With the advent of COVID-19, online gaming has gained a tremendous amount of traction amongst many age groups in general. Even before COVID-19, gaming and streaming on platforms like Twitch was really popular and beginning to take off.
Along with the rise and popularity of video games, there still seems to be a widespread problem of toxicity towards girl gamers in general. The stigma that girls are “not allowed to like video games” or “are bad at video games” still seems to exist, but within the past few years, famous streamers like Valkyrae and Pokimane have started to break down those generalizations.
Even though this false perception that girls “suck at video games” is slowly being erased, women still experience toxic teammates and players in different lobbies in almost every game.Though, there are several ways to defend your female teammates and to be a better teammate overall to anyone playing the game. Being a better teammate in general will help to end this cycle of unnecessary toxicity in the gaming community.
1. Call Out Your Toxic Teammates
This can be considered an obvious way of helping out your female teammates. By calling out your toxic teammates, you attempt to reason with them in order to focus more on the game rather than running their mouths or spamming the chat with their rude comments. Just make sure that you yourself doesn’t get tilted from their negative energy, and do your best to remain level-headed when playing the game.
2. Be Kind if Your Teammate Is Not Performing Well
I understand that ranked games, or normal matches, are stressful, but flaming your teammate who is probably trying their best is not the most effective and kindest way to go. Flaming your teammate will not help them perform better in the game, but instead, may actually tilt them to the point where they leave the match and afk—ultimately making the game harder to win.
3. Report Sexist Behavior
In the games I play, if someone on my team or on the enemy team unnecessarily makes a sexist or rude comment to anyone in the game, everyone else in the match—regardless if you are on opposing teams—collectively agrees to report the toxic player after the game. If the game you are playing has a ‘report’ feature, it is best to use it for any toxicity experienced within the match. This gives you a chance to have the toxic player experience consequences like getting their account banned or suspended for what they said.
4. Become Friends With Your Teammates
During the match, actually hyping up your teammates, especially those who are not doing well, can help maintain a positive, hopeful mentality throughout the game. Also, being a friendly person allows for your other teammates to become more comfortable when speaking, which enables them to talk more in chat when it comes to call outs or to say other things regarding the game.
5. Have Fun :)
Remember that at the end of the day, whether you win or lose a game, the game exists for people to have fun. A certain rank does not define who a person is, and losing a game does not justify being a toxic person who is also trying to play the game as well.
These are a few ways in preventing toxicity towards girl gamers, but they can also make you a better teammate in general. Happy gaming!