Can Gaming Ruin A Friendship?

By Evan Velez

December 14, 2009

Most modern gamers would like to think that gaming today is all about community, and that gamers will meet more like-minded gamers while playing. While finding more people to play with is always fine and dandy, there are peeves that gamers, online or local, that can ruin the experience. I am going to be addressing how these peeves may affect us at a local level, and how these peeves can lead to a ruined friendship.

The first major peeve, is one that was mentioned in one of our editorials on this site. When I am driving, my least favorite thing is a backseat driver, telling me when to turn, drive faster, stop, and saying things like, “I would have blah blah blah.” The gaming equivalent is known as backseat gaming, clever, right? I know for one, if I had a friend over and he was telling me, “Guy to the right”, “Shoot!”, or my personal favorite, “I would have done WAAAAY better.” Being a backseat gamer is something that will put strain on a friendship, especially one where you game a great deal in your free time. If you are a backseat gamer, maybe it is making sense why your friends don’t invite you over to play Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops anymore.

The next is something that annoys me to no end, and that is when you have a friend that is overconfident in his gaming. A friend that plays games with you, because they know they will destroy you every time. I think if they were a real friend, they would at least give you some sort of help, although, sometimes helping a friend may just turn into a massacre (a certain SFIV story comes to mind, but I will keep that to myself. I did the pwning though lol). A friend should always be willing to offer help to friends who are in gaming need. A good way to do this is go 1v1 and just teach the basics and go from there. I know that when I started playing Counter Strike back in 1.4, I had friends that were helping teach me tactics, learn the maps, get better at aiming headshots, etc. If my friends just invited me to play Counter Strike so that they could obliterate me every match, then I doubt I would be gaming with them. It is fine to be better than your friends at games, but don’t be an asshole about it. I assure you, if you just keep people around to show your dominance, then they won’t want to be around you.

Another thing that can lead to a lost friendship is being a leech. Most commonly, you will have a friend who shows up and always wants to play games on your console or pc. I’m not a greedy man, but when you have a “friend” drop in every other day, and they have saved games for most of the games in your possession. It is the equivalent of being a woman who has feelings for a guy who just sees her as a means of getting sex. What kind of friend is a person that just wants to use the things you have bought with your own money so they don’t have to? Friendship is about some sort of balance, I trade games with friends all the time to save some cash, but I don’t just drop in and play the duration of a game at their place just to finish it. However, there is yet another way that you can get leeched by a “friend”.

The internet is a valuable commodity and as a privileged American, we sometimes think that everyone has broadband internet. I am fine with helping people out with their internet needs, but once they take advantage of this hospitality, I will kick them out to the curb. I have heard horror stories about internet leeching friends, staying at a friends place for hours a day, so that they can get their World of Warcraft raids in. It is one thing to come over and play a persons console, but when you are so rude to the point that you feel entitled to use someone’s internet everyday to get in your gaming fix, then you have crossed a line.

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Maybe you can call me naive, but I feel that there has to be some sort of compromise made between friends when it comes to gaming. There is a common courtesy that should be shown, especially if you are using something that belongs to someone else. That is true in life, not just in gaming. With gaming being a hobby, shouldn’t a lasting friendship ultimately be worth more in the end? To someone like me, I would have to say yes. I hope that all of you out there have the common sense to see why I feel this way.

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Evan Velez

Evan is not only a contributing editor but also the official west coast liaison for the site. He is a Sony fanboy without regard but has also spent countless hours grinding away in Azeroth. A true video game music enthusiast and a well versed video game historian. You do not want to argue with the man, you will probably lose.

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