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I suppose this isn’t so much an editorial as a public service announcement, or friendly reminder, or request.
Have you ever been playing a game online, and some clown just makes you want to reach through the screen and snap his/her neck for reasons other than losing? In all probability, you have. To better install the idea of the people I’m trying to describe, let me share with you some stories of a few jerkfaces (yeah, I use strong words) I’ve encountered while gaming online.
Two of these stories come from the well-known action series called Bomberman. Of course, fitting my topic, the particular version I was playing was Bomberman Online. In the first, and possibly most ridiculous, I had just swept a match rather soundly (that’s not the ridiculous part :p ), and a few of the battle room’s members were saying the usual congratulatory phrases like “good game, Rage,” and so on. I made a joking remark that my urban American/public school background made me good with explosives, which told why I won the match so cleanly. Ho ho ho. No harm done, right? Apparently not. One player, simply named “Bomber,” decided to freak out, get offended, and attack me. He said “Rage, that’s not funny,” much to the puzzling of other players. “Your president is trying to take over the world, one country at a time,” he claimed. He went on like this, stating his political views and such, and talking about how he hated my country. Now hold on just a second. I make the above remark, and this guy comes after me because I’m an American? In addition, he assumes he knows my political views, when in fact I was not even asked about any such thing, nor did my remark indicate anything along those lines. Hello? We’re playing a frickin’ video game! It shouldn’t matter where someone is from or even if they DO want to take over the world. The purpose of playing a game is to sit back and enjoy what your McDonald’s money has enabled you to experience, not to sit around and attack someone about their country’s leaders. I would’ve thought this was common knowledge, but apparently, this must be said.
The second Bomberman Online story revolves around the “Clans.” As is common in many online games, alliances were formed amongst players by sticking some initials in front of one’s player name. A friend (just on the game) of mine was offered a shot at the leader of the “ST” clan one-on-one. She took the offer, beat him, and was subsequently offered a chance to join the clan. She said she’d join for a bit, because the players in ST were kinda nice guys, but wouldn’t be a permanent fixture. Just later that evening, the whole group was in one battle room, when they all abruptly left for another room, which they quickly locked the girl out of. This band of thugs known as ST brought a girl in, only to completely abandon her. (If you ask me, she was too good for them anyway—too classy for those idiots. “She Burns” was the best girl on that game, and better than at least two-thirds of that stupid clan.) Clowns like that are the reason I refused to join any clan. What possesses people to do things like that? Why can’t people just play the game!? Where do these guys come from?
Moving on to RPGs, I played some Phantasy Star Online for the good ol’ Dreamcast not too long ago. Seeing as the game had recently hit the GameCube (this story takes place in early ’03), and that the DC was pronounced “dead,” there weren’t nearly as many players online as there were in the game’s prime. Still, there was a pretty high number, making it impossible to say, meet anywhere near everyone that still played. Anyway, I had exchanged contact information with a guy that said he’d like to play a bit. During our introductions, he asked if I had any sisters. I replied that I have 5 sisters, which prompted him to ask their ages. Seemingly disappointed that none of them are above 15, he asked “Is the 15-year-old cute?” Feeling awkward, I responded “Um…I don’t really know. There’s that whole ‘she’s my sister’ thing.” He then asked for a physical description, including approximate measurements. This was where I drew the line. I cut the conversation short, saying that he was prying a bit farther than I would go, and that we should just get to the game. He then decided that, since I didn’t want to help him form a mental image of my little sister, he didn’t want to form a party anymore, or talk to me, or be in the same vicinity. Much like Nancy Regan, he just said “no,” and took off. What a mailbox head. I found another group to join, but that’s beside the point. I sincerely hope none of you reading this play games like the losers I’ve described here.
Now I know the majority of you reading this are probably fine, but I still feel this issue must be addressed. Please, keep in mind the purpose of online gaming is to play the games with other players from around the globe. They’re not for mean pranks, childish games, sick fetishes, or political arguments. I hope everyone reading this will abide by the Golden Rule, and treat others (in this case, other gamers) how you wish to be treated. Thank you.
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