Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

July 2, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

In an interview with Polygon earlier this week, "Orcs Must Die! Unchained" designer Jerome K. Jones opined that toxic players, gamers who don't conduct themselves in a polite or civil manner and serve to make the game a miserable experience for many others, are good for games.

"There's probably something good about the toxic players showing up and sticking with your game," he said.  "They're not going to go away. And honestly, I don't think you want them to. You need those people there. They're driving the game. They're giving it longevity. They're giving it passion."

Not everyone agrees with Jones' statements and that would seem to include the company behind the game, Robot Entertainment, who later that day issued a statement saying, "toxic players that worsen the experience for the Orcs Must Die! Unchained community absolutely will not be tolerated."

But what do you think?  Are toxic players good for games?  Is there any value to having them around or would the world be a better place without them?  Vote in the poll and fill the comments section with your thoughts and opinions.

Super Podcast Action Committee is taking the weekend off due to the holiday but we'll make sure James types up an article next week revealing the poll results.

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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Comments

Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

Here's an idea: How about we let scientific tests determine it by meeting acceptable criteria rather than swinging opinions on a topic as if we were useless pundits?

Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

CCP has done a good job of showing how a toxic community can be good for the game *developer* if not for the game itself. By openly endorsing and even egging on a toxic community (all while acting really surprised when they start vandalizing real world property or telling each other to kill themselves), they've reached a sort of equilibrium.

EVE's legendary reputation turns away a lot of prospective players, but for as few that join, equally few leave. Toxic players don't easily drive away other toxic players, so once you descend far enough into agony and despair, the whole cesspool becomes somewhat stable and sustainable.

Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

Absolutely not good for the game.  Just because toxic players have "passion" and stick with the game, doesn't mean that role can't/isn't filled by non toxic players.  In fact, I would wager that in games with a lower number of toxic players, there is a higher number of passionate, game driving non-toxic players that give the game the same longevity, but without the assholery.

Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

I use to play EVE (I quit because of time restraints).

Every time I tried to get a friend to play, they would mention how horrible the community was. I kept saying it was only a few rotten people, but it rarely worked.

Screw, the Mittani, and all like him. Because of people like him, I could never get any of my friends to play.

I may be crazy, but I am not insane.

Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

Yeah, that was EvE`s big weak point and really locked it into a vicious cycle of having a really toxic player base.  It could have been a really great game if they figured out how to shift the social norms within it.

Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

If a game has a reputation for having a toxic community, it will dissuade people from playing it. There is a reason why people like Riot have been preventing toxic players from playing in things like the LoL championships. That and it would also be a PR mess if that stuff was caught on camera.

Just cause a game has toxic players that stick around in the game does not mean that the game benefits from those players. It probably means that PEOPLE enjoy the game, not just the toxic members.

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Re: Poll: Are Toxic Players Good For Games?

So much this. I haven't been on any official Valve TF2 servers since some jackass decided that losing his shit at his own team was a good idea.

 
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