforementioned. Plus, there’s a pack mentality to jump on others who might not share the same view as another, these days. Especially if they’re in a position of perceived power.
    I guess ignoring them and continuing on with quality, educated interaction is the only way to combat the issue. Not too long ago I had to stop following a news organization simply because their posts were flooded with “libtard” this and “republi-douche” that. Even on posts that had nothing to do with politics lol.

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    • You’re not kidding! And I, too, think GI is head and shoulders above the rest as far as integrity, tone, and content go. It’s a shame that the current community is suffering due to the nonsense of a few loud folks.

      I’m not sure I’ve been able to ignore them, per se, as I’ve certainly tried to encourage people to take a deep breath and try out objectivity. But I’ve also seen such vitriol that I know no amount of rational discussion will likely help. Those are the times that bum me out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Online negativity really sucks. Any kind of negativity does, when you think about it. The internet provides an unprecedented forum of free expression for the masses to share any little thought that comes to mind, and it is clearly a double-edged sword. Like many other lovers of video games, most of my personal time online is spent reading about video games. And I largely avoid the comments sections of most sites because I just don’t need that negativity in my life. Sometimes there’s too much there already without adding to it. It’s infectious. Even if you don’t join in and pile more on, you can still be affected by it. But so is positivity. Haven’t you ever just had a day brightened because a random stranger smiled at you for no reason?

    I know my personal view of most things (online gaming community included) is often influence by my current emotional state. If I’m feeling low, it’s easier to see the garbage, and vice versa. But I’d like to believe there’s always some positivity out there… somewhere, I’ve just got to believe that.

    Sadly, I’m sure it’s not just gaming. It seems to me that most aspects of life have given way to toxic vitriol wherever online discussions can happen. Seemingly lost (or darn near) is the art of true discussion. Have an opinion, share your opinion. Discuss. Why does hate, anger, or general nastiness have to enter into it at all? I’m pretty much completely out of commenting on sites where I see it happening (not that I was ever in to begin with), but now I’m thinking that’s not a solution. Sure, it keeps that negativity out of my life, but what does it do to the positive. If everyone that didn’t want to participate because of the negativity left or just stopped commenting…? Wait, maybe that’s why we are where we are?

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    • I second this! Very well said.

      I love a good, civil discourse. I really do. So to see people hurl weird insults at each other because of something that is supposed to be a joy is just weird.

      And for what it’s worth, I always appreciate and enjoy your comments. I’m grateful you take the time to comment here. It’s pretty nice here! And you’re always welcome to be here. This is like the Cheers of websites.

      Complete with dated references. :)

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      • I used to love that show! Norm!!!

        Yeah, it’s nice here. It’s respectful and there’s discussion happening. I may not always agree with you or others in the comments, but we can talk about it. There’s nothing wrong with having a different opinion and sharing why, sometimes it’s a lot of fun. What’s so great about gaming today is there are so many options and they are so varied. Truly everyone should be included and allowed to like what they like and dislike what they don’t. It’s what makes us individuals for crying out loud!

        Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep returning with my two cents.

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      • I couldn’t agree more with what you said here (no irony intended!). If we all liked the same things and had the same opinions life would be BO-RING.

        I’m glad you are here!

        Like

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