How I Handle the Toxic

I had a discussed on reddit recently in the girlgamers section about what to do with chat goes toxic.  I’ve not really had problems over my 10+ years of online gaming and when someone has acted up, the way I handle it tends to work.  I discussed it briefly on there and basically got told I was rude, it wasn’t polite to fight sexism with sexism, , it wasn’t nice, etc.   I’m sorry but if you want to fight toxic with being polite and nice, it’s not always going to work.  Here’s methods I’ve used with actual examples.

Hiding:

Play a male character, only type but not ‘like a girl’, and never use voice chat.

Example: I played a male in Lineage 2, and my typing style isn’t like ‘a girl’.  I’m not sure what that means either.  You can join a voice channel and just not talk, but that is going to give away you are female or a dude playing a female.  But in my experience, you’d be pegged as a dude trying to be a girl if you are on a girl character and refusing to talk.

I don’t hide but in L2 playing a male character kept away a lot of crap.

Deflecting:

When an insult comes in, don’t argue, don’t cry, just deflect it.

Example:  I was fighting a rogue on my mage which I wasn’t terribly good at and, he decided to PM me and say how terrible I was.  I admitted I wasn’t very good at the mage but I was trying to practice.  Basically ‘yeah I know I’m bad, whatcanyado?’.  The guy ended up, a few days later, getting back to me and apologizing.  We were friends for quite a while after that.  Or recently when I was playing Pharah and got harassed that I was bad and I should switch, I just said “I am not listening” and stopped typing to them.  I didn’t say “that’s mean” or anything.  They ended up calling me a 20 chromo cunt and I reported them.  End of story.

 

Stand your ground:

If they were being just, wicked toxic, let them know it’s unacceptable without letting them know it bothers you.  They LIKE bothering you, that’s the whole POINT.  It’s blood in the water.

Example:  Some kid, probably, was going on and on being annoying as heck in Overwatch.  I said “please stop talking so much it’s distracting” and they replied “your mouth is distracting”.  I then said “cool well I’m muting you” and went on my merry way.  I want them to KNOW I am not listening to them.  If you mute and say nothing, they think they are getting to you and you’re just holding your tongue.  You ARE, but on your terms.  I choose not to hear you, I am not just sitting listening and crying.

Counter-punch:

Sometimes it’s just over the top ridiculous and at least with me, I can’t just let it slide.  Reply back with a ready insult showing you are not afraid and you aren’t about to cry about it. Don’t say “that’s mean” because that’s the point.  You are admitting they are bothering you that way.

Example:  Overwatch, I talked.  I hear “OMG a girl gamer omg girls don’t exist!”.  I reply “yeah I know weird isn’t it we’re like 50% of the population”.  I’ve done this multiple times, they have nothing to say.

or “Get in the kitchen and make me a sammich!”  I reply on the same level “get in the garage and fix my car” or “sure but first I have a jar for you to open since it’s the only thing you’re good for”.  Is it mean? Fuck yeah it is.  I didn’t start it, did I?  Fire with fire.  I could go on and on about all the people I did this with who I ended up on good terms or friends with later.

Other examples are “suck my D” and I reply “if you had one” which really riles them up.  Or roll with the insult.  In one particular situation in WoW, a guy was insulting my healing and a friend stuck up for me.  He said something like “you must have stuck your junk down his throat really well” and I accepted and replied “maybe I did, jealous?”.  I turned the insult into a jab that THEY would LIKE that sort of thing.  He ended up apologizing.  This one is in my rage tells list as well.

 

Just some thoughts.

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