Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The spirit of competition

I appreciate that the name of this blog could quite possibly sound like one of the characters that was tragically cut from A Christmas Carol, but since it is still November, unlike the rest of the world I don’t intend to think of Christmas again for at least a fortnight. Humbuggery.

What I am actually going to talk about is how many selfish dicks there are out there in internet gaming land and how the quality of online games nowadays relies far too much on the people you play with.

It seems silly that the enjoyment of a really well made and put together game can actually be completely hinged on the hope that the people you play the game with, aren’t the kind who shout abuse at old people and stamp on new born chicks at Easter.

I’m finding at the moment in Left 4 Dead 2 that about half the games turn out to be epic, where as the others sort of fizzle out and die, a bit like what happens when you are enjoying a flickering candle, only for someone to come along and piss it out.

The main problems I am encountering are the very lovely breed of rage quitters that seem to turn up in just about every game I start to win. Whilst I don’t win very often, as soon as I have played a successful run as an infected the majority of the enemy who just got trounced will quit. At this point I will say that I have the utmost respect for those of you that stay in the face of defeat, you are a true gamer and I hope that you are spared (somehow) should the world end in flames or meteor showers.

The problem is though that having this stance makes me feel compelled to stay when the shoe is on the other foot and my team mates abandon me, meaning the game becomes one versus four, with the odds of me standing any chance being similar to that of an elephant achieving geo-stationary orbit from a running jump.

It just becomes less fun when people put their ego and in game stats before simply playing the game and having a good time. Of course now I probably sound like a nursery school teacher telling you that winning doesn’t matter and it is taking part that counts.

Whilst I don’t necessarily agree that winning doesn’t matter, the great thing about L4D2 is that even when you are not winning, you get the chance to make the other team go through hell whilst they crawl to victory. I very often hope that the enemy team will recovery from the serious zombie assault just so that they have to face it again in twenty seconds. That may sound far too sadistic and probably borders on cyber bullying, but it is great fun doing it.

Now I know that the mighty podium of an online gaming blog in a darkened corner of the internet, probably tucked just behind an amateur foot fetish gallery isn’t the most prominent place to request a bit more sportsmanship in games, but I will try it anyway.

We play games for fun, and win or lose, they usually still are fun. If the pixelated number on your screen is slightly lower than that of your opponents and it makes you feel angry, just after you quit, please follow this advice. Go to your nearest canal, weight down your legs, and see how long you can walk around the bottom for. You might be surprised what you can achieve once you black out. I wish the most un-christmassy of thoughts to those who rage quit.

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