265: Curing the Noobonic Plague

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Curing the Noobonic Plague

Spend any time on the internet speaking to gamers, and you're going to be called a noob at some point. Bryan Lufkin examines the phenomenon of many gamers' unsympathetic attitude towards those with less experience, or anyone, really.

Read Full Article

Personally, I dont mind noobs, I often help them out when I can anf give them some constructive criticism while everyone else in the server often just yells at them to go away.

My justification is that we were all noobs at one point and need help to reach better levels of gaming

A gamer calling himself "hardcore" is the same as a footballer calling himself "pro", just because he has natural talent.

Not all gamers can be naturally good at games, and not all of them wan't to chainsaw people in half. Maybe for the the sake of their mental health. Some people might want to come home after a hard day, and play peggle to lighten their mood and relieve stress.

Besides, no matter what they say, "hardcore" gamers do play casual games, if only for nostalgia's sake.

Those commenters at the begining are arrogant bastards and insults gamers by thinking everyone has to be good at a game.I consider myself a hardcore gamer but while playing some classic games, I do sometimes find myself in need of help. Same with current games.I mainly play FPS games,so if I play a different genre, I sometimes need help and read those kind of coments anger me. Mostly because not everyone knows every inch of said game, and they act like if someone doesnt, they are instantly retarded.

Everyone on youtube is like that, not just the gamers :P

Aaaah, yes! The unspeakable rage of gamers towards their own kind.

On my experience, people who act like that are rarely over the teen years. God knows why they even bother on commenting. Probably to boost their own ego of jerk and pro-ness.
I don't believe there's a cure honestly... It's just something we have to live with.

It's good that it's OK to not know what the Konami Code is, because I don't have a clue. Or at least, I didn't until I looked it up on Wikipedia about ten seconds after finishing the article.

Eldarion:
Everyone on youtube is like that, not just the gamers :P

Yup. YouTube is, hands down, the stupidest place on the Internet.

There's a reason, I think, as to why most hardcore gamers seem to be fine peeps IRL while usually being the kinds of twats who insult casuals over the internet to make themselves feel better.

It's the internet itself. It's not just gamers, but anyone who uses the internet immediately goes through ego-inflation, hence no wonder why forums and chatrooms and such tend to be so attractive for people who are shy in real life. And in the case of hardcore gamers it's the same thing really. IRL their egoes are still held in check, because they see other people as people, rather than some faceless internet forum user, and hence exert at least some common courtesy.

But put them into a videogame forum or chatroom and watch them spout out whatever they will in order to make themselves feel better, feed their egoes and subscribe to the illusion that their words are actually having an impact on their object of adoration, whereas that far more likely could not be farther from the truth.

Madigan believes that the experimental group in Aronson and Mills' study is similar to "old school gamers who had to endure years of what used to be a much less socially acceptable or expensive hobby. They may overvalue their history and knowledge of gaming trivia while resenting new entrants to the scene who didn't have to go through what they did to get it."

This.

All the pissed off 25-30 year old 'hardcore' gamers are mad because when they started this hobby, they were NERDS and GEEKS and beaten up in gym class by the jocks because they played video games. Now the people who were beating them up want to play video games too, but never had to be labelled as nerds when they were young.

And there is a certain value, in their eyes, to all that torment. A badge of honor that is being sullied by these new entrants into their domain. They don't want to be mainstream, because the mainstream took their lunch money when they were kids.

There is no cure per se, save a healthy dose of banhammer for those who are offensive in their attacks on n00bs or accelerated teaching of the 'n00bs'.

I feel however this is contradiction of terms, in my book as in many others, a 'n00b' is omseone who activly goes against gaining skill, claiming luck as skill and is offensivly hostile to people when called out on this (much liek those who left the coments mention in the article).

A newb however is more in line with that discussed in the article, someone with little experiance, wishing to learn to njoy our past-time.

The problem with 'n00bs' however is proven by John Gabriel's Greater internet fuckwad theory.
image

Thus this wave of abuse thrown at the latest members of the gaming clique will continue until their abuser's mature, which is unlikely.

tehbeard:
There is no cure per se, save a healthy dose of banhammer for those who are offensive in their attacks on n00bs or accelerated teaching of the 'n00bs'.

I feel however this is contradiction of terms, in my book as in many others, a 'n00b' is omseone who activly goes against gaining skill, claiming luck as skill and is offensivly hostile to people when called out on this (much liek those who left the coments mention in the article).

A newb however is more in line with that discussed in the article, someone with little experiance, wishing to learn to njoy our past-time.

The problem with 'n00bs' however is proven by John Gabriel's Greater internet fuckwad theory.
image

Thus this wave of abuse thrown at the latest members of the gaming clique will continue until their abuser's mature, which is unlikely.

This is pretty much what I was going to say. There's an important destinction between 'noob' and 'newb' which should be kept in mind. Newbs should be helped, noobs should be scorned until they either leave or start behaving like an actual human being.

Extra points for posting the G.I.F.T. picture. That actually encapsulates a lot of negative behaviour on the net.

One think I would like to say;
I don't think the mouse-and-keyboard are 'true' FPS controls. There's no such thing; that said, I do find mouse-and-keyboard much easier to use than a controler for FPSes. I don't know, analogue sticks just throw me off when I need to aim a gun.

Also, about what was mentioned with Goldeneye on the N64; cry 'blasphemy!' if you must, but FPSes have gotten more forgiving since then, or are at least far better designed in general. I'm saying this because I never played it when it first came out; however I picked it up recently, and while I cleared the first few missions on 00-Agent difficulty, I cannot for the life of me beat Silo. It's just not happening.

Bryan Lufkin:
Bryan Lufkin examines the phenomenon of many gamers' unsympathetic attitude towards those with less experience, or anyone, really.

Anyone indeed. Hey I've been playing games since the intellivision wowed us with 16 different colors and I still get called a noob. You have to be new to a game at some point.
It bothers me about as much as it bothered me in grade school; that is to say, not at all.

It's become like any other net-griefer: they have an anonymous and safe place where they can blow off steam on a complete stranger, you have to expect some are going to use it that way. Like with the youtube comments which probably don't even get read by the "noobs" they're directed at.

Good article. When these internet fuckwads appear, I just ignore them. They want attention from me, and they arn't going to get it.

I remember a debate I saw on one forum (I think it was the WoW forums) about the use of the term Noob and how it was unfair to people who wre starting. It eventually got to the point where there are 2 types.

The Newb - This is someone who is new to the game or to a particular area of the game and so arn't very good. However, they show a willingness to learn and accept help and advice on how to improve.

The Noob - This is someone who refuses to except that they are bad at the game and think their tactics/skill tree etc are better then everyone elses but refuse to take any sort of advice.

Almost everyone agreed that they were fine with Newbs, but hated Noobs. The problem is the community easily turns a Newb into a Noob through bad advice (blind leading the blind), people being rude (such as in the example given in the article) or just a mis-understanding about the advice given leading the Newb and the helper to become adversarial. It doesn't help that the community are not willing to help people out prefering to mock them. I remember when Battlefield: Vietnam came out years ago, there was someone on a forum I used to vist who would run a private server to give people piloting lessons in game (helicopters were very important). If more gamers were like this (even if its giving people links to helpful sites) there would be a lot less Noobs.

Hmmmm, I seem to remember that initially a N00b was a haxxor term for a L053R. Nothing to do with the actual level of experience of the user - just the fact that he kept getting P0\/\/n3d in-game, mainly Quake and counter-strike as I recall.

These were games with very competitive play, so being able to quickly type out an insult was quite important to, erm, showing skill in game.

Now that everyone thinks they're l33t (and, trust me, they're not) they all go around calling each other n00bs. And really, they all are.

Anyway, that's why I:
a) Ignore posters that speak in haxxor (it's so 1980)
b) Avoid online multiplayer (I admit, now I r n00b)
c) Make random lists on the internet

About the only way you ever see intelligent and reasonable comments on a YouTube video is if it's a video that, and this is key here, almost no one has seen. If it's not directed at a niche audience and languishing in obscurity, then the hordes of semi-literate assholes have doubtless descended en mass upon it.

Essentially, YouTube combines all the stupidest people in existence into one hideous gestalt force of stupidity, able to disappoint at a level previously inconceivable for mere mortal agents of idiocy - basically it's like a retarded version of Voltron.

Singling out the asshat commentators from gaming videos, while certainly justified (since they are asshats) is consequently somewhat misleading.

Loonerinoes:
There's a reason, I think, as to why most hardcore gamers seem to be fine peeps IRL while usually being the kinds of twats who insult casuals over the internet to make themselves feel better.

Personally, I think this assessment is inaccurate. Since the GIFT has already been referenced, allow me to use it to explain my take on the theory:

tehbeard:

The problem with 'n00bs' however is proven by John Gabriel's Greater internet fuckwad theory.
image

Here's my take:
Total fuckward+lack of anonymity+audience+consequences=Someone who pretends to be a "normal person"

In other words, while the Penny Arcade guys prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and act as if it's just the anonymity and audience making them act not like themselves, I see it in reverse.

See, the common defence a lot of internet jackasses use when confronted about their behavior is "I just act that way online, I'm not like that in real life". Which from my perspective is utter bull. Someone who acts like an asshole online does so because they, in real life and everywhere else, are an asshole. The thing is, if they act like an asshole in real life, everyone would hate them, they'd have no friends, wouldn't be able to hold a job and would run a severe risk of being beaten up on a regular basis. So they curtail their natural behavior to conform to more socially expected norms and project a facade of being a "decent, normal person". But they're still an asshole.

This theory is based on the concept (and Trope) What You Are In The Dark, the idea that your true nature is revealed by how you act when you think no-one will know (or at least not know it's you). If you scroll down to the bottom, the Tropes page even lists people's behavior on the internet as a real-life example of the trope in effect.

So, going back to Loonerinoes' original quote which I cited, these "hardcore gamers" you mentioned are not "fine peeps" in real life. They're douchebags. They just act like "fine peeps" in real life to stop you from punching them in the balls- they prefer to bully people who can't fight back.

People blame it on the behavior of the new players, but I wonder if it is something else. I used to be a part of a forum (granted, a video game forum) when I was a young teen, and I remember that there was a "core" group of us, and people who were not part of that dozen or so people were called "newbies". Looking back on that over a decade later, I realize that we were probably feeling threatened by the people coming in and changing the dynamic of the closely built group that was already there. Sure, many acted like idiots, but I wonder if we all acted that way and were just more accepting of idiocy from the core group; it was true that many of the newer people accused us of singling them out. Furthermore, when they are regulated by the community to the position of "newbie" I wonder if they do not start acting to meet expectations...maybe a sort of defiance thing. This does seem to happen to other groups, through... look at 4chan's worry about "cancer", the way hackers treat the inexperienced hackers, the way the new person at the office is treated (especially interns, or the attitude of most countries towards immigrants.). Heck, the same sort of thing happened with my Americorp orientation group two years ago, when our numbers were tripled after two days. Nightfalke, I think, is correct, but I wonder if it is just a gamer / "nerd" identity thing. It seems that it happens whenever people are comfortable with a situation and fear a change in the dynamics. Maybe if the same number of people were searching for musical chords as Mario there would have been nasty comments there too.

tl;dr This seems mainly to have to do with fear of change within a group, as well as a need for us/them identity (See "The Inner Ring by C.S. Lewis) and less to do with gamers in of themselves.

The Internet in general needs a collective enema.

What? people being stupid in youtube comments?

I am, franky, amazed that this could happen.

Seriously, have you read youtube comments before? Anything with Germany in is Nazi, apparently.

And it depends on the game. Go walk around runescape, you'll wonder if everyone else has had their QWERTY keyboard replaced with one that only has keys for N, O and B.

Meanwhile, everything on TF2 (PC, no idea how the 360 version fares) seems rosy.

This is a phenomenon that has gone on long enough. How quickly "Hardcore" players forget that they too were a noob as some point.

While I wholeheartedly agree with the point of this article, I feel a bit hypocritical. I, too, am guilty of griefing noobs sometimes. Maybe I'm just easily irritable...
To me, the irritant is not the fact that they're new or just getting into it, nor is it ignorance or naivety. Sometimes it's the fact that they sometimes ask the same questions over and over again. It's the repetition that kills the experience and sets me off. And sometimes, it's the "go easy on me" or "let me win" mentality that they carry.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm generally a nice and understanding co-player. The average noob doesn't bother me as long as it seems like they're enjoying themselves and trying to learn. I'm extremely glad that Microsoft and Sony are trying to get into the "casual" side of gaming, because it allows more people access to what we all love - games. This article makes me feel guilty and I kind of want to improve my act all of a sudden.

"But it seems that some of the rudest, most arrogant feedback on the net can come from gamers"

And it strikes me that the majority of this feedback, as some of your quoted examples proved, is poorly written with bad grammar, no punctuation and very little or no capitalisation. Calling someone a retard when you can't even type properly just goes to prove that the so called "noob" is the least of everyone's problems!

I have had access to games since I was 8 and while my attention to them has waxed and waned over the years, I would still consider myself a "casual" gamer even though I'm spending more and more hours playing them (Ah the joys of unemployment), I refuse to go online because I know just how many intolerable dickheads there are out there.

I must also point out that this crap goes on everywhere to some degree. I am an aspiring graphic artist and am self-taught. I started drawing 8 years ago and I sucked BIG TIME. However I have developed into someone who's level of suckage has declined to the point I've made a few quid from it and a local comic shop has a few of my peices on display. I've had a lot of good commentary, constructive criticsm and downright brainless comments that would shame a YouTuber. This has made me tolerant of beginning artists and whilst the never-ending procession of badly-drawn-in-MS-Paint can grate somewhat, a few of the creators of these peices do develop and improve their style.

What am I on about here? Well I will tell you. There was an issue a while back where someone posted a picture that I am told was "crap" (I've not seen it myself but I've read the comments) but he admitted he'd just started drawing and whilst he said he hoped people would like it (not entirely unreasonable), he knew he needed to improve. Anyway he was met with a torrent of abuse from people who weren't even artists. They said they didn't want to see such rubbish and that he should give up and if this were not bad enough, at least the guy had the balls to TRY rather than just sit there waiting for other people to do it.

Anyway, along came a well-known and established artist in this particular genre and the first thought was "Great! He knows what the poor guy went through and he'll tear the haters a new arsehole!"

No.

He sided with the haters and told the guy he'd never be a good artist and that he should quit and at this point several others, myself included, exploded from an overdose of WhatTheFuck?!?

The parallel with this guy and "hardcore" gamers is obvious. When you become sucessful BUT forget that you used to be just as crap once turns you into a something that starts in "C" ends in "T" and has a "U" and a "N" in it too - and no it's not a "Coconut" either...

Wardy

This is a great article. I have been gaming since the days of the 2600 and these "Hardcore" douche bags piss me off to no end. When I play MMO's and see these idiots berate new players I usualy bitch them out and remind them that they were once "noobs" at this game as well. I mean hell I cna play a game over and over again and still find something new about it. Just because I didn't know some small detail does that still make me a noob?

Zirat:
Personally, I dont mind noobs, I often help them out when I can anf give them some constructive criticism while everyone else in the server often just yells at them to go away.

My justification is that we were all noobs at one point and need help to reach better levels of gaming

Exactly. Just what he said.
I don't mind the so called "noobs" unless they go around and annoy me with everything, but if they ask me for some help or something, I don't mind and may actually lend a helping hand.
We were all noobs once.

Bryan Lufkin:
Curing the Noobonic Plague

Spend any time on the internet speaking to gamers, and you're going to be called a noob at some point. Bryan Lufkin examines the phenomenon of many gamers' unsympathetic attitude towards those with less experience, or anyone, really.

Read Full Article

There is still a difference between newbs and noobs, you know. Noobs are those who do not take any advice from more experienced players, ignore everything someone tels them, sometimes even insults those who dare to comment on the way he/she plays, and spoils the gaming experience of other people. These are the kind of people who will instantly make a thread on a game's forum about a problem they're encountering, and bump it every 10 minutes, even when the solution could be in a previously created thread or in a stickied/FAQ thread.

Newbs are people who are new to the game but are eager to learn and listen to advice given by more experienced players, The more mature kind of person.

So yes, I really do hate noobs. They are annoying, ignorant little brats who think they can do whatever they want, but then come crying when they get scolded on.

Only thing I can say is: grow thicker skin.

Good read. I'm generally really patient with new comers (except my sister, she deserves it anyway) and will usually use a very gradual approach to teaching casual players. For instance, we had family friends visit last week and I had just bought the new fighting game BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. One of my friends, who has very limited fighting game experience, wanted to play. I started up practice mode and taught him the basics right off the bat: movement, attack buttons, block and jump. After I let him beat on me a little I started beating back and taught him more advanced aspects of the game (barrier, grabs, sprite reset, specials, etc.) to help him counter my attacks. Eventually he actually won a match or two. Although its nice to be able to pick up an unfamiliar genre by yourself I think its really important to have some one with experience to help you get started.

Eldarion:
Everyone on youtube is like that, not just the gamers :P

100% true.

I think this article is trying to pin point a needle in a... pile of needles. I think it all could be summed up by the so oft used phrase "welcome to the internet". Sure, you might be able to look up tutorials on playing guitar and not get flamed, but guitarist all tend to be untalented hipster fucks that just want to impress the chicks, so kind of a squishy audience anyways.

People act like assholes on the internet because they have shitty jobs, loud kids, a stupid little brother, got stuck behind old fat ladies who take up a whole isle in a grocery store, etc and we can't really do shit about it. You can point your fingers at gamers and say "they are the worst" but I don't think that's true by any means, gamers spend a good amount of time online so it's possibly more apparent.

More over, it probably seems more obvious being that you're actually involved in the gaming community. You ever see the shit film snobs say online? Or worse yet, 'otaku'. Maybe something more mainstream check out the comments on any page related to a major sport.

Nightfalke:
All the pissed off 25-30 year old 'hardcore' gamers are mad because when they started this hobby, they were NERDS and GEEKS and beaten up in gym class by the jocks because they played video games. Now the people who were beating them up want to play video games too, but never had to be labeled as nerds when they were young.

You know, never really sure where this stereotype came from, I was certainly never picked on for gaming. In fact the people who owned consoles and a shit ton of games were fairly popular, if for no other reason than people wanting to play their games. Besides there was never really a reason to pick on anyone that played video games when I was younger because, sure enough, there were always those weird kids that played magic the gathering or D&D.

Nightfalke:

Madigan believes that the experimental group in Aronson and Mills' study is similar to "old school gamers who had to endure years of what used to be a much less socially acceptable or expensive hobby. They may overvalue their history and knowledge of gaming trivia while resenting new entrants to the scene who didn't have to go through what they did to get it."

This.

All the pissed off 25-30 year old 'hardcore' gamers are mad because when they started this hobby, they were NERDS and GEEKS and beaten up in gym class by the jocks because they played video games. Now the people who were beating them up want to play video games too, but never had to be labelled as nerds when they were young.

And there is a certain value, in their eyes, to all that torment. A badge of honor that is being sullied by these new entrants into their domain. They don't want to be mainstream, because the mainstream took their lunch money when they were kids.

Not all of us. I was the first kid on the block to get an NES. It had the opposite effect than the one you describe.

Arcane Azmadi:

Loonerinoes:
There's a reason, I think, as to why most hardcore gamers seem to be fine peeps IRL while usually being the kinds of twats who insult casuals over the internet to make themselves feel better.

Personally, I think this assessment is inaccurate. Since the GIFT has already been referenced, allow me to use it to explain my take on the theory:

tehbeard:

The problem with 'n00bs' however is proven by John Gabriel's Greater internet fuckwad theory.
image

Here's my take:
Total fuckward+lack of anonymity+audience+consequences=Someone who pretends to be a "normal person"

In other words, while the Penny Arcade guys prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and act as if it's just the anonymity and audience making them act not like themselves, I see it in reverse.

See, the common defence a lot of internet jackasses use when confronted about their behavior is "I just act that way online, I'm not like that in real life". Which from my perspective is utter bull. Someone who acts like an asshole online does so because they, in real life and everywhere else, are an asshole. The thing is, if they act like an asshole in real life, everyone would hate them, they'd have no friends, wouldn't be able to hold a job and would run a severe risk of being beaten up on a regular basis. So they curtail their natural behavior to conform to more socially expected norms and project a facade of being a "decent, normal person". But they're still an asshole.

This theory is based on the concept (and Trope) What You Are In The Dark, the idea that your true nature is revealed by how you act when you think no-one will know (or at least not know it's you). If you scroll down to the bottom, the Tropes page even lists people's behavior on the internet as a real-life example of the trope in effect.

So, going back to Loonerinoes' original quote which I cited, these "hardcore gamers" you mentioned are not "fine peeps" in real life. They're douchebags. They just act like "fine peeps" in real life to stop you from punching them in the balls- they prefer to bully people who can't fight back.

This is true also to a degree. I concur with what you've said, but please take note that over here we've really stumbled into a bigger philosophical question.

And that is wether or not a person who doesn't act like a dick, purely because of the consequences that would happen to them as a result, is still a dick or not?

I think it boils down to how you view humanity in general. The easy way out is to say "People are shit." but really...I don't think that having selfish reasons, like consequences, stop you from doing bad things makes you necessarily a bad person. In the end the action (or lack thereof) is still what counts in my eyes, not some douchebag writing that someone writes on the internet to belittle someone else.

Or to put it in another way, I really don't give that much weight to words and place it moreso on actions. If these hardcore peeps actually followed through on their forum posts, by say...finding out the noob IRL and trying to intimidate him in person, then I'd genuinely start viewing them as dicks. Fact is most don't resort to that at all...and because they don't resort to that *action* I don't consider the arguments and bitching they throw about on the internet to make them out to be bad people. Just smacktalkers really, ones whose words I could not take personally even if my life depended on it because they don't know jack shit about what they're talking about.

But that's just me...and as I've said, this is pretty much an even bigger philosophical issue at this point I think.

Good article, I liked it.

As many users have already said; blame the internet, not the people. Most people subconsciously think that the internet is a place where every participant is a mindless super-intelligent AI when in reality it's a place used and built by the people.

I remember when I played L4D2 someone was getting smoked but I didn't see it happening and not paying attention to what they were saying I was helping up the closest survivor and then got kicked because the other guy died moments after I noticed what was going on.

These things happen sometimes on accident and people like myself still get called noob. We all can't remember how to play every now and then and need to refresh our minds for the next time that happens.

I've been through all the stages in ES (a HL2 mod) from noob to regular to experienced to pro and a well known name in the community for that game to Dev and these angry fucktards are present at every step it really is the inter nets anonymity.

You have glossed over something here though something we call the diferance between a newb and a noob some people who come on ask for help get it improve some come on do idiotic things yell at people who try and help them then rage quit cursing at the game.

The konami code is that up down up down left right left right a b select start right?

Anyways very cool to be honest I feel kinda bad when kill a noob in Modern Warfare 2 more than 8 times... And hell I use youtube for some games as well.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here