Xbox Live can be a great enjoyment, and headsets with microphone that plug into your controller allow in-game chat which, for me as I play a lot of Gears of War 3 Team Death Matches (TDM) lately, just makes gameplay cooler. The idea of the chat feature in TDM or other team-based games is to allow communication between team members, although unless you are in a private party everyone else in the room will also hear what you are saying.
Unfortunately, chat also allows you to meet Xbox Live’s whiners. Yep, whiners on Xbox Live, and I’m not talking about strictly 8 year-olds. I expect kids to whine, but I’ve been hearing whining (in many forms) in GOW 3 play and its kind of amazing – in a bad way. This is especially a let down when you run into a player that is talented at the game. Winning is cool, but even when I am pwned, by an opposing team with great team cohesion, superior strategy and players with real skills, I can enjoy the game. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good win, but its not essential to enjoying the game for me. Also, in the circumstances above I try to watch carefully what was done by this amazing team and its individual players to advance my gaming.
But back to whining and what you can do to address it. Xbox Live will introduce you whiners (complainers of all types), to “dead talkers” and others. You’ll listen to their whiny complaints, the music they are listening to while playing the game, their insults, their phone calls (yep, I’ve heard a couple of those, too) and comments about the unfairness of … of anything they choose to blame on the reason the last player bested them. I’ll refer to these guys and gals as unhappy players.
However, Microsoft is aware of unhappy players and you have options ranging from passive to active that you can take against those players. You can just ignore them, you can try to engage them in a positive manner, you can mute the player, review them or even file a complaint. If you choose to mute an Xbox Live gamer, file a player review or complaint via Xbox Live just click and follow the step-by-step process to get to the right screen.
IGNORE OR POSITIVELY ENGAGE
If you run across one of those unhappy players you can choose to simply ignore them. Especially if you play the part of the adult (regardless of your actual age) and the unhappy player is playing the part of the child (regardless of their actual age) you may need to be the bigger person and remain silent. Also, these players can tend to be very impatient, and may end up leaving the game anyway. Your patience may be rewarded with their frustrated exit from the room.
You also might choose to positively engage the person, after all maybe there was a misunderstanding. One player complained I stole one of their kills – something I intentionally avoid doing – and I explained I via chat that I was just trying to help out. The player realized I hadn’t been stealing their kills, just that one by accident, and he was actually gracious and apologized for jumping to conclusions. Of course there are other ways to positively engage unhappy players depending upon the circumstances.
MUTE MORE OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
If you find you cannot ignore a player because they are just really offensive, or maybe you’ve tried positively engaging them (or not) and it didn’t work, you might resort to muting them. It works great, you no longer hear the person and the mute applies to future sessions, though I’m not sure it applies cross-game. Say a player is singing about his conquests and how easy it was to blow away his opponents, or maybe is playing music in his room that you can hear in-game, flaming players or whatever – whether or not the player realizes he/she is making things less enjoyable for everyone else a quick mute takes care of the issue.
NEXT STEP: PLAYER REVIEW
The next step up in seriousness is to submit a player review which can result in being matched less often with a player you review negatively (and more often if you review positively). Your options in a player review are Prefer This Player or Avoid This Player and then you specify reasons following the selections offered.
THE MOST YOU CAN DO: FILE COMPLAINT
For the most offensive players and especially those breaking Xbox Live’s Terms of Service (TOS) you can file a complaint. More info can be found on the Xbox LIVE Complaint/Xbox LIVE Suspension/Xbox Console Bans page. When you file a complaint, you will verify YES twice then select the general reasons and then a more specific reason when prompted. You shouldn’t use this step for someone who is a little annoying, or because you are upset at a player who’s bested you to get back at them.
Above all, the most important thing is to be responsible and use the manners you’d expect from others – and have fun!
SOME ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR XBOX LIVE
- Well, for starters remember to be a good sport
- Also, Xbox Live wasn’t created for you – share nicely with others.
- When you lose, the game says you lost – if you blame laggy connections or “hacking” you don’t learn for next time. iTargets and rapid-fire controllers aren’t hacking – they aren’t skill or real play, either.
- Don’t whine about the weapon that killed you as if its use was unfair. Did you get owned by a player during an entire match with his sawed off? Learn to use your Gnasher or Retro Lancer.
- Like foul language? No one is impressed by you masterful use of it, just over yourself and move on and you might enjoy the game.
- Don’t be an Xbox Live whiner.