Talking With Strangers On Online Video Games

By: Brad Manock

 video game

            I do not often play video games anymore. Right now I usually only play video games while hanging out with friends playing “Call of Duty” games. These advanced video game systems have microphones attached which allows players to talk to each other in real time. At some point some tech developer thought this was a good idea. In this article I will discuss some of the things that happen when engaging in online video game conversations.


The “WTF” Moment

            When I log on to a “Call of Duty” game lobby we will often enter in the middle of a conversation between players who were already talking. We once entered while there was a deep, philosophical, discussion about how many times per day each player masturbates. This is actually quite normal when measured against average conversations in online games. It is always interesting to listen to the conversations which were already going on and then try to piece together the context from there.


Lots of Cursing

            The most common type of conversation in online video games is hateful taunting and excuses. Here is how one of these conversations will go: “yeah I got you little bitch,” “shut the fuck up you fucking faggot nigger the game lagged you fucking cheating piece of shit.” Exchanges like that seem to happen about once every twenty minutes in a “Call of Duty” online game lobby. These will continue going back and forth with excessive cursing until one participant declares themselves the winner of the argument by saying “well I don’t even care, it’s just a stupid video game.” This is funny to me because, yes, they do care very much and they are clearly frustrated. After this declaration of victory the argument will usually last at least a few more minutes before one of the frustrated players leaves the lobby while the other participant laughs as if they were never actually frustrated and the whole argument was just a joke.


Tea and Crumpets

            Occasionally I will engage in some discussions during online “Call of Duty” matches. Usually I will narrate the match with a British accent and refer to myself as “monocle man.” I am very bad at these popular video games as I have discussed in previous articles, so this is the way I amuse myself as I finish the match with a 2-14 kill/ death ratio. If I finish a match of “Call of Duty” and I’m NOT last, that is a victory to me.


I’ll Beat You Up Bro

            There seems to be this shroud of equality when it comes to trash talking other players during online video game matches. If a player is an elite juggernaut that wins by a large score, the other players can retort by saying “you’re so good because you waste all of your time playing video games and you don’t have a life.” This is the type of taunt that is used to counter taunts of low skill level in the game. There always seems to be an equilibrium with online arguments since one players taunts based on in-game skill while the other taunts based on real-life time-investments. If one player invests their time becoming an elite player while the other player invests that same time improving their real life situations and happiness, who is the real winner?


The “Real” Loser

            So what is the one thing that REALLY frustrates everyone during online video game matches? The negligent father playing with a crying baby in the background. There always seems to be one. It will go something like this: “yeah I got you, you piece of shit” “wahh wahh” “take care of your baby!” “shut the fuck up I’m busy!” Whenever a player experiences an interruption from their real life they always counter with “I’m busy.” The vaguer they are, the less likely they are to get a backlash. Perhaps it is an annoyed mom or a girlfriend who expects something from that particular player, they will always deflect the situation by claiming to be busy. But since their microphone is on, we can all hear the conversation. When these pathetic and embarrassing arguments occur, none of the other players say a thing. We are all too entertained by the situation to butt in. You can call people “nigger fucking fuck shits” when they kill your character, just don’t neglect a crying baby in the background. You have to grow up sometime and take responsibility. But I still don’t have a kid or any real responsibilities so maybe I am the real winner!


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