I Suck at Games: Negative Reinforcement Negatively Reinforces Everything


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I love single-player games. Just me and the creation. I also love multiplayer games ... until recently. Keep in mind this is not about me whining about racist, sexist, prejudiced, or any other unwanted speech in multiplayer game chat. That's a price you pay with free speech. This is also not about enforcing any kind of new code or conduct.

I'm simply imploring a change of heart in the multiplayer gaming world, because lots of people suck really hard when playing with others and it [usually] has nothing to do with their gaming skill. It has to do with the missing piece in most Veteran Gamer's arsenals: Positive reinforcement.

Put your guns down.

Noob is a pointless word. It's like going up to a newborn and shouting "YOU CAN'T PLAY BASEBALL!" in order to cement your status as baseball pro amongst all the other baseball pros. Especially when they're gonna be on your team.

What does this accomplish?

Nothing besides create a group of baseball players that yell at babies to make themselves feel better. Not to mention discouraging new blood and future potential for the sport.

But I'm not here to rag on people and their choice of words. Instead, I just wanted to use my experience of failing considerably at multiplayer games to hopefully enlighten some folks. Not everyone fails at these games because they choose to; some take a lot of time and patience to learn the ropes. Just ask Dtoider Knives. I'm trying!

But, because of way that some advanced players wield the Veteran Staff of Eliteness, they end up hitting themselves in the balls in the process. Confusing new players and causing them to lose games for everyone, whilst the veterans complain they are only losing because of "that noob on our team."

Yo. He's on your team. Who are you really playing against?

Let's look at an example that's rarely seen (sadly) in a multiplayer game these days: (from a dog's perspective):

I (the dog) did something completely amateur. The hand (the veteran player) corrects me, and shows me where to do it. I read up all over the place where to pee, but man, sometimes there's so many intricacies and rules (game strategies) I miss some. Sorry.

Diagram 2:

I pee in the grass, saving the hand from having to waste his time cleaning up the mess, allowing him to go about his business without babysitting me. Notice he disciplines me with a high five -- a gesture of acceptance and "coming down to my level."

Now we have Diagram 3, which is what I see mostly in my experiences with multiplayer games:

What the crap did he just say? If he'd taken the time to drop the secret code of the High Officials, I'd have known exactly what to do next. I completely understand the point of shorthand (to save typing time), but I've heard it used with voice chat. Come on guys. Amongst your buds I can understand, but when you see your teammate eating his poo, alter your speech methods.

Diagram 4:

This is what happens -- I pee on your pizza, and everyone loses. I didn't CHOOSE to do this, but as I go along confused long enough while I'm spit at incessantly (and for no reason ... it's a game), I hate to admit I kinda enjoy ruining the pizza for everyone.

So there you go. Not only does forgetting to empathize and be clear with the newcomers not help anyone, but it has the tendency to create griefers. I don't WANT to grief, I want to get better at the game. But if you wave around that Veteran Staff of Ball Cracking long enough, very shortly you'll create a high blood pressure community of angry old snobs who yell at babies and speak in morse code.

It can be WAY more fun, guys.

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Rockvillian   gamer profile

"When you’re serious about having fun, it’s not much fun at all." -Calvin and Hobbes email: rockvillian.dtoid AT gmail.com my ARTSY Tumblr:  more + disclosures



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