The penetrating shrill of a 10-year old’s affliction. Acoustic fingernails, tearing through the chalkboard of cyberspace; piercing through your speaker set in a burst of boundless profanity, slurs, and overt hatred; occasionally threatening permanently the loss of hearing and mental stability.
It’s hard to imagine, but even the worst of what game chat has to offer evokes a certain level of nostalgia, perhaps because the sparsely-accompanying pleasant interactions made it all worthwhile, and, well, both are hard to find these days.
It seems like it happened overnight. This generation’s Xbox Live managed to augment its interface with cross-game party chat, squad-based chat in shooters became all the rage, and responsive public microphones soon disappeared. The airwaves went aphonic.
Have we all become selfish, infatuated with kills in lieu of teamwork and communication? Is it just another example of society growing more reclusive? Who knows? We just miss getting a heads up on the enemy right behind us before we’re assassinated in plain sight of our squad.