New Video Explores the Psychology of the Taunt in Video Games

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If you’ve ever played an online game head-to-head against another player, then chances are you good that you’ve experienced taunting while gaming. In one form or another, taunting has been a part of human nature long before video games came around. And as much as we may not like it, taunting in gaming isn’t going away any time soon. If anything, gamers may find new ways to taunt each other for a very simple and compelling reason: it works.

Core-A-Gaming has released video that examines video game taunting from a psychological perspective. Along the way, the narrator points out an interesting fact that often goes unnoticed. “T-bagging” may be allowed in gaming, but during a real war it would be considered a violation of the Geneva Conventions of civilized warfare. The issue at hand is dignity. Even nations at war with one another are still expected to observe basic rules of conduct. Yet in video games, and in e-sports tournaments, almost anything goes.

Some of the more competitive players openly use taunting to humiliate their opponents even when they could easily gain an advantage by continuing to inflict damage upon their characters. In that way, the taunting player is conditioning their opponent to change the way that they play or simply trying to make them angry and careless. It’s surprisingly effective, and it has even led to some heated moments between players in real life, as seen in the footage within this video.

To a certain extent, the taunting is even encouraged in the tournaments, provided certain lines aren’t crossed. Many titles, like Street Fighter V even have taunts built into the games themselves, but nothing quite as extreme as T-bagging. But as long as players believe that the taunts give them the psychological edge, then the taunts will only continue to be a part of their reality.

How do you feel about taunting in video games? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image Credit: Capcom

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