Is Overwatch “Fixing” Console Players?

Many of us who play video games on a consistent basis have been verbally berated by a twelve-year-old while playing our favorite first person shooter game. This is something that comes with the territory of online gaming and seems even more present when playing on a console. Teams scream racist, bigoted, and offensive phrases at each other, as players race to get the most kills on their team, even when playing an objective-based game mode, like capture the flag. Is this something that comes with the territory of playing on an Xbox or PlayStation? Is there something inherently wrong with us “console peasants”? Blizzard’s Overwatch has the potential to help change that mindset.

I’ve been playing Overwatch since a week from its launch on the PlayStation 4. When I first started the game was fun, but it fell into the trappings of many other online FPS titles. People weren’t working as a team, players were only worried about K/D ratios, and the mic chatter was disgusting.

As time passed, I started to see a change. People were starting to communicate as a team, play their roles on the battlefield, encourage others when they made a great play, and even fill roles when a team is unbalanced. I was completely shocked and a bit confused as why this was happening. Usually the console market doesn’t want games where it’s not a race to the top of the kill scorecard and yet the community for Overwatch was bustling.

Personally, I was ecstatic. As someone who consistently plays the healer role in Overwatch, playing as a team is a must and as time went on and on, the general community seemed to embrace the team aspect and philosophy that Blizzard was preaching with this game.

Now to be fair, yes there are a few bad eggs, but it’s nothing to the level of playing Call of Duty or Battlefield and getting yelled at by a 14-year-old about how I should kill myself. Even in Competitive Mode, in my personal experiences, things do not get as heated as one expected.

So is Overwatch “fixing” us console peasants? I don’t know if fixing is the right word, but I truly believe that it is games like Overwatch that are starting to teach the online console community to work together while playing. Hearing teammates cheer on each other, thank one another for doing their jobs correctly, and taking roles that will not give them the spotlight is something that you just do not see often in the console space. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight, but at least from my anecdotal experiences with the game, I believe the toxicity is of the online community is lowering in regards to this game and that is something to applaud the folks at Blizzard for.

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3 thoughts on “Is Overwatch “Fixing” Console Players?”

  1. Frankly, I am tired of complaints about this. Online gaming has become dull and boring now. Why? Because people don’t even want to communicate in 95% of the games. A small percentage will play in party chat and the rest don’t have a mic plugged in. Gaming used to be very social. I don’t know if its a PS4 thing as of late or what, but the social element of gaming has vanished. With the XBox 360, communication was always going on in a wide variety of games. Since 360 was the more dominant platform for online gaming, the online communities thrived. PSN during PS3 was behind the curve. But now with PS4 being the dominant console, it seems like the communication has nose-dived compared to last generation. At least its better than PC in all games except Counter-Strike, but its becoming very anti-social.

    1. I do agree with some of what you’re saying. I have seen a big nose dive in numbers of players using mics that aren’t in parties etc.

      I do find OW as an exception to the rule though. Many of the teams I have come across have a good 2-4 other on the mic, which in this game is something that you need to have. Here’s to hoping things change and more people start communicating when playing.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. I don’t ever bother with mic because of those 5 to 14 year olds screaming and being idiots (and sometimes teens and adults too.) Instead of putting up with that, I just make judgement calls about what character is needed, who to switch to when we’re getting beaten and I use the ingame chat wheel to communicate basic things like “thank you”. I’m here to play a game and have fun. Having to ignore trolls is lame and just ruins the experience for me. The easiest thing is to just leave off voice and enjoy the game. It’s still social since it’s multiplayer. The difference is I have to rely on myself to make judgement calls and not what other people think I should be doing. What matters to you (chat) doesn’t matter one bit to me and never has. I really do prefer games without chat. I just wanna play a game.

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