Hacked Off: Other Players Sending Angry Messages to You

Now, it’s been a good two weeks since I’ve written one of these, I apologise; however, it seemed things weren’t bugging me. But I was only kidding myself. This week I’ve been forced to remember something I had repressed in my sub-conscious. I’m not being anti-social, saying that I hate talking to people. I’m often delighted I’ve received a message, but that joy is short lived. It appears they specifically take time out of their day to let me know I’m terrible at games. Am I that damn bad that people need to allocate time to inform me? Is this part of their community service sentence, letting people know they are not good at games? If I am that bad, why have there not been meetings and interventions set up by those closest to me to help solve this problem? It’s clearly harming so many people.

We’ve all been sent these messages over the years. I’m almost certain people who have never played online get sent them. Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past the people sending letters to houses, who haven’t even owned a gaming platform in their lives, just to inform them they suck at gaming. Did this kind of thing happen back in the arcades? Instead of putting down a pound for the next game, they’d leave a note which simply read, ‘You’re bad”. I honestly don’t get it, is there some kind of thrill they get for sending the message? Maybe they get paid to do it. They must have some kind of quota to fill, so it’s irrelevant if the statement is true or not.

Nearly any game with online seems to bring this out in people. It doesn’t even matter what team you’re on either, as they’ll still send it to you. Either questioning your skill, or what your mother gets up to at nights. It happens more frequently in certain games, but the worst I’ve seen recently is Overwatch. Now, this isn’t to tarnish all players with the same brush, as most are lovely. They just want to have fun, as that’s what games are for. Competitive matches get tense and people will always be frustrated, that’s just fair as it means something. Though the messages are sent after just ‘quick games’ as well.

There is something about Overwatch which is now bringing out their dark sides, which tells them to send the message. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get angry with people on my team, but I understand people have off days, and I myself have enough of them. I don’t see the need in letting them know something they are probably already up to terms with. It’s so bad on Overwatch that my friend has even started to send me them at the end of games. He claims it’s friendly, but sometimes it seems rather personal, as if he’s letting out some deep resentment towards me.

It’s wrong to claim it’s only children who send these messages as I’m sure adults do it just as much. I’ve never asked the age of the people as it rarely comes up in conversation. Though, there was one time I found out it was a university student. He had beaten me at FIFA and wanted to let me know he had won. You know, just in case I had passed out for the end of the game and not noticed he beat me. What did he achieve from it? Nothing. What did I get out of it? A few laughs, but other than that, nothing. These messages can put people off playing online. It’s like being on the playground again. All the kids good at football are questioning why you’re even alive if you’re this bad at football.

I like to reply to the messages. As you can probably tell from these features, I love sarcasm. So most of my responses are sarcastic or generally light hearted responses. It’s never to insult them, just make a joke or two. Most people leave it at that. Then every blue moon you get that guy or gal who responds. They clearly took the message seriously. I just wish people read it with the inflections I use when I do. So then you’re in the middle of something you wish you never started. They’ve clearly given up on playing anything and are solely focusing on you. I know I should ignore it or block them, but I feel like I must respond as I did get involved. Eventually, I get sad that my jokes are clearly not good enough, and I question my humour so I stop, realising I wasted my own time.

Though there is one form of ‘hate’ message which was rather short lived, the voice message. I remember the days playing FIFA on the Xbox 360 and once in a while you would get a voice message. This was much more special. It’s the idea that they’ve gone the extra mile to physically say these things to you. It was a lot more personal, and you knew you had done something special to warrant it. But alas, no one seems to make the effort anymore, it’s like they no longer care about us.

I don’t expect to see these messages ever stop. Maybe if they were a little more constructive, I’d be happy. Maybe give me some pointers. “Shoot at the people, not the floor. Trying scoring in the other team’s net. Try pushing the accelerator.”

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