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I have made no secret in my time at MakeUseOf that I am a huge video game fan. In fact, it is one of my favorite things to do in both the virtual and the real world. However, things are not always great in the video game world. There are plenty of problems, and most of them come in the form of what I like to call “bad gamers”.
Most of this has nothing to do with their skill at actually playing games. I do not care if you play Call of Duty every day and never once have a positive kill death ratio. Yeah, that means you are not a skilled gamer, but it does not necessarily mean you are a bad gamer.
Being a bad gamer comes from something deeper. It comes from the way you treat video games. It comes from the ways in which you interact with your fellow gamer. If you are a bad gamer, fear not, because I am here to help. Follow this guide, and you will become a better gamer and maybe a better person.
Don’t Be a Jerk All The Time
It is so common when playing an online game to meet trolls and generally mean people, that most gamers are numb to it. When I play Call of Duty I find myself constantly having to mute players who are being giant jerks. The communication features on consoles and PCs were implemented for players to chat and strategize about the upcoming game.
It is a sad fact that no one seems to get on the microphone unless he or she has some choice words to say about a member of your family. Of course, you cannot forget all the racism and nationalism that pops up everywhere as well. Treat people in video games the same way you would treat them in real life. Even better, pretend it is real life, and they have 20 friends, all of whom are UFC fighters, standing with them.
Don’t Be Sexist
It saddened me to learn that there is a website out there dedicated to female gamers sharing their stories about the terrible people they encounter while playing video games. Why does it matter to male gamers whether or not the person on the other side of the Internet is a female? If you are one of those people who cannot take losing a game because the person beating you is female, you need to take a long look in the mirror.
Some of the messages you can see on fatuglyorslutty that these poor gamers receive are just terrible. Female gamers are just trying to enjoy their favorite hobby, and nothing gives a bad gamer the right to interfere in that. If you want to be a better gamer, please, treat female gamers the same way you would treat male gamers (see step one for not being an overall jerk).
Get Better At Playing Games
I know I said that you do not necessarily need to be a skilled gamer to avoid being a bad gamer. Still, it certainly does not hurt. You don’t need to play in MLG, but you should at least try to get better. After all, you should try to improve at anything you enjoy. While being a good person while gaming is the most important thing, being a halfway skilled gamer does not hurt either.
Learn a Little About Video Game History
I will not fault anyone for being young and missing out on the “good old days” of video games, but it is a good idea to at least have a decent understanding of where video games came from. Halo was not the first shooter made by Bungee. Call of Duty was not always a modern shooter. Steam used to suck. Start with this awesome article by my colleague Justin and learn all about the history of Mario.
By learning about the history of games, it will help you appreciate where games are now and where they are going. I am not saying you need to be a video game historian by any means, but knowing some of the important parts of its history will make you a better gamer today.
Following these steps will make you a better gamer, both for yourself and for the other people who are forced to play with you. As gamers, we share a common interest, and there is no reason we have to treat each other like crap all the time. Video games are one of the most fun hobbies out there, so please, act as if you are having fun while playing games.