6 Mistakes Every Gamer Makes When They Play Online

You've come to me today with a common problem. You've been playing some video games that require teamwork, and for some reason nobody likes you. Strangers keep getting mean and calling you mean names like "idiot" and "Waffledick McSuck'n'Fuck." Your heart and spirit are broken. You want to game on, to reach new heights of fake digital accomplishment, but you don't know if you have the strength.

Worry not, Waffledick, for it is I, some other jerk on the internet, and I am here to help. Think of me as a helpful jerk. You see, it's likely that you've made one of the following errors...

#6. You're Trying To Lead


Look, I get it. Everything has fallen apart. The ground is littered with the smoldering corpses of your fallen friends and allies. The zone you sought to defend has been contested, corrupted, or claimed. Unless something changes soon, defeat is all but assured. It is a time ... for heroes. Answering destiny's call, you step forward and stand proudly on the parapet of fate, the setting sun giving shape to your silhouette. "Brothers!" you shout, your voice booming through the smoky battlefield like a fart through a fancy dinner party, "Rally to me!"

"The one with his arms up! I'm the guy talking!"

Why Everyone Hates You

Hold up, Aragorn. Let me guess: You didn't start this game with a team of players you already know and trust, right? It's just you and five other random players, or "randos," thrown together by the ineffable machinations of fate. In this situation, destiny is not calling for a hero. Destiny (the incorporeal supernatural force, not the game) is calling for discussion. Remember that, like you, these video gamers are playing their games after a long day of school or work, which just means they just stepped out of a slurry of unending and (probably nonsensical) orders from teachers, bosses, or cops. The last thing they want is some weasel-voiced chucklefuck* giving them even more orders during their digital power fantasy escapism.

So instead, try rephrasing your orders as suggestions. "Wanna try flanking them?" will work better than "Flank them now, turbo-nerd!" nine times out of ten. Disclaimer: I have not checked that math, and I do not intend to.

*I'm not calling you, specifically, a weasel-voiced chucklefuck. Just pointing to the fact that every single human being sounds like a weasel-voiced chucklefuck over built-in chat clients. It's called "Sargent's Law of Chucklefuckery," and it can't be helped.

#5. You've Convinced Yourself Your Ranking Isn't Accurate


Look, I get it. You practiced the game in "Quick Play" or single player for a while, and you developed some skills that, when viewed objectively, you would qualify as "mad." Then you decided that the madness of your skills qualified you to play with the growed-ups in "Ladder" or "Ranked" game, where your score would be recorded forever. But once you got there, it all went wrong. Maybe you or one of your teammates disconnected due to a power outage or flash flood, and your outnumbered team got spanked. Or maybe you were forced to play a character you're not very good with and screwed everything up. As a result, your "ranking" -- the number the determines your skill and what level of player you would be matched up with and your inherent value as a human being -- was ruined. And all of the sudden, you find yourself playing with total nubcakes. Just complete wankadoodler fuckpuddles. A bunch of numskull casuals who should just uninstall and die.

Why Everyone Hates You

Aside from the fact that you're calling them numskull wankadoodler nubcakes? Look, pal, people end up with a bad ranking score for one reason and one reason only: They played badly and the computer put them there. It's not a conspiracy, it's math. And your luck isn't significantly worse than anyone else's; also because of math. The average video game is actually about 1,000 times more fair than real life, and that's before they balance it. It wasn't cruel injustice but your own shitty choices that put you where you are, so if you are getting consistently matched up with people you think are flailing doofuses, then maybe take a second to wonder if you're flailing along with the worst of them and just can't tell because it's freaking impossible to tell how much you suck at a video game.

The good news is that we're all flailing doofuses sometimes. And the sooner you're big enough to accept that, the sooner you can actually start improving, and aim your flailing toward something more productive. But be way, because once you've made this mistake, it's very easy to make this next one as well...

#4. You're Raging at a Noob


Look, I get it. The game you're playing would be going well, but there's this one goddamn guy. He just can't get his ass out of his head, or verse-visa. Maybe he's playing as a healer, but keeps trying to fight. Or maybe he's supposed to be doing damage, but spends the whole game hiding in back. Bottom line is this: He's stupid and he sucks, and it's making you mad, and you figure it's time to let him know -- after all, you've endured a lot of abuse. Maybe it's time to dish it out.

Why Everyone Hates You

It may very well be true that L33tFighter2002 is a total noob and has screwed your game. And it might be true that "2002" refers to the year he was born, which somehow makes it worse. But it's just as true that you, and everyone else reading this article, has at some point been that noob. It's impossible for it to be otherwise. Video game play is a skill that is developed over time, so everybody has sucked at least once. So if you're freaking out at the one guy who sucks, I promise that everyone else in that game thinks you're kind of a dick.

If that's not convincing, think about it this way: Why scream at this guy when you could instead be concentrating on pwning noobs? Rare is the player who is so incompetent that they make winning impossible. You can still pull your team out of this, but only if you stop raging. So in the darkest moments, when you are all but consumed by the fury within, simply close your eyes and remember these words:

Rage consumes energy. Energy that should be channeled into pwning noobs. Your allies cannot be noobs, for noobs exist only to be pwnd, and you cannot pwn your own team. So your enemies are the only noobs you can pwn, and therefore the only noobs who matter. So go forth, my friend. Go forth and pwn noobs.

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J.F. Sargent

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