So the other day I was playing Team Fortress 2, and someone accused me of being a “free-to-play noob”. I was chided as being one of the newbie players who only recently got into the game because it became free-to-play, despite my owning and playing the game since 2007.
But let me back up a little bit. I was playing Team Fortress 2 the other day, and having a less than stellar round. Some people on my team, who had been playing on the server before I got there, were using their microphones to play the game. These players were being too vocal, to the point that I couldn’t concentrate on the game because of all the “mic spam”. Being annoyed at my repeated effort and lack of results, coupled with the inane chirps and squeals of the mic spam, I did what any right-minded online gamer would do: I told them to “shut the fuck up”.
Bear in mind, I merely typed this phrase into the game’s chat; most of the time, these messages are either not read by those they are directed at, since that person is too busy playing the game, or it is swept off the screen quickly by in-game announcements. My message was immediately recognized by the person who I considered to be the primary offender, however.
What was seconds before only friendly banter and playful chatting suddenly became a shrill torrent of insults, disagreeing with my command and demanding that I “shut the fuck up” myself. The tone of voice degenerated into what I could only describe as “ghetto”. It’s funny how quickly someone’s world can come crashing down at the slightest bit of confrontation.
So we argued a bit more, me click-clacking away at my keyboard, and the annoying mic spammer answering my few messages with an elevating level of shrieking. Another player said I should get banned.
Then, the original mic spammer decided that the best way she could deal with me was to call me out as a “free-to-play nub”.
A little bit of history, before I continue: back in 2007, Team Fortress 2 used to come as a standalone inclusion in the Orange Box, with Half-Life 2. After that, it became possible to buy the game separately. Finally, as of June of 2011, the game became “free-to-play”, meaning anyone could download the game and play with everyone else. Since then, the newest, greatest community-spawned insult is to call someone a “free-to-play noob”, meaning they stink at the game because they’ve only recently begun playing, since the game was made free.
Obviously, I do not fall into this category, and I stated that plainly. Ms. Mic Spam backed off rather quickly after this, and was quite quiet after. And rightfully so, since most of my characters in Team Fortress 2 are outfitted with either The Proof of Purchase hat, my Primeval Warrior pin, or both. These items show that I bought the game back when it was still for sale, and that I have been playing since September 18, 2007, respectively. They are not tradable, and anyone who has them is very obviously not a Team Fortress 2 free-to-play inductee.
So what’s the lesson here, other than that I like to have petty arguments with stupid people while I am playing games?
Simply this: if you’re going to be an asshole and toss around the “free-to-play noob” insult liberally every time you disagree with someone in Team Fortress 2, make sure you know what the hell you’re talking about first. It’s not hard to check out people’s loadouts first. Unless of course, you’re some kind of noob.
Also, if you want to chat with people constantly, start up a private Steam voice chat conversation, or use Xbox Live, Skype, Ventrilo, TeamSpeak, or some other chat client. You can even play games while you’re doing it. Just leave everyone else out of the conversation, because I assure you, we’re not interested.