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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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