n00bs, AFKs and Mutes – The Problems with Online Gaming

It seems someone’s just sent me another message across chat. ‘lol you suck uninstall your game’. Ha-de-ha. That was irritating the first time but now, after roughly a hundred trillion times, it’s lost its edge and now just seems like a bit of a joke. Some people will already recognise this from their own experiences in online gaming; you’ve just purchased the latest shooter (say, Call of Duty) and you settle down, the anticipation literally dripping from your pores, and then you have some absolute waste of coitus blasting out a series of fart noises followed by an unwanted rendition of ‘Someone Like You’. Then when the game looks to be lost, they’ll stop making stupid sounds and instead focus all their time and effort on calling you a noob repeatedly. Usually while they die multiple times and exacerbate the situation.


But seriously though, this kind of abuse over microphone or chat seems to be getting worse and worse, invading more and more games every day. In times gone by, multiplayer meant going over to a friend’s house, loading up the Playstation and spending a few hours playing a game together; there was no shouting or arguing (unless it was Mario Party) and everyone had a good time. Now, it means talking over a computer to some stain on the fabric of humanity who can’t wait until you mess up because then that gives him the chance to hurl abuse at you for ten minutes straight and then leave the game. Imagine doing that to someone in the same room as you. In my opinion, it seems that because you’re online it’s easier to get away with that kind of thing; no-one is sat next to you telling you what a colossal arse you are for getting so worked up over a game, giving you have free reign to spoil everyone else’s enjoyment by being a colossal arse.afk-wow

More annoying, but somewhat less serious, is the amount of AFKers. AFK means away from keyboard; basically people who just stand there in game and don’t do anything because they’ve gone off doing something else. I suspect this might be more the case in games where actually leaving the game session itself results in some form of punishment (like your League of Legends or DOTA) but regardless, it happens in every game in some way or another. My best efforts to make up for the lack of a teammate usually leads me to looking bad myself as I do two jobs at once and, inevitably, fail at both. This alerts the person from the last paragraph (the angry shouty abusing person) and then they’ll start to play a game of ‘let’s call everyone as many infantile things as I can before I rage-quit’. And so the cycle is born and continues until time itself ends.

Or maybe not. Maybe (and this might just be a crazy old idea of mine) we can all learn to get along as one big happy community. This can never happen and I’ll tell you why. Competition and competitiveness. When you have two or three or however many teams you have and you put them against each other, you will always have one or more people who take it just a little bit more seriously than everyone else. While others are content to play the game and see what happens, not really minding if they lose because it’s not like it matters in the grand scheme of things, these people will froth at the mouth and go into ‘the zone’. You can never reach them where they are. Their mind is filled with thoughts of victory and winning and not giving a shit about their teammates. And that is why this problem will continue to be a problem forever.

In summary then, online gaming is fraught with problems but since there is not much we can do about it (other than complain), we should just rant about it instead. Have you had similar problems? Feel like discussing them with everyone? If so, the comment box is waiting below.

Robert Priest

One Comment
  • Liam
    17 September 2013 at 20:21
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    stfu n00b

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