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Does the video game community tend to be more toxic than other communities such as fashion?

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posted Jan 14 by Alok Kumar

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This kinda depends on what section of the video game community you’re talking about, and what you mean by toxic.

First off, most of the commonly cited “toxic” behaviour stems from PvP (player vs player, or people fighting other people directly) games, and we’ve learned quite well that if you just dump two groups of players into randomly assigned teams, with no indication of race, gender, or any other differing factor at all except that one team is red and one is blue, they will HATE each other because any time that something goes wrong for them, they know exactly who to blame for it. If they were randomly assigned to the same team, they wouldn’t even do that. It’s silly, but as soon as there’s someone to blame for something going wrong, you will see people cry for blood.

What about the fashion industry? …Well, there’s some really nasty behaviour there too, but it’s less overt and out in the open compared to the video game community. A lot of that is that the whole point of fashion is it’s all about your image, and if you throw a temper tantrum in public, it tends to hurt your image, so they tend to be more subtle in their means of vitriol.

This pairs up with what we know of men and women - men tend to go GRRR at each other, get in a fight, and bam, they’re done. Problem’s solved, no more anger. They can absolutely loathe each other’s existence and five minutes later be good friends going out drinking together. Sure enough, it’s mostly this kind of behaviour that you see in PvP games.

Women, on the other hand… tend to not let things escalate quickly into violence, and instead tend to hold grudges for a very long period of time, letting things gradually simmer and rise to a boil over time. When women hate each other, they rarely get to the point of a direct confrontation, but instead will far more often than men deal with things quietly, trying to indirectly harm their hated foe. You don’t see the obvious hatred on the surface like you do with men nearly as often, it’s instead carefully whispering rumors to their boss and sabotaging their work, shunning them and psychological torture for months and years on end as they try to absolutely destroy their opponent emotionally.

Those in fashion tend to far more often take the second route, rather than the first when they have someone they dislike. If anything, I’d call it even more toxic, but it’s not something that’s obvious that’s going on, and there’s a lot of plausible deniability.

Now, another issue is that in video games, even if it’s not a PvP game, it’s still a skill-based meritocracy. You don’t get a pass for just showing up, but are expected to contribute. If everyone loses because you made a mistake, your neck is on the line for that mistake. This is often viewed as being very toxic, but that’s more so because a lot of people aren’t used to having to take responsibility for their own actions, especially not their failures.

answer Jan 16 by Ravi Ranjan