Make no mistake, even though it consists of mostly men hovering around their computer and television screens, furiously mashing complex patterns of thumb taps into a controller and occasionally yelling out in dismay or euphoria, the video game community still has its own set of rules and rightly an unspoken code of etiquette. Those looking to firmly establishment themselves in the gaming community or merely looking to be accepted would be wise to take heed of the following list of do’s and don’ts.
Talking trashing is a privilege to those who can back it up. Even if you blatantly don’t like the guy (or gal) because of how much crap comes out of their mouth, there’s absolutely nothing you can do or say to them if you’re handing you your rear. Trash talking is a welcomed part of any competition, especially video games. Merely take a look at some of the Madden tournaments and you’d think you’re in the middle of a nasty divorce trial. Sometimes the level of ferocity might even teeter on the edge of a fight, but as long as the jerk who’s doing the talking is winning, the ball is in his court. Thus, the only way to shut up a trash talker is to beat them. Telling them to be quiet or telling them to shut up simply isn’t going to cut it if you’re losing 28-0 in the first quarter or you’ve been on the wrong end of three straight perfects. That said, if you’re in the middle of a Tekken fight and you and the opposing player have been going at it neck and neck, it doesn’t make any sense to spring out of your seat and throw everything in their face because you managed to pull off the victory. Not only will you be a jerk, but you can be sure that your reputation as one will move around quickly in your gaming area. On the other hand, if you merely congratulate the person on a good game, you could probably make a friend or a rival, so you’d always have someone to play against. Lesson here is, put your money where your mouth is-and try not to get your foot in there either.
This is my controller. Whether you place all of your hope in one controller that has carried you through the valley of the shadow of death or you simply can’t get used to something else, make sure no one touches it. However, if you’re one of the new people who simply don’t get the fascination with one controller and think they’re all the same, make sure you read this slowly. Do not touch anyone’s controller but your own. Besides the fact that you mind run into a fool who starts blaming everything on his controller (button jamming, stiffness), there are some people who simply just don’t want their property being touched. This goes beyond video game etiquette and most people will know this right off the bat, but then again there are always a few people who could use a refresher course on common sense. In the same token you should refrain from touching memory cards at all costs-a gamer losing over 200 hours of work is just not going to be a happy camper when they find out it was you.
Bring something to the table. Game does count, but on the off chance that you’re horrible at competitive games, then you’d best make your presence felt in another way besides being a punching bag. Bringing games is the most direct way to establish yourself in the circle besides being one of the top tier players, but there are other ways that don’t involve video games at all. If you’re lucky enough to be apart of a competitive gaming circle then you’ve probably already been apart of a 4-8 hour session. In those long sessions of ruining your eyesight hunger can usually be set aside for a certain time, but eventually everyone is going to need to eat and take a potty break. Pizza is usually a good idea because of how universal it is. Merely order a regular pizza or pepperoni and you’re bound to see some happy faces. Chinese on the order and is more complicated to order because you’ll have to ask everyone what they want and it can become pricey for a young gamer. Just remember: Gamers aren’t vampires, we have to eat too.
Please, unless you’re dying, don’t complain. Matches in any game can become so hotly contested that emotions are invoked and it becomes more than just a game. It happens, we’ve all been there with competition or frustration from broken game mechanics, but when you’re surrounded by your peers, it’s best to let it slide and compose yourself. Don’t start to suddenly blame your controller jamming or telling everyone around to shut up because they’re getting too loud. When you’re playing a competitive game around more gamers, you are in a hostile environment-don’t forget it. The more you whine the more they’ll strip you of your manhood (or womanhood). In fact, the hecklers do enjoy letting someone know just how bad they’re being beaten. When it comes down to that, you’re basically an NBA player at the free throw line or a NFL kicker lining up for a crucial field goal, you have to block them out. Then again, razor sharp wit has been known to quiet the loudest and meanest of hecklers.
Try to have fun. If you’re the new guy, sure you’re in a hostile environment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You’re there first and foremost to play video games, so rarely should it become a chore for you to do. If you’re light and causal you’ll be more accessible to the people around you and there won’t be that awkward period from newbie to regular. It also doesn’t hurt to bring some kill to the equation before you dive head first into the world or inner circle of competitive gaming.