Video gaming is a highly nuanced hobby. Back in the 1980s and 90s, gamers were lumped together under the umbrella of being non-social and glued to their screens. However, these early stereotypes haven’t stood the test of time. Today, most people have played a console or PC game for at least a few minutes. Millions more have downloaded casual titles on their mobile phones.
As the gaming world becomes more diverse, so do the titles on offer. The wide range of gaming genres continues to grow and branch out—and as this happens, the communities in each gaming genre become more developed and complex. In other words, each category has its own unique etiquette.
Most often, this etiquette is based on how players communicate and the game’s actual mechanics. However, there are often other nuances that newcomers need to pick up on. Let’s break down some basic etiquette expected in popular gaming genres, listed below.
Online poker is all about convenience and developing strategic skills. But, aside from knowing the rules, hands, and different types of variations, players must also know how to be respectful while at a virtual table. At a brick-and-mortar casino, the rhythm of a table game is easier to pick up on. But virtual players must play in a timely manner to keep the game moving, avoid arguments with other players, and pay attention to what’s happening with each round.
MMO stands for massively multiplayer online, which means that these players are often gaming alongside dozens of other remote players. In MMO games, etiquette revolves around respecting these other players. It’s considered taboo to interfere with another player’s or group’s activities without their consent, along with stealing another player’s kill at the last minute. Here, the advice is always ‘live and let live’.
Sports simulation games are some of the most popular and competitive in the world. These games are also ‘entry’ games for many players who might not be too experienced with a controller. That means that one of the golden rules in sports simulations is to let others learn the ropes. While this doesn’t mean submitting to an amateur gamer, it does mean that intermediate and advanced players should be mindful of how they handle a big win against a beginner.
A MOBA game is a multiplayer online battle arena. Similar to MMO titles, these often involve large amounts of players, which are typically divided into two teams. The goal is for one side to reach and destroy an enemy base. As such, the rules are a bit more rigid—as is the etiquette. Here, the etiquette is usually inter-team, meaning players must learn how to support their team. The best way to do this is invariably to stick with the job they were handed—not to strike out to try to be a hero or switch up the game plan.
Fighter games are some of the oldest in video gaming. They stretch back to the arcade era when titles like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were first played. As such, not too many competitions take place on a virtual and remote scale. Many competitions still take place in person, which adds a unique dimension to fighter game etiquette. One of the most common signs of respect mirrors traditional sports: players always say ‘good game’ after about. It’s also common to hear ‘let me get next’, which is a way of saying a new player wants to take on the winner of the current game; the loser gets up to make way.
FPS games stand for first-person shooters. Just like sports simulations, these are some of the most popular games in the world. There’s also an element of teamwork in most FPS games, which requires players to work together toward a common goal. Similar to MOBAs, it’s important that players know to stick to their committed role. On top of that, they’ll also need to communicate quickly and effectively—without getting argumentative or using profanity.