My friend Paul (aka, Dweezle of “TTL Gunslinger”:http://tiedtheleader.com fame) has “written up some thoughts”:http://paulmhooper.com/2007/04/02/gratia-placenti/ on MLG player behavior – and I agree with him completely. It’s interesting to me how much slack we give those people that we pay to essentially keep us entertained. In professional sports, we’re willing to cover our eyes to most of the bad behaviors we see our athletes exhibiting. We figure that so long as they continue to perform and don’t bring the team down or reflect _too_ badly on the city that it’s not such a bad thing to have them on the team. We want our team to do well and if that means contracting players whose social lives or behaviors during leave something to be desired, then we can live with that. Sure, we’d probably like to have players we can all look up to and respect, but on the other hand, these players do provide some added entertainment and juicy gossip, right? Of course, we might get fed up with them after a while and want them to leave, but they have to pull our strings pretty far to reach that point.
In Major League Gaming (MLG), though, we _start out_ with a lot of players who exhibit bad attitudes. These are players whose way of gaming life involves a lot of swagger and trash talk. These are players whose natural habits include the use of words that we would never allow our kids to use and that we ourselves are, at the very least, uncomfortable with and, at worst, are deeply offended by. But these are also the players that our kids look up to because they possess the gaming skills that our kids aspire to. These players that our kids idolize and that whose behaviors we disdain now have a larger platform for their childish behaviors on several major networks that cover MLG events.
Trashtalking is pretty much considered par for the course in the gaming world. As Paul pointed out in his writeup, the usage of words like ‘rape’ and ‘own’ are commonplace – and should be cause for concern. In my opinion, this is a gangster mentality infiltrated into what _should_ be a relaxing, fun world of games and laughs. It is also this kind of thing that takes a lot of the fun and enjoyment right out of the game. ((Whatever game it might be that you choose to play.)) One might think that gamers who are fortunate enough to sit in the public spotlight like this might conduct themselves like professionals, but unfortunately, this has proven to not be the case. All the bad behaviors and rude language that these players used during their pursuit of the professional gaming circuits have stuck with them, and they continue to be rude and loud and obnoxious.
Personally, I think all professionals of every stripe ought to be held accountable for their behaviors. Professional athletes ought to be called onto the carpet by the sports organizations under which they play, by the team owners, the coaches, their fellow players, and even by the fans. The same goes for professional gamers – when they act out and behave in ways that are unethical and, yes, even immoral, they need to be confronted by the MLG authorities, by their sponsors, by their fellow gamers, and by the fans that watch their matches. There is no reason why a gamer should be allowed to get away with saying, “I just raped that guy” after every kill or shouting, “You just go owned, bitch!” That’s the sort of thing that would have gotten me a bar of soap in my mouth as a kid.
Maybe Dial or Dove could win a long-term contract for MLG events. I can guarantee they’d make a killing.
The irony of the situation is that, turn the tables on these and use their own language back, and they themselves get upset. Bit of a double-standard, don’t you think?