For some odd reason there’s a huge push from seemingly everybody to try to get in on the whole “toxic gamer” wave. Volkswagen just recently dropped their own commercial painting men and gamers as some kind of worthless, no-good scoundrels, and enthusiast gaming media have been constantly hammering on the gaming community since around 2012. Well, AT&T… yes, the telecommunications corporation, decided to get in on fighting against “toxicity” with their new #GreatGame campaign.
It started with a tweet on January 23rd, 2018 and a small infographic, challenging gamers to “ignore the haters” and “stay fully charged with positivity”. It instructs gamers to help the “n00bs” and “eat snacks”.
— AT&T Impact (@ATTimpact) January 23, 2019
The tweet links over to a blog page over on DirectTV website, where it’s explained that at the ESL One e-sports tournament that took place way back in September of 2018 in Brooklyn, New York featuring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, AT&T started to lay seeds for its #GreatGame campaign.
According to the post, it states…
[…] AT&T launched Great Game, a campaign to combat the toxicity that has become so prevalent within the online gaming world.
#GG (Good Game) has always been a popular mantra to end matches in several different games, including StarCraft and Counter-Strike. But we’re taking it a step further by encouraging all gamers – professional and amateur – to use #GreatGame. You can commend other players on a game well played and promote a positive gaming environment. Who doesn’t want to do that?”
It doesn’t get into the male-bashing, or the gamer-bashing that so many other companies have enveloped as their way of communication, but it does feed into this narrative that gaming has a “toxicity” problem that needs to be solved through corporate intervention. This isn’t too surprising given that back in September of 2016, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson came out as a supporter for Black Lives Matter, as reported by CNET. He was also featured in a video giving a speech, which let people know just how “woke” the CEO of AT&T is.
I’m not really sure who they expect to reach given that most gamers aren’t going to go to a corporate blog to read about e-sports news, and most other gamers aren’t going to follow the AT&T Twitter account to get a lecture about “toxicity” in gaming.
While the campaign obviously isn’t as abrasive or as dogmatic as some other companies and media outlets out there, it’s still a rather jarring thing to see a telecoms company trying to fight a media-made boogeyman.
(Thanks for the nes tip Iswear)