The Rage

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Photo ©2010 by Rooners Toy Photography [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

I’m playing a game of Counter Strike. I’m on the Counter Terrorist side. The clock is ticking and it’s currently five versus three in favor of us. It should be a landslide victory for us. Suddenly my screen goes red and the text “You have been killed” show up on my screen. I scream out loud and restrain myself from typing anything negative into the ingame chat. Isn’t this a game? Isn’t this supposed to be fun? Why am I so angry?

Video games are a unique medium because of the way the player interacts with it. You’re not simply reading about another character or watching a movie about another character. In a video game you ARE that character and you dictate how that character moves and the actions that character takes. As a result the game essentially becomes a contest. You’re character is the contestant and the monster or opposing players are your obstacles. Mediums like movies and books just cannot compare. In a movie the viewer may be viewing constant action and fighting but that’s not the viewers struggle it’s the onscreen character’s struggle. Viewers aren’t experience their own struggle but rather someone else’s.

When you’re playing a video game and you suddenly see that all the time you’ve invested into the game is wasted on a “Game Over” screen you would naturally get angry. This is even more prominent with competitive multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike or League of Legends. In these competitive games you are essentially giving away at least an hour of your day to play one game. In other games if you lose you can always restart,.sometimes from a checkpoint. But in competitive games once you’ve lost a game it’s gone; if you want to play another game you would have to invest another hour just to see if you lose or win again. .

I admit that I’m no stranger to video game rage. But this isn’t the way video games should be played. A lot of people say to “remember that it is just a game” and they are completely right. This is our hobby and we’re getting enraged over it. Some people get so angry they don’t even feel like playing anymore. You’re supposed to be enjoying it. You can have so much more fun if you just calm down, breath, and remember that it’s just a game.

-Brandon

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