How Does League of Legends Toxic Community Harm Gaming and Newcomers

By   /   Jul 17, 2015
League of Legends

Satoru Iwata, recently deceased CEO of Nintendo, once said:

“Above all, video games are meant to just be one thing: Fun for everyone.”

This statement, for me, is gaming in a nutshell and dictates what video gaming ought to be. However, with changing times, the trends and purpose of gaming seem to be changing as well. I, for one, thoroughly enjoy singleplayer experiences offered by games like Batman, The Witcher, and numerous others; but always feel more inclined towards an online environment.

There is no doubt that online games are meant to be fun which they generally are – in some rare instances, to say the least. Free-to-Play online games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2, despite having a steep learning curve, tend to attract a range of new players. And although these games boast millions of online players, the developers embrace newbies with arms wide open.

I, personally, have been a console gamer my entire life and while I do not boast of any special accomplishments under my belt, I indeed have played my fair share of online games in my gaming journey. Despite being an above-average Call of Duty and Battlefield player, I was always attracted to Counter Strike: GO and League of Legends on PC.

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Switching to PC gaming has been one of the best decisions I made and trying out LOL one of the worst. While League of Legends is nothing short of impressive, I have been dissed and let down by the – excuse the phrase – horrible community it boasts. It should not come as a surprise, but no amount of training against AI-bots can prepare you for playing against a human mind.

From what I witnessed; you mess something up and people will not hesitate for a second to flood the public chat with swears and curses in your honor. And interestingly, when I wrote that I never played an MOBA in my entire life; instead of being helped, I was harshly advised to stop playing the game for good. And this, my friends, has occurred on more than one occasion.

Another interesting thing that I heard from somewhat better-LOL-players is that this prejudice of LOL community is not confined for bad or new players only. Performing well in a match will net you titles such as ‘Hacker’ and ‘Tryhard’ before being reported by the enemy team. This meme perfectly depicts the situation at hand:

Gamer Logic

Anyway, I decided to keep going and follow a couple of handy YouTube tutorials in the hopes of getting better at the game, only to find out that I was not alone. A good amount of YouTube comments showed a number of people complaining of the same issues which I faced. I also took a couple of screenshots for you to see:

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LOL Community #1

LOL Community #2

However, the things get real messy when the online harassment and trolling is taken to a more personal and real life stage. I recently came across the report of a LOL player who would extract his teammates personal information and use it to harass his victims’ families. The dude was later subdued by the Canadian court and sentenced for 16-month of prison.

It’s not like Steam and Riot Games are not aware of the issues discussed above. Both companies are actively taking steps to make the community a better place to play and create a sense of friendly competitiveness among the players. This is crucial because these games are businesses at the end of a day and a toxic community will always bar new players from joining in the game and may even reduce the player base of already good players which can eventually translate into lost revenue for the company.

I feel it’s some lost sense of superiority that makes these players toxic. People need to realize that everyone’s got to start somewhere and people should translate their competitiveness and rage into teaching their teammates rather into swears and curses for video games, above all, are meant to be fun.