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‘Coup de Gueule’ (French for ‘rant’) is a  feature about topics that make our blood boil. Warning: Might offend susceptibilities. 

For those who don’t know, I am a bit of an old school gamer (*hint* offline). Yes, I was one of those who grew up without Internet. So my childhood was spent playing video games on my own, occasionally inviting friends to play with me at home. While gaming could be a reasonably social activity when you had someone else sitting next to you, let’s say that the idea I had of playing a video game back then involved the concept of alone time.

Now fast forward to 2016 and most of the games are online and social – social to the point that sometimes I wonder whether people are there to play or talk. If you had the chance to read my review of Smite, you probably already have an idea of how I feel about that. Play first, talk later – specially if you don’t have anything useful to say. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy playing with other people or don’t appreciate some healthy competition beyond AI. However, if I have to be completely honest, I wish most of the time they could just refrain from typing, at all. This was also one of the main reasons why I got bored of the very popular LoL (yes, I know there’s a ‘mute’ functionality, but that’s not the point).

video gamesLet’s be clear: Flaming is not nice. Even when you are supposedly right – yeah, that guy sucks, he’s a newbie, we know that. We are all newbies at some point. We are still newbies in many areas of our lives, and obviously, in many areas of these games. Flaming doesn’t help, and frankly, it just makes you look stupid. But there is worse, oh there is so much more depth and complexity in this world of toxic players.

So let’s go further and analyze all of these different species, shall we? For the sake of better understanding, I have come up with a very unique nomenclature of my own.

Species 1 – The One Who (genuinely) Thinks He Can Play

dubious reaction gift
Yeah, right…

We all met this one. He can’t play very well (let’s put it nicely) but he strongly believes his gaming skills are flawless. He might have been playing that specific game for a while, which contributes to his strong belief that he is a sort of example to follow.

I’d say we could have the following subspecies.

a) The one who (genuinely) thinks he knows more than you because he has watched the ‘pros’ on YouTube

Typical statement along the lines of, but not limited to:

“Go learn how to play. Check the ‘pros’ on YouTube!” 

Ok, so last time I have checked a game was still a game. And for me, a game is something I do on my free time, in order to have fun. It’s part of my leisure time, ok? The only kind of research and ‘studying’ I want to be doing is a short introduction tutorial. That’s it. You are not supposed to follow a how-to extensive guide in order to play a game. You should just do it! Which brings up another point: The fact that the most fun of a game is to actually discover it, and most of all, discover YOUR way to do things. Surely, ‘pros’ have found their ways of doing things, and it worked for them. But what is the fun in ‘watching’ what others have done? To me, it’s very similar to the concept of finding a solution of a puzzle before bothering to do it yourself.

Game, this is a game! No, thanks, I have no interest in watching the ‘pros’ on YouTube for learning purposes – This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching gaming videos okay, YouTubers? Keep ’em coming.

b) The one who (genuinely) thinks his team ‘sucks’ and he’s the only one who doesn’t

You, my friend, are one of a kind. How unfair life is, when all of your team members ‘suck’, and you almighty one, incapable of saving the world on your own? Oh, cruel world, cruel fate!

Aham, we all know this one. The rule normally goes like this: The one complaining about his teammates, is normally the one who is actually playing the worst.

c) The one who (genuinely) thinks he’s giving good tips

This one is really difficult to deal with, because they can come in two different forms: nice and rude. The rude form will verbally attack you from the very beginning and give you very specific instructions / orders that he expects you to follow. Usually, he only shows up when your team is losing. The nice variant will try to genuinely help you, however his tips are incredibly inaccurate as well, and will only make the whole team’s life more difficult.

If you are a newbie, you will probably think this person is right, and you even might take his advice into account – or you can be lucky, have a more experienced player in your team that will decide to intervene. If you are an experienced player and call him out on his bullshit, he might take the rude form.

In my opinion, this is one of the worst type of players you can find because they are not only ruining new players’s experience, they are also preventing them from gaining an accurate understanding of the game.

d) The smurf who (genuinely) thinks he’s good, however only plays with lower levels

Again, this is very typical. Someone creates a smurf account. This someone in specific was never very good to start with; however with his smurf account he thinks he’s the best because he plays against low levels. Of course, he will be better than a new player who has just started a game, and he will try to even make you feel bad about it!

New players, ignore these. Simply enjoy the game and the gradual understanding that comes with it.

Warning: Species 1 can also, occasionally, evolve into Species 2. 

Species 2 – The One Who Gets Personal

Excuse Me
Excuse Me?

Ooh, you won’t want to find this one. This person will get aggressive, and eventually, potentially banned. These are the ones who you can just mute instantly because whatever they have to say is not even related to the game.

Most of them are trolls, but some of them are actually people who basically don’t know how to handle a game. So yes, some of them are actually crying and banging their head against the screen.

a) The Racist and/or Xenophobic

They will insult your race, or your country, or both, make use of any possible stereotypes, and spend the duration of the game typing instead of playing.  There is not yet a scientific explanation for what triggers this type of behavior.

b) The Sexist

If he happens to suspect you are a girl, he can either tell you that you suck because you are a girl (plain rude form) or kindly offer to teach you (fake nice form). Hint: Do not accept his offer, because he normally has nothing useful to teach.

c) The Sexist Pervert (aka OMG-I-have-never-seen-a-girl-before)

Very similar to The Sexist, except he will use graphic language. He will probably ask you ‘n00ds’ too.

Species 3 – The Self-proclaimed Pro

i am brilliant
I’m Pro and I know it

Ok, fair enough, this guy / girl is actually an experienced player who knows what he is doing. Most of us will get there, eventually. Now, the real question is, how toxic do you want to be when you get there? Self-proclaimed pros can include gamers who either excelled at a particular game or never actually excelled (and probably never will) but are reasonably good at it.

The species featured here, of course, belongs to the toxic players category, but this doesn’t mean all experienced players are toxic. In this case, the self-proclaimed pro will brag endlessly about his achievements and will lose his patience if you do a rookie mistake twice.

From my experience, it’s more common to find this species among the ones who have never completely mastered the game (despite having played it for years), and I guess, feel somehow frustrated about it. The result is that many will be intolerant towards newbies and potentially display behavior from any of the species described above.


I just want to finish this (genuinely) insightful article by saying that despite my light tone, it does make me sad that there are so many toxic players out there. I also want to point out that you do find non-toxic and grown ups, occasionally, in some online gaming communities, and that we are not ALL bad. We should keep fighting to improve the online experience for us all.

And remember.

We were all newbies one day.

We were all newbies one day. Click To Tweet



  1. […] agree with you, there are not enough Coup de Gueule. The one Nya has written was the first and last – until now. The truth is that we don’t really have many things […]

  2. Whoa, incredible blog format! How long have you been blogging for?
    Your site is amazing, and articles are very good!

  3. Great article. I am facing many of these issues
    as well..

  4. Ugh Trolls are the worst. #2 is horrible. My husband (who plays video games) always gets racist comments. We have to turn off the sound when our kids are around. There are so many lameos on the internet! The best is when he kicks their a$$es in the game 🙂

  5. This is great! I love playing on our PS3 with my husband but when I first started playing got a lot of nasty comments. Oh well it never stopped me. 🙂

  6. CourtneyLynne

    Hahahaha loved this!!! My hubby is into playing video games so this had me cracking up.

  7. I am not into gaming. I’m so old, I had the original Atari as a kid (in the 1970’s) and played Super Mario Brothers and Tetris on the original Nintendo in the 90’s! However, you managed to make this very interesting, even to someone like me who doesn’t play! We run into these kinds of people in all different areas of life. It sounds like “mute” is a great feature in gaming!
    Karla recently posted…Humility Prevents HumiliationMy Profile

    • Thank you! Well, Retro gaming, the best:) Exactly, ‘mute’ would be such an useful feature in real life.

  8. nice post! My hubby and brothers are big into it and i can relate to it!
    suchi recently posted…Special gifts for the one who cares – Fabz Father’s Day picksMy Profile

  9. I don’t play video games but I can relate to all the different kinds of people though!

    Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com
    Rosie Roman recently posted…Me, My Kettlebell And IMy Profile

  10. I have never played a video game, but I am guessing it the same as other online personalities. Some people just can’t act properly.
    Bella B (xoxoBella) recently posted…What I am WearingMy Profile

  11. This post makes a nice read! Though I’m not into video games but my hubby loves it!
    Ana recently posted…Want To Improve Your Diet…Eat Wheatgrass!My Profile

  12. Gaming is SO much different than it was when we were kids. I was pretty oblivious to this world until recently when my nephew told me ALLLLL about it!

  13. Well, we do genuinely think that the others are sh– and we are better. But we keep that to ourselves <3 Anyway, as always this is amazing post written by the best. I do love this original format and can't wait to read more of your posts. And of course, I always love playing with you despite some toxic community. We are immune against them and anything else together <3
    Fenrile recently posted…Coup de Gueule #1 – Don’t feed the trolls: 3 species of toxic playersMy Profile

    • Haha, we do keep that to ourselves. Thank you, soulmate. I love your posts too. And playing with you is what makes my day <3

  14. It’s very interesting! I don’t play video games but I love this post! Haha… So fun!

  15. These game posts are so fun reading! I don’t understand about video games at all – I’m the only family member who has never even tried to play 😀 It seems that you really know about these things:)

  16. I don’t think I could be a gamer because I would get so caught up in the drama of it all and forget about the game. The whole point of the game is to be able to get away from the drama!
    Alison recently posted…Cheers! Kid’s Summer ActivitiesMy Profile

  17. Hey Ana, am a gamer too 🙂 Not on consoles, I prefer the PC master race 😛 Just kidding. Lets see if u find out which category i belong to.

    • Me and Fenrile are PC gamers too:) I wouldn’t know, I’d need to watch you play first haha

  18. LOL! I’m not a gamer and ‘d hate playing because of that. I’m a total introvert. I just want to play and be a recluse haha it’s funny how you can categorize the players, I can really imagine it. *eye roll*
    Amy Scott recently posted…Propagating SucculentsMy Profile

  19. I had a hearty laugh all through. I was reminded of the vacations when we all cousins would play these games all days through. But, fortunately I never had any of the player passing random sexist remarks on us girls.

  20. Haha love this post! So hylarious! I can see my BF playing while reading it and laughing to myself…
    MakeUp Fun recently posted…Moda Bridal – Dress for your WeddingMy Profile

  21. I know people in at least each of these lol. Some are easily more than one. I like to play games to play, not so much for crazy competition, so I dont really like to play with anyone overly competitive.

  22. This was a very interesting evening read. Unfortunately, there are always some people who think they know-it-all and try to degrade others! I hate being told how to do things especially when I am playing games. It’s my game and I like to play it how I want without being interfered.

    Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com

  23. I don’t play video games but I feel like these sorts of people pop up in all kinds of places. There is no need for anyone to show attitude or act rudely to others even on a video game.

  24. I hate most these self proclaimed pros. Haha. Let’s just play and see!
    Jessica recently posted…The Strand Hotel Yangon, Myanmar: Its Past, Present and FutureMy Profile

  25. The self proclaimed pro really irritate me to hell… They behave like they know everything and shower you with suggestion on playing the game, how when where what and never allow you to play with peace.. I can just say.. Ahh, give me a break!

  26. Anyone that I see being sexist I immediately shut them down ‘you play like a girl’? What kind of insult is that meant to be anyway?
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…May RecapMy Profile

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