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...
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.
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 wary, because once you've made this mistake, it's very easy to make this next one as well...
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.
You've Gone Rogue
Look, I get it. Everything's gone to shit. Your teammates are getting slam-danced, your zones have been desecrated, your flag has been captured, and you're only halfway through round one. There are three more motherloving rounds to go. The time has come for a hero to step forward, to separate his or herself from the group and go lone wolf. Just abandon any notion of teamwork and unload a John-McClane-style rampage on everyone. That hero ...
... Is you?
Why Everyone Hates You
Sticking with the Die Hard metaphor, let's take a minute and remember how that movie ends. Yes, McClane spends a lot of time alone, but his team is always there for him when he needs them. Argyle is there with his limo move, and at the very end of the day, Sgt. Powell steps up to shoot a guy in the face when all of McClane's guy-shooting abilities are on cooldown. Sure, McClane leads the team, but he had backup when he needed it, and that's why he was able to succeed.
No, there's only one man who goes solo in Die Hard, and that's Ellis -- the coked-up executive who gets blown away by Alan Rickman. Why? Because Ellis ignored advice from his teammates. Ellis thought he was better than everyone. Ellis was wrong.
Don't be like Ellis. Be like John McClane. This is good advice for most of life, actually.
I've played a lot of video game matches in my life, and had a lot of dick-swinging boogerheads on my team. A lot of loudmouthed cock-tongues who thought that when things started to go south, the best choice was to Leroy Jenkins, completely ignoring how the Leroy Jenkins video ends. Precisely a hundred percent of these wanna be heroes have ended up hopping around, firing wildly into the air until they get calmly headshot by a sniper on the other team who's doing their goddamn job. No, when things go wrong, the only solution is to stay calm and switch up your strategy. And if that doesn't work out, then you take your loss like a goddamn adult. A goddamn adult who's spending their free time playing video games. And if this is starting to sound crazy to you, then maybe...
You're Confused About What Server You're On
Look, I get it. You're not playing this game for goofs; you're playing for wins. You don't just play, you practice. Honing skills in this digital world so that you might test yourself against worthy opponents. Your tactics are meticulous and nuanced, and your goals are clear. And yet your teammates are just goofing. Bounding about recklessly, shouting memes into their headsets and drawing dicks in the sky with their gunfire. You ask yourself why? Why must your noble endeavors be sidetracked by the hijinks of such sophomoric dunderheads?
Or maybe the opposite is true. Maybe you are playing for goofs, and you can't figure out why everybody else is "being such a bunch of try-hards." Well, I'll tell you...
Why Everyone Hates You
If people are mad at you over this, you're probably playing with the wrong ones. The thing everyone forgets is that both attitudes are correct. Video games are a great way to try to indulge in goofy stunts. Half the fun of Grand Theft Auto is finding the wackiest way to explode highways. But competition is also fun! Taking video games seriously is no dumber than taking sports seriously -- in that it's very, very dumb, but come on, it's also fun, so shut up.
Just shutta ya face.
Unless, of course, you're playing the game wrong on purpose just to screw with people because the only way you can get enjoyment out of life is by destroying others. But if that's the case, nothing I say here will ever get through to you, because someone broke you long ago in a way that can't be fixed. All I can say is that I hope you find peace someday.
You're Just Really Bad
Finally, it's possible that you just kinda suck. Maybe you're new to this type of game. Maybe you're distracted by real-life stuff. Maybe you're having an off night, or maybe you're just not a very good gamer. Whatever the reason, you're making mistakes and throwing off everyone's juju all over the place. You're a dumpster fire, an atrocity against the concept of talent. You're a fart. A big, dumb fart. And that alone is ...
Why Everyone Hates You
But don't worry, because you're just paying your dues. Yes, you're going to be told to uninstall. To crawl under a rock and stop breathing. That your mother should've let the mailman talk her into having an abortion. That you're so goddamn stupid, it's amazing you haven't choked to death on your headset wire. That fingerpainting class is starting soon, and you don't want to be late. Also, a bunch of racist stuff -- no getting around that. You're going to hear a lot of racist stuff.
And every time that starts to happen, every time the corrosive bile and hatred of a thousand angry wankers starts to seep out of your headphones, I want you to remember it. Internalize it. Memorize the names of your abusers. Then take that anger, the defensiveness burning inside you, and channel it into improving. Stay up late. Sacrifice sleep and friendships to improve your gaming skills. Then track down your old opponents and kick their goddamn asses. Stand over their ruined, smoking corpses and say "Remember me?" and before they have a chance to answer, you teabag them. You teabag the goddamn hell out of that digital corpse. This is your moment. This is the moment that makes it all worth it. This is what it means to truly feel alive (while sitting on your couch playing make believe with a bunch of strangers).
Just make sure you stay out of my Overwatch games until then. I don't want any noobs trashing my ranking.
Check out why all video games should allow you to play with the person next to you in The 7 Commandments All Video Games Should Obey and maybe you can explain to us why almost any generic key can open any door after you read 29 Baffling Rules of Life in Video Game Universes.
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