[That Guy]: stupid mage
[That Guy]: u r the worst dps… u will be a ***** alt
[That Guy]: and u suck
[Me]: Dang dude, chill out!
[That Guy]: I don’t give a **** about you, random piece of crap
With the exception of stars representing…“sentence enhancers,” this was the feedback I received after playing my mage during a World of Warcraft instance. I was recently given a level 71 Mage from my brother as a graduation gift, and was giving him a test run in one of the instances found in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Not knowing how to maximize the power of my new character, my damage was low and my spells weren’t very constant, which the healer noticed. During most of the dungeon run, he didn’t say a word. No one really did.
It wasn’t until after the boss went down and the group disbanded that he took time out of his busy schedule to lift up my spirits with encouragement about how amazing I was. While this could have easily been a much longer exchange of words, I decided to go the easy route: /ignore.
Regardless of what kind of gaming you do, every platform of gaming has “That Guy,” the angry gamer that makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. This is the player that makes everyone at the table silently groan as he marches through the door, ready to play Pandemic with the group. This is the player that’s known for angrily yelling when things go wrong during raid nights. This is the competitor that sits across from your buddy at the Grand Prix who decides to call a judge every… freaking… play. That Guy comes in many different flavors, but every flavor has one thing in common: we prefer not to play with this individual.
Here’s another personal example.
During the tournament I was competing at, I overheard a conversation about That Guy. They were saying things like, “Man, I had to face That Guy last round, and he was getting ticked when I started winning.” and “Oh man, I hope I don’t have to face That Guy the next round!” Looking at who they were talking to, across the room I saw a gentleman around my age who was sitting by himself, looking like he was fuming about his last game. He definitely didn’t seem approachable.
As the tournament progressed, I was going undefeated, and finally managed to fight my way to the finals! After seven brutal rounds of summoning creatures, casting spells and praying to draw the right card at the right time, I sat down across from my final opponent… who was That Guy. That’s right, the very person that I saw before and heard about was to be my final opponent.
As the match progressed, the pressure of the game intensified, as we both knew prizes were at stake here. I was getting the upper hand with having more creatures on the field than him, which he responded with accumulating anger as each turn concluded. At the climax of the match, where every move was a matter of what felt like life or death, I managed to remove his top threat from the field, and was able to swing in with all my creatures for the win.
He didn’t like that.
That Guy angrily pounded the table, yelled out some sentence enhancers, then proceeded to stand up and throw his cards across the room. Before anyone could say anything in response to his actions, he stormed out of the building, slamming the door behind him. After a handful of his buddies followed him in hopes to extinguish the angered player, the awkward silence loomed.
Now imagine being in my shoes. Up to this gruesome match, I’ve had a truly amazing tournament experience. Not only did I go undefeated, but I also had the pleasure to face against friends and fellow competitors alike, each bringing a unique flavor of fun competition to each match. I was given the opportunity to feel the joy of victory all the way up to the finals, regardless of whether I was deserving or not. And then, at the very moment of winning the tournament, it ends with me winning…but not feeling like a winner.
I’m sure that you can think of someone in your experience, whether past or present, is similar to what has been illustrated above. Or perhaps you are That Guy. Regardless, here’s what Scripture has to say about it.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:25-32 ESV
In Ephesians, we see that Paul is laying down a theme here: changing from an old self to a new self (Ephesians 4:20-24). Through these verses, we see five changes that Paul is commanding, each time putting down an old self, then picking up a new self. Each of these verses contributes in different ways to the That Guy situation, whether it’s That Guy himself, or those affected by the individual.
To The Player Dealing With That Guy
Drawing from the verses above, here’s some basic applications to approaching That Guy:
First, don’t deceive That Guy in thinking his behavior is acceptable (v.25). Failing to approach him about the problem is a type of deceit, as you’re not being honest about the problem, but instead allowing the individual to believe that the behavior is acceptable.
Second, don’t let the problem fester, but instead resolve the issue sooner than later (v. 26). After all, like poison, the longer you wait to treat the wound with antidote, the more damage will be dealt over time. Failing to deal with the problem means more people will be hurt by That Guy’s action, as he will continue to negatively affect those around him, and possibly push away players from the group.
Third, don’t talk negatively about That Guy, especially behind his back (v. 29). While it’s easy to talk bad about That Guy, as Christ followers we are called to build up others, and speaking things that injure others is the opposite of that. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about the problem at hand, assuming you are seeking out wisdom to resolve the matter.
Fourth, approach That Guy with a heart that is prepared to be kind, tender, and forgiving (v.32). It’s easy to want to lay the smackdown and tell the person what you think of them. However, what’s your objective? Our focus should be correcting him with truth, but also being kind and not vengeful, tender with gentleness, and forgiving of the wrongs that have happened.
Lastly, if That Guy refuses to change after multiple confrontations through love and truth, then the best move may be to remove him. I want to stress that this is to be last resort, as kicking out someone prematurely can cause more harm than good. That said, keeping someone who is poison to the group will ward away any newcomers, as well as push away present gamers.
To That Guy
If you are That Guy, then here’s applications for you.
First, games are not worth angrily sinning over (v. 26, 27). While I know sometimes lag that causes you to die or disconnect can be frustrating, or consistent natural 1’s can be infuriating, allowing that anger to damage relationships around you is the last thing that you want to happen.
Second, be cautious about what you say when gaming (v. 29). After all, talking down gamers and saying they suck doesn’t exactly build up your fellow gamers and fellow Christians. Talking smack can be okay at times, but be wise about how how to speak to the peeps you game with.
Third, don’t be a griefer (v. 30). Honestly, nobody likes a gamer who will constantly harass and provoke other players, spoiling their enjoyment. Regardless of the reason why you are griefing, it won’t not give off a good reputation.
Lastly, if you are unable to put away the bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice and griefing, then you should consider walking away from the game (v. 31). I know that the game is fun and has likely been something you’ve invested tons of time and resources into, but your actions are negatively affecting the gamers you play with.