The backseat gamer's burden

It's a bit of a sad thing to us that the traditional days of social gaming have faded as we've become more separated by admittedly awesome technology. Nowadays, we play with our friends mostly online, with headsets or hastily typed text. It's too bad, because a favorite pastime of every gamer is backseat gaming. Just like with driving, we each know we have a better choice in mind when we see someone do something stupid. This urge, to correct someone, or better yet yank the steering wheel (or controller or mouse) right out of their stupid hands and SHOW them how it's done, is so ingrained that “You're doing it wrong” is an internet mantra.

So here are the things that drive us crazy when watching someone else play, and we're sure you've got plenty more to add, so post them in the comments and let your backseat gamer's voice be heard!

Additional contributions: Eric Bratcher, Mike Grimm, Carolyn Gudmundson, Chris Antista

Running around in an FPS with the gun always pointed at the floor

Above: Those puffs of smoke on the concrete dilineate the Trail of Fail

Are we missing something, or do humans have some hidden vital organ in their feet? It's easy to complain about how an FPS is too “twitch” and how they can't hope to compete with some no-life, caffeine-addled teenager when they're trying to go for a headshot by snapping their reticle half a screen up from where they had it sweeping the linoleum. Hint: it's not just about how fast you can aim – the kid that just owned you came around the corner with his reticle already at head-height, meaning he only had to adjust his aim by millimeters to get a bead on your juicy melon.

Never checking their "six"

This also applies to FPSes, but encompasses any action game. They run to the end of a hall that branches in two directions, and they just turn left, horseblinders on, and wonder why they got shot in the back.

Use a medpack!

Above: Note his health in the lower left, accompanied by two syringes that could bring him to full health

Granted, many games use the regenerating health mechanic, but some still cling to the old days when wounds didn't magically heal themselves. Instead, a gunshot magically healed through the application of a bandage. How crazy does it drive you when your buddy is at 10% health, has multiple medpacks, and yet they charge in, oblivious.

DON'T use a medpack!

The reverse of medpack neglect is medpack gluttony. They've got only a sliver of damage, only one medpack, and – gulp – it's gone. Then, of course, a powerful enemy rounds the corner and hoses them.

Reload dammit!

Nice controlled burst, nice controlled burst, nice controlled – wait, they've got three shots left, all the enemies are dead, and what do they do? Run into the next room.

 Above: *Brrappp* *Brrappp* *Brrappp*... click

Running around a room over and over looking for the obvious exit

They've ran in circles for nearly a minute, and yet you can see the door they've missed – it's right between stacks of shelves. It's totally obvious. How come they can't see it? They also ran right past treasure chests/items that are practically screaming “Pick me up!”

Constantly accidentally going back the way they came

 Above: "Let's see now... there are a bout fifty potential doors here, but I have the nagging feeling I didn't check the one behind me"

When the visual deficiencies aren't making the game space look like a curtain of camouflage, then the spacial awareness train has left the station – okay, so they ran into the room, and yes, it has two other exits, but does spinning the camera a bit really confuse them so much that they always run back out the entrance, stand there confused, and run back through a third time?

NOT missing anything

Buddha said that the optimal path is one between two opposite extremes. Or wait, was that Keanu Reeves?

Above: Keanu + filthy beard + mysticism + non-English subtitles = WIN

Anyway, the other side of not noticing important objects or doors, is trying to open/search EVERYTHING. It's particularly annoying in games where interactive objects look different from things like doors that are just textures painted on walls. No, that blurry pile of junk is NOT a treasure chest.


  • axelgarcia1 - June 24, 2010 4:45 a.m.

    been there.
  • Azated - April 30, 2010 4:44 a.m.

    I've had all of those combined once or twice... Family gaming sessions are some serious Fail. Mainly because i can't yell at them to pick the goddamn gun up instead of using the plastic water pistol, or tell them to "JUMP IN THE F*CKING ESCAPE CAR YOU DIPS*IT!"
  • Kameltoemunch - March 6, 2010 2:08 a.m.

    Constantly running around checking every (clearly not a real door) door to see where it leads. Even a few of my mostly decent gamer friends go absolutely retarded in single player or co-op with that. Oh yes, and GR, please ditch the captcha.
  • Frend - March 5, 2010 6:05 p.m.

    Guess that doesn't really count as backseat gaming still that's annoying.
  • Frend - March 5, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    I hate people who waste your time. Like in some mmorpg I was playing someone asked for my help. Sure I was busy, but I said fine so we get there and then I realize that person isn't doing anything. So I tell that person either help or I'm leaving and that person says I don't care I can just ask my friend to give it to me. He already said he would and I tell that person then why are we here! Felt like strangling and killing.
  • iluvmyDS - March 5, 2010 5:12 a.m.

    Backseat gamer, that'd be me.
  • Mirako - March 5, 2010 4:35 a.m.

    I hate it when you're good at a fighting game but you get beaten by someone who's never played before just because they mashed buttons, then they think they're 'really good'. urgh! My friend NEVER reloads! Ever! Also he never looks at his minimap and wonders how he just walked into the middle of a big firefight...
  • matt588 - March 5, 2010 4:26 a.m.

    cussing doesn't bother me, it's talking trash and winning cheaply: anyone else know the pain of loosing by 1 kill knowing all 1 guy on the other team did was shoot RPG's into your spawn?
  • secretsearcher - March 5, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    I totally agree about that longer "F word". There are much more funny and humiliating ways to insult someone. For example, a friend of mine recently kicked the respecitve @$$es of me and several of our other friends at Super Smash Bros, and proceeded to say he jost "epicly butt-raped" all of us. Now that is an insult.
  • secretsearcher - March 5, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    How about not knowing how to assasinate in Assasin's Creed? I had a friend who walked right up to a guard, pressed the wrong button, punched him, and soon had the entire city chasing after him. Remember kids, when trying to assasinate someone always PRESS FRICKIN UP on the d pad to select your hidden blade. OK????
  • DriveShaft - March 4, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    People who get owned, then claim the game is stupid or isn't working right. I think the worst is when someone else is playing the game, you try to tell them where something is or where to go and they think you're being bossy. "No, you go upstairs not downstairs - why would you turn around and go back downstairs where the horde is and you have 2 bullets left?"
  • El_Hombre11 - March 4, 2010 6:14 a.m.

    what about ANYTHING that has to do with the start menu? i.e; they push the start button/guide button accidentally and then take 5 mins to figure out how to get rid of it? or even when they go to change the control scheme and take FOR-EV-ER!!!!!!! it's like dayum, you're not converting your faith here, you're choosing between inverted and regular! hurry up, noob!
  • modernwarrior19 - March 4, 2010 3:06 a.m.

    @ranzatsu that is the thing that pisses me off the most when some one tells you that they beat a game and you say something about the game and then they have no clue what you're taking about or they just reply like "ya" or "that was cool".
  • gmilf71 - March 4, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    YES. My brother never checks his six. And in MK theres always a guy who knows none of the special moves, and just kicks you in the shin like 300 times and kills you.
  • Fisher321 - March 4, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    How about when people reload too much? I mean, If they have 10 shots left and the "reload" pops up they automatically think they have to reload everytime. And when the guy that they could have killed kills them, they say "Its not my fault I was reloading."
  • TrollMan - March 3, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    the only one me and my friends no is being greedy for that last kill with out realizing it
  • apegod9 - March 3, 2010 9:36 p.m.

    And wiht the sexbox thing, that was ONE game and it was rated M (correct me if im wrong, i dont have it.) for mature, so it is allowed to have sex scenes. And crimson_soulreaper305, I was in that match!
  • apegod9 - March 3, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    "Wow that lags!" "No, you just suck." "IT LAGS!" *runs away and cuts self* "sigh..." Or the ever present screaming kid in the headset that makes your ears bleed. Then it turns in to excessive complaining when they die. Good times.
  • RevanPK29 - March 3, 2010 3:29 a.m.

    Fuck ME!!!
  • mEgAzD - March 3, 2010 2:07 a.m.

    Excuse me, left.

Showing 1-20 of 65 comments

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