Over the past few months, I have come to realize just how toxic the World of Warcraft community can be. Instead of coming together to talk about this game we all enjoy, we separate ourselves into groups: Alliance, Horde, Casual, Hardcore, Elite, Noob, etc. And if you dare talk about something you are not affiliated with, you are attacked and harassed. And what happens if you disagree with someone else? Again, you are attacked and called ‘stupid’ for even daring to disagree. Clearly, there must be something wrong with you.
Where does this occur? The forums, Trade Chat, and more recently, Twitter. Mind you, I thoroughly enjoy Twitter. Being able to hold conversations with my friends as well as developers and Community Managers is incredible! Hell, the fact that the developers and CMs talk to us at all is amazing in my book. However, this past weekend the developers and CMs have taken a lot of crap that they don’t deserve. I remember Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) saying that having passionate players is a great thing. However, there is a major difference between passion and harassment. Countless times this weekend I have seen CMs and developers on Twitter be harassed and called vicious names simply because of changes made in the Warlords of Draenor beta. This is NOT okay and something needs to be done about this.
What can be done? If you see this happening, step in and tell the person doing the harassing to cut it out. Personally, I would suggest they be given a ‘timeout’ from the game. If people who disagree cannot express themselves in a civilized manner, they should be treated like children and should have their World of Warcraft account suspended for a certain amount of time. This might sound harsh, but this kind of behavior should not be allowed.
What are your ideas for putting an end to this toxic behavior?