The Top 7... Worst things you can do to a gamer

Nobody likes to admit it, but gamers are different people when they're playing games. Those normally sweet and considerate boyfriends, girlfriends, housemates, sons and daughters are not so accommodating when the console's switched on. These are the worst things you can do when someone's playing a videogame. Innocuously, of course - setting fire to them or selling their cat on eBay is malicious. These are not.


7) Hog the TV

The television is a wonderful device. The modern iteration much more so. It’s capable of displaying modern and classic cinema in eye-bursting explosions of HD colour and detail. It’s able to relive your happiest memories in the presentation they deserve, via ultra-detailed, vibrant, 42 inch displays of your favourite photos. It makes it possible for you to explore any world or life that our most creative game developers can dream up, in detail so vivid that it’s almost real.

Yes, the television really is a wonderful device alright. You’ll note though, that amongst that list of activities we haven’t mentioned actually watching TV. Because TV is 90% shite.

Above: The world should be more honest. Seriously, it would save time

Yet some people still watch it. Not just in the “Find the odd few good shows a year and watch them in a chunk” way. Some people actually default to watching regular, unfiltered pap on a daily basis, with little to no consideration for either the shows’ quality or their own self-respect. Or the fact that they may be wasting the miracle of existence on a daily basis and will inevitably regret everything they’ve ever done (or not) when they lie upon their deathbed, tearfully ruing their decades of accursed stupidity.


So it’s incredibly galling when they demand the use of the TV when you’re playing games. Because they’re not using the TV. They’re abusing the TV. What they’re doing is like hiring a Michelin starred chef and making him cook £1 value bag burgers (50 of the buggers for a quid, and you can taste the cartilage in every bite!) on a clapped-out barbeque in the rain. And then feeding them to their dead dog.


6) Beat them at their own game

Even if we - gamers - fail at everything else in life, at least we know we'll always have games to be good at. Lovely games. Our comfort zone. We might have friends that are naturally gifted at sports or music or having sex. And they can occasionally make us experience feelings of inadequacy. But that's just how it goes. C'est la vie as they used to say down at the old Moulin Rouge. So one of the most heinous crimes a non-gamer can commit is to beat a gamer. At a game. ANY game.

Above: A typical gamer in his comfort zone savouring victory against a child. This is how it should be

You know the scenario. It's a family gathering and the Wii/Kinect/Move is getting some love. It starts out all laughs and giggles. But then mum/dad/gran/puny sibling actually starts winning. You try to act like you're not bothered. "Hahahaha. Honestly. I'm not bothered. It's just a game. Hahahaha." But your smile is slipping and you don't sound convincing. There's a dirty evil feeling in your gut and its eating all the rational thoughts from your brain like a big angry whale sucking up all the krill.

Above: After losing the first round of Carnival Games, Tommy could feel a Hulk moment coming on strong

Yes it's casual nonsense designed for plebs and works on an arbitrary scoring system that has no idea what actual genuine gaming skill looks like. But it's still a game. That's what we're good at. We're expected to win. We HAVE to win. Otherwise the delicate balance, the natural order, the yin and the yang, the light and the dark, the good and the bad and the ugly, it's all screwed. Everything we believe in. We might as well pack up and call it a day. Game F*cking Over.

Footnote: Losing to another gamer is not so bad. That's just fair dos like. Just as long as they don't beat us at something we consider to be 'our game' and it's the first time they've played it and they're not even playing properly. Then it can be annoying.


  • AtotehZ - February 8, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    I can understand that some gamers react like this. Personally I can't stand people stepping in front of the monitor or people not giving games a chance, the latter I respect though. I back-seat game myself, assuming backseat gaming is giving advice, not telling what to do. Mostly because it is something like WoW battlegrounds and my mate knows that I am in every way superior to him. Conversations is no problem if it is about the game. This is not a problem I have any more as I'm a grown-up now, but.. Parents who tell you that you can't play and severely limit your game time, especially in vacations when you are supposed to be in bootcamp for championships(counter-strike 1.0 to 1.5 in my case). It is my experience that the parents of today have become more lenient towards that.
  • g1rldraco7 - January 18, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    The worst to do to a gamer is unplug their game system while their playing or lend one of their games out to someone without asking!!!!
  • ShortFuse - October 5, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    When I was younger my parents used to shout at me and claim 'just save it and quit' This was something that always infuriated me when I was at my gaming peak and had enough time to get lost in a gaming world(aged 5-16) This was back in the N64/PSone days when not all games had a quick save option and you either had to a) complete the level or b) find a check/save point. The amount of times there were arguments because they couldn't understand that even if I wanted to get off the console I couldn't simply due to the fact I'd have lost about an hours worth of game time was mad. Although I'm sure from their perspective I was just being a deliberately intolerable 8 year old... Thankfully, these days I have no such problems as an adult. I don't live at home, I don't have nearly as much time to play games these days anyway and also most games tend to have a quick save option or autosave anyway.
  • psycho ninja 4 - October 3, 2011 5:16 a.m.

    Now if only there was a way for non-gamers to read this...
  • avery78 - March 30, 2011 5:33 p.m.

    The 2 things on this list that bothers me the most are walking in front of the tv and someone having a conversation with you. It is very true that when a cutscene comes up people seem to want to talk to you, thats why I put on subtitles if its an option.
  • Gabezilla84 - March 28, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    What a great article, all so true. I've enjoyed reading the comments as well. I've experienced every one of these in my lifetime, especially growing up with two brothers who are also gamers. Not so much anymore, thankfully. My wife is awesome about my gaming, although she is not a gamer herself. I laughed out loud when I read the passage about the TV station in COD 4...that is the only COD game I own (and have played), and I must have played that part and died about 20 times. I can't even remember if I've ever made it past that part, it's been a while since I've played it.
  • monsterhunter3rox - March 27, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    its not easy to get out of the line if you play in your bed,like i do.
  • cruiser - March 26, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    I have the worst one of all... which sort of syncs in with the list. So they've walked in front of you, trying to start a conversation. To be met with obvious anger. They then tell you "its just a game" or "just pause it". The argument starts... the game is still rolling so the gamer is playing again and loosing the fight....(unaware). The gamer now relaxing and can see the t.v. again. Aside from the annoying babbling going on next to you, all is well. Then BAAAMMM!! Console gets shut off!!!! Just as you beat that climactic moment, that you've been struggling with for hours! Ding Ding Ding Round one! FIGHT!!!
  • mentalityljs - March 26, 2011 8:20 p.m.

    YES! Thank you for this article. It's too bad most culprits won't ever read it tho. And I think it's hilarious how all the anger that was mentioned is real and not over exaggerated.
  • JonahTHD - March 25, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    I really loved this list, most of my friends and family are guilty of almost everything on this list. But I can think of another horrible thing you can do to a gamer, and that is if your little cousin or sibling decides to play one of your games while your gone and ends up erasing your save file that you got so far and worked so hard on and maybe even JUST beaten that nigh impossible optional boss on.
  • mewpudding101 - March 25, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    Yeah, my dad ripped up my video game case while trying to UNWRAP it for me when I wasn't looking, so he just slipped the cover in the booklet slot. When I confronted him about it and told him why it was such a big deal, he said "It's only a game!" Oooh, I got so pissed. If I had spraypainted his golf clubs, I'd say "It's only golf."
  • Zeb364 - March 24, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    Excellent Top 7. Every last one of these has happened to me at one time or another and I hate them all.
  • lovinmyps3 - March 24, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    Definitely agree with number 1. That pisses me off more than anything. I've heard that numerous times from my entire family and it drives me fucking bonkers! "SHUTTHEFUCKUPIKNOWITSAGAMETHATDOESN'TMAKEITLESSIMPORTANTTOME!!!"
  • cronomonkey - March 23, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    I can not possibly agree with the "backseat gamer" one any more (considering that i am one) i constantly say stuff like "watch the radar" or telling them the best tactical routes to take, one day the guy with the controller turned around and threw it at my crotch, then i shut up, then walked in front of the T.V (Had to buy another T.V)
  • pappernackles - March 23, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    number two is by far the worst. there is a book shelf in the vicinity of my game station, yet no one understands that said book shelf in no a an art gallery, pick your book and leave. no not stand in front of my tv for 15 minutes because you're to indecisive about your books.
  • Agent79 - March 23, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    Wow, I definitely have experienced ALL of these! Nice to know there are other gamers who have suffered like I have suffered.
  • AlpineGuy - March 23, 2011 4:32 a.m.

    Great list, fellas! This should make for a good episode of TalkRadar.
  • CandiedJester - March 23, 2011 1:52 a.m.

    I agree with all of these. P.S. I vividly remember playing that freaking TV station level on veteran. Over...and over...and over...and over... I gave up. It is the one reason I did not finish it on veteran. If someone would have come in and said "It's only a game." to me during that time...nothing could contain my rage.
  • Averagegamer18 - March 23, 2011 1:16 a.m.

    You didn't put annoying girlfriends or anything? I am shocked. I think the worse thing you can do is when I came home from school and work; and just want to pwn some people in black ops; your girlfriends comes running down; sees you playing and immediately starts talking about her day, did you miss me; etc, etc and your like honey i love you and all but look I had a long day and I just want to play some video games
  • purple_omlet - March 22, 2011 11:58 p.m.

    When I used to play my gameboy color around the house, I would like to hear the sound. I had that translucent purple mother fucker up to 11! I would sit in a room with no one in it, then someone would walk in and start watching tv in the same room. THOSE FUCKERS HAVE THE GALL TO TELL ME TO TURN MY FUCKING GAME DOWN. Eat my dick, the game has music because it was meant to be listened to.

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