At 22, I'm starting to feel too old for the industry that I have loved and been a part of for
so long. The sad part is, it isn't the companies that actually make the games that are
making me feel old.
My fellow gamers are.
I owned an XBOX 360 from March of '06 until November '06 (which I sold because 1. I was
poor and 2. I didn't play it very much), played G.R.A.W. online avidly and never really
noticed throngs of annoying, spiteful "tweens" that I would come to encounter after I
purchased a new 360 along with Halo 3 last September. For what was probably the
first month or so I played the game I never really encountered kids who routinely
screamed into their mics, constantly get in your way, or stay by the sniper rifle/rocket
spawns but never actually kill anyone with the weapons they were so keen on getting.
And that is what drove me away from the game. I grew tired of constantly playing with
other gamers that were, well, pricks. Granted I was a pretty big prick when I was a
teenager, but when I played Phantasy Star Online, I wasn't an asshole. I enjoyed
playing with other people. If I wanted to annoy someone, I would annoy my brothers. If I
wanted to be an asshole, I would make fun of my classmates like a normal kid.
Currently, I'm experiencing this sort of alienation with Call of Duty 4. Its rise to the
top of the XBOX Live Charts has brought with it the large number of youths that plagued
my Halo 3 experience. Don't get me wrong, I love COD4. It's amazing. The graphics
are stunning and nothing beats being the last one alive in a game of Hardcore Search and
Destroy, when it's all up to you to defuse the bomb.
Let me go ahead and be honest here and say that I have team-killed in the hardcore game
modes of COD4. I think we all have. But it's usually accidental or because my friends are
fucking around. But I only kill my friends. Does that make me better than you? Probably.
But that's not the point. I have respect for my fellow gamer. A respect that seems to be
missing in today's younger generation of gamers. Getting hit with a rocket at the start of
the match by some 14 year old with some reference to Master Chief or Marijuana in their
gamertag and that apparently thinks it's OK to be racist if you're doing it over the internet
not only angers me because it ruins my game experience, but also saddens me that these
kids have no regard for their fellow gamer, something that used to make the gaming scene
Maybe my romanticized view of what the gaming community should be is a little out there
and maybe the problem is a lot smaller than I'm making it out to be.