Gamer Hate

Belligerently lacking in remorse.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

MMOGs and the Douche Bags Who Play Them

When I jump into a MMOG and want to have some fun, there are basically two types of people that I will run into. Cool people who want to have fun, and complete douche bags whose only purpose in life is to make other people’s play experiences as miserable as humanly possible. Sadly the latter out numbers the former by about 1000 to 1.Perhaps it’s the disconnect of having a machine do all the interaction with the other person for you. Text and even voice communication don’t seem to be enough to stop one human being from being a complete ass to another (although voice communication does seem to lessen it). It probably relates to Penny-Arcade’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, which I personally believe should be elevated to a Law (despite it occasionally proving false). Yet there’s more to it than just that.

You see, anonymity plus the disconnect of an interface between you and the other human beings involved also allows for people to be themselves without fear of reprisal. Though some people do play for the community aspects of these games, those are few and far between. Instead, what I think you run into quite often is people being how they would normally be in society if there weren’t any rules or socialization stigma. It might not help that most of these games encourage you to shoot someone in the face, but if these people had real guns and knew that they could shoot someone in the face without reprisal, wouldn’t they?

I honestly believe they would, and this has nothing to do with video games encouraging those behaviors. I think video games alert us to our true base natures. I myself have done some less than kind things in MMOGs (MMORPGS in particular, like WoW) but typically I have my own rules for when to stop being a douche bag. For instance, when someone is more than 10 levels below me, I don’t find it very sporting to hunt them… Unless they’ve been ganking people 10 levels below themselves, in which case I do it out of a sense of justice. Though thinking on it now, am I not just imitating the same behavior I looked at so despicably before? Wouldn’t the mere threat of my presence have been enough to get them to go away?

However, those sorts of cases are within the rules of the games played. It’s when an exploit is found that the real douchebaggery comes out. People using head shot scripts and other debauchery in a COD4 or Counterstrike game, or in the very easily hacked Diablo 1, warriors with 999,999 hit points launching 999,999 damage fireballs. Diablo is a great example of how, when it’s easy to hack the game, people will take it to the extreme, and then torture others using that new found power. Once it was done to a person, that person would seek out those hacks so they could then wreak havok on someone else who didn’t have them. I remember blasting someone repeatedly until they left the game in Diablo. Whenever they’d die, I’d pick up their ear. I had mules filled with player ears, and I would actively try to find them in games. When I did, I would jump into the town and drop their ears all over the place to mock them. Hate breeds hate…

But interactivity is the new gold standard in games. Everyone is working towards adding multiplayer components, and while the shrill cry of a 12 year old kid telling me he just kicked my ass in Gears of War is about as appealing as eating sand, I think I can tolerate one for the other because when I turn the tables and rub it in with an “In your face, little bitch,” I know they’re probably scarred for life whereas I can just shrug it off.

I’m such a douche bag…

posted by CommanderHate at 6:35 pm  

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