Saturday 23 September 2017

Turning Online Gamers’ Tantrums into a Wall of Saltiness

Turning Online Gamers’ Tantrums into a Wall of Saltiness

By Casey Douglass

The end screen on Dead by Daylight when you wipe the floor with the survivor scum. That was said in character, obviously. I'm sure they are lovely people just having a hard time of things, and my axe was the cure. Ha ha ha.


The word flashes up in the after-game chat and I fist-pump the air.

I’ve been playing Behaviour Digital’s multi-player horror game Dead by Daylight, a game that sees four survivors and one killer trapped on a map, one side needing to escape, one side needing to bathe in the blood of the ones that don’t. It’s very good fun but my word, there are certainly some very toxic people playing it. To be fair, a lot of games have their share of tantrum throwing keyboard bashers, but there is something about the Killers vs. Survivors setup of DBD that throws fuel on those fires. Just check out the game's forum on Steam for a taster.

The problem, as with many games, comes down to people having different views on how you should play the game. I remember playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and seeing the vehement condemnation of anyone that sat in a corner or used cover for more than a second. ‘Camper!’ was a frequent insult thrown around, more than likely by people who felt you should play every first person shooter as if it was Quake or Unreal Tournament. Add into the mix people who seemingly have no idea what camping actually means, or with differing opinions on what camping is, and arguments fly with regularity.

Of course, this type of thing isn’t just limited to camping. In Battlefield 3 I was accused of being a Kill:Death ratio player, just because I was having a good game and had something like 21 kills, 5 deaths. It was whined at me by someone in a tank who couldn’t get it through his or her head that a big tank can be hit from many different angles, and just because you can’t see me doesn’t mean I can’t see you. I think I was called a coward for firing and ducking back into cover again too. I obviously didn’t fit into their view of how my character should be dying easily at their hands, rather than serving up a punishing arse kicking that they were squarely on the end of.

In Battlefield 4, I played as a sniper quite regularly. Oh the cries of ‘Camper!” as I made someone’s head spray red. I could have pointed out that I wasn’t camping as I barely stayed still the whole match. If I did stop, it was only until I got a kill and then I changed position, as snipers are vulnerable if people know where they are and can get up close and personal with them. Instead I took the high road and said something like ‘Booooo hooooo!’ That’s not to say I’m down on campers either, it’s a valid tactic in many video-games, particularly war-based ones. You can bet your backside that if I was being shot at in real life, I wouldn’t be running in circles tea-bagging in open ground, and nor would even the most zealous anti-camper.

By way of a slight trip down memory lane, we come back to Dead by Daylight, a game in which both killers and survivors tend to bitch and moan about how the other side plays. There are lovely people playing too of course, but for the purposes of this post, I’m focussing on the screen-lickers who give fiery verbal at the end of a game.

I play both sides of the divide, as the game lets you have a separate Killer and Survivor Rank, but my heart lies on the Killer side. As a killer, it really does seem that however you play, it isn’t the right way for some survivors. If you hook a survivor on one of the many hooks around the level (your main goal), you have to absolutely run away as fast as possible or you will be accused of camping the hook. Even if you see their three teammates skulking around behind it. You have to practice a kind of unthinking and unseeing that Orwell’s 1984 would be most impressed by. There are other whiny things that get dragged out by both sides, but the crux of the matter is, I was finally called a camper last night, having not even camped, and I always feel accepted by a game community once I’ve had my first cry-baby chat message. What took you soo long DBD?

I’ve decided I’m going to write down any insults that come my way from now on (not who said them, I mean, who cares?) and I will try to collect enough to make a nice image, maybe with one of the DBD characters in the middle, the sniveling words of dejection ghosted behind it. Something like that anyway. I will call it my Wall of Saltiness and it will be tremendous to look at and think of all the gaming experiences I’ve ‘ruined’ for a host of bad losers. I particularly look forward to the really bad ones like ‘get cancer’ and ‘die.’

I don’t mean to say that I will play in a way that will troll people or piss them off. I will just play how I usually do, in a balanced, sporting way, and see what barbs will be flung at me after the match is over. I’m quite looking forward to it, and as my killer ranks up, I’ve been reliably informed that the saltiness after games increases muchly. Tremendous!

If you play any online multi-player games, maybe you could create a Wall of Saltiness too, something to remember your past victories with. Good luck if you do. I will post my own when it is complete. I don’t know how long it will take, but it will be worth the wait I think.