Online gaming is a pretty big deal, games like Call of Duty and Battlefield rely almost exclusively on the online parts of their game to carry the success of the game into the long term. Every single day millions upon millions of people go online to play, myself included. That online gaming is popular is absolutely indisputable but that it could be more popular is less so.
Many gamers refuse to play games online because of abuse received from other players. Everyone knows the stereotype, an overweight 30 year old sat in their mother's basement calling you a "faggot" or a "noob" because your kill/death ratio isn't quite up to scratch. I'm not going to argue that these people aren't a problem, they are, bottom feeders generally tend to be a problem whether they're playing games or not. What I want to know is whether or not its really that much of an issue.
Most games have a mute button next to each player's name, if you don't like what you're hearing why not simply turn them off? Or, even more simply, don't have a headset on, it's much harder to hear them clearly that way. Personally, online abuse doesn't bother me, I don't really like to talk to people online unless I know them so I don't really pay any attention to anyone whose speaking. For me this is the problem solved, why doesn't this work for others?
I accept that in a perfect world you shouldn't have to mute people or play without using a headset or not talk to people but it's time to face reality and accept that these people won't stop so you just have to live with it. I don't want to offend people but really you need to be realistic and just not be so sensitive, especially when you can so easily prevent them from abusing you.
And yet still a large chunk of the gaming community refuses to play online games, preferring instead to stick to the single player. If you genuinely don't enjoy online games then that's ok but the fact that many who do simply feel that they can't is a real shame and something needs to be done. Perhaps if people can't let it go then the company's providing the online service need to do something about it? I remember when I had a 360 you could report someone but most people treated it as a joke, stricter punishments could and should go a long way in stopping this sort of thing.