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Idiots in Online Communities

Idiots in Online Communities

When I played Ragnarok Online, I was surprised by the quality of the online community. After playing Diablo II (which has its fair share of idiots), it’s understandable to be disoriented by a community where people help each other, and with very little swearing. Given that Ragnarok Online requires you to invest a lot of time, its easy to see that most of the idiots get weeded out pretty early. When, I started playing GuildWars, I was disappointed again. You’ll find a large share of idiots in that game. You’ll also find some really nice people there. It kinda balance itself out.

If I’m posting about this, its because I’ve discovered a truly unique online community. While playing Halo PC multiplayer, I discovered a community with an unprecedented number of idiots. To be fair, there are some good people out there. However, the amount of team killing and swearing I saw was staggering. While playing Capture the Flag (CTF), in half of the games I played ( out of a total of about 20 ), there was a LEAST one team killer: a player who’s sole purpose was to kill people in his team. A couple of these player were even cheating, using an invincibility mod. All the games I played featured incredible amounts of swearing. My particular favorite was one player asking a teammate to “get out of his ------- tank”. If he talked like that to his team, imagine what he said to the other team.

Halo, home of the swearers and team killers.

I believe there is a coloration between the difficulty of a game, and the number of idiots playing it online. That is because the smart players eventually leave the idiots behind to play other games, harder games without idiots (because its too hard for them). After one week of trying to play Halo online, I’ve uninstalled it and installed Unreal Tournament 2004. There, I get some good, clean, destructive fun.