#3. Absolute Beginner
This isn't a rant against noobs. Noob-haters are the most tragic of all video gamers, trying to feel superior to someone for playing a game longer than them. The process of learning and improving at a game is way more fun than being a master at it. No, the problem is people who buy a new game and the first thing they do is jump into multiplayer. The second thing they do is try to check if they have enough thumbs to hold a controller, but they usually can't count that high. The third through infinity (or for them, "many" through "crying") things they do are "losing" and "screeching as they whine about nothing working."
"Yeah, first she was thirsty, then cranky, now she's trying to circle-strafe in Counterstrike like a total scrub."
An absolute beginner on a real battlefield is a self-solving problem. An absolute beginner in a video game is the concept of handicap given human form, both in the "team sports" and in the "mental and physical" sense. These premature multiplayers are millstones around their team's neck. This wouldn't be a problem in free-for-all -- these bullet virgins would just be bonus points for everyone else -- but almost every popular game online is team-based. Which is why almost every multiplayer game comes with an advanced tutorial mode teaching absolute beginners how to play, and letting another absolute beginner pretend to be a scriptwriter (it's called "single player"). Gears of War 2 is the best example.
"MY GRIEF IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS AND VERY SAD!"
If you're going to shout "screw everyone else" and join a team with absolutely no ability, try it on an ice hockey rink first. By the time you heal, you should know better.
"If my balls were still physically attached, this would really hurt!"
This is another problem solved by technology. (You know, just like all problems, eventually.) There are legions of NEWBIES ONLY servers, filled with beginners all eagerly exploring each other's bodies with rapid-fire weapons. It's the student dorm of explosion virginity: a common place to lose it together, and where it's extremely uncool for a more experienced player to hang around predating on people. Asshole experts do sometimes descend on these violence nurseries, massacring everyone with the completely unfair advantage of their own lack of anything better to do, but that still counts as part of training these new players for the real gaming world.
#2. Achievement Hunter
Games turbocharged their electronic endorphin generators with achievements, little electronic pats on the back where the game says you're awesome for playing a game. The fact that this works tells us terrifying amounts about human psychology, and why most of the stupid bullshit in advertising and gambling is still a problem. And then a new class of player managed to miss the point. They turned video game achievements into a job, which is like turning a harem of horny cheerleaders and firepersons into an annoying floor-mopping chore.
Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty
"Ugh, I'll have to re-wax the floor when we're finished waxing each other. Man, I suck at fantasies."
In the most close-run game of capture the flag, they're standing in a corner, jumping, because they want the 500 jumps achievement. They run into long-range sniping maps with a pistol out because they need 4,000 kills. They're the meth addicts of the gaming endorphin high, willing to do anything, no matter how stupid or degrading, just to get their next moment of distracting beepy bliss. And they could not give less of a shit about who else's fun they ruin in the process.
#1. The Middle Manager
If you have teamspeak, you'll hear this guy. And it's always a guy. He's using a global satellite network to play a computer game bigger than several famous historical empires in both population and total wealth, and he sounds like he's at the end of a triple shift at Hank's SlimeBurger drive-through. He wearily commands like the middle manager at a candy store that only employs diabetic toddlers. He thinks the game developers are his bosses and his teammates are his employees, and he hates every single one of you.
"Dammit, Johnson, your quarterly resurrection figures are for shit!"
You'd swear he'd been hired to manage this Call of Duty team for minimum wage, but has to win fast so he can get back to cleaning the toilets. He makes the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket seem like a positivity coach, because at least Sergeant Hartman enjoyed his job. And was able to train someone to shoot straight.
Stanley Kubrick, Warner Bros
Video games are pure joy. That's what they're for. They have no function other than entertainment. We put more programming into these things than we put into the moon shot, and more people are now able to see them on TV screens. And if you're playing Just Cause 2, there's the same amount of burning jet fuel.
So if you're not enjoying them, turn them off and go do something else. You'll feel a lot better. And so will we.
For more gaming insanity, check out lawyers vs. Tasers and games in The 5 Most Insane Video Game Lawsuits. Or you can behold the ultimate drunk driver in Iron Man's Most Idiotic Moments. Luke also has a website, tumbles, and responds to every single tweet.
If you can't get enough gaming, behold The 7 Best Video Game Ideas (That Will Never Get Made) and The 7 Most Impressive Dick Moves in Online Gaming History.