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10:02 PM on 02.19.2010

That Boy Ain't Right: Ecology of the TF2 Squeaker

Crikey! Today we're going to take a look at that oh-too abundant creature that roams the Xbox Live landscape. A species known to cause fear, loathing and the occasional earbleed in those that hear their prepubescent cries.

Let's not move too quickly, or they'll think we're spies.

Squeaker: A Definition

A "Squeaker" is a derrogatory term for larval stage players, usually under the age of sixteen. With 11 to 14 being the standard ear-shattering range. The term came to light because of the puberty-deprived bleets that often echo across mikes that are often cranked up so as to echo the speech of others, thus making them seem larger in an attempt to fool their only natural predators.

I am, of course, refering to players that are often better than them.

2Fort= 2young2bebelieved : Hunting Locations

While Squeakers have been known to prowl any online location where someone's shooting someone else with some sort of weapon. We'll be focusing on the subspecies Squeakus Overtauntus. The common Orange Box breed.

They've been known to play in any of the maps available. But they often have a prediliction for 2Fort, Dustbowl and Gravel Pit. In short, the maps where one can engage in the often criticised act of "Glitchdickery". Their hosted servers are often class-rigged or with Auto-balance turned off. The scent of desperation in the air is purely optional depending on if any better games can be found.

Cor, This One Looks Like A Biter! : Behaviors and Tell-tail Markings

While their voices are often a dead certain giveaway of their ages. It is the distictive behavior in the tense battlefield situation that IS a team based first person shooter that gives them away. Much like the colorful markings on certain insects warning away larger, older animals.

Common instincts include: Taunting after every kill. Excessive spawn camping. Spending most of a round tyring to place a sentry off map only to bitch about any spy that comes along and saps their teleporter into said off-limits area. Calling out in attempt to find others with mikes, and possibly more of their own kind. And putting some variation of 'pwn', 'pwner' or 'killa' in their userhandles despite their seeming inability to do such things.

Often, when confronted by a larger, older player, they are prone to fits of territorialisim and chest puffing. Continued agitation often leads to a primitive fight or flight reflex. In fight it manifests as forced bravado, extensive bragging and verbal assaults. Flight manifests as switching to the other team or 'rage quitting' often shutting down self-run servers as a survival instinct.

Catch And Release : Or, What To Do When You Find One

Much like a Happy Fun Ball, the act of taunting in a futile effort on the psyche of the average squeaker. As are most complicated insults, many of which fly right over their height-challenged ears. And any attempt to provoke a responce through violence or 'griefing' will often frighten and confuse the animal, often leading to a spooked retreat.

No, while most squeakers rarely learn the rewards and standards of good sportsmanship, and can only evolve with time into hormone-driven dicks. The best options available are to either leave, knowing that there are plenty of other games out there. Or mute them, rendering their behavior only as so much background noise.

The facts stand that while a juvinile, often angry, and even more often clueless creature. They are, by legal standards, people. And as such, deserve as much respect as can be mustered in a hope to teach them proper social skills.

And whatever you do, don't try to stick a thumb up them. As it violates Microsoft's TOS, and leads to Chris Hanson wanting you to have a seat.. over there.   read

10:22 AM on 02.18.2010


I play TF2 on the 360.

Yeah, take a moment to let that sink in. No unlockable weapons, no extra maps or playmodes, no hats.

And yet, I still love it. And hate it. And sometimes want to pull out my hair, if I still had hair over it. Because it's kinda like my mom's relationship with her often whiskey-sotted husband. As much squeaker, game-rigger, no mike based pain as it's caused me, it's given me just as much love and pleasure back.

Any demo who's blown up countless pyros by stickying the stairways in the 2fort courtyard can agree with me. And scouts. And engies. And spies who cloak just a fraction of a second too late..

Kaboom indeed. But I make with the digressing.

While all the shiney and indeed awesome mechanics of the PC version would be craved and appreciated. There's something about this bare-bones approach to team shooting that makes it worth playing despite a blue Dustbowl team with no mikes and four freaking snipers. Despite listening to twelve year olds crow about how they managed to build off the map, only to prove that they're just as useless there as if they built on it.

Because despite the bitching, there's that one in a million chance of PUGing into a game where everyon talks. Strategies are made and implimented. People will actually listen when you tell them a spy is heading for the battlements. And those times win or lose, make the game truely worth playing despite Microsoft being a dick about updates.


Of course, I still want my damn Jarate.   read

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