How Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Can Teach Acceptance in Gaming

As its title implies, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is an anime that tells the story of a dragon maid and her relationship with Miss Kobayashi. It’s possibly the last show that you think could teach you anything positive about gaming, but that’s not the case. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid isn’t about video games, but they are part of the heart and soul that runs deep in the relationship of Takiya and Fafnir, two of the supporting characters.

Fafnir is a dragon who ends up becoming roommates with Takiya, an otaku who loves everything about video games, manga, and anime. Fafnir often sees humans as the lesser species and often doesn’t take them or their feelings into account. That is until he is introduced into the world of video games by Takiya, where he learns to appreciate the games he plays, the people who play them, and the ones who brought those games to his attention.

You may be wondering how that relates to gaming. As with everything, sometimes you have bad days while other times you have good days. Gaming is no different. You get some good eggs and then you get some eggs that are so rotten you can’t help but curl your nose up and chuck it in the nearest trash can. In my experience, multiplayer toxicity in games allows people to act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t, often giving them a facade where they feel comfortable enough to say anything they’d like without consequence.

Because of this abhorrent attitude, multiplayer gaming can often feel daunting for some players, myself included. This can lead to users simply not hopping on the mic and can thus cause a sense of isolation. This is damaging since they are unable to concentrate on what is most important when it comes to video games: having fun.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: Differences and Its Connection to Online and Offline Toxicity

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

While Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a humorous, slice-of-life anime, it does tackle some serious topics. One of those topics is feeling like an “outsider in society,” which is mostly seen in the main storyline with Tohru and Miss Kobayashi but also applies to Takiya and Fafnir’s relationship. Unlike Tohru, Fafnir doesn’t care about getting things “right” with humans and often does things that make people fear him, hence his outsider status.

And then Takiya comes along and Fafnir finds a place in online video games, particularly MMORPGs. It’s a heartwarming moment for viewers to see two very different people come together in their love for video games, but what truly makes their relationship stand out is that neither try to change the other into something they are not. Or worse, punish each other for their differences. Takiya helps Fafnir understand human things and Fafnir acknowledges Takiya as someone who is full of kindness.

There are a lot of reasons why gamers online may be toxic towards one another. But one thing that seems to be a common problem is differences, and how those differences can lead to teammates turning on you in a matter of seconds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on voice chat and instantly had people screaming “we’ve got a girl” as though I somehow took the bait and ended up as someone’s catch. I’ve been on voice chat countless times and heard both men and women throw around homophobic and racist epithets as if they were trying to win a prize for saying the most slurs.

As of a week ago, I’ve decided to only play with close friends or women because being different often means you’re going to be targeted online, even if people want to deny that sad truth. It’s an issue that will continue to happen if the discussion around Twitch streamers Destiny and MoE says anything.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: How it Encourages Acceptance

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

Fafnir says a line that really sums up people in general, but particularly online gaming: “Humans are hits or misses. Misses make themselves known quickly, but it takes time to know if you’ve found a hit.”

At first, Fafnir has the typical “gamer” stereotype of being a shut-in that doesn’t treat people with much respect because of his inadequate social interaction. He changes, but the narrative does not reward Fafnir for becoming more accepting in the typical way of making him succeed in his goals. As he comes to realize later on that not all humans are bad, Fafnir begins to accept that his relationship with Takiya (having been strengthened due to online gaming) is that of equals. His reward is his improved relationship between not just him and Takiya, but the other characters too as they become more accepting of him.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is, ultimately, an anime about love, family, and acceptance. And while I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want everyone I meet online to love me (please don’t), accepting people’s differences is a key theme worth taking from the show. It shouldn’t affect your ability to work together and would undoubtedly make your gaming sessions better.