Leaderboards, Clan Battles, LAN Parties and Online Leagues are all built around the same concept – gaming together for a more enriching experience. Sadly, doing this with people you don’t know personally makes for a bit of a strange situation where you feel like you are in a mexican standoff rather than a welcome environment of friendly competition.
All anyone really cares about is winning. Be it Charlie Sheen or simply an obsession with coming out on top – “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” is what Vince Lombardi once said. In the case of gaming, there seems to be a dog eat dog nature that makes for a less than enjoyable time for everyone involved once things get competitive. There are websites devoted to setting up leagues, teams and even tournaments where you can win money. These put gamers into a position of having something to lose. When you couple all of these issues into an environment of people that are often socially inept it is enough to turn it into a mobscene when someone loses.
You can usually see an example of this in person if you make a trip to a local Madden Tournament at Gamestop, BW3s or where ever you have local tournaments. Losing isn’t something people like to do.
We aren’t suggesting that competition is bad but when it comes to competing in an online environment there is always going to be a possibility for it to turn into a cesspool. The biggest difference between competing face to face vs. online is that people feel anonymous enough to cheat or simply violate rules because they don’t really have anyone to keep them honest.
As we get closer to the release of Madden 13, Black Ops 2, Medal of Honor and other competitive online titles please remember that it is wise to play the game in a manner that is fair, mature and in accordance with the rules that keep it from turning into a cesspool.