Tara Babcock’s Ten Commandments of Gaming

by Tara Babcock

The overall gaming community is an international and diverse people. We come together from all over the globe to compete over the internet and game networks in a wide variety of game genres, from shooters and platformers to real-time strategy games and fighters. With all of the interactions and communication we have, I feel it is necessary to lay out some “ground rules”, if you will, to keep the peace and preserve the friendly-yet competitive nature of gaming. With all of the different types of people and games out there kept in mind, here are my Ten Commandments of Gaming, and why I think they should be observed!

1. Thou Shalt Wish Thy Neighbor “GLHF”

This is a great commandment to start out with, since it deals with the beginning of a game. Saying “good luck, have fun” may just be a simple pleasantry, but it says leaps and bounds about your humility in a competitive situation, and it shows respect for your opponent. Keeping things positive and friendly, especially in a team game situation such as League of Legends, will rub off on the others playing and will not only add to their drive to try their best and succeed, but will add to the intensity of the opposing team as well. Everyone wants to beat the guy who’s in a good mood on the internet! Preserve your mental health and promote a stress-free online gameplay environment. You can even use my trick, and macro “GLHF <3” onto your mechanical gaming keyboard!

2. Thou Shalt Not Cheat

I was recently playing Super Mario Bros. 3 emulated on stream and I was stuck on one level for 53 tries. All of my viewers were pressuring me to use cheats, or use the P-Wing power up for instant success. This was not my style. I persevered and after a few more shots, I was successful. Everyone who has played games has hit rough patches that they feel they will never overcome. Everyone has been tempted to use cheats, or to sail to instant victory using a map hack or two as well. Not only does this take the euphoric feeling away from achieving the impossible on your own, it is also fundamentally wrong on many levels. Hacking in StarCraft: Broodwar became so bad, that the whole official ladder essentially lost playability and became obsolete. One may gain some demented short-lived pleasure from always being the victor, but a real gamer knows the sting of defeat, the love developed while mastering, and the rush of a deserved victory. This totally doesn’t apply to fun hacks, like getting Lara Croft nude!

3. Thou Shalt Not Steal Kills

Have you ever been in a game of Black Ops with a guy clearly in your crosshairs, and some jerk ninjas in and steals your shot? How about playing ADC (Attack Damage Carry) for your team in LoL, just one kill short of a Penta, and Darius comes in and ults? Of course you have, we all have. Nothing is more frustrating and counterproductive than an egotistical jerk who will not participate in team play. We should all make sacrifices to our own scores to play our best game as a team. If you cannot handle seeing others get that MVP title once in a while, don’t play a shooter or a team game. In fact, stick to Solitaire and other offline single-player games, where no one will be griefed by your poor sportsmanship. There is, of course, that rare moment where it is uncertain whether it was a stolen kill, or a life-saving kill. Those incidents should be treated with grace from both sides. Be civilized, people!

4. Thou Shalt Not Troll Noobs, For You Were One Once

There is nothing more frustrating for a beginning player than being harassed for being new. There, I said it. What can you do about this? Simply knock it off! Having been a gamer my whole life, I know what it is like to be new to a game or a genre, and bring a team down because of it. At the same time, I know how frustrating it is to lose a game based solely on others’ poor performances. If you are playing a team game, you have to be prepared for the failure of others, not just yourselves. Some games still place noobs with high-ranking veterans, but most games segregate the new or low ranking players from the ones who know that they are doing. After all, we gamers are always bitching about how we belong to a niche community, and how we would love for gaming to be bigger and more accepted. How about using a little sense and not isolating ourselves by pushing certain people away with this behavior. Let’s nurture new players with kindness, and give them less reason to shy away from gaming. Help make eSports a respected sport, and gaming a mainstream way of life!

5. Thou Shalt Not Brag or Boast

Yes, douche, we all saw you score. No need to do a victory dance and get annoying about it! No matter your game, there is nothing more annoying than someone acting entitled or rubbing it in because they did something well. Be humble in victory and in defeat, that is the creed of a true gamer. Make others envious of your resolve and your victory by taking it in stride, instead of making everyone hate you for being boastful. It’s great to fully embrace the feel of success, but there is a clear line between being proud of your goal or your kill, and becoming someone no one wants to play with because of it.

6. Thou Shalt Not Place Blame

It is not lag’s fault you died. It is not the controller’s fault you fell. It is not your teammate’s fault you lost the match. Okay, maybe it is, but what is the point of placing blame and rubbing in a loss? It’s not going to make you or your team any better at the game by publicly isolating people or placing blame. A gamer’s objective should be to always improve every aspect of their play. From strategy to execution, team communication to unit and character control–these are things that should be focused on. Focusing on who, or what, it is that should be blamed for failure will only set you up for more failure.

7. Thou Shalt Not Camp

Snipers, level-90 World of Warcraft players in a low-level zone, this is for you. There is no rational or commendable reason to grief players in a less fortunate position than you by repeatedly killing them by exploiting your unfair advantage. Just… stop doing it. It makes the game less fun for others and makes you a troll. No one likes the camper trolls.

8. Thou Shalt Not Question Developers

This is one that I personally wanted to add, that might differ the most from other similar lists out there. Being a person who is really into eSports I hear a ton of bitching and moaning about the developers’ decisions when it comes to balance. Many players feel that their races or characters are unfairly imbalanced, then a patch comes out, and a different group of people jump on the moaning train. Balance is a huge, multi-faceted and complex issue, and it is not something one person, even a professional gamer, can speculate about accurately. Changing the tiniest of details can result in a large butterfly effect that encompasses other parts of the game, including the meta, other balance aspects and more, even with proper testing and theory crafting. Most companies involved in online multiplayer gameplay and eSports have a whole balance team dedicated to doing their best, and they take into account pro players and casual players alike. It is not an easy task, give them some slack, support, and the benefit of the doubt!

9. Thou Shalt Have Sufficient Requirements

Another unique addition to live by as a gamer, ensuring you have a sufficient machine and internet connection to play the games you are playing. There is nothing more annoying than the guy making your game lag because he is in Bumfuck, Egypt where the download speeds are measured in kilobits, or the guy running in place in WoW or SOCOM 4 because he’s disconnected. Ensure your system meets the requirements and your internet speed is up to snuff because no one wants to wait around for your Third World internet or 90’s rig!

10. Thou Shalt GGWP

A fitting finale to the 10 Gaming Commandments, completing a game with “GGWP” no matter the outcome is a great way to show your sportsmanship, and worth as a gamer. Whether you crush your opponents or you yourself get stomped should not make the difference in your mood or your attitude. It’s terrible when your opponent enters a game, cheerily GLHFs, then becomes a bad manner bear by the end, leaving without a pleasant “good game, well played, Sir!”

To wrap up my first article at the Man Cave here, I would like to thank my new readers, my ever-awesome Twitter followers for fueling my creative fire and reminding me of a couple of the commandment concepts, and the Man Cave for accepting me with open arms to the team as a new writer! I have always been enamored with video games, hot girls, and other “guy topics,” and I hope to bring you interesting, funny, and sexually charged articles and interviews that you look forward to monthly! Enjoy!

Tara Babcock is nifty.

More from Tara Babcock

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