The first things I think of when someone asks whether I’ve been on a toxic team or not are video games. I think of all the times in the game Battlefield when I’ve been the only one on my team to even try to capture objectives. That or at least not try to snipe people from our spawn. That doesn’t help anybody but the other team. Now that I think about it, Battlefieldmay actually be a perfect example of toxicity, and since I’ve wasted literal days of my life on it, I think I know a thing or two about it.
Let’s talk about the most recent game in the series, Battlefield V. this installment in the series has introduced the most “teamwork oriented” mechanics of any of the games. The game takes place during the second world war and multiplayer sees players fight each other as either the Germans or the British. Teams are made up of either 32 or 16 players depending on the game mode. Teams are made up of squads of four players. Squad leaders can issue orders and call in special vehicles, air strikes, and supplies with the points their squad earns. More points are earned in there is an active order and squad members work towards either capturing or defending the objective with the order active on it. the members of a squad can pick between four classes; Assault, medic, support, and scout. The assault class is either a basic infantry unit or an anti tank unit equipped with all manner of explosives and an automatic rifle of some kind. The medic class is equipped to revive downed teammates, heal wounds, and defend themselves and others in close quarters with submachine guns. The support class is meant to resupply teammates ammunition and explosives, lay down suppressing fire with machine guns and shotguns, and also is able to deal some damage to vehicles. The scout class is equipped with a sniper rifle and either a flare gun or spotting scope to locate enemies with. If every person from the squad picks a different class, then the squad is balanced, same thing if the whole team does this. But, this almost never happens. Often times I see at least three whole squads playing scout and refusing to move up or do anything useful. Meanwhile our tanks can’t move forward because they’ll get lit up like a Christmas tree thus stalling the whole assault and we gain no traction. When it comes down to it, only one or two scouts are needed on the whole team, but everyone wants to get those big ticket headshots and be all sneaky. Nobody wants to jump on the objective if there isn’t anyone to back them up.
Attacking is far from the only part of this game however. Defending is a vital part of winning but it often times involves waiting around for attackers to show up and can be boring if you get stuck way in the back of your teams’ defenses. So what everybody does is capture the first two objectives and then the whole team goes off to fight over the middle objective leaving one or two people to defend. Inevitably the other team manages to take the middle objective and they all rush in and slaughter the poor sods trying to hold the others. but, if a single squad builds sandbags and barbed wire at an objective and stays with that objective, there isn’t much the enemy can do short of constant bombardment that will dislodge them. What I’m trying to get at is people all want to do the same thing whether that’s only play assault or always attack and never defend. But that isn’t a very effective strategy all the time. Sometimes someone needs to play medic and keep the attack going or play support and shore up defenses. In the office it’s definitely different, but the same concept of teamwork applies. There’s a leader and all different types of workers all playing their different roles. Sometimes roles do double up and that’s not always bad. But not everybody can do the same thing. If that happens there isn’t anybody to fill the important gaps left. And the toxic players are the ones who refuse to step up and do what’s needed for the team.