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Headset etiquette for the refined gamer

There are very few headset etiquette guides out there. In fact, there are zero, so we decided to make our own after noticing that some of you use swears. While the occasional “dang!” or “doodles!” may be acceptable in the vernacular of common folk, we expect our readers to be ambassadors of our site. Whether in online arenas orglorified chat rooms, remember you’re representing Radar.


Above: We’d like most of you to look like this

We hold our readers to a higher standard becauseyou hold us to one. But in order to meet that standard of excellence, we need to be absolutely clear on what proper headset etiquette is. Of course, there’s more than just how you conduct yourself under an earpiece to having good etiquette online – your actions, written messages, and B.O. are all crucial – but we thought, just for starters, we’d create some rules for the Xbox 360’s headset.

Presented here in just three detailed steps is our complete guide to proper headset conduct.

Step One: select appropriate attire

%26bull; Wear your headphone on your head


Anyone can pick up a headset and put it on, but the most refined gamers always wear them on their heads.

%26bull; If someone asks what you%26rsquo;re wearing, make something up


Since a gentleman or gentlewoman always wants to stay on top of the latest fashion and look his best in public, it’s common for gamers to rely on each other for sartorial advice. If someone asks about your outfit after you play a particularly adroit round of Modern Warfare 2, remember that it’s easy to presume someone capable of a well-played round of Capture the Flag is equally capable of executing a coordinated outfit. And they probably are.

There’s a reason that home consoles have all but entirely replaced the public arcades of yesteryear, but we don’t talk about it in polite company. Instead of being frank and describing a t-shirt with Spaghetti-O-sauce trim and a semi-noticeable absence of pants, say you’re wearing a suit and tie, or jeans and a t-shirt. Or sweatpants… or a space suit. We just don’t want to hear you’re naked.

%26bull; No hats


Only cowboys and hip-hop icons wear hats indoors. Worse still is wearing a hat with a headset; a gentleman wears, at the most, one top-of-head accessory at a time.


Above: Cowboys ain’t got no manners

%26bull; The wireless version will probably not give you as much freedom as you think


Xbox.com claimsthe wireless controller offers “superior performance, freedom, and comfort.” Though often advertised as an upgrade to its ordinary cousin, the hands-free earpiece’s primary function is to make you look like a douche. Check out this fella:

The wired headset has about a five-foot cord (we didn’t measure it). The distance between your ears and your hands is how long it has to be.

%26bull; Don%26rsquo;t wear an earpiece when you aren%26rsquo;t using it


Even if you’re playing Gears of War 2 while doing grocery shopping – and if you are, good for you for figuring that out – you shouldn’t be wearing your headset. This can be confusing for other shoppers who might not notice the earpiece and think you’re way too into (and way too aggressively) grocery shopping.

%26bull; Under no circumstances should you think you look cool


The world already has a strap of plastic that you can wrap around your face to mask your paralyzing insecurities with a veil of symbolic ass-kicking and chewing of bubblegum: they’re called sunglasses.

Though the adjustable headband, rotating mic and form-fitting foam earpiece seem to say “fast-moving modern man looking good and being efficient” the words “Xbox 360” and immutable association with gaming consoles says “not clothing.”