Saturday, 24 September 2011

The 10 Gaming Commandments

I enjoy multiplayer games a lot.

However, much like every endeavour in my life, there are times when gaming is made unbearable by other people.

Follow these gaming commandments I’ve come up with and your gaming life will be vastly improved. Don’t follow them and you’re destined to end up in gaming hell.

A place so awful, you’ll not only be in a fiery pit but you’ll be made to suffer from constant repetitive strain injury (AKA Gamers Thumb) and there will be nothing Dance Dance Revolution tracks on repeat 24/7!

So play nice.

1. Thou shalt not steal (without facing the consequences)

Games like Fallout teach us the harsh reality of stealing.

The first time I stole an object in Fallout 3 felt amazing – oh my God, I actually got away with it?! Before I knew it, I was stealing stuff I didn’t even need, just because I could. Little did I know that there’s only so many Finance Clipboards and pieces of Scrap Metal you can steal before your karma forces everyone within a 5 mile radius to declare open season on you; at first this was a mild annoyance but later it intensified so much that I had to start up a new game. This is not the only consequence – remember all those special items and bonus objectives...?

No, not ringing any bells?


Being a thief in any game may be fun at first but the further you get into a story, the less opportunities and story arcs you unlock, meaning you totally miss out.

It’s not just in karma based games that this commandment applies, stealing another player’s kills in any game is a cheap tactic adopted by a surprising amount of players.

After pursuing your enemy tirelessly and firing a whole clip’s worth of ammo to break down their defence, there’s always someone who runs up and pummels your target or sticks a knife in their throat. It’s the food equivalent of making an awesome sandwich, you carefully slice the bread, skilfully cut all of the ingredients, spread your condiment of choice, layer everything - juuuuust right, but just as you’re about to put the top slice of bread on...someone else hijacks your kitchen with their own top slice of bread and takes your delicious hard work leaving you sandwich-less and screaming up at the sky, Vader-style...Noooooooo!

Oh and let’s not forget those who steal weapons or power-ups that are rightfully yours.

I’ve played a lot of Halo: Reach multiplayer and nothing induces a Hulk-style rage like killing an enemy who has an energy sword only to find when you go to reap your reward, another player has swooped in, out of nowhere, and swiped it.

Whether you’re stealing weapons or stealing kills, you’re not the skilled player you think you are, you lack the expertise and finesse of a real killer making you a brutish yob at best.

If Fallout has taught me anything, it’s that Karma is coming to get you, douche bags.

So sleep with one eye open.

2. Thou shalt not tea-bag

At the heart of this commandment is this message: ‘do unto others as you would want done unto to you’.

Tea-bagging, for those who don’t know, is the phrase to describe when you squat over a victim and gesticulate in an up and down motion (much like you would dip a tea-bag in and out of a tea cup). For the NSFW definition, try Urban Dictionary.

It’s not big and certainly isn’t clever and there’s no way it’s as remotely funny as you think it is; time to grow up. Often the kind of players who tea-bag will also be the ones you can hear harassing female players with dumb questions. Yes, I AM a girl and although I’m not telling you if I’m hot or not, I’ll happily rejoice each time I kill you.

Also, I will not accept your friend request and ‘naked pictures’ ..are you kidding me!?

Luckily, the average life of a tea-bagger is short lived when you play alongside do good’ers such as my self.

And this is what you’ll see:

So the moral of the video is...tea-bag and die, arsehole.

3. Thou shalt not camp out at spawn points

If this commandment is followed, it will allow people the chance to actually play the game rather than watch themselves die in a perpetual loop, until the round is over.

COD fans, I’m looking at you.

Don’t you ‘campers’ realise you can acquire a genuine sense of achievement when you make legitimate kills?! Something earned is something gained. Camping out at a spawn point is cheating. What enjoyment can you get out of a game if there’s no excitement in it? There’s no point to it. You’ve just spent your money on some pretty graphics, which won’t matter as you’ve elected to sit in the exact same spot! Stick to single player if that’s what you want.

This also goes for you too, snipers.

Thou shall not snipe a player who has just re-spawned.

It’s just not fair and while I’m well aware there is no justice in this world and I might sound like a whining child but I don’t care! Enough is enough.

The crux is, when I’m playing video games, I want to PLAY video games, damn it.

4. Thou shall not be an achievement whore

You may have over 100,000 gamer score or whatever the PS3 equivalent is (sorry, I’m an Xbox girl) but if we look at the games you’ve been playing, a trend presents itself.

Avatar: The Last Airbender?! Seriously, it only has five achievements - which you practically get given for booting up the game. It’s like you have no ounce of self respect for yourself or video games.

Similarly, I don’t mind that you have a strategy guide, just don’t abuse it.

Getting the odd tips and hints is fine - seriously, who really expects you to find 100 feathers or 50 film reels or whatever just by looking?

If you spend all your time on the IGN website reading about the quickest way to speed through a level, there’s no way you can be enjoying your game. Because that’s what it’s about: enjoyment and entertainment, not posing and pretending you’re awesome, especially when you have My Pretty Pony and the Rainbow Avalanche as 100% complete in your game history.

5. Thou shalt respect your elders (Retro games ARE cool)

A commandment for all young’uns out there.

Don’t turn your nose up at recommendations from older gamers. Yes, the titles are “old” by your standards but you can learn a lot from them.

Look at various Top 10 lists of video games online, it saddens me that half of them you may never have heard of, let alone played.

Also, take the time to play prequels to current releases – providing you can get hold of an emulator or old console in working condition. You might think you have played Final Fantasy but you really haven’t unless you’ve immersed yourself in the history of it by playing the blocky graphics of Final Fantasy VI or VII (I dare you not to cry at the death of Aeris’ too). Actually, come to think of it, FF is a good example, ask any true fan which game is the best or their favourite and you can almost guarantee it will be one of the earlier/earliest titles.

Luckily, there is a wealth of pre-2000 games out there still widely available and many of which have been remade for Xbox Live Arcade, or can be downloaded for free – thank you, internet *kiss*

The video games you play today wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for retro games. All the mechanics and techniques employed in the industry today started from earlier games. Have some respect and check them out.

6. Thou shalt not sneer at noobs

I have fallen prey to this many times, if I see someone who has a rank lower than mine, I immediately think they’re going to be awful and bring down the whole team.

I’m usually right but it’s not always the case. Getting to grips with a new game and getting comfortable with the controls takes a bit of time. It’s hard to think back to when you were a noob, but you used to instill the same reaction in other people when you joined their game.

7. Thou shalt not be offended by bad language (within reason)

Okay, before I go any further, I’m not condoning bad language but I accept it’s a natural part of gaming.

We all curse when we mess something up, like fall off a platform or get killed suddenly or lose a race by an eighth of a second thanks to that guy that came out of nowhere (seriously, where did he even come from!?). And we almost certainly all shout at the screen in rage when the character you’re controlling doesn’t seem to be obeying the commands your frantically punching into the controller.


Booting a player for ‘bad language’ just because he or she swore when someone assassinated them is not cool. Booting someone for verbally attacking you personally, totally acceptable.

There is a big difference, learn to recognise it.

8. Thou shalt go back to revive a team mate (leave no man behind)

The emphasis of this commandment lies in the word ‘TEAM’.

Just because the safe room is two feet away from you doesn’t mean you should peg it inside and bolt the door, rather than help a team mate who is being mauled by a horde of zombies. Revive a fallen team mate and they’ll probably repay the favour later. No quitting half way through a game either. You’re letting the side down and their subsequent failure will rest entirely upon you.. okay, maybe not entirely, but it’s still your fault.
It’s also important to remember your role in the group dynamic.

Each player has a specific part to play so know your role and shut your mouth. Communicate (which means listen to each other, don’t just bark orders), strategise and stick to the plan; if all hell breaks loose, don’t point fingers. No one appreciates a hero unless you’re the kind of gamer who always manages to get the flag, dodge thousands of bullets and score unharmed.

Chances are, you’re not and no one likes a gung-ho idiot who gives away the team’s position.

9. Thou shalt not participate in team betrayals (unless accidental)

You have to be a complete sociopath to enjoy killing your team mates and in doing so, losing the game.

Kills can happen when people are careless too; throwing grenades without looking and blindly firing into a room, are both easy ways to decimate your team’s score and openly invite a booting. Eyes open, stay frosty, pay attention; just because they saw you do it doesn’t mean they could react quickly enough to avoid death.

Under no circumstances is it acceptable, that is,’s a hilarious, awesome accident such as this one:

See? I got killed by my own team but we all had a laugh about it.

Primarily because I couldn’t explain why I got out of a Warthog, two seconds after getting into it.

10. Thou shalt not cheat

Downloading modifications to make your reload speed faster than everyone else or using cheat codes is not cool.

Despite the fact that every gaming magazine in the past handed them out as freebies ALL THE TIME, is no excuse.

Cheating is largely pointless and buying a game just to enter cheat codes is a waste of money. The only exceptions are unlocking characters that you can’t access by any other means. Thor, Hulk and Phoenix in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 are good examples of this. Similarly, the cheat code for acquiring a tank in GTA 3 is fine so long as you’re just messing around – we all love a tank! Just don’t use it to progress in your saved game.

There’s no achievement through laziness, just premature boredom.

So, there you have it. The gaming commandments! Follow them and you shall have a happy gaming life... to a degree, as I’m well aware that gaming harmony can only be achieved if EVERYONE abides by the rules.

Thanks to @adamgunton and @stoghz for inspiration!

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