Gaming, at its core, is about building community and operating as a team, but negativity can spread throughout the online environment quickly. One solution is to avoid it— but avoiding the problem only removes it from your own path. The other way (which is better for the entire community), is to help diffuse it. Diffusing a situation can help everyone else, and maybe even the person who started the fire. Here are three ways to help repair a negative situation.
No. 1: Look for a (real) solution
Raise your hand if a disparaging comment has been thrown your way or to your group online, whether a gaming community or any group? Got both hands up? Most of the time, the nastiness is served up by a troll. Did you get anywhere by engaging with the troll? That answer is not often enough to make it worthwhile. It goes without saying to ignore the trolls. However, if the negativity is legit, usually in the form of a complaint, look for a solution. Try to find out what caused the comment or negativity. Was it out of frustration? Did someone feel slighted? If someone doesn’t feel heard, frustration builds, and then it becomes a situation. Sometimes it just takes a “what’s up?” to end it. We all have bad days and we all need a bit of communication to get out of them.
No. 2: Use Your Voice. Your Actual Voice.
When you started out gaming, you probably said your goal was to win, but really, you were there just to have fun. No one said anything about becoming a diplomat. But, in some cases, it’s time to put down your mouse and get to work on diffusing a nasty situation. And by “get to work” we mean actually speaking to someone. Texting and DMing only go so far and can go on for days without any resolution. Your wise grandma’s advice is to pick up the phone and call. In this case, a voice chat will do. It will help decrease the hostility and make those involved more human. The last thing you need is your voice cutting out when you’re trying to repair a relationship. We created the ModMic for communicating with our friends and the randoms we meet along the way. The quality of the ModMic means your voice will come through clearly and without audio distractions. Go ahead -- show off your newly found diplomatic skills without sounding like you’re in a train station in the pouring rain at rush hour.
No. 3: Stay positive
Not to get all Zen but staying positive will help you calm down and hopefully diffuse the situation. Put yourself in the shoes of the gamer who’s angry. Don’t respond back with negativity or anger. The saying goes something like, “before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful.” Don’t throw gas on the fire. Ask questions. Use humor. Find common ground. Stay calm. Now’s not the time for knee-jerk reactions.
Sometimes you have to step back
You tried. You put on your headphones with your ModMic, took a deep breath, spoke to a disgruntled member of your community, they calmed down, and all was well. Until it wasn’t. Days later, they’re back in action, spreading negativity like it was napalm. It’s frustrating. But, at the end of the day, you must realize that some people are just nasty. They thrive on negativity and you have to do your best to continue communicating and find small ways to improve your community.
Confronting a negative situation is always uncomfortable, and approaching with compassion can put us all in a vulnerable place. You should be commended for stepping up and looking for a solution. But remember, don’t try and douse every flame of negativity you find. Start with the small stuff. If everyone tackles a small problem, the entire online community benefits. And, with the whole community on the same page, as a team, you can shield against negativity and better yet, work with those that bring a downer to your community and look for solutions that make everyone happy.