What Mr. Forand is referring to is a polished and perfected form of cyberspace communication and competition. These headset-based online combat and mission type games have been progressing for the past fifteen years. However, the idea of immature, obscene language and taunting hasn't always been linked to this type of gaming. Yet, in today's advanced online gaming it does seem to be all you hear. Maybe this is because games like Halo 3 Online are so advanced that the only thing left to worry about is smack-talking your opponent in order to get a chuckle out of your buddies or vice versa. In Thompsen's chapter he bases much of what he says on the "social influence model of technology use". Based on this model, he says that it is human nature for us to log in and let our emotions fly in online-gaming, killing every one in sight. Saying that all these gamers are hotheads was done by Thompsen years ago. Now it seems to be somewhat accuarate that half of these gamers probably grew up in a half-cyber, half-real universe where they would like to kill every one in sight, but don't have the means, or the "rank". With this type of technology, it would be no surprise that those caught up in today's cyberculture like Luke, express this type of human behavior when hidden behind the armor of a cyber-soldier.
However, I am old-school, not talking Halo 1 old-school, not even Socom or Rainbow Six old school, I grew up at CyberSmith. For those of you who don't know, CyberSmith was a store in malls during the mid-90's where online gaming, and virtual interaction began. Much of what Thompsen says concerning the lack of communicative cues in the roots of cyber interaction began to come about here. When gamers waltzed into the CyberSmith at their local shopping mall, they left their potty-mouths, and ignorant slurs at home and just came to play. Because the type of gaming was so different, gamers at the time were satisfied by this new form of cyber competition and didn't need to take it to a negative level. I was one of these youngsters who kept my mouth shut when I was in the pressence of virtual reality for no reason more then I didn't have full knowledge of what we were doing with this new technology. At CyberSmith, an hour of gaming on linked desktop monitors was probably the same price as the actual Halo 3 game. Hey, they were the pioneers that needs to be worth something. CyberSmith was the start of interaction through video games because you would play out missions and adventures with other cyber characters with no knowledge of their actual identity. The phenomenom that took place in this magical ripoff of a store left no room for hate mongering because those involved were happy to enjoy their hours of what was considered to be awesome online-gaming. At the same time they kept quiet because their parents were paying an arm and a leg for them to use these low-budget computers that would lag and make the gamer dizzy. It seems to me that the maturation of "flaming" has only come about more recently, as the games and consoles become more advanced and affordable. It is not enough to just play the game anymore, which may mean that new forms of cybertechnology and gaming may be on the forefront.