The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds community is a mess, and it's getting worse

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In Solo mode, PUBG is a game that encourages you to be selfish. It's a fun kind of selfish, of course; survival of the fittest (or, at least, best armed). Dropped into a massive map with 99 other players, you have one objective: be the last person standing by any means necessary. Ambushes, camping, and taking advantage of others is encouraged. Everyone is out for themselves. You can see this mentality in the pre-match lobby where everyone is invincible and has access to firearms - it’s a terrifying place. 

Check out our PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds guide for some survival tips. 

Back when the game first launched, the community - outside of the usual godawful people shouting racist, homophobic, and sexist slurs in the pre-game lobby - seemed united. The subreddit was full of funny clips, tips, and people chatting enthusiastically. Often, you would see videos of people being sportsmanly to each other, perhaps offering a cornered player the opportunity for a fair fight. Now it’s a hotbed for streamer harassment, drama, and vitriol towards the devs. At some point, it seems, everything changed. 

In fact, you can trace this shift back to one moment: when streamer DrDisRespect was banned for teamkilling by game director Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene. The full story is at that link, but essentially, it led to a public spat on Twitter between Greene and the streamer, in which DrDisRespect threatened to roundhouse kick Greene in the chest. Following that, Greene went on to explain the power of hurtful words in a blog post, since he had actually been kicked in the chest in real life - his head went through a window as a result. 

Battlegrounds sniper rifle

Imagine how that blog post went down with the people who throw around words like “triggered” and “snowflake.” It was fuel for the fire. The dumpster fire. Greene was in the right, of course, but this seems to have been the catalyst for the community going feral. Since then, they’ve lumbered from one drama to the next. Back in July, the latest debacle began - the stream sniping discourse. 

One person was banned from PUBG because he killed some popular streamers across a series of matches. The player vehemently denied the accusations that they were stream sniping, but developers Bluehole said they have evidence of him hopping between streams to secure kills on people broadcasting, getting eyes on their position by watching their video while playing.  

Then, more recently, a streamer called Destiny spawned into a game and the buildings didn’t load. He took advantage of this and ran over a bunch of other players, who - from their perspective, at least - were safely inside houses. During the stream, he said he knew he would be banned. He was right. 

pubg brendan greene interview

For some reason, this incident led to the community targeting another streamer called Grimmmz. Grimmmz had previously used an exploit to shoot underwater and hadn’t been banned. Bluehole had come out and said this was actually fine - before they patched it out, at least. The hate for Grimmmz off the back of this has resulted in him being stream sniped more regularly, and he’s reported players who do so, leading to more bans and even more hate. 

Now the game's most popular subreddit is embroiled in yet another drama, this time revolving around stream honking. Yes, stream honking. In a recent patch, Bluehole added the ability to honk the horn while driving cars. In an attempt to dodge bans, stream snipers are trolling broadcasters not by killing them, but by drowning out their audio awareness - a very important tactical tool in PUBG - by honking their horns in close proximity. Here’s a video compilation of that in action: 

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Understandably frustrated, Grimmmz decided to take out a copyright claim to the original version of the mirrored video above. He’s since admitted this was a bad call in a TwitLonger post. He just lost his temper after someone donated money during a different stream and said that it was for tissues to cry into. 

“With already having a full plate to deal with, this set me off. I snapped,” Grimmmz admits in the post. “At that point i was at the peak of my frustration and I didn't know what else to do but to hurt them back. Hurt the people that decided it was okay to try to fuck with me on a daily basis, to try to take something away from THEM as they took away from of my good vibes from me and my chat. My judgement was clouded and it was just a warpath at that point.”

He’s since removed the copyright claim, but it seems to have fanned the flames even more.

battlegrounds melee

PUBG is an incredible game that’s completely blown up. It now boasts eight million players and is consistently in the top five games on Steam for concurrent player count. Unfortunately, as its popularity rises, the community seems to be spiralling downwards. I used to visit the subreddit regularly to see the amazing, emergent, player-created moments people had captured. Now I avoid it like someone on a hill with a Groza and an 4x scope. 

I want to see players performing flying headshots while jumping from the seat of a bike in the air, I want to see impromptu fist fights and duels, and I want to see impossible longshots from across the map. More and more, the online PUBG community is beginning to resemble its lobby, however. It’s just people firing at each other and throwing molotovs for no reason, occasionally playing loud noises down their mic and shouting abuse at strangers. Just like sharing loot with your pals in Squad games, can we not go back to supporting each other? It doesn’t have to be every person for themselves. 

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Muftaay avatarSys avatarkdjac avatarVictor_714 avatarpooloo avatarTsunamiWombat avatar+9
Walrus Avatar
3
Walrus(5 days 11 hours played)
3 Months ago

I kinda wish there were precautions streamers could take. Something like a delay so the timing would be difficult to judge; or maybe different servers they could switch to; or maybe they could hide their screen when joining a match?!

Oh wait, they can do all these things and choose not to...

As Garry Newman said "...It's the streamer's decision to broadcast their live gameplay feed to everyone on the internet..." and "We (Game Devs) shouldn't be banning people for stream sniping, it's not our job to babysit streamers - they should live in the same terrible online world that everyone else does."

Don't get me wrong, stream sniping is a scummy thing to do, but it is on the streamer to take precautions.

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[SOUR] Johnny Avatar
28
[SOUR] Johnny(13 days 3 hours played)
2 Months ago

100% correct

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pooloo Avatar
2
3 Months ago

The least you can do is link to the original video in the article rather than the reuploaded version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv-c0Libe-k

2
Lemniscate Avatar
2
Lemniscate(23 days 12 hours played)
2 Months ago

Stop trying to push your own narrative. The game and the community is the same as it's ever been. Drama is a part of every community but it's people who push bullshit stories like you that make it *seem* like the communities are falling apart and are toxic shitholes. Everything you've stated seems to be about the /r/PUBATTLEGROUNDS/ subreddit, and with all subreddits, they're obsessed with drama but only account for a small proportion of the actual games community. If you're going to push a false narrative like this, at least put some actual effort into it, rather than feeding into the excessive clickbait drama articles that seem to be a constant trend on "PC Games News" websites.

People still have fun, most people ignore the drama and enjoy the game, not everything revolves around the drama, stream snipers and 0.1% of the games population on a website community. You can still have fist fights, you can still meet interesting, toxic, wonderful and amazing people in this game, as with all games. The only thing that's changed is the fact that drama curators like YOU try and consistently push this narrative that I'm sick of.

Publish something with substantial content that you actually put effort into, or stop writing whatsoever.

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TsunamiWombat Avatar
642
3 Months ago

The problem as I see it, is that what was the normal brainless shenanigans of assholes on the internet that has been a part of every community forever in the history of internet anonymity, has been mixed up in the business of money. Steamers and E-Celebs make money off of this. It is their business. Therefore, what WAS a fun silly game becomes deadly serious. Are people dickmongers? Absolutely, the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory still applies despite it's age. But a mixture of money, fame, and organized pushback by trolls against newer cultural trends is inflaming the same old same old.

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Titane Avatar
2
Titane(15 days 3 hours played)
3 Months ago

Bullshit, Grimmmz tried to remove the honk video by claiming copyright infringement, which is fucking isn't. Whose cock are you sucking to defend Grimmmz, the constant snipe crying bitch, and PU the Twitter bitch fight starting sissy.

PU was in no way in the right with going after Drdisrespect after the kick comment, what he said was the biggest load of crap about having PTSD from being kicked through a glass door. An internet comment about being kicked isn't gonna trigger jack squat, he just is used it as an excuse to his childish bitch fight with the Doc.

People talk about growing g thicker skin, which is something Grimmmz needs to do, PU needs to do, and you need to do. Toxic community my ass, play LoL, Dota, CS:GO, Overwatch, and you will see toxic fucking communities.

Oh and by the way, the evidence Bluehole presented is so obviously just a PR stunt to cover their asses after that shitshow. And I am not talking about the ban, but the bitch fight that ensued because of their incompetent moderation and developer.

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[SOUR] Johnny Avatar
28
[SOUR] Johnny(13 days 3 hours played)
2 Months ago

"Following that, Greene went on to explain the power of hurtful words in a blog post, since he had actually been kicked in the chest in real life - his head went through a window as a result. "

And he has PTSD to this day, I bet.

Seriously though, we're talking about Dr Disrespect, a man who plays a character on stream and on social media. Taking this seriously is laughable.

PUBG is a fantastic game but it's been bizarrely mismanaged by the devs. They've hugely over-reacted to "harassment" like beeping a horn at someone, they've banned people for stream sniping with no actual evidence. Getting angry about that is ludicrous when it seems you can get banned for beeping a horn or killing the wrong person.

That honking video is really funny

1
Ben Barrett Avatar
495
2 Months ago

I don't really see why playing a character is an excuse to be an asshole?

0
[SOUR] Johnny Avatar
28
[SOUR] Johnny(13 days 3 hours played)
2 Months ago

Because Brendan is a smart guy and he should know that if a guy who's playing a character based on a sort of lame stereotypical 80s movies star, and he talks about round house kicking you, you should know instantly he's having a laugh. Especially when he randomly adds "lightning" at the end to make it absolutely clear. The whole reaction was childish.

It's very sad it instantly devolved to "someone did a violence on me once" wah wah etc.

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Ben Barrett Avatar
495
2 Months ago

I think that's up to Brendan, not us. I don't really care how much somebody is joking, if they're some dude on the internet (i.e. not a personal friend) with thousands upon thousands of fans/followers (many, many, many of whom take him 100% seriously), I certainly wouldn't want them making 'jokes' about beating me up, and I've never had a traumatic experience with it.

I don't think it's up to the target of a joke to 'get it', it's up to the guy making it to be funny.

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Murderface Avatar
1
Murderface(12 days 12 hours played)
2 Months ago

Just white boys being white boys hiding under the safety of anonymity to freely call everyone the n-word

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kdjac Avatar
5
kdjac(8 days 11 hours played)
3 Months ago

If you remove PUBG and replaced it with any other game forum on reddit, I am pretty sure this article would still apply. People on reddit love game/hate game/ Hate devs/ Hate newbies etc: You can pick and choose the order it happens in.

As such I would not say the Reddit is the community, the /R/ thing has 240k subscribers PUBG has 8 million players.

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Longtoke Avatar
3 Months ago

This entire SS issue is a joke, and it stopped being funny long ago.

I get the streamers side of not wanting delays, but something has to be said for prevention. Then you take a look at Grimmmz and his recent twitlonger post, I have zero sympathy for him for one simple reason - As a streamer with a large audience and such sway with the developers, he does have a moral and ethical obligation to conduct himself in an appropriate manner, which he clearly didn't when the original incident went down, nor has he with his latest post.

He say's he see's what he did was wrong, yet still bears hate and tries to justify his actions to some extent. The fact he tried to strike out based on that hate is sickening. He's not fit to be a role model nor an entertainer if he is going to behave that way under any circumstance.

Bluehole are a disgrace for letting this occur in the first place, rather than setting things up with the game itself to PREVENT the problem, they are attempting to police the issue based on limited proof and making a speculation based ban from there.

Worthy of note is no major developer has ever tried to police this for obvious reasons, take Blizzard with starcraft 2. They stated it falls outside of their realm of control and there is just no way to do it ( bans ) without the risk of a misfire.

Rust has an option to scramble names etc ingame displays so this can't happen in the first place, why isn't this a thing in PUBG ?? There are many options the devs can implement without much change or heavy coding that would stop the stream snipers from being able to find the streamers, or at least make it infinitely harder to actually do, without risking a misfire ban.

Responsibility for this lies with the devs, prevention needs to be undertaken by BOTH the devs and the streamers. This approach the devs have chosen is akin to shooting a horse you have to stop it bolting, instead of being responsible and closing the gate to stop it bolting in the first place.

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Rock1m1 Avatar
383
Rock1m1(3 days 10 hours played)
3 Months ago

When you have streamers like DrDis setting the tone for the game, this is bound to happen.

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Muftaay Avatar
5
Muftaay(24 days 7 hours played)
3 Months ago

Very nice article. 100% agree. I observed the PUBG reddit go to complete shit as time passed on. Even the SLIGHTEST misstep by bluehole or any streamer will be posted on reddit and they will create a shitstorm about it. It's crazy really..

EVEN if some bans may not be justfied, do they expect bluehole to have an absolutely 100% justified banrate?! that's simply not possible when having 8 million players, OF COURSE a few mistakes are going to happen. Even the biggest companies in the world do mistakes, they even calculate those in before selling the products, yet people go crazy at bluehole just because they have that reddit page.

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Victor_714 Avatar
4
Victor_714(10 days 11 hours played)
3 Months ago

Do they expect bluehole to have an absolutely 100% justified banrate?

Yes? The fuck? If a developer/publisher develops a system to ban cheaters then you want that shit to be 100% accurate. If it isnt accurate then it isnt automated and therefore a thing you shouldnt enforce in your game.

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Muftaay Avatar
5
Muftaay(24 days 7 hours played)
3 Months ago

it is 99,99% accurate. It takes a TON of work away from the developers. It would be so extremly time consuming to handle every ban personally. If someone was wrongfully banned he has the option to apply for an unban for that special case. Of course being wrongfully banned is bad, but it's absolutely the easiest and best way for gaming companies to handle things.

You are expecting things that can't be expected. I'm sure that even if a company has unlimited time and money to create an automated ban system there is no way for them to reach a 0% false ban rate at such a high player count.

And btw. the bans mentioned in the article were not even automated.

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Ananym Avatar
105
3 Months ago

That's why it's a problem. They ARE being handled personally, and people's purchases are being invalidated because of rules that are vague at best and made up on the spot at worst.

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Sys Avatar
1
Sys(22 days 21 hours played)
3 Months ago

Bluehole don't have the reddit page, it is community ran.

1