25 Annoying Things About Non-Gamers

The clueless habits, mistakes and assumptions that drive us insane

Now, with those same people snatching up Wiis, fumbling through Guitar Hero and pretending to finally "get" our hobby, it's time to turn the tables. What annoys you about non-gamers? When they talk about gaming, what inane and ignorant comments irritate you the most? When they watch you play, what reactions and suggestions piss you off? And worst, when they actually attempt to "join in the fun," what rookie mistakes and head-shaking blunders make you want to scream?

Here's our list of grievances.Share yours.

#1 You can't have it both ways. Parents, politicians and pundits are constantly scolding kids for spending too much time with videogames. At the same time, however, they casually mock anyone who dares play as an adult. Which age group is being irresponsible again? Make up your damn minds!

#2 Look who's talking. If you spend most days building kitten orphanages andserving hot soup to homeless rainbows, then yes, you can tell us that gaming is "a waste of time." If you sit on the couch instead - watching sports, voting for reality television or browsing celebrity gossip blogs - then please shut your hypocritical mouth.

#3 Control yourself. That game pad is not a rock and you are not an angry gorilla. Smashing the buttons with all your ferocious might is not going to make your character any faster, stronger or smarter. It will probably break our $50 piece of equipment, however, so just stop.

#4 Yes, this stuff is expensive. If we ask you to put on the wrist strap, to take astep back from the HDTV, to wash your greasy Cheeto-caked mitts or to grab "the guest controller," we have every right. Don't act offended and don't look at us like we're anal retentive freaks.

#5 It's your fault. Not the game's. Not the controller's. Not the connection's. Not the lighting's. Yours.

#6 Quit quoting us out of context. No matter how many times you repeat the line for the amusement of our friends and family, "Can you help me level my paladin tonight?" still made perfect sense within the framework and rules of the game. Seriously!

#7 "Hello 3" for the Sony Wii does not exist. It will never exist. When we patiently try to explain this to you, please don't blame us for your mixed information. Gamers have not organized themselves into a secret, worldwide conspiracy merely to keep the best titles away from you. Maybe you're just wrong.

#8 Shush! If you don't like people talking during movies, walking in front of the television screen or singing over your favorite songs, then - for the love of God - don't interrupt us during a game's cutscene. The alien, the dragon and the talking spellbook were having a very important conversation...

#9 "Hey, are you winning?!" Umm, this is an RPG with hundreds of quests and paths over dozens of hours, so it's really hard to s-... "Cool! How many points you got?" Sigh.

#10 If you suck, admit you suck. Give up the guitar. Step away from the drums. Let someone else join the race or fight. You had your chance and you had your fun. At this point, you're spoiling the fun for the entire party. Know when to walkaway with at least a shred of dignity and goodwill intact.

#11 Dur dur dur dur dur. Oh yeah, bumping into us in the middle of a competitive match is hilarious. Reaching over and messing with our controller is effing hysterical. Dying or crashing on purpose is the funniest thing ever. Now go play with your blocks and let the grown ups enjoy their real game.

#12 Time out. Oops! Your fat fingers have done it again. They've "accidentally" paused the game, or hit the dashboard button, at the very moment you were about to lose. Funny, that.

#13 Please don't patronize. Don't ask us what we're playing and what's going on in the game unless you actually want to know. Complete disregard would be preferable to your barely veiled expression of disinterest and disdain.

#14 No, this isn't "that Mario game." Every game ever made is not called Mario. Ditto for Pac-Man, Tetris, Doom, Myst and Pong. We have not been playing the same thing for 25 years. Similarly, Gears of War is not Halo "with new guns" and SoulCalibur is not Street Fighter "with different graphics."

#15 No, his name isn't "Zelda." It's Link. Samus isn't "Metroid" and Pikachu isn't "Pokemon." Sometimes videogames - like books, films and television - are complex enough to contain characters with namesseparate from the title. Hard to believe, but true!

#16 Scared stupid. If you're going to scream and run away each time an enemy fires a gun, swings a punch or makes the slightest noise, perhaps you should sample a hobby other than videogames. Quilting is quite rewarding, we hear.

#17 "Well, that's a great thing to teach children..." How observant of you! Yes, these severed limbs, crushed skulls and buckets of exploding blood are quite gory. Good thing the game is rated Mature and can't be sold to minors, right? Right?

#18 Do the research. Yes, games are full of foul language, awfulviolence,crude sexuality andotherinappropriately mature situations. Protest all you like, but at least protest theright offenders for the right reasons. A single e-mail or phone call could have told the mainstream media that Mass Effect was not a sex simulator. Why is ignorance so acceptable on this one particular subject?

#19 Save! We're tired of watching you start your Sim family, your Animal Crossing town and your Viva Pinata garden from scratch - again. We know you just want to run around punching people in GTA, but maybe if you saved, you could eventually run around and punch people on a totally new island. How does that sound, hmm? Oh, and while we're on the subject...

#20 Hold the eff on. Whatever you want from us, we can't do anything until we save. No, really. No, nothing. You want to lose the last 45 minutes of your life, too? Then deal with it.

#21 Learn your shit. Some ignorance is understandable, of course - we're all beginners at some point. If you can't muster enough patience to sit through a five minute tutorial, however, don't whine when you forget the controls. Don't bitch and complain when you end up interacting with a clearly non-interactive crate instead of the glowing, obviously interactive computer right next to it. And exactly how many times do we have to remind you which screen is yours in a multiplayer match before you memorize that simple, binary piece of information? This isn't calculus, genius.

#22 Games aren't THAT immersive. If you could refrain from physically ducking, dodging, bobbing and weaving every single time a bullet is fired or a vehicle drives past the screen, you might look like less of a mental patient and, therefore, we might be willing to sit next to you again. Rest assured that when theHolodeck is finally invented, you can flop and flounce around as much as your heart desires.

#23 Look up, damn you, look up! There are no enemies on the floor. There are no doors on the floor. There is no nothing on the floor. So why does every non-gamer spend every minute of every FPS zigzagging drunkenly into obstacles while staring, dumb and confused, at every pixel of every floor? Frustrating. Nauseating.

#24 Don't be a cheap ass. By purchasing the crap giftfor $20 instead of the quality giftfor $60, you're just encouraging developers to produce extra bargain bin titles,usually worth less than 20 cents, instead of devoting their time and funds to more potential masterpieces. When your loved ones tell you what they want, listen. They know what they're talking about.

#25 Don't be an enabler. By purchasing licensed dreck (and the shitty sequels to licensed dreck) simply because you recognize the celebrity on the front of the box, you're pulling down the entire industry. Enter the Matrix sells millions while Okami sells thousands. Space Chimps and Van Helsing get multi-platform releases, while Psychonauts is denied a sequel. We all suffer because of your poorly informed taste.
Buy good games or don't buy games at all. PLEASE.

Got something else to complain about?Rant away.

Aug 7, 2008

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