3Don't Use Online Gaming as an Excuse to Act Like an Ass
For a lot of you kids, online games are both your number one hobby and favorite social hangout. This is only going to get more common as time goes on. So a lot of the people you meet in life will be anonymous fellow gamers.
Level 80 Tauren Shaman.
And they are fucking retarded.
In that context, anyway. Now, over time you will be tempted to react and thus join them in their idiocy. You must resist. You have to understand that gaming is a unique social setting, there wasn't really an equivalent for it in society before the technology came along. It's part cooperation, part competition, and in one sitting can involve communicating with people you know in real life, people you know only from gaming with them, and total strangers from the opposite side of the planet. Humans haven't quite figured out how to act in this setting, so they default to acting like shitheads.
For instance, you only get good at a game by screwing up and learning from it, but when this happens, no matter how minor your mistake, people are going to call you some of the most vile, offensive, hate-fueled names you've ever heard. They will wish death upon you, and you're going to have to know how to handle that without playing into their stupidity.
The best way is to politely leave the party. Remember that in most cases, not every member of your group is a flaming douchebag. Many times, there is only one impatient cockhole who is having a bad day, and you're his stress dump for that particular minute.
Like in the previous lesson, you must resist fighting fire with fire. All that is going to do is piss you off and further fuel his rage. No matter what he says, your best bet is to understand that he's unable to be reasoned with, he is an unfixable, insufferable cocksucker, and he is best left behind.
Don't spend too much time hating him, or feeling sorry for him, or thinking about him at all. Maybe he's a nice person in real life, maybe he's a piece of shit and will remain one for years to come. Either way, he is allowing a silly computer game to dominate his emotions. For some people, that's the only reason they play, to get a chance to yell at people because if they did that during the day, they'd get fired.
Don't let him drag you into that state of mind. After leaving the group, are you still mad about what he said and how he treated you? That's natural. Maybe it's time for a break. Don't let yourself become that guy; if you feel the urge to pass on his abuse to someone else, log out of the game and find something else to do for a while. The second it becomes more than a game and starts affecting you emotionally, it's time to consider not playing that game anymore. Also, do not track down and murder other players.
2Assume Everything is a Scam, and You'll Almost Always be Right
Repeat after me, kids: nothing is truly free. People who offer you free things on the internet in exchange for some action on your part (a download, a reply, an account number) are trying to trick you and rob you.
In general, if you receive an email from someone you don't know, there's a very good chance that it's either an advertisement or a flat-out scam. Some subject lines will be obvious, if not somewhat intriguing ("chemical spillz in pussy orphanage ROLAX!") so just delete them and forget they ever existed. However, some will be harder to spot. And at some point in your life you will fall for one.
For instance, so-called "419 scams" appear to be actual emails from actual people, complete with a tear-jerking story of some horrible thing that happened to a coworker, friend, or family member. They will make a very convincing case that they live outside the United States, and they have this money that they cannot access without your help. If you could just give them some of your personal information and your bank account number, they could transfer this money to you, and in return you can keep some of it.
Bullshit, right? You wouldn't believe how many people actually fall for it. Smart people. These scammers are con artists whose entire livelihood depends on eventually figuring out a way to fool you. They'll keep trying. They'll play on your sympathy, or your loneliness, or your guilt. But at the center of it they're really playing on your desire to get something for nothing.
You can never be too cynical about this. Don't even bother responding. Just delete it. Nothing is truly free. Write it on your monitor with a Sharpie.
Right above "never trust Nigerian royalty".
Likewise, you'll run into sites offering everything from free online gaming, free online casinos, free screen savers, free video game hacks, whatever. All you need to do is download this toolbar that oh by the way will spawn popup ads on every site you visit and track every move you make online.
Also, watch out for official-looking emails from your email host or Facebook or your bank or any other online service you can possibly use, asking for your login information. They'll claim your account is in some kind of danger and that you have to follow a link they gave you that, in reality, leads to a dummy page intended to steal your password.
PC gaming is rampant with this, WoW players are inundated with in-game messages from "official Blizzard employees." Always remember that in an online game, the makers will never ask you for your username and password.
In fact, the same is true for the rest of the internet. If someone asks you for that information, don't give it to them.
All right. Let's not put this one off any longer. But you're not going to be a kid forever and at some point you're going to need to know to...