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Weekly Musing: Gaming communities would suck less without noobs

Hi, my name is HuttyLoca, I'm new here and you should hate me. Don't worry, I hate new things too...

I love the internet; it contains truth, not the type of factually accurate truths that you can find in a library; but truths about the human condition. Emboldened behind a veil of anonymity people can be and say whatever they want online and one thing people have been vocal about since the dawn of the internet is their hatred of noobs. I can imagine now that first communication over the fledgling wonder of science that would one day be called internet:

UCLA: SRI International this is UCLA sending communication alpha, if you are reading this then our research has been confirmed as successful.

SRI International: UCLA this is SRI International reporting on the successful retrieval of communication alpha and looking forward to the rewards such swift transfers of information will allow us!

UCLA: Negative SRI International, you are a noob. STFU and GTFO!

Gamers, arguably, stick to this golden rule of the internet more stringently than any other group, whether talking in forums or gaming online there is no greater crime to commit than being new; you slow people down, get your team-mates killed, hell, my laughable attempts at resizing images for this blog are visible for anyone to see. Noobs always get it wrong.

A strange paradox then, that new people are the very lifeblood of any given community, take for example, a place I'm often to be found, SRK. If you were granted the gift of time travel and you for some reason used it to go back three years to visit them you would see the boards awash with fight enthusiast bemoaning the slow decline of their scene, no new games, no interest, no new blood. Fast forward to today and gape in wonder as 09ers (join dates are publicly displayed) are flamed out of existence for daring to even make a comment, heaven help those pioneering souls who take it upon themselves to actually create a new thread.

An interesting and contradictory tug of war indeed (especially on SRK where many ‘new’ SF4 players are in fact old SF2 veterans returning back to the fold), community is based on familiarity, shared mutual respect and friendship, these things aren’t possible amidst a constant influx of new blood, but without new interest any given community, gaming or otherwise, will only stagnate and die.

New people represent change, and change will break your heart. I’m not old or wise enough to give anyone life lessons, but I’ve already learned that change is one of those inevitable things that always happens in life to turn everything upside down. Every social group I have ever been a part of from School to University to work, my girlfriend, hell even my own family; at some point the group splinters, crumbles and becomes something else unrecognizable. Lord knows we try to keep hold of those that are dear to us and so often we are powerless to do so.

How can gaming communities suck less? Easy. Get rid of the noobs.

Wait... Are we being truthful to ourselves here? I consider myself a hardcore gamer, but in my heart I know that my best years are already behind me. Gone are the halcyon days when I could somehow cram 8hrs of gaming on top of 6.5 hrs of school (without flunking), whilst juggling team sports and a social life.

Like it or not that homophobic, obscenity spewing (or worse singing) 14yro on Xbox live is always going to be the primary representation of the gaming community, he simply has more free time. The truly horrifying thought is that once we finally burnout/ragequit/move out of mom’s basement, it will be on his pre-pubescent shoulders to carry the community forward in a meaningful way.

So do I hate the gaming community? Not with a single atom in my body.

The tenuous links to real world violence sensationalist tabloids attempt to make only serve to highlight the lack of any significant evidence to support this theory. I used the word homophobic earlier and although the word gay is too often used over Xbox live as an insult there is no real malice in it. Our community is immature, obnoxious yes, but ultimately harmless and although we often forget this as the white hot rage of being pwnd burns within us or we read the delusional comments of yet another trolling fanboy, the community is focused on HAVING FUN.

So here’s to the new guy, raise your glasses to our unelected and outspoken president, here’s to their health and the wish they’d STFUAJPG.
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About HuttyLocaone of us since 5:54 PM on 08.20.2009

This is how I roll:

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