265: Curing the Noobonic Plague

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I've been gaming since I was seven, but when I started college, everyone I knew was playing Halo 2; a game I'd never played from a genre I wasn't familiar with. I got owned consistently for months.
FPSs have a harsh learning curve even for those experienced with general gaming conventions.

Why continue being a noob when you have Hax?

i havent read *all* the posts so forgive me if im repeating. i think one point the article misses is the age factor. from experience, all the people that constantly talk thrash to noobs (or anyone for that matter) are either 1. below the 20 years old line and/or 2. have a difficulty socially expressing themselves (as-in making friends in real life).

the other thing is that as it is the case in many situation, they're the vocal minority that makes all gamers look bad. most people are just happy logging on, doing their thing and logging off, whenever that is.

its not any less irritating since its pretty difficult to slap these bitches around. personally im midway between casual and hardcore, i guess that would make me a normal guy. i dont play a game enough to know all of the tricks but i like to think i can reach a level where i can be useful to the team.

but i think that this goes to show that bluetooth headsets on the ps3 are generally a bad idea now :) its much easier to mute some random bitch on the chat window than it is to mute the same guy during an online game with audio chat.

There is a difference between a newbie and a noob. A newbie is generally new to the game and unaware of any gaffs; he will be the first to tell you this. A noob may not be new but is also unaware of any gaff except the noob wont accept criticism.

well... you kind of have to start getting pissed when someone refuses to use hte search bar and refuses to look through the comment section of a youtube vid. The amount of times someone asks how to use or get FRAPS is fucking annoying. There are even comments asking how to start up multiplayer a lot of hte time on vids for things like Rome Total War. The vid maker actually made his own "accessing multiplayer for dummies" vid because it's just TOO "complicated" to read the manual.

Those kind of people make me ashamed to call myself a gamer. Truly, they are a plague.

Although, I can safely say you haven't seen anything until you've played a game like DotA, or HoN. I almost feel bad for them. Clearly something is wrong with them.

IRL their egoes are still held in check, because they see other people as people, rather than some faceless internet forum user, and hence exert at least some common courtesy.

Too true my friend. Personally, I try VERY hard to get around this issue by making sure that I can stand behind whatever I say online. I don't (intentionally) hide behind anonymity, I make myself known, and make sure that I'm available for discussion on anything I post. I suppose it also helps that I re-read something before I post it to make sure I don't sound like a total idiot, or a You-Tube commenter.

As for noobs, well I consider myself to be tolerant, even being one of those old-school gamers who were playing them before they became mainstream. On the other hand, I don't really touch online multiplayer or MMORPG(s) so I might just be untested. Still, everything requires some degree of tolerance.

Hardcore gamers are driving away the industry to newer gamers because of their ridiculous attitudes towards said newer gamers? What else is new?

Kid's can't play nice any-more, it seems.

This is why we don't read YouTube comments, folks. Also, noob != newb...

OT: I can't say that I've ever been a "noob" at games, mostly because I grew up with a control implanted in my hand and built up my gaming "skillz" with kids games at first. If you want to learn to wrestle with a controller while maneuvering in 3d space with fast timing, play "Crash Bandicoot"...

Still, I think that whether a person can be called out for being a newb (note spelling) depends on the game. Shooters, no, since they're more about twitch reflexes than anything and those take time to develop. MMOs, however... the internet contains so much information on them that you are simply taken down to the guy pressing the big red button to win. In all, it depends.

And frankly, are people actually playing Mario still? I wasn't aware, heh.

I'm not a noob. I just suck at most games compared to the "hardcore" people. Some of them are nice some aren't. I usually try to antagonize the ones on XBOX Live and make them really mad by insulting their manhood. I know that sinks me to their level, but I'm ok with that. They usually boot me from the game which is fine I didn't want to play with tools anyway.

Lots of people like to think themselves cool when they play video games, especially if they're good. They're insecure about the fact that they play video games, which is why lot's of people dismiss games like (the more recent) Mario for being too colorful or "gay" without ever having given it a chance. It's also the reason FPS's and sports sims are popular as hell, even though most of them are unremarkable and repetitive. They need to be able to not be ashamed to be seen playing a video game, so they subconsciously limit themselves to very masculine or violent games. It's very pathetic. You're ps3 is just an expensive toy.

This is why skill-based matchmaking in multiplayer should be a standard. When everyone is at a similar level, usually everyone's having fun.

I completely agree with you. We all have to start somewhere. Just because I'm 24 and have been gaming for 18 of those years doesn't mean I have any right to be condescending towards a person who just picked up gaming last night. We as experienced gamers should foster a community welcoming of others into our domain, happy and eager to share with them our passion. I recall not all that long ago gamers complained of being shunned by the mainstream, now it's the opposite we're shunning them for finally noticing us and embracing us? That makes no sense at all!

Jamie Madigan says that "this is just human nature to seek out an 'us versus them' outlook, and that it's not good enough that our group be good. The other group has to be inferior."

I've seen a number of statements like this in various other contexts. In my opinion, this excuse works fine for when we were monkeys in the trees. However, we supposedly have evolved and matured past such behavior. I like to think(of course, what I like thinking and what reality is are two separate things) that the primary thing that separates us humans from our primitive ancestors, as well as from other wilder animals, is our ability to choose our behaviors. We have the ability to rationally decide that such behaviors are unethical or immoral on the basis that such behavior can be counter-productive to the continued well-being, development, and prosperity of humanity and society as a whole, mainly because of the destruction such conflicts often generate. Thusly with our rational minds do we overcome our more primal animalistic nature to execute behavior designed to be more edifying toward achieve a higher state of awareness and wholeness for everyone, not just ourselves. Thus, I feel that giving justification to such behavior with such an explanation as "it's human nature" serves mostly to undo the strides we have made to improve humanity and how we relate to each such to achieve a more peaceable and prosperous society.

Haha! Can't help but feel I'm supposed to go out and hug a tree now.

I've started responding to everyone who uses the word noob the same way, no matter the context;

"Please be quiet, the grown ups are talking. Go and play with your shiny new toys."

It pisses them off to no end, but I'll be damned if the word noob doesn't make the writer look like they're eight.

painting the entire gaming community as a unit is wrong. Levels of hate toward noobs depends on the game/genre.

Let's take too extremes; eve online and DOTA the warcraft 3 mod (its the mod that demigod, heros of newerth and league of legends are based on.)

Eve is very difficult, but it very very friendly to new players, current players not only welcome new people, there are people whose whole game is based around running ingame organisations designed to help new players - after the official tutorials end. Eve university is a 1000+ person organisation, running for 4 years for players by players, holding even lectures and live guides. I know even in my corp in eve that if some one is willing to learn, and is enthusiastic we will help show them the ropes.

DOTA is a wc3 mod, something which is fairly easy to jump into compared to the above, and hard to master. The DOTA community, bans noobs. Let me repeat... if you play a game of DOTA and people realise that you're new to the mod, and you aren't doing x.y.z that all good players would do, then you don't just get kicked from the game, you also get added to a banlist/blacklist. If you join a DOTA lobby, for the first time and start to download the map - you will get kicked and instabanned. For being a noob- and trying to play dota without downloading the map from a website.

Two extremes of gaming, and all games fit around this spectrum.

I've started responding to everyone who uses the word noob the same way, no matter the context;

"Please be quiet, the grown ups are talking. Go and play with your shiny new toys."

It pisses them off to no end, but I'll be damned if the word noob doesn't make the writer look like they're eight.

I see the word way too much. I appreciate any effort to eliminate it. This article was good but I don't think the use of n00b is confined to any one age group. And for as many as use it there are different definitions for it. This article gives one version and it is a good one but the term needs a clear official definition so it stops being used quite so randomly.

I was called a noob in a COD:MW2 lobby... LOBBY. I hadn't yet started playing the match and was called a noob because my rank was still in single digits. Granted, I sucked it up during the match because I'm horrible at FPS games, but I still don't get it. Why can't it be fun for everyone? Why the insults? I will never understand how a person who has spent hours upon hours becoming a cyber/pseudo war hero, has any right to talk down to anyone... ever. But as they say, "It takes diff'rent strokes to make the world go 'round."

Excellent article on a a topic that needs serious attention from every person in the gaming universe.

While that tendency to unthinkingly fall into us/them groups may be a naturally occurring behavior, it's one that needs to be 'thinkingly' fought against.

The best possible attitude for all of us would be one of the more people in the pool, the better. Because that means the pool gets bigger and more varied as a result, and all of us win as gamers when that happens.

So called casual gaming is a huge breakthrough that everyone should be excited and welcoming about. More games, on more platforms, because of more people gaming. Awesome. But it inevitably means more beginners showing up too.

Take the extra time or effort or patience and be an ambassador for the hobby you love and guide someone into being the type of gaming "citizen" you want to spend gaming time with. You won't ever regret doing so and might very well be helping yourself for your own future gaming as a result.

This is all FTW.

Youtube should have a written application, good idea there.

There's an important distinction that must be made: That between a n00b and a newbie. I've never ever been a n00b in any game, yet I've been a newbie in all of them.

Newbie is the new player that doesn't have 1337 skills yet, but tries to learn to play. He may get your team killed but he does it out of ignorance, not cos he's an asshole.

N00b is the retarded new player that not only plays like shit, but also doesn't listen to any kind of advice.

When I find a newbie, I try to help them. When I find a n00b I ignore them if I can, or get them kicked out of the server, or GTFO of that server (for example, a n00b in L4D at high difficulties basically ruins the game for everyone else).

It's only good and proper that n00bs get trashed. The problem is that for each n00b out there, there's also another elitist pro gamer that is as stupid as the n00b and makes no distinction between n00bs and newbies.

I have to disagree with the article, most people are completely normal human beings on and offline.

It's the vocal minority of idiots who have the tools to make their unstoppable flood of bile and stupidity heard by everyone. When a stupid argument starts on YouTube only the lowest trash feel the need to announce how 1337H4XX0R he iz @ mw2, yet everyone have to read their comments.

I think it's less about stupid people talking too much and more about normal people not talking enough.

I don't consider myself one of the "camp", and if anything identify more with the "noobs". But then I generally play six or seven different games per year. I know people who get through four or five times that.

Not come across too much bile though. What are these "experienced" gamers doing complaining about youtube guides anyway?

Jamie Madigan says that "this is just human nature to seek out an 'us versus them' outlook, and that it's not good enough that our group be good. The other group has to be inferior."

Mr Madigan speaks a lot of sense, though this particular nugget of wisdom really grabbed me. While I am part of what I'd call the "Old Guard" of gaming - I guess I can explain why I'm personally not fussed on newbies and noobs.

The Old Guard have the mentality of "I was here first, respect your elders..." toward the new players. This is similar to how the elderly often pour scorn upon the younger generations especially when they say things like "in my day, we did things different" or "you don't know you're born."

But the whole "us versus them" mentality is prevalent everywhere you go. Whether it be music and film appreciation, cars, religions and even politics. Where the latter two's "us and them" mentality develops some very nasty and fatal consequences.

Gaming isn't going to be any different no matter how hard people try to circumvent it. But like Mr Madigan had previously said. "this is just human nature to seek out an 'us versus them' outlook."

Yeah we were all noobs at one point or another. I often help them when I can.

Good article with a few great points... especially that we were all once noobs and people should remember that.
With Steam having only recently opened their... (I refuse to make a Portal pun) doors to Mac gamers, there will be/is a huge influx of people who have NEVER played CounterStrike:Source, Team Fortress 2, or anything of HL2 before, myself included. As excited as I am to finally try these games, I'm put off by the feeling that everyone's going to call me a noob just because I don't know the best CS:S setup or have all the TF2 maps memorized.

Maybe once the current "noobs" become experienced players, we'll have new generation of gamers very welcoming to newcomers - they'll remember how harsh their initiation was, and won't want to put someone else through that. Then again, this is the internet, so that may be their justification for continuing the hostility.

*goes back to playing CS:S on a server populated entirely by bots*

The solution is to man up nancy. Oh no, some anonymous troll said mean things, no reason to cry about it. Channel Spock, if the haters elicit any kind of emotional response from you then they win.

Some people will always be better than you at stupid games, such is life. Some of them have so few accomplishments and prospects in their meatspace lives that they NEED the self esteem boost of pwning nubs or else they will cut their wrists.

As for the comments, why are you even dignifying their existence with column inches? Reading internet comments is like panning for gold. The vast majority of them are useless crap but you need to wade through that to find the useful gems. And youtube comments can be summed up in this xkcd:


Part of the problem when it comes to 'newb-bashing' is definitely due to more experienced players resenting/mocking the newer players for holding the team back/losing, badly. Some is due to resentment that these new players seem to be better at the game than them, after decades spent honing their FPS skills.
The worst for flaming on these things are the 'n00bs' - people who use only the cheapest tactics 'for teh lulz' or who just plain aren't very good. Or who are good, but insist on using 1337 speak and telling everyone else how shit they are. There are probably other faces to the many-headed n00b creature, but I can't be bothered to list them all.

But a lot of it is due to the nature of anonymity on the internet. The realisation that you can do whatever the hell you want with no consequence upon 'real you' is a powerful intoxicant, and one that few people can resist. In essence, people troll to see what it's like to be a massive tool to everyone they find. Some of them like it, and carry on. Some of them don't, and stop. Then they realise that trying to be reasonable on /b/ is like trying to not be on fire whilst on the surface of the Sun, so they leave and start an escapist account... Wait, I'm just describing me, here. But I'm sure other people have been through the same thing.

I honestly believe and agree with the theory that people feel free to get so hateful due to one very simple fact: No one is going to come to their house and punch them in the face. If someone said things of this nature in public long enough, someone else would take serious enough issue with it and act upon the anger/rage it inspires. Thus, a swift punch to the choppers or other such retaliation. In my own "hating" view, I feel that those who really get up on a "noob" and proceed to tirade about the chat box/posting board, etc like some self-appointed king, are really just cowards who, away from the computer, are the ones who are picked on by others in school, work, social events, etc. Because there is no real accounting for what you say online, yet, the hate will continue.

But hey, at least it gives me something to read to occupy my time grinding out levels every once in a while. =D

I have to admit that noobs do piss me off.

There, I said it. I must include though that I only mean one kind of noob. The kind that play the multiplayer without having played single-player at all. They make me mad, because when they end up on my team, they're still learning how to play, they don't know the controls and they have no clue what they are doing. Then when their K/D is -15, I want to do evil things to them. They do frustrate me, because that is what single-player is for.

Other than that, I think hardcore or experienced gamers should embrace the noobs, because we want as many people as we can to see that gaming is an entertainment medium just like movies, books, music or magazines. Noobs will come in handy when politicians start trying to impose their beliefs on us. Then we will all want the noobs we can find on our team.

Also, youtube in the dumbest site around. Whether its politics, (Obama is a Communist! He wasn't born in the U.S.!) cooking (Real chefs make their own sauce! Her accent was annoying!) or Aikido (Aikido isn't a real martial art! MMA Rulz!) discussion boards are usually just filled with idiots who usually type in all caps.

Interesting. So "hardcore" gamers are the cranky old men of the internet who used to have to walk backwards uphill through a snowstorm without shoes BOTH WAYS just to get rare item drops. I always suspected!

Man, whatever. As long as the people I am playing with are fun, I could care less about their experience level. The minute you start getting angry about something so silly as a bunch of pixels is the minute it stops being fun. If I don't like how they play, I can always take my football and go somewhere else.

Basically, non-noobs think that their experience makes them somehow 'special'. Therefore, they set themselves us as gatekeepers because, of course, they were 'born' so skilled, right? They forget that everybody has been a noob at some point. Segregating the community in this way is counter productive and it serves only to massage fragile egos of certain 'hardcore' gamers who have forgotten how to be humble and that they should be contributing, not stifling, the community.

Let's take baseball. There are widely varying levels of ability, between families playing at the church picnic, to the pros. Obviously, it makes no sense to pit the family team against the pros. The family team would feel out of place, and the pros would feel unchallenged at the inexperience of the family team.

Now let's take Internet gaming. Generally there is little effort to separate the "pro" level players from the "church picnic" players. When there is an attempt to create different divisions, what happens then? The l33t sweep down on the n00b games and totally contaminate the system. The only way the picnic players could keep the pros out is to create their own league and set up their own games, screening the players with whom they wish to play with or not. I don't know of any online game that assists with people doing that, outside of private servers. It would be nice if games let us do that without private servers.

Another thing that creates the noob problem: in competitve events, beyond picnic fun, rarely do participants go in without some level of training and practice from a coach or someone experienced with the activity. But with computer games, you might have single player to figure out the commands and controls, but other than that the casual player is thrown in with the wolves.

I'm fine with noobs, but what really irks me is any noob that goes into a game, expects us to go easy on them or expects it to be some easy game and then complaining or asking really obvious questions that would've been addressed on the in-game tutorial. Baptism by fire, deal with it.

It's good that it's OK to not know what the Konami Code is, because I don't have a clue. Or at least, I didn't until I looked it up on Wikipedia about ten seconds after finishing the article.

Everyone on youtube is like that, not just the gamers :P

Yup. YouTube is, hands down, the stupidest place on the Internet.

WTF nOOb! You should know that!

Okay, I kidd.

But seriously, don't use it in Gradius III.
Use the shoulder L and R buttons instead of the d-Pad's Left and Right. Trust me.

OP: I try to be helpful when I can. The funny thing is, when it comes to FPS games, I'm the noob. I can't stand them, so have very little experience with them. When I do play (usually halo at a friends house) I'm awful. I don't have a clue where to go and couldn't hit the side of a barn with my gun. That's why I like the sword weapon - I can actually score kills with it.

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