An open letter to 90% of gamers playing Call of Duty online.
Dear Call of Duty fans playing online,
Enough is enough. You are starting to take Call of Duty a little too seriously, and I fear for your overall mental health. Your nonstop racism, homophobia, rage and flat-out cruelty have crossed the line, and it’s time for just about all of you to calm it down and learn to play nice. A little trash talk never killed anyone, but the behavior of the majority of players borders on insanity.
I have grown tired of jerks coming into the pre-game lobby and immediately saying, “Are there any [N words] in here? I hate [N words]!” Seriously? That’s how you want to communicate with the world at large? I have had quite enough of people shouting at team members, “Your kill/death ratio is low, so you must be a faggot!” If I hear one more player ramble on about how they’re talented at CoD as if it were something they could put on a job résumé under “special skills,” I’m going to lose my mind. Some of us have jobs and girlfriends and lives, and honing our gaming skills has to come after that. Besides, it doesn’t actually matter. Not in the slightest. Sure, there are pro gamers and the occasional tournament, but really—does being good at a video game truly play that large a part in your life?
It is only a game.
I apologize if I don’t play the way you’d like, if I don’t play it “right.” I am so terribly sorry if I don’t listen to you as you bark commands. I’m sorry if I “camp” too much or “run around” too much, but it seems that no matter what I do or how I play, I’m pissing someone off. Regardless, when I spent my hard-earned 60 bucks, I was afforded the right to play any damn way I wish, and if I plan to crouch in the corner spinning around and shooting bullets at the sky I will do so. There is no need to send me a rambling private message about how my mother should have aborted me. If you don’t want to play with me, then don’t. Feel free to block me or submit a review detailing why you never want to set foot into a game with me again. I promise I won’t mind.
We all started somewhere, and just because you were rabidly salivating all over your Xbox the very instant Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out doesn’t mean that I was. Maybe I came to the game later. Maybe I was too young and my mom wouldn’t buy it for me. Maybe I didn’t have the time in my life at that point. Maybe I just didn’t fucking care. Did you pick up the controller and intuitively know all the best hiding places in a given? Or which perks and guns best suited your play style? Did you go into the game for the first time as an invincible force who understood how every single gun and item worked—or did you, like everyone else, start slow and adapt to the learning curve? Yes. You did. So why would you hassle a low-level player who had switched on his console or PC with the hopes of a few hours of escapist-type fun? If it’s such a problem, why do you play team-based modes instead of Free-For-All?
The Internet has brought us incredible advancements, but with them an entire generation of cruel humans who tend to say things they would never, ever utter to anyone outside the safety of cyberspace. It's shameful. Your mom is already bummed that you're spending your time immersed with digital violence, and I'm sure she would be appalled to learn the type of things that spew out of your mouth.
Winning…losing—neither truly matters in the end. Just remember the Golden Rule and try to not be such a jerk. After all, this is a video game we’re talking about. I’m sure you’ve got bigger things to worry about, so why not treat it in the way its makers intended—as a means to relax and kill a couple hours, as a form of entertainment.
A Call of Duty mega-fan