Rainbow Six Siege Has Completely Changed My Opinion About Online Gaming
I’ve talked about Rainbow Six Siege more times than I can count. It’s a game that I’ve put so many hours into at this point that I’m kind of ashamed of myself. However, it has completely changed the way I look at online gaming for the better.
Back in junior high and high school I played a lot of online games, but I usually tended to avoid putting my headset on unless I was in a party with close friends. My online experience was soured after playing with a group of guys from my junior high who ended up bullying me online. When playing online with people at the time, at least in my experience, it tended to be very immature and with people constantly spewing hate against others.
Granted I was, what, 13 at the time? That kind of junk is probably to be expected online, but regardless, that kind of behavior shouldn’t be accepted as the norm online.
(Side note: If and when I become a parent, and I hear my son or daughter saying some of the stuff I’ve heard kids say online, their gaming privileges are gone.)
I had no desire to put a headset on to listen to that all the time or engage with that kind of behavior. That’s not to say I never partook in that sort of behavior, but somewhere along the line I figured it out that I enjoyed games much more by not partaking in that junk and just playing the game. However, that’s when I switched to only really playing single player games and avoiding the online portion of games, for the most part.
It didn’t help that the majority of my online gaming time was spent with games like Call of Duty, Halo and Gears of War. From my recollection, there was quite a bit of talk about just how toxic those communities could be online even outside the games. Obviously not everyone engages in that toxic behavior, but it occurred often enough to turn me off from playing online games.
By the time I started working on OnlySP in 2012, I had pretty much completely stopped playing online multiplayer games. And then in 2015, Rainbow Six Siege came out. When I first got the game it was a pretty jarring experience. A competitive first person shooter that actually almost requires you to keep in constant contact with your teammates to succeed? That was basically unheard of at the time unless you played competitively on Gamebattles or a similar service.
It wasn’t long before people started inviting me to their Xbox Live parties so that we could converse and work together. I still had my reservations about online gaming for the first few months of Siege’s existence, but overtime I grew to like the game more and more, and it wasn’t because of the game, but because of the experiences I was having with people online.
In all my time with Siege, I’ve had maybe two bad experiences with people, but the rest has been great. I still play online regularly with some of the guys that I met when the game first came out.
Siege, for as competitive as it is, has one of the nicest and most inviting communities I’ve played with. I have to assume it’s due to the game promoting a collaborative effort instead of focusing on an individual’s effort. Regardless, before Siege, joining a party of random players and working together was a pretty foreign concept to me. Now I think almost nothing of it, and that has carried over to other games that I play now as well.
In Siege, when you mess up, players look to help you get better instead of putting you down. On occasion you’ll get a teammate that you’ll want to mute, but it’s certainly not the norm like it is in other games where you’re attacked for not playing “well”. It’s a small gesture, but one that makes the game feel inviting to come back and play again, even if you’ve had a bad day on it.
The game completely changed my view of online gaming, for the most part. In part, it had to do with me growing up and not putting much thought into the sort of behavior that turned me off from online games. On the other hand, Siege wouldn’t be the game that it is today without the online community that keeps it going — there’s something commendable to be said about that.