It used to be that when someone was commenting about a game community (normally a forum for that game) I used to get offended, thinking “hey now, it’s not ALL bad, after all I am a part of that community!” – turns out, no, no I am not. I used to think that when a community had gone south, it was up to all of us to pull together and lead by example to turn it around – but this is also unrealistic. Maybe it’s because I’m older now, or maybe it’s because I have less tolerance with how I spend my free time, but these days it is very rare that I ever feel a part of an “official” gaming community.
That doesn’t mean I don’t still belong to groups of players – I do, but you won’t typically find us on any official forums to any games. Instead you’ll find us sequestered away in our own little area, interacting with one another but very rarely with the outside world.
It doesn’t matter what game it is (actually, I can think of one but I’ll mention it later) almost every single game out there that has a forum is host to a ‘toxic’ type of community. I don’t think these people represent the bulk of gamers, or even the bulk of gamers for those games because of one very simple thing. Players who are happy and content with their game are very rarely ever posting on the forums. They’re busy playing. Sure there are a few instances when someone may need some help, or want to look something up, but for the most part when you’re happy, you’re playing. Again this is just my personal experience, your mileage may vary. So where am I hanging out if not on official forums? Well, you can find me on Anook where I have a profile set up, as well as Player.me which is a new site I just joined up with last week. Of course I’m also on twitter and google plus and a few other places too, but aside from this web site and the two links above I tend to keep a pretty low profile. I would like to think that communities are not always this way, but so far I don’t have much proof. There are, of course, exceptions. Sims 3 forums have never been that bad – for me – but I don’t participate in a huge way, I mostly hang out in some very specific areas. Wurm Online forums are alright too, but those forums are highly moderated and the user base is quite small compared to other games.
It’s a bit of a shame, because I would love to meet more people, but I just can’t handle that sort of behaviour. Maybe I need to join a ‘get off my lawn’ forum or something, hehe.
As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!