“Excuse me sir – Hi, yeah um, I’m really sorry but we’ve made a mistake with your coffee order.”
“I’m really sorry, we’re working to fix it right now, you’ll have to wait a few more minutes.”
“I’m sorry.”
“F*cking kill yourself. KYS right now you f*cking n00b. You’re giving me aids just looking at you. I’ve given you £2.50 for that coffee and now you’re telling me I have to wait?!”
“Learn how to make a coffee you r*tard! Omg. Harambe is turning in his grave!”

Let’s be honest, if you heard this in a coffee shop you’d be taken aback. This person just lost his mind over such an insignificant thing, and telling the barrister to kill themselves was definitely a step too far. But on the internet? Well, that behaviour is commonplace, you’ve seen it. The power of anonymity knows no bounds it seems.

It has been prevalent for as long as I can remember but honestly, it feels like it’s getting worse. The internet is mostly a consequence-free environment, after all, people can say what they want and they’ll likely get away with it. No amount of automated tools would have the capability to police the internet and doing this manually is impossible.

The video game industry has the worst reputation when it comes to this behaviour. It’s an environment where the “Us vs Them” mentality has spiralled into a right shit-show. It’s red vs blue, the console wars, gamers against developers. No matter where you look there is a competitive nature to this industry, even right down to someone who doesn’t like a game versus someone who does.

Gamers v Developers

But it’s the gamers against developers which has been quite noticeable lately. Just look at No Man’s Sky, a game that was unable to fulfil the lofty promises of Hello Games. While it’s understandable why people were extremely dissatisfied with the game it doesn’t excuse any of the foul behaviour that took place.

The No Man’s Sky saga is far from over. The studio has been in the dark since release, they’re being investigated by advertising agencies and the subreddit, /r/NoMansSky, has been shut down by the moderators because the community was constantly at each other’s throats.

Then the news of the Final Fantasy XV delay incurred the wrath of “fans”. First, Gamnesia’s Ben Lamoreux reported rumours of the delay and members of the FF community savaged the comments section claiming the article was clickbait and that he should quit. I mean, if you wish hard enough it won’t be true, right?

Just three days later Final Fantasy developers uploaded a video to their YouTube channel announcing the delay. It was pleasing to see that many people showed understanding and appreciation for Director Tabata’s honesty, but lo and behold there were plenty who felt ‘betrayed’.

Lick them salty tears, Ben. Lick ’em good!

Mafia III

This kind of entitlement is rampant in the industry and many gamers take to blackmailing developers to meet their demands. Mafia III released on 7th October and PC players were offended that the game’s frame rate was locked at 30fps. Gamers began leaving a barrage of negative reviews on Steam. Most had not even played the game for ten minutes stating the game was unplayable at the standard console frame rate. For many (not all) that was all they needed to form their opinion on the game.

While I love a good 60fps as much as any PC gamer this is certainly not a deal breaker for me. Sure it’s not ideal, TVs are loaded with technology to smooth out frames while PC monitors cater to creating a more truer image – the effects of a lower frame rate is arguably more noticeable on PC. But we need to get past these knee-jerk reactions and actually think before we tell a developer to go fuck/kill/blow themselves.

Vito Scaletta really didn’t like how Hangar 13 handled the franchise he’d worked so hard on!

I know what some of you may say, “But it got the job done, Hangar 13 unlocked the frame rate with a patch”, and yes that’s true but it also encourages the community to think that it’s ok to kick and scream until they force change. Children who are raised that way turn out to be one thing – massive twats.

The vocal minority will always appear to be the majority from the outside looking in.

I find it utterly ridiculous that gamers can treat developers this way. There are some companies that definitely deserve it (three points to whoever can guess who I’m referring to), but you have to be completely ignorant to believe that all developers are only out to screw you over. You can, of course, place some of the blame on a slew of broken games, abandoned early access projects, and unreasonable microtransactions – there has been plenty of it in the last few years and as a result, it is harder to win over a gamer’s trust.

Toxicity online has become the norm and we’ve let it happen. And of course, we have, who’d want to spend time in a room where everyone is staring blankly ahead, spitting death threats through gritted teeth? No one. So for the most part, we avoid those places and find somewhere where we can enjoy our games in peace. But there are plenty of sensible and collected people who also want to interact with games media, I’m one of them. One of the reasons Beastby.net exists is because I know there are people out there who need a place to hold up and wait out the storm. “It’s the internet” isn’t a valid excuse anymore, we spend a lot of our time here and it’s not healthy to surround ourselves in such a toxic environment.

How can we fix it?

No matter what, there will always be a crowd who’ll act like an entitled bunch of morons, but we can do something about it if we’re willing to stick our feet in the mud. Just as hostility causes more hostility, acting like civilised human beings will encourage others to think before they slam their fists on the keyboard.

This is already happening, I often see voices of reason scattered throughout comment sections but the arrows are blocking out the sun. The vocal minority will always appear to be the majority from the outside looking in, and for an entertainment industry that is taking the lead, the community has a lot of growing up to do.

Everyone has an opinion worth sharing. How you share that opinion is up to you.


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