There is a player style in many an online shooter which I have started to refer to as the ‘egoist’, these are the people who are, and have been for a while, bringing down the quality of online gaming. In particular, I reference first person shooters.
I first saw this phrase appear in a game of Battlefield 2. When a player connected to the server, there was an automatic server side script which analysed that persons’ play statistics and came out with a phrase to describe them. This person was listed as favouring the sniper kit, the tank for when he wanted some vehicular action. He was also shown to be a lone-wolf more often than not ignoring the squads which form the backbone of a great game of Battlefield 2. From these bits of data, he was given the tag of ‘egoist’.
It isn’t my place to label this random character as an egoist, I left the server soon after he joined and wasn’t able to see how he approached the game at hand. Simply seeing that phrase got me thinking as I played further games of Battlefield and Counter-Strike: Source.
An egoist is a player who will do whatever they can in an online game to make themselves look better, often it only makes them look better to themselves. They are not necessarily out to troll or cause trouble for others, rather they are so focused on performing roles which are simply there to boost their ego that they bring the quality of the game down.
In Battlefield 2, when you see a player constantly hovering around the area where the tank spawns and immediately trundles off into the distance to blast the first thing they see, you know you are dealing with an egoist. They are doing that get some easy kills and show themselves off as the tank man.
This type of player won’t use his head and wait for the other tank to spawn so a team mate can join his assault in order to provide support. You will find this type of gamer running around as a sniper when there is no logical need for a fourth sniper in the squad. You then wonder why they joined the squad if they simply hide on a mountain trying to re-enact a scene from Saving Private Ryan.
In a game of Counter-Strike: Source this is the person who buys an AWP every round and simply runs around getting as many kills as possible. He doesn’t care about the bomb or the hostages, he just wants to look like he is brilliant at the game by getting a string of three or four headshots in a row.
The egoist is the type of person who will put others off playing on a specific server, or even the game itself. Everyone can do as they want in online games within reason, but the egoist behaviour is the most damaging to a game in the long-term. Just imagine if Battlefield 2 had turned immediately into a mass love fest of snipers hiding in plain sight ignoring the depth that the game had to offer.
If you are an egoist, think about the damage you are doing for a moment and think of the greater good.