With the heavy emphasis on first person shooters in today’s video game market, it’s safe to say that people from all over the world and from all walks of life derive enjoyment from getting online and enacting grievous group fratricide on their fellow man. Strangely enough, despite the differences in starting conditions, the very act of signing onto PSN or XBox Live bends the very fabric of reality and distills 90% of the gaming population into 7 particular archetypes. Without further ado, the 7 most popular types of online FPS player…
A title nicked without shame or expectation of creativity from the series that inspired most of this list, the Fucking New Guy is just beginning his immersion into the quagmire of online first person shooters, having grown weary of spending his discretionary income on scratch tickets emblazoned with his local sport team’s logo or his wife’s crippling Partybingo.com addiction. He may have some cursory experience with video games in general, and may possibly have even attempted the campaign mode of his particular game (inevitably “just to warm up”), but none of this changes the fact that he is woefully underprepared for the masses of twitchy-fingered smack addicts waiting for him.
He conjures memories of the apartment shootout scene in Pulp Fiction – jumping from cover and wildly spraying a whole clip of assault rifle fire that fails to graze his opponent, who can only react with a bemused “fucking n00blar” before giving the FNG a terminal case of sudden-onset lead poisoning. The FNG can be counted on for a wide range of paradoxical behavior in his quest to learn the game.
He will be very deliberate in sweeping through a building or confined area, carefully checking each corner and catwalk to stave off an ambush (and the requisite post-ambush corpse teabagging), but will also stand upright in the middle of a wide open field because the bush 200 feet ahead looks suspiciously like a sniper in a Ghille suit and he wants a closer look. His biggest problem, aside from not having the slightest clue what he’s doing, will usually be the speed of the online community. Lacking the fast reflexes (or, alternatively, a Mountain-Dew-and-methamphetamine cocktail) to compete at anywhere near the necessary level, the FNG will invariably miss at least one gimme kill or be the victim of a spectacularly humiliating defeat, and it is this inexperience that makes him a favorite target of Guy Montage.
2. Guy Montage
Guy Montage works the corner of the online gaming and YouTube communities, prostituting himself for a taste of e-fame on Machinima before flaming out and using his YouTube skills to cobble together a Ben Folds reconciliation video for his ex-girlfriend. His beginnings were modest, uploading a video of a match he played where he scored a sweet triple kill and finished with a halfway decent score.
The commentors commented, praise was awarded (though in the YouTube era praise is mostly relegated to a tepid “Well that didnt’ ENTIRELY suck” over the throngs of OMFG HAX!!!! and “lol i fuked ur mum”), and Guy Montage felt the little inkling of self-worth he had previously missed with every “sorry son, but Dad couldn’t make it to your baseball game tonight” he grew up with. Sadly, though, the desire to please the internet proved too much for Guy Montage, and he now spends his days trying to recreate that one-handed-360-dropshot-no-scope-headshot he “totally did that one time his video capture card wasn’t working”. The tragedy (to use the word VERY lightly) of Guy Montage is that he’s actually a pretty good player, it’s just that you’d never know between the 3 kills/17 deaths record he posts every game and the sound of muffled sobs coming from his mic.
3. The Tryhard
HEAR ME AND OBEY.
The Tryhard, as his name implies, has managed to remove any trace of “game” from the notion of online gaming. His business is imaginary killing, and he approaches his task with a grim determination that has left him with what FPS veterans call the “36 Inch Stare”.
The Tryhard knows the ins and outs of the game’s spawn system and how to optimize all his classes to achieve the fastest possible time to kill. He sports an encyclopedic knowledge of all the maps in the game, including favored camping spots and likely high-traffic areas. In fact, all signs would point toward the Tryhard being the ultimate teammate in an online shooter, were it not for his crusader-like fervor and a level of seriousness that tows the line between overwrought and outright laughable.
He will bark orders through his headset, marshaling his troops with directives that are at best interpreted as helpful suggestions and at worst as grounds for “let’s grief this douchebag”, only to react with incredulity should his orders go unheeded. The Tryhard is also a prime candidate for rage quitting when he discovers the rest of his teammates are simply trying to enjoy the game, rather than use it as a virtual entrance exam to West Point.
4. The Girl
Just kidding. There are no girls on the Internet. Next topic.
5. The Stoner
Worth dying for? Worth killing for? Worth going to Hell for?
Stoners and tryhards go together like Diet Coke and Mentos. Where the tryhard sounds like Patton on the mic, the stoner likely doesn’t even have one, and if he does the only sounds coming over the channel are choice cuts from the Phish farewell tour and the occasional bong hit (predictable joke). The stoner isn’t one for squad tactics, though he doesn’t show the same gross disregard for the concept of teammates as John Rambo does – he just can’t be bothered to commit brain cells to the activity of coordinating movements with other people. You can count on him going AFK at least once during the critical push to capture or hold an objective because, like, the pizza guy just got here, man.
6. John Rambo
“Killing’s as easy as breathing.”
John Rambo just does not give a fuck about you, your team, your objectives, or anything even remotely resembling a plan for attaining those objectives. All Rambo knows is there is a straight line between him and the greatest concentration of enemy forces, and that any deviation from that line is for “pussies and fags.”
His Viking bloodlust is unparalleled, but the freak evolutionary mutation that left him with ten trigger fingers also stripped him of just about all higher reasoning capacity. If the enemy team is holding down a vital chokepoint, you can count on Rambo being the guy repeatedly charging the mounted machine guns screaming “ALL GODS ARE COWARDS!” while the rest of the squad sneaks over to the lightly-defended rear entrance.
Rambo will accrue his fair share of kills (all of them undoubtedly from hipfiring a light machine gun while scowling and bellowing loudly – bandanas are optional), but his callous disregard for self-preservation means his greatest impact on a match is generally in padding the other team’s stats. So next time your entire team is pinned down in a bunker while enemy air support rains death from above, feel free to thank the troglodyte standing outside trying to destroy a Harrier with a throwing knife and some harsh language.
7. The Glitcher
Man, fuck this guy. As a late entrant to the world of online FPSes, my first experience with The Glitcher came during the infamous Javelin glitch of Modern Warfare 2, where legions of sappers kitted out to do maximum explosive damage would charge at enemies only to go up like a mushroom cloud upon dying.
The Glitcher seizes on unintended code bugs to assume levels of godhood, exploit cheap tactics, and generally just elevate the blood pressure levels of all the well-meaning players in the lobby. When questioned, The Glitcher will usually claim one of two motivations for his tactics: one, to annoy the Tryhard (a move which, when combined with the Tryhard’s deadly-serious approach to gaming, is usually pardonable) and two, “for the lulz”, which immediately qualify The Glitcher for addition to any government depopulation lists.
A subset of The Glitcher archetype, The Booster, also uses code loopholes for personal gain, but The Booster is infinitely more tolerable in that their exploits usually don’t impact anyone other than themselves. As The Booster usually has a specific goal in mind when boosting (as opposed to The Glitcher, who simply seeks to recreate Dark-Knight’s-Joker levels of chaos in the game), there is also some measure of satisfaction to “booster-hunting” and purposely thwarting their efforts.
There you have it, the 7 most frequently encountered types of online FPS player. We all may start at FNG, but only you can prevent becoming something far worse. Except for #4. Get at me, ladies.
A man can dream.