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An Etiquette Guide to Online Gaming

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Online gaming is great fun and enjoyed by people of all ages. Many people turned to online games during the recent Covid-19 lockdown period as a way of passing the time and keeping up with friends.

Online gaming, just like real-world games and sports, has a strict etiquette guide. F]ollowing these rules is beneficial to all players and encourages participants to behave in a respectful, sportsmanlike manner.

Being aware of basic gaming etiquette is also important from an online gaming safety perspective. Staying safe online should be a top priority of all players and comes part-and-parcel of behaving in a positive, appropriate manner.

With this in mind, continue reading to discover top tips for gaming in a safe and respectful way.

1. Use appropriate language

Remember that not everyone playing online is an adult — mass multiplayer online games are very popular with children too. While it may be tempting to throw a few swear words over your microphone if you are outmanoeuvred by a particularly difficult enemy, try to stick to language that is appropriate for all age groups.

Remember that you are probably playing with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. What may seem appropriate to you could be insulting or upsetting to someone else.

And if you are playing with beginners, try to avoid jargon as much as possible or at least explain to your team-mates what certain terms mean. This can help improve their gameplay and make them feel more included in the team.

2. Support beginner players

Everyone was a beginner once and unfortunately, beginners tend to make mistakes. However, someone new to the world of Fortnite, World of Warcraft or any other of the most popular online games will learn far quicker if they are supported by both their team-mates and opponents.

Teasing, abusing, and bullying a newcomer will deter them from playing again — and everyone should be able to enjoy online gaming!

3. Avoid quitting before the game is over

Sometimes, you just have to leave a game while it is still in progress. Maybe you’ve just gotten an important phone call or you can smell your dinner burning away in the oven. If this is the case, politely let your team-mates know and apologise for the fact that you have to leave early.

If you are getting slaughtered in a battle, it can be tempting to just quit before too much damage is done. This is heavily frowned upon in gaming circles. Besides, no matter how bad things seem, there is always the chance that you can turn your bad luck around and mount an incredible comeback.

4. Mute your microphone

Many people enjoy playing multiplayer games as it gives them the opportunity to catch up and chat with friends. However, there are certain times when you really need to mute your microphone.

If you are enjoying a snack while playing, turn off that microphone. No one wants to hear the sound of you crunching chips mid-way through a battle.

It is also considered good manners to turn off your microphone, or at least avoid speaking, when a cut-scene is playing.

5. Be a good sport

We get it — gaming is competitive. If you’ve lost an important battle right at the very last second, it can be tempting to let a few expletives fly or send a snarky message to your teammates. However, it’s important that you treat others in the gaming world as you do in real life.

Always thank your team-mates and opponents at the end of a battle, whether you have won or lost.

6. Speak up when you see something wrong

Unfortunately, the online gaming world is not always a safe and happy place. Cyberbullying is rife within gaming communities and can have severe real-world consequences.

If you are playing a multiplayer game and notice certain players are bullying others, make sure that you speak up. Support victims and be aware of the ways in which you can report rude and unpleasant players. Everyone has the right to feel safe online and it’s up to us to enforce this.

7. Protect your information and the information of others

Usually when signing up to an online gaming platform, you are required to provide a fair amount of personal information. This includes your full name, date of birth, location, and sometimes credit card details.

In the wrong hands, this information can be used to commit identity theft or launch a doxxing attack. It is up to you to protect your online information and any information that other people share with you. Gaming anti-virus programs can assist in this regard, as can practising good basic security habits.

Above all, when playing games online it’s important to simply treat others the way that you want to be treated. Adopting this attitude will ensure that the online gaming world is a safe and fun one for all.

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