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

1) Tell them it's 'just a game'

Right, everyone but the most deluded of folk know that the action taking place on screen is a digital fantasy – a place where you can be nigh on immortal (hello, respawns!), the best sportsperson ever or a commander of bloodthirsty armies. But here’s the thing, being told that it’s only a game by a third party is needlessly mean. Not to mention cruelly dismissive of someone’s hobby. <sniff>

Above: Why is one hobby worth more than another? Everyone needs recreation, cathartic or otherwise 

The worst time to hear this is when you’re at the height of your frustration with a game. For example, remember the TV station in Modern Warfare? On Veteran it’s harder than kevlar-coated diamonds – you need a release for your anger as you snuff it over and over again, right? So you have a swear. A big swear. A swear not only loud enough to wake a sleeping child but also make them sob at the sheer ferociousness of its delivery. There’s a split-second of silence before someone chirps up with the infamous line – ‘Jeez, it’s only a game’.

Above: Clearly Justin didn't write this entry. But he wrote this caption and reckons the pic needs anti-aliasing

It can be meant as a defusing measure, intended to bring the gamer’s stress levels down but it rarely does. The phrase is always received in a patronising manner, because let’s be honest, that’s how it’s intended 99.9% of the time. And not only has it *not* reduced the rage but the subtext of the gamer being a) not very good and b) getting worked up over a stupid little game means that there’s almost zero chance of regaining the concentration needed to carry on playing.

Have we missed someting that rubs you up the wrong way even more? Let us know in the comments

18 Mar, 2011

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  • Rorschach - December 30, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Right on. There is nothing I hate more than when some incompetent buffoon interrupts a tense multiplayer COD match. I CAN'T PAUSE IT! I'VE TOLD YOU THAT LIKE 40,000 TIMES! LISTEN ALREADY! THANKS FOR GETTING ME KILLED, (insert evil name here)! Also, if someone told me that it was "just a game" on The Library in Halo, my head would explode (Shadow Of Mordor style). When people tell me to turn the volume down (especially when I was in the room first) I cannot help but let out an audible string of profanity, followed by a "Stop swearing!" from my roommate..
  • 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!!!!
  • Rorschach - January 16, 2015 noon

    Unplugging a system while playing... If that happened to me, my controller would suddenly become a weapon of brutal and terrible destruction.
  • g1rldraco7 - January 16, 2015 3 p.m.

    Remind me not to get on your bad side.
  • 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!!!
  • Rorschach - January 16, 2015 12:02 p.m.

    I believe that that's classified as a felony.
  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 118 comments

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