Don’t read the comments – the common mantra for happy internet browsing. We know what goes on there, in that anarchic bilious echo chamber of unrestrained hate. Everyone clamouring to be heard in the morass, resulting in nobody being heard above the resulting din.

And we all know which articles bring out the worst in commenters – any article vaguely critical of the gamer culture.

Articles on sexism, mainstream media linking games to violence, LGBTQI issues… anything that might suggest that games or gamers are somehow deficient or bad always brings out the most hateful comments.

Ironic, no?

The majority of reasonable individuals who want to avoid the river of faeces that is a comment section on a gaming website do just that – avoid it. Why voluntarily subject yourself to that amount of concentrated hate on a regular basis? It’s a completely reasonable reaction.

I don’t think it’s the most constructive for the industry, though.

We know comment sections are mostly filled with hateful rubbish. But that’s because good people limit their engagement. The negative, vocal minority (and it IS a minority) run rampant in comment threads, while the good voices, the constructive, clever, considered people, avoid the rubbish. Instead of contributing their valuable ideas and perspectives, it’s a lot easier for them to just not engage.

I get it. I do. It opens you up for attack by the nasty ones. And that’s a bad thing. It’s hard to stand up and make yourself a target. And websites, despite sometimes heavy moderation, aren’t perfect. But if those vocal few manage to dominate the discourse, then we will never reclaim our space as one for positive discussion.

We need to fight to take back our comments and make them positive places.

So please, read the comments. See the worst of what faceless commenters on the internet are capable of. Be disgusted. And make your voice heard. Reply. Report. Let them know that their abuse is intolerable to you. Be polite and respectful, but forceful. Choose what your voice on the internet will be, and stick to your guns. Because some members of the “gaming community” really need to be there, and they’re being forced out by vitriol and threats. You can do something to make their life better.

Read the comments. Find the good ones – those who have insights, bring a level head to the debate, improve the discourse. Support them. Make them know they are the kinds of voices you want to hear in comment sections. Stand together against the torrents of rubbish that spew forth on a daily basis. You can do something to make their life better.

Make your choice, and reclaim the comments.

Lachlan Williams
Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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  1. Thats fine until you head to a website like N4G where they have a bubble system which restricts how many comments you can make. So if you are making a good and clever atgument on there you get lots of disagrees and bubbled down faster than you can say GO!

    1. Yeah N4G has turned in to a complete Sony Circle jerk and the mods seem to protect and encourage it. I use to like the bubble system but it has since been corrupted. The biggest trolls that attack every MS article with negative spin and ignorance have the most buubles so they can fill up the conversation more than the rational people or people with differing views because their bubbles get taken away by the Sony Droid Army (roger roger).
      Its a complete mess there. i just go on there now to point out fanboyism and get banned. Its a POS site and deserves to be treated like a POS site so i go in and take a dump every so often.

  2. Yes, absolutely agree, the gaming comments sections are full of puerile vile hate, like from the PC Master Race who hate anybody else gaming on anything other than PC, and then from PS4 versus X1 battles, and then everyone craps on mobile/tablet gaming as the most shameful form of gaming. I think the comments sections on gaming sites should all be shut down.

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