Informant’s self-description: “I am a large melting pot of everyone that I have ever met. Even if I did not really know who they were. And that makes me me! And different from everyone, ‘cause we all have different experiences. I am a video game person that loves a video game, and I love things that aren’t actually real life. But I also like real life! But sometimes fiction more so because the boundaries of what can be done are expanded. And that’s really cool to me. I like food – a lot. And I am a person that just wants to do a lot of things all the time. Forever.”
Is there gamer culture that you take part in, or is it more of a solitary thing?
I’d like to be part of some sort of gaming culture – I’d really enjoy going to some video game convention and get to see what’s up-and-coming, and be able to talk to people who are within that community and get to make friends. I’ve only recently begun trying to engage with that side of my life – before it was very solitary. It was just me at home, planting my butt in the chair and playing Mario Kart or the Sims for ages on end. And then I got an X-Box, which was like communication with other people that were playing, and that sorta kinda kicked me in the right direction, which is fun, also scary but fun.
Do you talk to people online?
The game I mostly play is Mass Effect, and there’s a Mass Effect multiplayer. You just do missions with other people. You can talk to them if you like, I usually only play with friends that I know in real life, because there’s a tendency for – especially if you’re like a gal and you’re playing online and if they know, they don’t treat you with respect or it’s kind of really weird and they don’t treat you like a fellow gamer? It’s like “Oh, it’s a girl.” I’ve experienced before where they just kind of leave me be to the really small side missions. And I’m not down with that. So I usually just play with friends that I know in real life. And we destroy things together.
Is there any particular lingo that you guys use in the game and not outside of it?
I guess the terms for the things that we’re trying to do. With the monsters or the enemies that we’re trying to go up against, or I think – like a certain term would be “camping.” Which is when a certain player is lying in wait. And hidden from the rest of the players just so they can score, or kill someone, so they can destroy something, they can achieve the objective without really having to go through the process of avoiding other people on the go. They just kinda lie in wait. That’s generally frowned upon.
How often does it happen?
Depends on the game and whether or not you’re able to. I know in Call of Duty, if you camp a lot of people will gang up on you. After they’ll be like “CAMPER! HE’S A CAMPER!” And then you wind up dying a lot because if you get found out, you’re the camper, and no one likes you. In other games, maybe not so much because you can’t really camp? And if you do you’re kind of just like a coward and people will ignore you.
Have you ever camped?
Yes in Call of Duty, because I am not very good at Call of Duty. And the only time I played it, I played Black Ops, and I was about to die and I was like “NO!” So I just hid for the rest of the game. I let other people just kind of kill each other, and once in a while I would shoot someone if they were passing by.
It was more of a defensive camping than an offensive camping.
Yeah, yes, much yes. Lots of defense, no offense whatsoever. I mean, occasionally try to shoot someone, and then maybe get them, and they’d come back and find me, and I’d just lie in wait again.
Have you ever ganged up on a camper when they were found out?
Only on my friends, really. I mean I kind of feel bad when it’s someone that I don’t know, unless – it’s been very rarely that I talk to other people via the voice chat, in a party – it’s just so quick sometimes, especially with Mass Effect, but um… Yeah sometimes, my friends and I – friends I know in real life – if we see someone that’s camping, then we go and gang up on them and destroy all of their kills – if they’re about to kill something and we see that the enemy’s health is low, we kill them before they do, so when they kill them it doesn’t count for them, and it’s ours. And that makes them angry, and it’s funny.
By playing this multiplayer game, informant engages in the gamer culture maybe more than they realize, to the point where they can explain a specific communally-recognized term and the behaviors surrounding that action the term refers to in the game.