Toby retrieves his dusty psychology textbooks from underneath the couch.
By Toby McCasker on September 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm
You can learn a lot about your fellow man and woman and transgender individual from playing shooty games online with them. There are not many situations I can think of that might be as duress-ful as a firefight. You’re gonna see true colours come flying outta people.
Some will fetal it and quote happier times from Mean Girls. Others will stand up in the middle of a hail o’ fatal and declare, “DO YOU WISH TO PARTAKE IN SOME OF THE THING THAT IS ME?” Although simulated and without real consequence, it’s also interesting to note that, anecdotally at least, pulse rates can go way up when multiplayer Tangoes are going down.
I once knew this chick who refused to play GoldenEye 007. She said, “I hate it when you die. Like, when the screen starts bleeding to black and you collapse like that.” It filled her with some kind of existential dread. She was thinking way too deep about this, but years later and with heaps more experience doing the FPS killing thing, I got to thinking about how different psyches react to the closest they’ll ever probably be to actual warfare. It’s particularly interesting in respect to gaming, because the only real consequence is to your K/D.
Sometimes I like to think that what I’m seeing is what people might really do if they could somehow liberate themselves from the searing possibility of a 9mm in their pancreas were this too-real life.
Case in point: I am always, always stunned by the guy who rushes past, cops a salvo of rounds in the ass, doesn’t quite die (almost), and disappears around a corner… only to immediately double-back and come at you guns blazing. 9/10 times this madperson will kill me so dead. At first I was just too surprised to react, which might be the point in some cases. It kept happening, and I kept dying when I should’ve been not.
I realised I was totally in awe of how insane a thing this would be to do in actuality: Someone behind you has just shot you a number of times and is presumably still on your tail waiting to finish you off. Turn around immediately and run at them wildly with your gun out.
At other times FPS multiplayer is a very clear window into the reason the world will never know true peace: people’s inexplicable and seemingly endless need for vengeance. I once got into this amazing scenario with some guy who I’d just capped from a nice rocky vantage point. I had this feeling, like, “This guy is so going to check me out on his killcam and come streaking back here looking for revenge, he seems insecure.” So I ran across from where I’d been and lay in wait. Bam: five seconds later, this guy came streaking up the hill, absolutely annihilating the spot where I’d previously been. So I capped him again. I poo’d some C4 where I’d been that time, and took up another posi across from that spot. Five. Seconds. Later. Boom. This went on about three more times until he sent me a message detailing my mother’s wants and desires.
In conclusion mental patients make great soldiers and we’re all doomed. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.