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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 8:17PM Ergonomic Cat said

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On xbox live, there's a group called The Good Game Network for precisely this reason!

And all we can do is change ourselves, and set a good example. So congratulate the ass. Even he ignores it, a teammate might not!

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 9:13PM Space Cobra said

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@Ergonomic Cat

"And all we can do is change ourselves, and set a good example. So congratulate the ass. Even he ignores it, a teammate might not! "

You got it right at that. One needs to change oneself.

I tend to give "random buffs of kindness" and all the other stuff (like waiting/passing on a chest/NPC spawn if a player was there, even if I was headed there).

I don't do as much daily PvP and I tend to stay quiet while I do "my job" in groups and follow orders, but Bryan does bring an important point that I should consider, even for myself. I've rarely said, "Congrats" after such a PvP match or "Good Game", win or lose. I guess sometimes it seems so cheesy, especially when when the losing side says it after a particularly bad/lopsided game. I (and others) just sign off in silence. Sometimes it's not even that; sometimes it's checking stats and how well one does. People just log out of a match/team so fast.

I guess I am going to have to check and re-examine myself in such situations. I know I have the "out of match" stuff covered alright, but I never sat back and examined the match itself. It is time I planted more goodwill in those areas online, too.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 8:52PM Allenomura said

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A lot of the cause of this I think is the goal, the unending pursuit of carrot upon stick.
I usually find that there is little "play" to an mmo. If I want to be included in the party, I'm going to have to well fill a role, it's expected, or else we might not get the prize. This would be a catastrophe!

If somebody else were to get the prize instead, well that would be awful, because we might not be able to. Which, in some people's opinion would represent a situation that taking part was just a poor use of their time. Well-meant warm congratulations in that environment?
Good subject today, Karen.

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 9:13PM tavtav said

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Sadly, many gamers were not big on sports when they were younger and failed to learn the value of sportsmanship. Then they go on to become good at other things, and when they realize that they wield power over others in certain arenas, they run around with it like a youngling with their daddy's lightsaber.

Exhibit A: /spit in WoW.

Case closed.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 10:06AM Budukahn said

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@tavtav

Speaking as one of those gamers who was not big on sports as a kid, I can remember that those kids who were lacked as much in the social graces and "sportsmanship" behaviour as any tea bagging orc douche in World of Warcraft today. Were it not for the artificially imposed demands of the teacher/coach, they'd be spending their time jeering the loser and ridiculing their participation, rather than giving a begrudging handshake.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 12:59PM tavtav said

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@Budukahn

For sure, there will be jerks in any activity, and sports is no different, just look at any pro sport for examples of poor sportsmanship. The difference between having played competitive sports (not just the half-assed stuff they make you do in PhysEd) seriously as opposed to not though, is learning that mutual respect that comes in real competition.

Learning to win and lose gracefully and how to conduct yourself in a respectful manner was big with most of my coaches growing up, and has really stuck with me. I met awesome people even in cesspools like APB's community simply by whispering people with "Damn, that was an awesome game. You guys are tough!" and things like that.

The people I'm referring to simply never experienced tough competition face to face and were never taught how to treat people properly in that situation, much less in victory or defeat. Thus you end up with people who don't know how to behave.

When our coach caught someone showboating in the end zone, it was shame enough for him to pause the video in front of the team and simply say, "XXX player, pretend like you've been there before."

It's poignant in this case because quite simply put, a lot of these internet warriors have never been there before and have no idea how to act.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 9:26PM Pingles said

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A few minutes ago was playing the beta of Tribes:Ascend. I had the enemy flag and was heading back to my base at a pretty good clip and an enemy flew at me and melee'd me in the fraction of the second we were close enough for it. It was SO perfectly timed!

Honestly, it was like two guys driving by each other at 60 mph and one guy steals the others watch.

He got me. I died. He got his flag back.

I spammed VGCS ("Great shot!") in chat. Really amazing.

I love NOT being the guy blaming his own teammates for everything or calling every other weapon "cheap."

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 9:30PM ClassicCrime said

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its a pride issue. i've found it interesting though with the way people react when you actually are a good sport or a good winner. Ive made more friends than I can count by killing people over and over or being killed over and over and then just acting friendly afterwards

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 9:51PM Space Cobra said

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I know, it's been like three posts since I made my last comment here, but among the "reasons" people are giving for not congratulating people (pride, sportsmanship, etc.) I do want to add in another reason that does apply to me (at times).

Emotional investment or "getting into it".

No, not in the "immersion" thing or whatnot and it certainly doesn't linger after a match is over (well, it doesn't linger too long) but it's that one is into the mechanics and action and looking all four ways and button-pushing that once a time of rest comes out, you are "virtually panting" afterwards (not literally panting). Your head is buzzing and you have adrenaline pumping around in your veins.

Again, this is not bad, unless you do not stop and realize it. Many players, like Pingles, keep things in context and, I do too, but after the match and I certainly don't "lose it" during a match (but I am the guy that would rather use their driving skills to AVOID a crash with my vehicle iRL rather than uselessly honking and yelling at a driver that might not be paying attention in the first place).

Again, this is just more examples how different players explore/view things that may be totally different from someone else. Some sports fans get "into" their teams and enjoy it; as long as you realize that and do not take it too far, that's cool. Others can just distance themselves and still enjoy it, even though it may seem "cold" to others. And they can flip on different things depending on the subject (like, the same sport fan could critically watch and enjoy a movie while the critical/practical player could get "into" his movie watching on an emotional level).

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 10:02PM AnathemaOne said

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WAR is the only game I consistently found a good amount of sportsmanship exhibited by the playerbase. It's too bad it's so rare.

Nice article.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 10:50AM theinternetman said

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@AnathemaOne

From what I remember the forums were a huge uproar of taunting and bad sportsmanship and outrage at the extreme overpowered nature of Warrior Priests and Bright Wizards.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 1:27AM krek said

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Win or lose, I always GG at the end of a match, but I have been called a troll and been reported for "aiding the other team" in League of Legends when complimenting someone from the other team for an exceptionally good play.

Of course, LoL is among the worst communities I have run across, so...

I just keep on keepin' on and hope things get better.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 1:58AM FrostPaw said

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I dunno, I say gg often enough but "congratulations or well done you beat me" always sounds a little arrogant, like I was certain to beat you but somehow your tiny brain overcame my greatness.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 2:43AM (Unverified) said

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A couple very important things to note here on this subject.

First and foremost is the simple and indisputable fact that there are many, many asshats in the world. People who, for want of a better description, are simply oxygen thieves who could only make the world a better place if they spent their lives exhaling carbon dioxide directly onto trees to help ensure that they have an adequate supply of said gas.

Second is the equally simple and indisputable fact that there are many, many people who assume that they are good at whatever they are doing. They've been surrounded by accolades for doing nothing their entire lives. They get trophies and ribbons for being last; they get praises for singing out the battlecry of the loser, "I tried my best" when they fail. Instead of people taking them aside and explaining to them that yes, they are not as good as some other people who do the exact same activity, they are treated to childhoods and lifetimes full of excuses and indignation whenever they happen to lose or fail at something.

This has an effect later on. They become habitually incapable of understanding that somebody else achieved something not because of 'luck' or 'cheating' or anything else other than the fact that they are likely more skilled than they themselves are at an activity. When you feel that somebody has bested you not through hard work or skill or dedication, it becomes easy to denigrate their achievement. It becomes second nature to forego respecting them, since in your mind nothing they've done deserves respect. As a perfect example, see the multitudes that clamor in games for access to the exact same content as those who've worked and struggled to achieve the skill levels to get there legitimately.

When you see somebody complaining about how 'everybody should be able to get that gear!' or 'I shouldn't be left out because I can't play for more than an hour or two a week', think to yourself exactly what those people are suggesting.

The two reasons listed are, at least to my way of thinking, the prime two reasons why 'good sportsmanship' is so lacking in games and life in general.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 3:17AM Mike Azariah said

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Eve incursions are sometimes 'contested' where two fleets vie for the prize of dealing out the most damage in the specific site, the winners reaping all the rewards.

Common followup in local is to see a flurry of GF or gc (Good fight, or good contest) messages which I think are the games equivalent of the hockey handshakes at the end of a game.

m

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 4:36AM kgptzac said

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There's a few things that can be said, don't need to be said, and can be left not said.

First and foremost, the term "GG" has evolved to the point of being mostly sarcasm, and I can see why. Most of the times, team based pvp/contest are very one-sided and imbalanced. Rarely there are close victories that deserves to be called a "good game". When the termed being said after games that were obviously not "good"--especially by the winning team to the losing team--it sends a mixed message on whether to take the comment a compliment or trolling.

Of course different games/types of games have different convention, but a universal rule is: you don't need to say anything after winning or losing a round. Overuse of terms like "GG" and "grats" will only devalue them.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 6:20AM Vazzaroth said

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I have to say, whenever I see a GG sent in chat at the end of a game it just pisses me off. If I lose, it cannot sound like anything but complete contempt and sarcasm.
If I win, I most definitely do not want to be the one being contemptuous or come off as such. So as is the case for most situations I've found on the internet, silence is key.

I have, however, taken the time to tell a guy that won barely that he played well, or "that was a close one", but never will I boil down the social interaction to GG.
On that note and back on topic, I despise people that A) say "Ding" in chat, B) Expect you to type "Gratz" for stupid, expected progression such as leveling C) Tell me Gratz when I level and they notice. Yea I leveled. I've done it 30 times before, I'll do it 20+ more times. It's not really anything for you to get excited about.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 12:34PM Space Cobra said

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@Vazzaroth

"On that note and back on topic, I despise people that A) say "Ding" in chat, B) Expect you to type "Gratz" for stupid, expected progression such as leveling C) Tell me Gratz when I level and they notice. Yea I leveled. I've done it 30 times before, I'll do it 20+ more times. It's not really anything for you to get excited about."

I generally agree here; even when this "Ding!" concept was introduced (I remember it in early CoH launch days). And when you are saying "Ding!" at the lower levels? Come on! ;P

I've never said "Ding!" unless I get to a high level of mark, like Max level or 10 or 5 levels of Max, but I do notice this trend is dying (thankfully).

Having said all that (and agreeing with you), I think there is room to be gracious to an extent, even if you are gritting your teeth behind the monitor a bit. Some people (I am on the same team with) tend to congrat me when they notice I've leveled, so I do say, "Thank you" because I don't want to throw their good intent into their faces and I will assume they need the same in return if they happen to level while I am teamed with them.

There are some posts here that say that people get entitled throughout there lives and that is true...for *some* people, but not all. Really, it seems more the case (and this applies to me more) that there people receive very little acknowledgement/thanks iRL. Even in sports, people from fans to coaches to friends find it easier to criticize than to acknowledge your strong points or if they do, it seems it only gets a second of praise weighted against a 30-minute/hour tirade of your faults. Again, it is easier to criticize, even instinctualy, than to praise.

Maybe iRL, someone had a bad day and a simple, "Hey, thanks for the help!" or even a bit of gushing can make them feel better. Of course, it is hard to receive such treatment when you yourself need it, but I try to at least set things up where I can give some praise or a good-natured joke just to lighten moods.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 7:30AM KvanCetre said

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If I lose, I'm a noob.
If I win, I got lucky. Or cheated. Or a hundred other excuses.

Posted: Feb 10th 2012 10:02AM Inel said

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A sports team still gets paid at the end of the night, regardless of win or lose. It's easier to say "Way to go, that was fun." when you still get your reward. When you lose the reward, or you get a lesser reward for not winning, it's harder to remain gracious and sportsman like. If you didn't get paid at work because someone else did your work better then you, you wouldn't congratulate them, you'd feel like you just wasted the better part of a day(Not to mention that you'd fear losing your job). The same concept applies to your MMO time. To put in all the work to get whatever only to have someone else steal your thunder is disheartening, especially if they didn't break any of the games legal laws, just the ethical ones.

As for PVP matchups, whether it be open world, BG's or arena-style, it's hard to congratulate the person that just killed you. It's even harder when they stand there and pretend they are defecating on your corpse. Many games are taking this hostiity even further by allowing you to desecrate the enemy's corpse. This is unacceptable, yes you want to brag and show off that you won. But there's 2 people involved, you don't like it when someone else does such things to your corpse, why do such things to thiers? Too many new gamers recieve this sort of attention and assume that that's just how things work in their game of choice, and just roll with it. This doesn't solve the issue but rather promotes it, along with many games promoting the ability to do xxxx to your fallen oponent. Such acts would never be allowed on a real field of battle.

Respect goes both ways, if you show kindness and respect your sure to recieve it. Show disdain and contempt and that's what you get back. Too many people treat their online name as something worthless, something that can just be thrown away when it's too caustic. What would happen if you couldn't change your online name, had to keep the same name and everyone knew who you were? Would you still be the person bragging over every little kill, every piece of loot? Or would you treat your online identity like you would your real life identity, as something a bit more precious?

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