I’ve been doing this more recently and it has some nice side effects.
In most modern multiplayer games you have at least some ability to communicate with other players. If the game is close, or a one-sided stomp, then people may get moody. And since they can actually tell you, there’s a pretty fair chance you’ll hear all about how upset they are. This can potentially upset other players, and so a vicious cycle begins. What you need to do is set up an environment so that bullshit isn’t as likely to start.
If there’s a pre-game chat, make some small talk. Keep it light-hearted, possibly mention how you’re going to kick ass and have fun doing it. If someone’s being a Negative Nancy right from the start, get out if you still can. During the game, compliment people on good plays, laugh about silly mistakes, play it all of like it doesn’t matter. Because — and here’s the kicker — it doesn’t. Hell, even role-play the character you’re playing if it brings some giggles into the game.
Emphasizing highlights and dismissing low points go a long way to a better atmosphere, one that doesn’t foster fights on who banged the most moms.