Chris Scheidies

Online Gaming Etiquette and The Ethics of Camping

I love X-Box Live. It may be the greatest invention of this century. It’s better than sliced bread with the option of butter or gravy. It is insane how many cool people are playing on Live. But for every great player, it seems there are two to three dorks.

What’s the deal guys?

Let me give you a few examples:

I was playing Rainbow Six Three. A teammate and I had a guy pinned in a room, and I decided to rush him, asking my partner to cover me. Then I rushed in and got my butt kicked. My opponent got me fair and square because I didn’t get my shot off in time. It was some nice shooting. But, as soon as I died I heard someone on my team (who is already DEAD) say to me:

“Man, you’re such a frickin loser. I can’t believe it. You suck so bad. Didn’t you see his gun go off?!”

I thought:
“WHAT!!?!? You jerk! I told my partner to cover me and I was very careful going into the room. What’s your problem? The other team member got me fair and square.”

In another game, there was an opponent on the other side of a small hallway. So, I began to “gas him out”, but behind me (I was standing in a doorway) two of my team members began to yell at me:

“Get out of the F%&$ing way.”

I said:
“Just a sec.”

I was met with the reply:

Okay, fine. My two team members rushed through. I followed them hoping that I could catch the opponent whom I know is on the other side of the room. But in all the commotion, the three of us got shot. Well, CRAP.

“That worked well,” I said as we entered the lobby.

“Yeah, next time don’t stand in front of the doorway,” my team member said.

One of the worst examples I have witnessed of extremely poor etiquette is in “Splinter Cell- Pandora Tomorrow.” Unfortunately, it happens continuously.

Occasionally, a player can be a part of a team that has some experience, and the opposing team is unfamiliar with the game. Everyone has to learn the game and start somewhere. Invariably, a player on the weaker team will (MID-GAME) leave because they are losing.

Come on guys! What’s the deal? Yes, it’s tough when the team you are on is being beaten badly, but that’s how any player learns. As long as the other team is cool (and not rubbing it in the team’s face), a player can learn a lot from more experienced players. Some people seem willing to teach others as long as the players are sticking to the game, even when being beaten. But just leaving in the middle of a game is very tacky and unfair to the people with whom you are playing.

I find so many examples of bad etiquette and just plain rudeness, I’ve compiled a list of online gaming do’s and don’ts. Here we go:

- DON’T get mad at the other team for winning, unless they are spawn camping or cheating. They won fair and square. So…COOL IT!

- DO help people who are new to the game to learn. It is O.K. to give them a bad time, but be tactful: remember – you were a beginner once yourself.

- DON’T get upset at your own teammates when they are killed. They may just be learning the game. Maybe they got shot fair and square or someone who said they would cover them wasn’t covering them.

- DO compliment the other team when they win. I try to say “good game” or whatever fits the situation.

- DON’T leave mid – game unless it’s an emergency. It is very rude to others on your team and this will not make you many friends on your X-BOX Live list.

- DO communicate with your team. If the teams are evenly matched, the team with the best communication almost ALWAYS wins.

- DON’T sing because nobody cares. On the same note, be careful not to interrupt someone who is explaining the game or someone who is working on a strategy when the game starts. Remember: GOOD communication.

- DO laugh and have fun. That’s what online games are all about!

You play online games because they are fun. KEEP IT THAT WAY FOR EVERY ONE. So, for the good of mankind- Be nice to your fellow gamers!

If you are an on-line gamer at all this has probably happened to you:

As you are playing your favorite game, you are repeatedly killed by some guy/girl sitting in the same place. He/She will not MOVE. The player sits in that location because he/she found the perfect spot to annihilate the opponent (you.) I have listened to both sides of the camping argument, therefore I’m diving into its moral implications.

For those of you who don’t know:

Camping is simply someone in an on-line game who is basically not moving because they have found a great spot to snipe the enemy. There is also spawn camping. In a few games when the player dies, the player will reappear or respawn in the same place. Obviously, the opposing team can wait in that specific area and shoot as enemies appear, giving themselves and their team a leg up on the competition. Fun, this. But not if you are the campie.

Allow me to present the two sides of the argument;
The camper claims he/she has found an advantage in the game that should be allowed. Take every advantage available. On the flip side, non – campers usually want to participate in fair competition and keep gaming fun for everyone. So, how can this argument be resolved? The short answer is: It depends on the game.

You see, in some games camping is just a cheap way to victory. Games like Rainbow Six 3: Black Aarow and Halo 2 demomstrate this happening. On the other hand, if a player sets up the game so each team obtains a sniper, then the sniper can camp- thats what snipers do. But the common soldier should not do this. There are other games with an entirely different agenda such as Splinter Cell 2 : Pandora Tomorrow. This game requires camping on behalf of the spy. Without camping, the game play would not be as intense or enjoyable. This game that requires buckets of patience.

To summarize the conclusion that I have developed; if an on-line opponent is camping to gain an unfair advantage and is lording it over you, or if camping is making the game almost unplayable, then you need to boot the offender. If it is adding to the game play and making each player’s experience better, then it should be encouraged. But this can only happen in certain game modes or in certain games. Enjoy and watch out for the grizzlies.