Got Manners? Gaming Etiquette and Why It Matters

I was practically raised with a joystick in my hands, so I’ve seen my share of stupid gaming tricks and crazy antics over the years. And with so much strife in the world these days, it’s important that gamers know how to play well with each other. Because even when you’re at war with the rest of the world in a multi-player, first-person shooter game, there’s right way and a wrong way to annihilate your opponent.

This seemed like as good a time as any to talk about how we can all help improve the gaming community as well as our own individual experience. So gather the little grommet gamers and read this one aloud.

As I’ve grown up and hopefully matured a little, I’ve come to realize that Pops always had my best interests at heart. Even when chewing me out, he did it because I needed to learn basic life lessons about how to behave and use manners (except for chick stuff like curtsying) for my own good.

Why Manners Matter

It’s important to have some standard rules in place when we’re gaming and/or streaming online. Otherwise it’s anarchy out there. Think about it. A game without rules isn’t much of a game — that’s just chaos, a random free-for-all.

So with all that in mind, here are five simple rules that will help create a more vibrant and positive gaming experience. Start using them yourself, and help other people learn by your example. (Remember to use a gentle hand when passing them on to others!)

Rule #5 –Mute the Microphone

We’re social animals, so it’s always more fun to game with others than it is alone. But people, people… let’s have some consideration for other players! Here’s an example: You may be starving, but that’s no excuse for chewing with your mouth open, right? (Right!)

Whenever you’re gaming and eating, remember: nobody wants to hear your crunching, munching, slurping and belching over the microphone! Maybe you’re doing a gaming marathon. Fine. Just don’t inflict the sound of your bodily functions (not to mention toilet flushing) on the rest of us! Learn to put the mic on mute when you eat, flush, rinse, wash or whatever else it is that you’re noisily multitasking while gaming. Nobody wants to play “Name That Food” while you munch your Doritos with Tapatio.

Same goes for you heavy mouth-breathers: please, please MUTE THE MIC! (Oops, sorry… didn’t mean to shout. We’ll talk about that later.) The sound of loud panting into a microphone is kinda creepy, to be honest. Let’s not scare the little ones out there!

Finally, the same general rule applies if you need to have an outside conversation. Whenever you speak to other family members, just put your mic on mute so the rest of us don’t have to hear it. If you’re a younger gamer who still lives with Mom and Dad, try to remember that when you’re online, you’re sharing with everyone else who’s watching and/or gaming with you.

Rule #4 — Don’t Be A Potty Mouth

Trust me, I know it can be tough to think before you blurt out a choice epithet. It feels good to let loose with a colorful *expletive deleted*, right? Because when you’re in the heat of the moment, taking enemy fire, it’s easy to let your excitement (or frustration) take over.

Yes, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been known to drop an F-Bomb (with a capital F) from time to time. It’s not something I’m proud of, but then, nobody’s perfect. What’s important to remember is that you need to use language that’s appropriate for the type of audience, depending on the type of game.

Some gamers only have one mode of speaking! Nevertheless, be mindful that some of your fellow gamers may be under the age of 18. Younger kids are like parrots who repeat whatever they hear. So have a heart for the parents and keep it clean!

Rule #3 — Be A Good Sport, Not a Spoilsport

We’ve talked previously about the importance of being a team player. This applies not only to gaming etiquette, but also to life in general. Would you want to be stuck on a team with Eeyore? “Woe is me!”

Of course not! People with bad attitudes are no fun. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a team disintegrate because of someone’s toxic negative attitude. It affects everyone. Don’t be a Debbie Downer, because nobody wants to be around that person.

Life’s too short, so be a good sport when gaming. It’s easier to do if you remember to keep an attitude of gratitude. And regardless of whether you win or lose, it’s important to thank everyone.

Have you ever played on a team that rallied from behind to win? I have, and it’s a pretty cool feeling! I believe a lot of that resilience is linked to the collective attitude of the team. If you go into a game (or any activity) with a proper positive outlook, chances are it will serve you better than a negative attitude.

Rule # 2 –Don’t Flame The Noobs

Remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? I’m pretty sure you weren’t popping wheelies or saying “Look ma, no hands!” on Day One.

It’s the same way with videogames. We all have to start from somewhere. Of course, there will always be those naturally talented among us who are just better at some things. But most people need a little help from someone with experience to learn the ropes.

If a noobie makes a mistake, it’s okay to point out where and how they could improve. But go easy on them. No need to flame a person for messing up. Also, there’s no need to virtually shout at someone in type by using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! (Sheesh!)

Sure, I’ve had some pretty epic screw-ups when gaming. (Heck, in life, too!) But once in a while we all need to take a step back and remind ourselves it’s only a game! ;)

Here’s one more suggestion if you’re playing a new game: try researching “walk-throughs” and or tips on gaming websites. You know how to Google, right? Just type in the name of the game and the word “tips” or “walkthrough” in the search window.

Rule # 1 — Have FUN!

Life’s short, so eat dessert first, and have fun! And if it ever stops being fun, maybe it’s time to do something else.

Don’t get me wrong; I like to win as much as Pops and the next guy. It’s okay to be a hardcore gamer and all. Just don’t take it too seriously — even if gaming becomes a career!

Rage-quitters, or people who flame others because they’re losing (See Rule #2) need to take a chill pill and relax! It is possible to be competitive and have fun without resorting to name-calling.

If you want to add to your fun, just add players — the more the merrier! When you’re streaming, get your audience involved; you can try crowd-sourcing suggestions to figure out what games they want to see you play. Better yet, let them determine the fate of the game!

I’ll be expanding on Gaming Etiquette in the future, but for now these are enough words to live by. What rules of etiquette or manners would you add? Sound off (without swearing!) in the comments section!


Originally published at www.gamingwithpops.com.

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