A situation that seems to occur to anyone playing an online game for the first time, especially if said computer game is a first-person shooter.

Of course, it usually isn't intentional, but when you get fragged five times within your first minute of playing just because you don't have m4d 5¦<1⌊⌊z, it certainly seems like it. Try it sometime, if you aren't a Quake fiend or similar - find a copy of it in a bargain bin for $5, load it up, and take a few minutes to find and join into a deathmatch. Unless you have reflexes like a five-year-old with a fistfull of Pixy Stix, you will soon discover that you cannot keep your gibs to yourself, and instead have an alarming tendency to spread them liberally all over any convenient flat surface.

The most disconcerting thing is that no one really cares - least of all the game companies. After all, you bought the game - that's where their obligation ends. As long as the people who bought the game during the release rush liked the multiplayer features, what's to complain about? They've already made most of their money.

The troubles start to crop up when these people who love the game to death get really good at it. Then the servers are suddenly full of people who have owned the game for six months and have been playing it religiously. As soon as someone buys the game at the discounted price reserved for outdated games, they are faced with a disturbing lack of places to hone their multiplayer skills. The only way out of this horrible situation would be to set up newbie game servers where the less-godlike gamers can play and have fun. The problem, of course, is that some people find it enjoyable to take their horrendous skill level and completely maul everyone in a newbie game. Considering the size of the internet and the popularity of most major FPS's, the likelihood of this happening is way too high for comfort. This may have a tendency to turn off newbies from ever gaming online. The easiest solution I can think of to this problem is to only play with people you know, which is actually the only way I ever play Diablo II. There is also a possiblity of finding clans that are newbie-friendly, as long as you are willing to take the time to hunt them down.

Every once in a while, however, there are actual instances of intentional malice. A friend of mine recalled an instance where he joined a 'net game of Tribes 2, as his friends were offline, and after a bit of playing started getting fired on by one of his teammates for being a n00b. Mind you, my friend had not fired upon a single team member and had even managed to wound some enemies - but elitism is still alive and well in some circles.

Thank goodness E2 isn't like that.

The moral of this story is, be nice to newbies.

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