Being a jerk should never be part of any activity. Unfortunately, many people prefer to be jerks.
Agreed. I'm sure many hundreds if not thousands of others on these forums are like me and aren't new to gaming by any stretch of the imagination -- having played for a few decades now and see the rise of internet gaming popularity.
Jerks always existed (in the world and gaming) and unfortunately they always will until the day this mud ball called earth is one big lava ball and humanity is forever gone.
Its the rate and ease of being jerk that makes it so prominent these days. Every game (just about anyway) is a multiplayer game or has multiplayer ability...the Internet is second nature now to kids and most adults alike -- mix in what you might think I'm strange for -- but mix in the fact our society in general is so de-sensitized to violence, vulgarity, bad language, etc....and is it really that surprising so many people are virtual tough guys with a chip on their shoulder?
And then its the habit of passing on bad behavior (aka being a jerk) to others because its just so much easier to not give a crap...than it is to try and be respectful , be a good sport, etc..etc..
And lastly -- with the younger folks playing (school age kids) -- I don't know about you guys and where you live...but I swear to you I run into, hear stories of, or witness more cases of pre-teen and teenaged kids having zero respect for anybody, being self-centered to their core and having no manners at all...I mean I know they always existed but I've never noticed so many of them say 15-20 years ago as today.
Its like all parents today just suck or want to be "cool friends" with their kids instead of parents.