Why do gamers like to use swear words? … the simple answer is: Because they are only human! Especially when gaming, gamers often get into highly emotional situations in which they need quick ways to let off steam. And that’s where a little curse comes in handy.

On top of that, gaming is often an interactive matter – especially with opponents whose sole purpose is to drive you to white heat so that you have to insult them. Because they are better. Because they obviously have no real life. Because you are so bad yourself and you definitely don’t want to admit that at this very moment. Sometimes when people utter an insult, they feel a power that, strictly speaking, they do not have at that moment – and that calms down and makes a good feeling. Despite the repeated defeat. But isn’t there more to it than just this kitchen psychology? Read on and see for yourself.

The theory of cursing

Let’s dig a little deeper into the topic and look together at why we as humans like to utter such wild insults. Let’s start at the very beginning.

It's easier to insult people who aren't face to face.

It’s easier to offend people who aren’t face to face.

Source: Corsair, Razer, Sharkoon

What is a swear word anyway? When does a curse count as a curse? Typically, swear words have to do with breaking taboos. They deal with topics that one does not talk about in everyday life – and twice not in a vulgar and explicit way. This is precisely why topics such as body functions, sex, body parts, fears, drunkenness, religions or illnesses often appear in insults. These expressions are great ways to get attention – and that is often the goal of the whole thing. After all, everyone should realize that you are currently angry, the devil again!

Swear words can have different functions:

  • Filler word: In situations where people make mistakes or unintentionally cause themselves pain, they automatically use curses to express their displeasure. This can just as well be the struck toe as the sudden virtual character death when a trap is triggered.
  • Group formation: People of the same kind stick together. This also applies to the language. Members of the same group often use the same verbal abuse to differentiate themselves linguistically from others. For example, gamers use gaming terms as insults. This fulfills two functions at once: you feel you belong to a certain group because you speak their slang and you abuse others who are outside your own clique in order to distance yourself further from them.
  • An insult: People insult others for a variety of reasons: Because they don’t like them, because they disagree, because they did something to them … Whatever the reason, swear words and blasphemy are often used for this. Insults are supposed to hurt, hit below the belt and sometimes satisfy thirst for revenge.
  • Linguistic style: Sometimes people use a swear word to underline the content of their statement. They could have used an synonymous synonym and are definitely not speaking with affect – instead, they are using a term that is definitely noticeable.

You see, the reasons for a little curse here or there are varied and mostly also socially accepted. However, do not overdo it with the ugly language and do not get too close to others. After all, you don’t want to be the one who is pointed accusingly with the finger because he’s so salty.

Toxic behavior
As in every other community, there are also some gamers who seem to enjoy putting others down, reducing their gaming fun or just scolding them off. Online bullying is a term that might be used in this context. Fortunately, this is the absolute minority of gamers – and these people are not welcomed within their own gaming communities either. If you are dealing with someone like that, show moral courage. Report these people to a mod, help the victims or at least make use of your own ignore function in order to be able to continue playing in peace.

The language of the Diablo players is surprisingly lacking in swearwords.

The language of the Diablo players is surprisingly lacking in swearwords.

Source: Blizzard

It is at these games that people swear the most

Believe it or not, there is a study from onlinegambling.comwho looks at which popular game players use swear words the most. For this purpose, 14 subreddits (sub-communities on reddit) for well-known and popular games were examined in the study. In total, the brave researchers worked their way through more than 26,000 different comments, in which they discovered exactly 837 cursed words. Then the data was broken down to produce various statistics. For example, the authors of the study wanted to know which swear words are generally most common (it was shit, fucking and fuck – what was to be expected) and which game communities use the most unclean language. It was also analyzed whether there is a difference between the users of the various gaming platforms. And, oh wonder, it really does exist! For example, gaming PC users curse more than twice as often as Xbox gamers. Who would have thought?

The language free from swearwords was used by Diablo players. In contrast, the subreddits of DotA 2 players, Overwatch and CS: GO really went round. Now, of course, you can ask yourself why that is. The average age of the players? The very different game requirements? Or are subreddit comments not at all meaningful for the curse behavior of gamers – because instead a live speech analysis is required while gaming?

Scarface – the game of insults

The game Scarface: The World is Yours holds the Guinness World Record for the most F-words in the dialogues.

The game Scarface: The World is Yours holds the Guinness World Record for the most F-words in the dialogues.

Source: Buffed

Now that you’ve read a lot about the curse behavior of players, it is high time to introduce you to the game, the Guinness World Record holds for the most common usage of the popular four letter F word. We present: Scarface: The World is Yours (Sierra, 2006). In the game’s 15-hour story, fuck is said a total of 5,688 times – in a total of around 31,000 lines of dialogue. A quick division shows us that roughly every fifth line contains the F-word. Other curse words weren’t even counted, although there are certainly plenty of them! Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Insults that are particularly popular with gamers

Of course, gamers often use the same standard insults as non-gamers. Words that are useful in everyday life to express anger are also suitable for many situations within a game. The classical repertoire ranges from a situational one crap or fuck about insults like asshole or rough “your mother” jokes.

But there are also specific expressions from gaming slang with which you can insult people wonderfully. Typically, these insults come from English and are then used either in the original or in a Germanized version. Examples are:

  • Noob (auch n00b, newb): The classic beginner. Used as a swear word for players who behave in a game as if they were beginners or had no playing skills.
  • Cheeser: Someone who takes advantage of mistakes in the game or uses fraudulent strategies to achieve his goal. More often the word comes as an English verb to cheese in front.
  • Feeder: A Feeder is someone who dies very often against the other team and thus feeds them with easy kills. Can be used as a swear word when a player plays badly and thus dies often.
  • Griefer: If a player deliberately ruins the fun of others by provoking or abusing them with his words or actions, he is called Griefer designated.
  • Casual: Casual is once again an insult to a player with poor skills or knowledge of the game. Strictly speaking, is a Casual someone who plays irregularly and just for the fun of it, which often results in casuals being inferior to pro gamers.
  • Scrub: A Scrub is a beginner who thinks he is something better – comparable to one Noob, but with more (false?) self-confidence.
  • Fortnite-Kiddie: Younger gamers sometimes used verbal abuse for someone who is still playing Fortnite, even though the game is now out of its hype phase. The term can also allude to the young age of a player.

Now we are curious: what about you guys? Do you tend to freak out and scold in front of the screen, like a rough sailor? Do you even type offensive messages? Or do you belong to the group of disciplined silent people who would rather think their part than shout curses out loud into the world?

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