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Addicted to video game toxicity

In case this changes the way you guys respond, this is not the first time I’ve posted on the forum, I just want to keep this post anonymous because I am very active in the community, and I don’t want people to think less of me as I’m ashamed to even be writing this… It is just something I really want to work on and I don’t know how to.

I wouldn’t say I’m as addicted to video games now as I used to be… I mean, I can go a few days without playing them, and not really feel like I’m missing them… However, when I do play them I am so incredibly toxic. I don’t just go around abusing people for the sake of being bored, but if someone is constantly doing something to anger me, or starts to abuse me, I will start abusing them saying things that are really not appropriate to post on the wall… Most of the stuff I say is actually things that can get me permanently banned from the games if I was reported so many times, so I guess I’ve been lucky.

I didn’t really think much of it until today where I just lost my shit with 2 players in a game that had really really angered me, and I started saying some really horrible stuff… Stuff that would probably have me arrested if I said it to someone in real life…

The thing about this, is, outside of games, I’m always caring and kind towards people. Those that know me through this community and in real life often comment on how kind and loving I am. So… If I can bite my tongue in discord, on twitch and in real life, why can’t I do that in games?

I just want to be able to play a game without risking getting myself banned, but I just anger so quickly… I don’t know why its so difficult for me.

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I don’t have any great wise answers, but I know that some people, places, things, and environments can bring out the worst in us. Environments can also trigger habits. When I’m sitting in my den listening to music, I get a really strong urge to smoke pot even though I haven’t done it in 9 months. When I’m sitting on my balcony, I feel incomplete without a cigar and whiskey.

If we fight our urges and tendencies, we eventually lose and cave. What we need to do is redirect and reassociate. That’s something I haven’t done in my vice spots, so I still fight those urges, but it’s worked in other spaces. My wife just moved our recliner out of the living room because she realized when she sat in it she was self-isolating. One thing that could work for you to turn away is to play single player games for awhile. With no one to berate, you disassociate berating from gaming. I’m not a gamer and I’m not an expert in any of this, but I do know that redirecting is more effective than fighting those behaviors.

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Hey @Ozlan,

There’s actually some neat studies behind this, also pertaining to online bullying and why people get so angry behind the wheel of a car. In a nutshell, our brain tells us that we’re shielded from some type of protection (i.e. behind a computer or behind the wheel of a car). Because of this, we tend to act more irrationally because the immediate consequences aren’t as detrimental as opposed to if we said/did something to someone in person in close proximity.

If you’re looking for a really chill game to play that won’t get you as angry, I’ve been playing RuneScape on-and-off for 15 years now and I’d highly recommend it :wink:

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Agreed with Sheet and Eric here - it makes sense to develop that kind of attitude in some specific environments. And honestly, some multiplayer games have just a very toxic community where trolling is almost the only rule. You have a good example of that with Mordhau. I personally had to stop playing that game because it was just too toxic and I surprised myself to end more angry and upset than having fun, though I had a lot of fun with the game at the beginning.

The good news with video games is that we have a lot of choices today. I mean… a lot. If you enjoy multiplayer games, not every game have social codes based on abuse or bashing each other. Maybe also just the content of the game can have an impact to some extent (I mean, it doesn’t feel the same to play Animal Crossing or Killing Floor). With that perspective, shopping around games that are more casual and relaxing could be interesting. At least just to try and see how it affects you (or not).