Well here is something I never I’d see. Anyone who has dabbled in some online gaming has no doubt run across that one schmuck, most likely a prepubescent little troll with anger issues who thinks that using the word â€œgayâ€ as an adjective every 2 seconds makes him a tough guy.
Call of Duty is no stranger to that, with many a session being absolutely littered with foul-mouthed kids who have no other outlet for their temper tantrums. Surprisingly though, the new online stat-tracking service that is Call of Duty Elite has had the opposite effect on hardcore players, and has instead created an atmosphere of camaraderie since it first rolled around.
Digital VP Jamie Berger has been monitoring the interactions of players towards themselves in the COD:E Beta, and has noticed a surprising lack of insults and name-calling. â€œOne of the most interesting things to me is how positive people are in the serviceâ€, Berger said in an interview with Gamasutra. â€œI’m most excited that within it, people are being supportive, they’re actually talking to each other, and amongst each other.
â€œThey’re so happy to actually have a place to be part of a community, not a message board, they’re actually behaving very much like people who just want to be social and have fun, not people who want to flame each otherâ€.
Anonymity on the internet has always produced its share of trolls and general jerks, making hostile and crude behaviour an inevitable part of the web that is isn’t easily policed. COD:E however, seems to have had the opposite effect, creating a friendly environment for fans of the franchise.
â€œIt creates a social contractâ€ Berger explained. â€œHow can we start behaving as if we live in a neighbourhood? You try to treat your neighbours with respect. When you create a true community, that, to me, is the difference between â€˜social gaming’ and a communityâ€.
â€œI’m really excited about that aspect. It starts breaking a lot of the bad assumptions about what a shooter is. It breaks down those anonymous walls and turns it into something where you start knowing each otherâ€.
If Elite is really fostering a sense of comradeship and friendliness, then it looks like it will finally be time to switch the headphones back on, as nothing is worse than sitting down for a quick game, only to hear a shrieking banshee on the other end hurl barely understood expletives every time they die.
Elite launches in November alongside Modern Warfare 3 this year.
Last Updated: September 9, 2011