Why do my friends keep killing me?!

The Motivation:Revenge

The Example:All of them

The Crime:

You stalk silently behind your prey, watching and mirroring his every move. And when he spins around and spots you, he's actually relieved. In fact, for a while, you join forces with your most hated nemesis, helping him take out a swath of other enemies. Afterwards, safe and surrounded by the scattered bodies of your shared victory, you congratulate each other and move to part ways. And, of course, that is when you shoot him square in the back. As he collapses amidst his own deadly handiwork, you smile, satisfied. One good team kill deserves another.

The Justification:

No explanation is really necessary. You've been wronged and you want payback. This motivation for killing a team member can be understood and condoned by even the saintliest, rule-abiding online gamer. Playground rules take over - they started it, you're gonna finish it.

While the desire for revenge is definitely the most relatable reason to betray an ally, it's also the most dangerous. Regardless of what their original motive was - innocent, sinister or something in between - your retaliation will only aggravate the original offender, setting off a deadly cycle of retribution, tarnished leaderboard scores and general Xbox Live unpleasantness.

For the sake of all of us who have to share that online space, keep your cool and try to remember the psychology behind the behavior. After all, it may not be that different from your own.

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!