I'm a n00b, he's a n00b, we're all n00bs! Aren't we? Since when was expertise in a game automatic? True enough, some may take to a game naturally, hulking out right away or having prior experience with a long-running series enough to say to the newbies out there... "You're such a n00b!"
What I'm wondering about is whether or not you've ever used the commonly phrased "n00b" name, and whether you think it's all right? Don't you think that it's discriminating? Don't you hate it when others tell you that you are one or someone else is? Don't you wish that the name caller would just eat dirt?
What about the lamer, the useless pathetic "n00b" though? Do they deserve the criticism? Aren't they too new to be taking on a pro such as yourself or that other maestro calling them out?
What do you think about all of this? Who's right? Who's wrong? Is "n00b" a bad word... or not?
Hmmm, like so many other labels, it all depends on how it is used and by whom. n00b is rarely meant in any other way than to be derogatory or cruel. It is more often associated with younger gamers than gamers of my age.
I'm not fond of terms meant to be rude. Anyone who's read my rants on the Hardcore/Casual topic knows how I feel about labels used to divide and insult. (Not that I don't use my own when irrate, I just tend to limit them to the confines of my head or solo driving.)
Everyone starts off as a newbie (or newb for short). Often I've seen people use "newb" as an insult or an excuse for poor behavior. It does stand that most new players to any game, will need a brief adjustment stage (or in the case of the fully new, a much longer adjustment period.) While you might be a veteran of the FPS genre, the first time you enter a new battlefield, you do need to get your bearings. I've heard a few of the MVP vets mention that the controls in Uncharted 2 are far different than those of Killzone 2 or Call of Duty.
On the other hand, n00b is used to denote idiocy, stupidity, and even newbies. Often I've seen n00b in conjecture with a player or guild's name. "papawarlock ur a n00b dude. u kan't hit teh broadside uv a barn with an RPG if u where 2' from it" or "teh MVP clan r n00bs. tehy hax, an bot an stuff. theyre players sux" You get the idea. I've even seen good players slammed because they got something someone else got. Obviously if you got what they wanted, you must be a hacker or ninja looter. A "n00b" of epic fail so to speak.
n00b by itself isn't a bad word. Just as many other terms in life didn't start off with negative connotations. But at this evolutionary stage of the online "civilized" structure, it is often used very painfully. At my stage of life, I really don't care if someone behind another screen thinks I'm an idiot or a "n00b". I don't play for others. I play for myself. But I understand the impact of language. The old addage "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is as far from reality as can be. Words do hurt. Especially by a group of people you want to be a part of.
I actually remember the first time I heard the name being used. My friends back in middle school were kind of co-writing a silly story that they had all come up with and one of the characters had the name of either "noob" or "nooblet." I thought the term was somewhat stupid then and I still think it's somewhat stupid now.
I don't ever use the name unless I'm joking with people, and even then, it's rare. It's not that I don't want to offend people, I just think it sounds ridiculous. "Hey, man. You're such a noob with that FAMAS." Really? I feel like if I were to use it seriously in a conversation with someone, I would lose some of my credibility and status as a mature player. Instead, I may just refer to someone as a "new player." My general dislike for the term may be due to my general dislike for internet slang. Sure, it's funny on the internet and sometimes in conversation, but it usually sounds stupid if it's being used to attempt to hurt someone.
Thankfully, though, people recognize that many people most of the time are joking when they use it. In other words, they realize that it doesn't have as serious of a negative connotation as some of the more hurtful words involving homosexuality, for example.
As a whole, I don't think the word is really "bad" but it definitely can get on my nerves. If I get a message from someone after playing a round of Call of Duty that says something like, "Stop being a camper. Noob," I immediately delete it. After all, when using the term "noob," things start to become very grey. Many people have differing opinions on what is a "noob" and what isn't so it would be nice if someone could more constructively tell me why I'm a "noob" in there eyes instead of just being obnoxious and throwing an internet term my way.
Well, I'm not all for the term, but I like it in that it is a lot more friendlier than saying "HEY YOU SUCK". So, I'm not totally against it. People can't just expect other's to be as good as they are, etc. I don't think it's offensive at all, just some gamer lingo that became very popular.
I believe the word originated for the word "newb", short for "newbie", which is pretty obvious as to what it means, and a totally understandable term in just about every possible situation. I figure it's a friend'y way to say "welcome" to the new players of a game - it doens't even have to be an online one!
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I can't think back to a time when and if I've ever been called a "n00b." I've been called other things, worser things, but the n00b effect doesn't impact everyone, I suppose.
That or not everyone plays online games as heavily as others. Within the past year, I've been on a long streak playing less and less multiplayer and more and more single-player, a preferable spot to be in. 2009 had some Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2 sessions, and plenty of Call of Duty. Various games in the years before bounced between the likes of Call of Duty, Warhawk, Metal Gear Solid 4, and LittleBigPlanet.
Of all of those games, Call of Duty is the one place generating the strongest feedback. It's the multiplayer game of choice, it's the multiplayer game I've played too many times for too many hours, and it's the game I've spent too much time with by the side of friends' or attempting to strike it out on my own.
Putting all of this aside, I still can't think back to many times when the phrase was uttered by someone. It's not the type of slang stored in my own vocabulary that I'd be ready to sling. As far as I can tell, every person in every game is capable of shooting a gun. Unless someone was noticeably inactive for some reason or another, making them an easy target for me, I still don't make an issue out of it. What were they doing? *shrug* Who cares? I'm just there to play the game and try to have fun, rather than gloat about my skills or lack of others'.
While I can't say much from personal experience, I am concerned when such a word gains derogatory backing behind it. It may not always be the case, but there are times when gamers online do have a serious mouth on them. Even in message boards (or other populated Internet placings), it's hard to escape the n00b bombings. Even if such a word isn't generally offensive, it definitely has the power to be. That's what gets to me to me in the end... the cycle. Many gamers seem to act with a one-track mind: be the best, lay down the hurt. Instead of encouragement, some people will disassemble players with a foul tongue. Owning others rather than renting them a warm room to play in for the night... can't we all just get along?
Well, I admit that I used to use it years ago in pc mmos. But it really depends on the context in which the word is used. Noob, as in newb, or newbie, which means new player, isn't an inherently bad term. I've even used the term to describe myself in a game I'm new to, or lack experience with. It is a word that can be used in an insulting context though, and that's where I draw the line. In general, I haven't used the term much for a long time, except during our fun MVP Game Nights, and in those cases I did use it to describe myself, since I don't become a skilled player overnight. It happened gradually in RE5, and I'm slowly getting better in Uncharted 2, but I still have a ways to go. But, I participate in these Game Nights to have fun. Wins and losses are irrelevant to me, and when I first start playing a game online, I'll have more losses than wins, or if I'm part of a team, any wins will likely come about because my team did all the work. But as I improve, I pull more weight, and if I'm on my own, I can shatter my own records.
Then again, I tend to stick to single player games for the most part, unless I'm playing with friends, so I'm rarely in a situation where the term noob is tossed around freely. As it stands, I don't hear the term very often anymore, and I don't have reason to use it myself, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. Though I think noob takes on the same meanings and contexts as when it was first popularized, and that's what comes to mind in the rare instances when I use the term.