Fantasy-based free-to-plays are at this point a staple of the gaming world. Even “World of Warcraft” is free up to level twenty. And there are lots of them out there. The most popular of these is probably “LoL”

Over 27 million people play “League of Legends” daily, as estimated by the developers, Riot Games, in January 2014 and an estimated five percent of the entire population of Taiwan play the game.

In my opinion, this means that 27 million people a day and five percent of Taiwan are screaming at their laptops in a testosterone-fueled, over-competitive anger riot.

I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t particularly gifted at the game. I’ve never really tried or been interested in the “battle arena” type of game play and as such I faced a fairly steep learning curve.

I started playing with experienced friends on my team, thankfully. This meant that I didn’t have to upset any other gamers because of my noob status — at least in theory. In reality, I tried to learn a game I wanted to play for fun with the added bonus of constantly being set up against teams that had high-level players, which meant I died, a lot.

I started to log hours playing against the bots, so I wouldn’t upset anyone so much. This would’ve been helpful, except the bots don’t play very well themselves and every week the champions rotated. This rotation meant that every time I had learned how to play with a character, I either had to pay real money to buy it or try to learn a new character’s completely different set of skills, weaknesses, power-ups and items. I understand that this variety is what makes “LoL” fun to play and I’m not suggesting that it change. I just wish a couple of the champions were always on rotation, so a player could get good without having to pay for it.

When I finally gave up and shelled out the money for a champion from my thin college-kid wallet, more game flaws soon became apparent. The matchmaking in “LoL” isn’t very good. Remember playing chess against your father when you were six? Matchmaking in “LoL” is kind of like that.

All this, however, I could get over. What I couldn’t get over was the constant harassment from other gamers. For every pleasant player on “LoL” that gave helpful tips or commented on a good strategy I’d employed, there were about 20 that sent hate mail complaining about every tiny screw up I made in a match or spewing profanities at me because I killed them once in one match. There aren’t a lot of options to combat the messages in the game. I don’t understand how anyone can find joy in a game when the community of it feels like the company of a neglected middle schooler who lashes out at everyone. For me, “LoL” would be a great game if the people who played it were different. If you want to spend your free time sparring against each other, leave me out of it. I’ll go play “Firefall”.

Fantasy-based free-to-plays are at this point a staple of the gaming world. Even “World of Warcraft” is free up to level twenty. And there are lots of them out there. The most popular of these is probably “LoL”

Over 27 million people play “League of Legends” daily, as estimated by the developers, Riot Games, in January 2014 and an estimated five percent of the entire population of Taiwan play the game.

In my opinion, this means that 27 million people a day and five percent of Taiwan are screaming at their laptops in a testosterone-fueled, over-competitive anger riot.

I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t particularly gifted at the game. I’ve never really tried or been interested in the “battle arena” type of game play and as such I faced a fairly steep learning curve.

I started playing with experienced friends on my team, thankfully. This meant that I didn’t have to upset any other gamers because of my noob status — at least in theory. In reality, I tried to learn a game I wanted to play for fun with the added bonus of constantly being set up against teams that had high-level players, which meant I died, a lot.

I started to log hours playing against the bots, so I wouldn’t upset anyone so much. This would’ve been helpful, except the bots don’t play very well themselves and every week the champions rotated. This rotation meant that every time I had learned how to play with a character, I either had to pay real money to buy it or try to learn a new character’s completely different set of skills, weaknesses, power-ups and items. I understand that this variety is what makes “LoL” fun to play and I’m not suggesting that it change. I just wish a couple of the champions were always on rotation, so a player could get good without having to pay for it.

When I finally gave up and shelled out the money for a champion from my thin college-kid wallet, more game flaws soon became apparent. The matchmaking in “LoL” isn’t very good. Remember playing chess against your father when you were six? Matchmaking in “LoL” is kind of like that.

All this, however, I could get over. What I couldn’t get over was the constant harassment from other gamers. For every pleasant player on “LoL” that gave helpful tips or commented on a good strategy I’d employed, there were about 20 that sent hate mail complaining about every tiny screw up I made in a match or spewing profanities at me because I killed them once in one match. There aren’t a lot of options to combat the messages in the game. I don’t understand how anyone can find joy in a game when the community of it feels like the company of a neglected middle schooler who lashes out at everyone. For me, “LoL” would be a great game if the people who played it were different. If you want to spend your free time sparring against each other, leave me out of it. I’ll go play “Firefall”.