Social Gaming: People You hate to Play With
Posted on Thursday, January 28 2010 @ 16:02:44 Eastern
It comes as no surprise when I say we human beings have become total dick bananas when it comes to being civil to each other. Selfish, self righteous and greedy are just few of the things that many of us have become these past several years and it is no surprise that it has moved into the culture of gaming. It is amazing how these kinds of people, no matter how small or petty their bastardized actions are, can ruin a good game for the rest of us and dive away new players forever. In fact, not a game will go by (unless you are playing with friends only) where a swear, sexual comment, or racial slur will be dropped because apparently no one can talk without insulting someone else at least ten times, the same amount of times that someone has to teabag another player.
Newbie players (no, not n00bs) can be a prime target for douchebaggery in online multiplayer games. They are obviously new to the game and want to have a good time like the rest of us. Unfortunately, you get pricks that get glee by taking advantage of the new player’s lack of experience. I know it’s tempting to pick on and tease the new guy every once in a while, but when you get people that either kill the new guy over and over again because he can’t fight back properly or don’t know all the secrets in the game that give them perks, it has gone over the line of picking on them and into the land of ass holeism. These actions will frustrate the new player and potentially drive him to quit the game for good if everyone keeps being a nutter **** to the poor guy. This is the same as the level 80 players in World of Warcraft who instantly kill the new players and possibly call them the N word, even if they are white. It accomplishes nothing other than proving you can wave your e-dong around and it gives the new player a bad impression of everyone else in the game.
Newbie players also targets of the hatred bile from experienced gamers, mainly because they don’t know the basics of the game or some of the more advanced moves. When it comes to multiplayer games, there are always going to be people who are still learning. Now imagine this scene: Johnny Newcomebody has just gotten Left 4 Dead 2 and is having a blast with it. After a few games, he kind of knows how the game rolls and decides to try VS mode. He gets a warm welcome from the other players and things are going OK so far. Johnny Newcomebody is having a hard time trying to get used to moving and attacking as a Hunter and this happens several times. One player on his team will start to swear at him loudly, tell him how much he sucks, and then starts to vote him out of the game. Johnny is then left scratching his head, wondering what the hell happened and if all people are as thick and rage inducing as the people he just played with. On many internet forums, there’s always people that whine about dealing with new players and can’t understand why they don’t understand the basics. Maybe new players don’t know everything not because they are new, but the fact that everyone is too busy insulting Johnny Newcomebody and his mother instead of teaching the guy the basics and advanced stuff? Not only you can’t expect new players to know everything off the bat, but people have no right to get mad at a guy who is not experienced if they aren’t bothering to teach him (there’s only so much you can learn on your own).
You also have people who do have good intentions, but their superior skills and knowledge of exploits can make them into dick holes when they aim to win or as some people call it, “playing to win.” Nothing infuriates these people more than having to work with people who are simply not as good as they are. You could have someone who pretty much knows all there is to the game, but in the eyes of the competitive player, he just sucks donkey tail for not knowing how to use a glitch to his advantage and that lack of knowledge “holds the team back.” In a personal example of mine, in one VS game in Left 4 Dead, I was a Hunter and was trying to get someone before they reached the end of the level. I had tried to pounce on them, but got stuck on a garbage can and by the time I got to him, it was too late. One person on my team then blamed me for making us lose. It wasn’t that the other team was better or that the other guys on our team couldn’t kill the survivors fast enough, no, it was my fault because I missed that one chance to do some damage. The competitive nature can bring out the jerk in many of us and when left unchecked, it can make the game quite unenjoyable as people start to rage and swear over every little thing that makes them have to work harder just to win. People need to remember that not only people don’t play the same, they also don’t always strive to win for the sake of winning.
There are also people that are a little too twitchy when it comes to getting rid of others from the game. Some games give you the ability to boot a player who is being a troublemaker. However, this is quite often abused and people can be kicked from a game for the stupidest reasons. Being insulted or yelled at is one thing, but to be kicked is another. It is fine to kick someone if he is being a total ass knocker, such as team killing, blasting music over his microphone, yelling at other people, etc. To kick a player just because he missed one thing that would have scored a win for the team (even though he contributed most of the time) or some other minor issue that isn’t a big of a deal is completely retarded. In a scavenge game I played in Left 4 Dead 2, I was kicked from the game because someone kept whining that I “did not know how to use a melee weapon properly.” You read that right. I was booted from a game for not knowing how to swing a sword. Keep in mind that in Left 4 Dead 2, you just hold left click to swing your melee weapon and move your mouse to change direction so you can get zombies that are behind you or to the side, and that is what many of us would have done. Yet somehow, doing this was “wrong” and was worthy of a kick. It is always said that people with too much power will abuse it and it’s no different in these games where you can wield the power to get rid of people that look at you funny. People will tell you that it’s no big deal and to find another game lobby to get into, but you will always have that thought in the back of your head that someone will vote to kick you because you did just one thing wrong and everyone else who is too busy playing will mash F1 to vote yes without even thinking why they want to get rid of you.
Between people who blast your weaker self in game for no reason other than to get a boner from it, people who want God himself to come and slap you in the face with a metal two by four because you are new to the game and ruined their winning streak, and people that try to find any reason to kick you from a game, it is no wonder that many people opt to choose to play only with friends or be in modes where they don’t have to interact with anyone. As stated from an article on trolls by Cracked.com:
“…for a normal person, the memory of getting called a ****tard in public even one time is striking enough to make them avoid the comments forever, even if it was accompanied by 10 non-****tard comments. It's human nature to remember the ****tard. It's the same in gaming. There are reports that most people who give up online gaming aren't frustrated by the games themselves or technical issues. It's the sheer number of ****wads they have to play with. Even on the most popular online multiplayer game, World of Warcraft, 70% of new players stay in modes where they don't have to interact with anybody else.” http://www.cracked.com/article_16765_5-ways-stop-trolls-from-killing-internet.html
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine a game where the majority of people will only play in a mode where they won’t have to talk to anyone else? That is pretty disturbing considering that video games have become a huge factor for social gatherings online. Multiplayer games should not become a place where you either play with friends or don’t play at all to avoid the jerks that plague public lobbies. Obviously, you can’t change everyone to become a nicer person, but at the same time, sometimes you just have to stop and think about how your actions can affect other people. After all, you never know if that new person you just met in Halo 3 will come back a year later stronger and more skilled than ever that can either kick your ass or become your powerful ally in a team fight and possibly a new friend in your huge list of friends on Xbox Live.
Perhaps because of this, it maybe one of the reasons why Nintendo has not bothered to expand its online services for its games. Just imagine the reactions to mothers everywhere when they hear their child was told to go @#$*! themselves while they played a game online. Of course, the parent could restrict the features for online play but not many would know that or how to do and would rather call and complain to Nintendo instead. There could be more to Nintendo's decisions for their online service but that is another topic in itself. Even people who are thick skinned and could brush off the idiots that plague online games have their limits. Yahtzee, famous for his Zero Puncutation segments, has said many times that he does not really like online multiplayer games and would rather play local multiplayer or single player because he doesn’t want to deal with all the retards that make the games not fun to play. Keep in mind this is a guy who many people would consider a jerk if met in person and is widely hated by fans when he bashes games they like. If someone like Yahtzee can be turned away from online gaming, then you know there is a problem.
If people are kept being driven away from games because everyone else is a jerkwad, there won’t be that many people to play with in a public game due to them all being driven away. Of course, many solutions have been presented, but nothing is perfect. The only thing I can think of that would help cut down on jerk asses in online gaming would be to require a monthly fee to play and you could only have one account on the game you bought and activated through a code. Nothing too big, maybe something like $5 a month. You won't have many people wanting to grief and then be forever banned while wasting their money. But other than that, no one is asking for hugs and kisses. Just being a decent person can make a game much more enjoyable for everyone.
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