When I play Multiplayer on most games, I try to be a helpful and noble person. On GTA I like to try and help out people who are in trouble with the police or if they have picked up a ‘Simeon Vehicle’, I like to give them an escort to where they need to go so at least they have a fighting chance of earning a bit of money in the On-line mode. On Battlefield, I actually use each class for its intended purpose! As crazy as it sounds, I actually use the Medic class to go around and help people who are bleeding out! I also use the Engineer class to repair vehicles that are moments away from engulfing the driver in a fiery ball of death! Even in Left 4 Dead 1 or 2, a game based around team work, I find myself sprinting out of the sanctuary of the ‘Safe Room’ and helping a player who has been incapacitated because as you will more often then not hear in a war movie “WE NEVER LEAVE A MAN BEHIND!!!”. I can almost hear you all say “Aston, you are like the Robin Hood of video games!”, but I can tell you with disappointment that most of my efforts are not repaid in kind!
As many of you will know, an attempt to be a saint in most games is usually rewarded with a swift bullet to the virtual head! I myself have actually suffered racial abuse at the hands of some people on-line, when I’m sure in reality that these people would do anything for anyone, whether that be helping old ladies across the street or holding the door open for somebody (OK, I’m thinking quite small but you get the gist!). So what is it that makes these people treat others like this? Anonymity? Maybe they think there will be no ramifications? Trying to impress their peers? Regardless of it being ANY of those things, there is no excuse for some people treating others the way they do! Yes, Microsoft and Sony etc have made ways for you to report these individuals but more often than not these seem to go unused in favour of a slanging match in message or chat form over Xbox Live or the Playstation Network! Here’s a novel concept that some people might not be familiar with, maybe the other player is just better than you…..said no gamer ever. Imagine in a perfect world that, for example, two players have a spirited game of FIFA. The lead gets traded back and forth when in the 92nd one player snatches the winner. “Good Game!” (or ‘GG’ if you fancy yourself a hardcore gamer) is traded between the two and then they go their separate ways and on to the next footballing encounter. Now I know what you may be thinking, that I’m probably living on cloud cuckoo land, but I ask you this….Why cant it be like this? Instead of one player ‘Rage Quitting’ or hurling abuse at the other player, they can come together and appreciate that they are both technically gifted at their chosen game.
I had an experience once where I had won (It was pretty one sided, not to brag or anything!) one particular game of FIFA. I thought I would still be the bigger man and commend him on giving me an interesting game. “Hey Mate, thanks for the game!” I typed out and hit send expecting a like-wise reply, but no what I actually received was “F**k you, You N****r!”. I was absolutely gob-smacked! Surely my friendly message didn’t warrant a reply of the lowest order in my opinion. I did what any sane person would do and hit the report button straight away, but the only thing that annoys me about this that you are unsure whether or not the powers that be have actually done anything about it and not just disregarded your complaint and thrown it to one side. Other things that I have experienced online, granted not as bad as my previous example, are your teammates on Call of Duty or any of the endless parade of gray/brown shooters sacrificing you with the goal of getting a better kill streak and unlocking the various forms of death to unleash on unsuspecting, innocent and unskilled players such as myself (I’m not bitter at all!). Or to bring this whole thing full circle, GTA Online. I dont think its right that you go on expecting AT LEAST a pleasant playthrough, when in actual fact you are having to cower behind every chest high wall at the mere sight of another white dot approaching yours on the minimap! To quote Rodney King (The last person I expected to use a quote from in this piece!) “Why cant we all just get along?”
Its not all doom and gloom! There are actually some nice people and occasions that happen Online. I have had quite a few encounters with these people but two stick out in my recent memory. In GTA V (Its all I have been playing recently) I was barreling down one of the main roads in the center of Los Santos when I noticed another player in a flash supercar driving towards me from the opposite direction. I thought, in my unimpressive car, that it would be funny to crash into him (Again, not bitter at all!). However as I crashed into the front of his car, I was catapulted up into the air performing a front flip and landing safely on all four wheels! We were both so amazed that for the next minute or so we were sat stationary honking at each other, me with my ‘La Cucaracha’ horn and him with his big rig horn. This is where it gets interesting, just incase a front flip in a car isn’t interesting enough for you! He then proceeded to gift me with over ONE BILLION in game credits! Finally my dream of owning a ten car garage and a plush apartment can come true! Until Rockstar updates the game and takes the majority of my money away because it wasn’t gained legitimately (Cue the violins). Another occasion was when I was part of a Wedding. I was all dressed up with a bowtie, took off my facepaint and even sprayed my Adder white to drive the bride down to the beach to give her away. Alright it did end in murder and mayhem, but you can’t deny that it was one of the more unique and nicer moments in Online gaming.
Moments like this may only come along once in a blue moon, but when they do they always stick out in your memory and have you grinning to yourself like an idiot. If you have yet to have one of these moments, don’t give up! A lasting memory may be just around the corner…
Be sure to put your thoughts and opinions in the comments section!
ASTON LEWIS SHAW