I have a lot of pride for the gaming community. However, no community is perfect, and we have some bad apples on our tree. These are the types of gamers that shows like Law and Order love to latch on to in order to make sweeping generalizations about all of us. These are some of the loudest gamers, but also the least loved. They’re the grime at the bottom of the barrel. These are the gamers that make us all look bad.
The Leeroy Jenkins
Perhaps the most innocuous of all scummy gamers, Leeroy Jenkins are obsessed with themselves and only themselves. They’re the kind of people who will connect up in a co-op online game and separate themselves from the party in order to be the first person to get loot. While not actively hurting anyone, Leeroy Jenkins are the personification of selfishness. They doesn’t particularly care if their teammates are having fun, as long as they gets what they want.
The “High Ranker”
While greed may be Leeroy’s sin of choice, most gamers fall victim to pride, and High Rankers are the gamers who shove pride in your face every chance they get. When you talk to them, they love to rattle off the tournaments they won and how high on the leaderboards they are, whether or not any of it is true. The only thing that is certainly true is that their bragging skills are much better than their gaming skills.
According to them, they never lose because of anything other than a glitch, a faulty controller, or the “randomness” of their opponents. They popularize the phrase, “I only lost because you suck.” They’re the type of people who are “the best in my group of friends,” who are pro at fighting games but claim they don’t use combos because they are cheap, who are in charge of a Call of Duty clan but hate “campers and noob tubers.” They’re the kings and queens of the world, but only if that world plays by their very specific rules.
High Rankers express their pride through bragging about their gaming skills. Online Bros, however, love to express how cool they are outside of the game. We all know someone like this. We connect up to whatever game we are playing, say hi, talk about the map for a while, and then someone starts talking about how tired he is because he was up last night drinking so much. While the game goes on, he rambles on about his sexual conquests and the fights he’s been in. He will talk about just about anything except the game you are trying to play.
Cheaters are pretty self-explanatory and incredibly easy to loathe. These are the people who care more about seeing a win on their record than playing by the rules. They will gladly hack the game to give themselves an unfair advantage, ruining the experience for everyone else. Some cheaters go to great lengths in order to cheat in online games and still be untraceable, and you’d think if they spent half that effort on actually learning to play the game, they could be fantastic without cheating.
The Rage Quitter
Speaking of people who only care about winning, Rage Quitters care about winning so much they are under some delusion that if they don’t see the “lose” screen, they haven’t lost. So when they are about to lose, they pull the plug and leave the wining player in the dust. Here’s the thing about Rage Quitters – most current day games still count a rage quit as a loss. So the only reason to do it at this point is to ruin the fun of whoever you are playing with, and that is just spiteful and disgusting.
The Digital Hermit
Has anyone ever had that friend that says, “sorry I can’t hang out, I have a raid I have to go to?” That’s the Digital Hermit. These are the people who end up dying in online cafes while playing their favorite MMO. These are the people who invest all their money in games and are willing to risk their jobs in order to spend just a little bit more time online. Gamers are far too often portrayed as anti-social deviants living in their mothers’ basements, but gaming can be a wonderful social activity. There’s just something very wrong with forsaking your flesh and blood friends for your online guild.
The Self-Hating Gamer
Everyone has one friend like this. This is the person who plays Call of Duty , Starcraft , Street Fighter , and even some crunchy Euro board games, but says, “oh I’m not a gamer.” They go on and on about how shitty gamers are, rattling off every negative stereotype we have ever heard, and while they themselves personify the good we see in gamers, they refuse to be labeled as one because they don’t want to be associated with the negativity.
Of course, this is basically leaving the rest of the gamers in the dust, because the only way the gaming community gets better is if gamers who don’t fit the stereotype join in. Besides, when you fit the description of gamer, you can’t just say you aren’t one. That’s not what words mean. “I primarily work on people’s teeth.” “So you are a dentist?” “NO NO NO! Dentists are all weird and creepy. I’m a tooth doctor!”
The Toxic Gamer
You know these idiots. They are the types that say women can’t ever be gamers. They are the types that scream homophobic slurs over the microphone. They are the types of people who use the N-word when they realize their opponents may be black. They use the internet’s veil of anonymity to say all the horrible and screwed up things that society wouldn’t allow them to say otherwise. They thrive on the fact that they can do whatever they want, no matter who it hurts, and they are the primary reason why people shy away from being called gamers.
The 11 Year Old Call of Duty Player
The Toxic Gamer is bad enough, but it seems like they are getting younger and younger and younger. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really have a problem with young kids playing Call of Duty or similar games. That’s a choice that is best left for their parents. I do have a problem with young kids saying things like, “I’m going to rape you” because they heard it elsewhere online. I don’t particularly think that ANYONE should be using that word like that, but when I hear our youngest generation using it, my heart sinks. This isn’t what gaming should be about.
The Violence Addict
The great thing about gaming is that we get to keep all of our violence in a world where no one gets hurt. No matter how many times I shoot someone in the head in my shooter of choice, the person on the other end is fine. But when gaming rage gets taken outside the gaming world, things start to get more complicated. You’ve seen those news stories about gamers that kill each other for their consoles, or over a game of Madden or Call of Duty . These are gamers that are so deranged, or I should say they are just people who are so deranged, that they are willing to take their rage at losing out on a real life person. They are dangerous and they would be dangerous even if they weren’t gamers, but they are also the same people that get pointed to whenever anyone wants to say video games make you violent.