270: The 12-Year-Old English Kid Who Carried Us to Victory

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The 12-Year-Old English Kid Who Carried Us to Victory

Playing multiplayer shooters can be like wading through a morass of childish teabaggers. Chuck Wendig reminds us that, even though bad sportsmanship exists, a light can still shine through in the darkness.

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Good Story, very inspirational, but. IS everything in it true though? It sounds pretty far out that almost everyone on a team of Modern Warfare would follow a guy nomatter how inspiring he is. Chances are a great part probably has music in their ears or some others reason not to being able to listen on top of not wanting to in the first place?

If it is true though. Good on you, this is probably a once in a lifetime thing.

Nikolaz72:
Good Story, very inspirational, but. IS everything in it true though? It sounds pretty far out that almost everyone on a team of Modern Warfare would follow a guy nomatter how inspiring he is. Chances are a great part probably has music in their ears or some others reason not to being able to listen on top of not wanting to in the first place?

If it is true though. Good on you, this is probably a once in a lifetime thing.

Entirely true, and never seen *at this level* again.

And, to be clear, it didn't happen over the course of a single match. Played for hours, and only by the end did people really "fall in line" (or, at least, appear to).

Thing is, though, I have had other games where someone very clearly takes a leadership role, and when they do? The team generally gets at least partly on board. Most games like that exist in a vacuum: nobody is asserting control. Nobody has anything approaching a plan. When somebody steps into that void -- and this is probably true of life, too -- people tend to listen and at least make an effort.

Glad you liked the article!

-- Chuck

A cool article over at New Scientist today about the "natural selection of leaders."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727761.400-the-natural-selection-of-leaders.html

Related reading, I suppose you could say?

-- Chuck

I know these moments. And I love them.

Online gaming at its finest.

chuckwendig:
A cool article over at New Scientist today about the "natural selection of leaders."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727761.400-the-natural-selection-of-leaders.html

Related reading, I suppose you could say?

-- Chuck

Thank you for that. It is quite interresting (Have already read some of it earlier on but lost the website). Recommend it to others in the chat.

Also i tend to have a group of friends going with me into the fray of a multiplayer match. Needing to rally publics seems hopeless. Most matches i've been on i got teamkilled while taking my own god damn supplydrop. I switched to battlefield now but that just resulted in me getting teamkilled when going for the chopper.

I drove a tank in front of the chopper and saw a teammate pretty far away that was obviously not gonna get there in time take out his rocket launcher. I shot him in the tank and ran out almost reaching the chopper i got shot in the back with a pistol (Still not dead) and enterred the chopper, my friend got in it to so it was full and we started flying. The guy with the pistol manned the AA gun trying to take us down HE WAS A TEAMMATE BTW. Online matches can be a pain sometimes..

Oh yea and my forefathers probably never considered choosing a leader. There would always be a leader and if he wasnt good enough the next guy in line would axe him to become leader himself. If that didnt happend the son took over, if the son was a weakling who used all his time reading and learning how to write he'd be easier to axe and more people would be likely to want leadership.

That is a lot like taking initiative though isnt it?

Edit* -- Nik (Haha)

I had a moment like this once. Ragtag team being beaten so bad we were suffering from one of the most humiliating defeats I have taken part of online. Until a kid so young I'm sure he'd do well with my 8 and 10 year old brothers spoke up. Suddenly the team got its act together and we very nearly almost win game of Halo 3. The main difference being that in that game you can team up with each other afterwards. We did great every single game after that. Taking down entire clans in sniping matches, without ever even touching a sniper rifle.

Oh, and as much as you keep going for Lord of the Flies with this, I keep being reminded of Ender's Game for some reason. It must be the sharp mind being trained through a series of games thing.

-Remy

while i cant recall something like this, i do understand how playing a game with a plan can be something entirely different.
my only problem is that for this to work, people need headsets (which i lack), and have their music turned off (which i find impossible to do, due to the fact that i realy like my music).

great article nontheless

AboveUp:
I had a moment like this once. Ragtag team being beaten so bad we were suffering from one of the most humiliating defeats I have taken part of online. Until a kid so young I'm sure he'd do well with my 8 and 10 year old brothers spoke up. Suddenly the team got its act together and we very nearly almost win game of Halo 3. The main difference being that in that game you can team up with each other afterwards. We did great every single game after that. Taking down entire clans in sniping matches, without ever even touching a sniper rifle.

Oh, and as much as you keep going for Lord of the Flies with this, I keep being reminded of Ender's Game for some reason. It must be the sharp mind being trained through a series of games thing.

-Remy

Greg, Editor Extraordinaire, also called out the Ender's Game thing. I just liked the spin on Lord of the Flies -- LotF has that "Anarchy Versus Order" thing with a group of English schoolchildren.

Regardless of the reference material, it's nice when an online game doesn't devolve into a bunch of people running around like squirrels on fire.

-- Chuck

I remember a similar situation on Rainbow Six for the original Xbox; some stereotypical Hicks were running and gunning, whilst this Dutch guy got a group of us together, as we realised we'd have a better chance as a group rather than individually.

Worked a charm.

this is just a guess so don't take this to badly, but I'm guessing you never read great expatiations?

ot
I doubt this was true, all the servers are separated by continent I think.... at least that would explain that the few times I do go on all I get are French and German players

In Team Fortress we have a simple way of selecting our leaders.
Any medic with a mic is a leader.

It's that simple, medic's have little direct ability so they need to be able to order people around.
Being able to come to terms with the idea that you're not the one shooting people is pretty much the maturity test.

Of course leadership in Team Fortress is a rather simple affair, everyone already knows the goal, but the teamwork enters into it in the form of trying to synchronise the efforts of the team.

Great article, if there were more people like that playing online I might actually play online again. It is amazing how teamwork can be so powerful

chuckwendig:

AboveUp:
I had a moment like this once. Ragtag team being beaten so bad we were suffering from one of the most humiliating defeats I have taken part of online. Until a kid so young I'm sure he'd do well with my 8 and 10 year old brothers spoke up. Suddenly the team got its act together and we very nearly almost win game of Halo 3. The main difference being that in that game you can team up with each other afterwards. We did great every single game after that. Taking down entire clans in sniping matches, without ever even touching a sniper rifle.

Oh, and as much as you keep going for Lord of the Flies with this, I keep being reminded of Ender's Game for some reason. It must be the sharp mind being trained through a series of games thing.

-Remy

Greg, Editor Extraordinaire, also called out the Ender's Game thing. I just liked the spin on Lord of the Flies -- LotF has that "Anarchy Versus Order" thing with a group of English schoolchildren.

Regardless of the reference material, it's nice when an online game doesn't devolve into a bunch of people running around like squirrels on fire.

-- Chuck

If I'm honest, I thought the Lord Of The Flies was a little stretched.

Oh and in my experience younger games tend to be very skilled lone-wolves and English, German and Dutch gamers between 24 and 30 tend to do the best teamwork.

Also ex-soldiers (I used to play BF2 which was falling down with ex-soldiers) are naturally inclined to find someone they respect and follow them.

I have never been so Proud to be English. Though in my experience I've had great American Leaders on MAG to play with.
Whilst recently I've become a squad leader on MAG myself I generally learnt all my skills from my American Counterparts.

Not that your nationality should play any role in how good you are as a leader, but I felt like the Yanks could do with a little English admiration after your article.

Pip, I salute you.

Ankhwatcher:

Oh and in my experience younger games tend to be very skilled lone-wolves and English, German and Dutch gamers between 24 and 30 tend to do the best teamwork.

I fall in that category, my PSN friends consists of a 24 year old Polish dude, an East End Londoner and a Spanish bloke thats 30, we tend to have the best KD ratios over KZ2 even though we can't understand each other we know which classes to switch to to help each other out.

Ankhwatcher:

Also ex-soldiers (I used to play BF2 which was falling down with ex-soldiers) are naturally inclined to find someone they respect and follow them.

The greatest player I saw on Soldier of Fortune turned out to be an actual Sniper Guy in the British Army.

hudsonzero:
this is just a guess so don't take this to badly, but I'm guessing you never read great expatiations?

ot
I doubt this was true, all the servers are separated by continent I think.... at least that would explain that the few times I do go on all I get are French and German players

I've not read Great Expectations, but I am familiar with "Pip" as a character in that -- but I wasn't sure if the South Park "Pip" was a reference to that, or that it was just a reference to the English slang, "pip" (or "pip-pip").

Also, I figured Lord of the Flies was enough of a literary reference for now. :)

As for international servers? I dunno. I get on with a lot of Germans, French players, and so forth -- possible that the servers being sequestered is a more recent phenomenon, since this was back during the first Modern Warfare that the subject matter took place.

-- Chuck

This happens more often than you'd think, though not necessarily thanks to a Brit.

It happens often enough in my online crack dispenser of choice, World of Warcraft, that macros exist which are used by the particularly snarky when someone's DPS or heals aren't quite enough to be considered "good" but they're in the group and made it to the final boss anyway.

"Congratulations! You were carried!"

Imagine it in Pip's squeaky posh voice and that's probably what happened. But Pip seems way too cool to say something like that.

Great story.

Tell us another.

A story I, and I guess many others, can relate to. Not so much on the fact that it was a prepubescent child but the fact that there are those people online who take control and can turn a shambolic bunch of asshats into an organised fighting machine. I have a number of those people on my Xbox Friends List and am always on the lookout for when they're online as not only do I like winning but they also make the game more fun.

Shame that for every person like that there are a few hundred idiots. Way of the world I guess.

An excellent read, thank you. However, if you truly wish to toast the health of "Pip", please bear in mind that Old Speckled Hen should be served cellar cool, not frosty.

Nikolaz72:
Good Story, very inspirational, but. IS everything in it true though? It sounds pretty far out that almost everyone on a team of Modern Warfare would follow a guy nomatter how inspiring he is. Chances are a great part probably has music in their ears or some others reason not to being able to listen on top of not wanting to in the first place?

If it is true though. Good on you, this is probably a once in a lifetime thing.

according to the article only 3 team members got on board, the rest continued thier mucking about.

That said I think theres somethign we often forget about when singing of the trash online. Look how many of us complain about it/ detest it. Surely there are some hippocrates there but usually I gotta say there's maybe 1 guy in the game calling me "faggot" and such. The rest are mostly quiet or, perhaps just shout the occasional idea, or obscenity at frustration from death. I'm not really appauled by somone saying "aw fuck" when they die. But going on a 5 minute rant about what a faggot the sniper is, is a different issue.

Yeah there are some really low folks online, but are they even really the majority?

chuckwendig:

hudsonzero:
this is just a guess so don't take this to badly, but I'm guessing you never read great expatiations?

ot
I doubt this was true, all the servers are separated by continent I think.... at least that would explain that the few times I do go on all I get are French and German players

I've not read Great Expectations, but I am familiar with "Pip" as a character in that -- but I wasn't sure if the South Park "Pip" was a reference to that, or that it was just a reference to the English slang, "pip" (or "pip-pip").

Well this episode seems to put that issue to rest. I think the ending change was also a parody on how Dickens changed his as well.

Ot: Yeah, it's always amazing when a leader emerges.

Ankhwatcher:
In Team Fortress we have a simple way of selecting our leaders.
Any medic with a mic is a leader.

Pretty much; I think my biggest love about that game is how easily any role can be filled by those who are so inclined. People rally behind a medic, and they want to protect him. They'll do as he say because he's keeping everyone alive.

My best online FPS experience was similar to this. One late night on MW2 a 12-year-old British kid got into a lobby with 11/12 mics. Favela came up as the map, and the kid suggested we have an entire battle of riot shields. I'm not sure how or why, but everyone went along with it. We all ran around smacking each other in the back, and it was one of the most fun matches I've ever had. We followed it up in Terminal with an all knife fight and then just shotguns in Underpass. Anyone could have ruined the fun by not participating, but somehow the group held it together for those three matches. After that people started leaving because it was late at night, and the dynamic fell apart. I've never seen anything like that again.

Hate to say it but, "Cool story, bro"

I'm not sure that being able to lead a team in a fps means that you leadership skills beyond leading a team in fps. People playing an fps are least engaged in playing, they have chosen to play purely on voluntary bases and that half the battle. In the real world getting people to engage is the hard bit. Trying to take a group of individuals some of whom don't what be there at all, others who just want to use you as means of victory in private personality clash and some people who will just tell want want hear as means of advancement is the hard job of being a leader. None of those skills you develop in a fps.

Just going to niggle this, the quote at the top is wrong; "Kill the pig" is only said once whenever the chant comes up. I studied this book over the course of two years, so I'm allowed to be mildly annoyed.

LOL
Fun to read.
It was a simple story, but the way it was so glorified and dramatised made it all the more fun.

Old Speckled Hen?

Can I claim to be the 12 year old in order to get one of the finest mass-produced ales in existence?

Even the people who aren't on a mic or even helping to tow the line can hear the intel on where and what the team is doing and where the other team is.

So always speak up.

*wipes away a single, manly tear*

That was beautiful, man. Simply beautiful.

Evil the White:
Just going to niggle this, the quote at the top is wrong; "Kill the pig" is only said once whenever the chant comes up. I studied this book over the course of two years, so I'm allowed to be mildly annoyed.

Don't have the actual book in front of me at present, but:

http://books.google.com/books?id=hau4eUh2Z7wC&pg=PA68&dq=%22kill+the+pig%22&hl=en&ei=s1CGTLCVHMLflgetnpCNDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22kill%20the%20pig%22&f=false

-- Chuck

Oh, and thanks, all. :)

Glad you liked it.

I now have great thirst for Old Speckled Hen. Sure, it's not even noon. Sure, that probably makes me an alcoholic. Sure, I'm not wearing pants. Shut up.

-- Chuck

i wish i could rally people around me
must have been a good group of people. if you try to lead on MW or MW2 most of the time, you sound pretentious and whiny:
"I have a plan. Everyone follow me"
they could be the best leader ever, but if theyre not, youve just sworn yourself to someone bad. which is embarressing and painful

ahhh, i did lord of the flies for GCSE. if anything, this sounds like a reversal. from the shattering of the conch (everone losing), it reforms (Pip turning up) and order reigns (win). or possibly, Pip is the captain at the end, the man that everyone obeys, not because hes powerful (the savages could have easily killed him, even as young as they were), but because he represents order, which is what the boys craved

sorry, rambled a bit there, wont make sense to anyone who hasnt read the book

The Cheezy One:
i wish i could rally people around me
must have been a good group of people. if you try to lead on MW or MW2 most of the time, you sound pretentious and whiny:
"I have a plan. Everyone follow me"
they could be the best leader ever, but if theyre not, youve just sworn yourself to someone bad. which is embarressing and painful

ahhh, i did lord of the flies for GCSE. if anything, this sounds like a reversal. from the shattering of the conch (everone losing), it reforms (Pip turning up) and order reigns (win). or possibly, Pip is the captain at the end, the man that everyone obeys, not because hes powerful (the savages could have easily killed him, even as young as they were), but because he represents order, which is what the boys craved

sorry, rambled a bit there, wont make sense to anyone who hasnt read the book

That's exactly it, yes. It begins with me thinking that the multiplayer experience is like Lord of the Flies: brutality and boulders. But the reality is far less cynical, showing a world where Piggy is not only *not* crushed by his peers, but actually manages to be a leader instead of merely a whiny sidekick.

-- Chuck

that was great! ive had similar things happen to me in team fortress 2
but i think many people have...

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