Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Miss Manners: Online Play
I was playing an online game with a stranger the other day and although I tried to strike up a conversation, I received no reply. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I consider this bad manners. I enjoy the chit-chat of online gaming as much as I do the game itself otherwise it feels like playing against an AI.
The regular group of gamers that I play with talk about everything from the weather in their corner of the world to the newest games they’re looking forward to. We throw trash-talk at each other and make sure to congratulate the winner. It’s as close to face-to-face gaming with friends as you can get and turns even a crappy game into something special.
Another thing that I think is rude is joining a game which is specifically set up for a certain group. Some online sites don’t allow passworded games or invites, so the best you can do is put in a comment that it’s for so-and-so group or such-and-such friends and the next thing you know you have a stranger where John Doe should have been. Is it so hard to read the comment? Do you just see an open game and join without regard to the wishes of the person who created it? If there are no open games for you to join without stepping on virtual toes, you should create one of your own; it’ll be filled up in no time.
Lastly, I’ve heard of people who register on a site with 2 different names and use both in games cooperatively in order to raise their standings. I’m sure it doesn’t happen often since most gamers play for the fun of it rather than the prestige and have too much honor to think that any rankings gained through such subterfuge is worth anything. But there will always be a few who find a way to cheat and think it’s alright to do so no matter how little value is placed on their gains. These people are the most pathetic, lowly, contemptible, worthless, under-handed, miserable, cowardly waste of gamer life on the web. If that’s the only way they can win, they should sell all of their games in favor of a stack of jigsaw puzzles and an Exacto knife.
Until next time, I’m trusting you to keep the vampire population down.