The Rage Quit: Not Just For Kids

This is going to be a crazy short post, because I just have one quick thing to say.

Behold! The Rage Quit:

"Childish" doesn't quite cover it.

“Childish” doesn’t quite cover it.

A StarCraft-loving colleague of mine sent me this when I got into the office today, and we shared a giggle over how utterly hilarious it is when players rage-quit in the middle of a session. We’ve all been there: some twelve-year old from England starts calling you a wanker and says terrible things about your mum, and then you get the sidebar notification that “EatDeezNutz” has left the game. These days though, it’s grown men and sometimes women that toss out the worst insults and then leave a game, forfeiting the XP they could have gained and basically wasting a space in a match that could have gone to someone who actually saw it through. Even more embarrassing are the adults who quit in the middle of a team match, leaving their teammates at a disadvantage for the remainder of the session.

I was with a friend once, hanging out, and we visited his brother’s place to pick something up. The brother was playing Halo multiplayer with his thirteen-year old son, and their other two teammates were clearly beginners. When I end up on a team with players who aren’t the greatest, I don’t think about ditching them but instead, why not try to help ’em out and step your game up? This dude decided no, he’s gonna rage-quit, basically mouthing off into his headset that they were all “a bunch of fags and should stick to Pokemon games.” So, he and his son left the game. What message does that send to your kid though? Let’s see:

1. All that matters is that YOU play well. Teamwork is not a thing.

2. Name-calling is a perfect way to express your displeasure with your teammates.

3. You don’t have to finish anything you start if you’re not getting ahead from the very beginning.

Look, I know it’s frustrating to be on a team where players act like they’ve never touched a controller before. But much like professional athletes joining a new team or starting a new job, there is a period of time where you’re all out of sync and you can’t quite play with one another. I had a team slayer match once where the same four players kept getting thrown together, and in the first two games, it was frustrating. No communication, bickering over the sniper rifle, etc. However, we slipped into this groove by the third session and then it was on like Donkey Kong. We still had weak players, but working together, we beat some pretty serious competition for a few sessions beyond that. Teamwork. It’s a thing.

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a strong proponent of the power of gaming in teaching concepts such as teamwork, sticking to what you’ve started, and respecting others. People tend to laugh at that and say I take gaming too seriously. But if we’re to sell the concept of e-sports as an actual sport, then it’s time to start incorporating the ideals that make physical sports such as basketball, baseball, football, rugby, American football etc so attractive to both sponsors and fans alike. What better example do you have for the promotion of teamwork than four players who have never met having to work together to achieve a common goal (a win), much like basketball? LeBron James can’t just walk off the court if he feels as though his team isn’t playing right.

So stop the damn rage-quitting. Especially if you’re playing with your kids. You’re not preparing them for the shock of real life, where you can’t rage-quit just because you think you’re entitled to better colleagues.

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