As a 35 year old dad, slowly but surely losing most of his cool (which I think peaked in 1985 anyway), I’ve stayed clear of online gaming.
We all have our comfort zones, and mine isn’t being beaten relentless by a 10 year old whose stayed up for 72 hours straight perfecting a headshot takedown using only spoons and whimsy. I also favour more cerebral gaming, or at least those with a story. And where I can play as Batman and beat up thugs. Cerebrally.
In a cape.
Still, I do like a quick game of FIFA now and then. Mainly then as I haven’t played it in ages, and recently sat down to try my luck at online. Less predictable than computer controllers of course and, hey, I’m ok at it and I won’t get a killshot spoon to the head. It’ll be fun I thought. I’ve still got the gaming ability of a youngster I reckoned, even though my bones have the weary sigh of a pensioner (chasing a little un around whilst pretending to be a Chuggington train will do that to you), but the thumbs are there. GAME ON!
4-0 down in the first minute.
It has to be said it took me a fair while to build up any ability to kick the ball in the opponents general direction. But I found it very interesting to see how angry the game makes you and your opponents feel. Perhaps it’s the fact you can’t see each other, or usually have never met. The sheer frustration of being pummelled by insightful pass after wonderful pass followed by well played goals etc. These guys spend far too much time on it, but by god are they good. Still, that’s not what you think at the time. Oh no. Here’s how it goes:
Aha, kickoff. I’m playing as Aston Villa, they’re a lower league french team. Excellent.
Woah, they nearly scored there. Phew. Ok, make sure you don’t pass it to..
Ok, 1-0. Fine, not a problem…2?! Oh jesus.
That’s alright though, long as they don’t score any before half….
DIRTY BASTARDS! WHAT BUTTONS ARE THEY PRESSING THAT I DON’T HAVE!!! WHY ARE MY PLAYERS SO RUBBISH!! ARRGGGHH
And rinse and repeat for 3 or 4 games. That’s how it goes until you get a run of good games yourself, get a little better each time and learn to play the game not pressing random buttons. Although that did used to work for Streetfighter 2. So I saw how frustrating a 10min game could be, competitive, exciting, infuriating but never dull. But seeing how other people reacted is an eye opener.
Here we come to the ‘rage quit’. Now, I never knew it had a name until I went onto YouTube. You see, you can quit the game at any time, and people often do when they’re heavily down by the end of the 1st half. More often than not, 2 quick goals from yourself result in a ‘rage quit’ from your opponent and the message ‘connection lost’ popping up on screen. This then results in the system working out who would have won. Fine, you think, that’ll be me as I was 2-0 up. Erm. Not necessarily. Someone rage quitting in itself is annoying, but not usually an issue as you were up and winning, but the real kick is when the system awards a no-game or even a loss! A bugger when you desperately need those 3 points to stop relegation.
Here’s a great example of someone simply losing it – and possibly having a hernia too (at about 10 seconds in). Listen out for halfway through when some poor unfortunate object begins to get hit very loudly as his game, and patience falls apart (warning, slightly salty idiotic language):
Now, I’ve quit before. I don’t do it now, but have done and felt like a prat for doing it. I can understand it. But then when you get abusive voice messages or texts – as a lot of players do – then that’s something which Microsoft (as it is hosted via Xbox live) and EA Sports need to look at. Players will always get frustrated and upset, but abuse is abuse.
Maybe it’s time to go back to Arkham City to circle the streets of Gotham as the Dark Knight. Unless Robin rage quits on me again.