As online communities have grown, competitive and recreational gaming has moved online as well, expanding opportunities to compete any time with like-minded players anywhere in the world. Gaming communities are very similar to other public competitive environments--youth athletic events, professional sports, the chess club, or even a casino. The rules of good conduct apply to the virtual arena as well.
- As always in a public space, watch that your conduct is in line with the norms of your community.
- Rules of good sportsmanship apply. Be a good winner and a good loser.
- Emotion can run high in competitive environments. Remember to keep your emotions in check and think before you post.
- Good-natured trash talking, cheering, and even some jeering can be okay if they're in line with good sportsmanship and the character of the site.
- Be a responsible teammate and player. Keep appointments, communicate clearly, and treat the group facilities with respect and consideration.
When you're playing for real money the rules of etiquette apply even more. The basics of gambling etiquette apply equally online:
- Respect yourself: Don't risk what you can't afford to lose. The game should be fun, but not if it puts your budget basics in jeopardy.
- Is it legal? This applies not only to where the game originates, but where you're playing from as well. Winnings are reportable and taxable.
- Check out the rules on your site. Many sites have different versions of the same game.
- Keep up. Unless it's a chess game and you and your opponent have agreed to a week between moves, play should be timely.
- Keep it polite. Don't vent when you lose. Remember, you're not playing against bots--your opponents are real people, too.