Why do people rage?
The act of uncontrollable rage over losing in a video game is a fairly common scene in the video game community. There are countless videos on youtube of people “rage-quitting” and there are gamers out there who play online for the sole purpose of hearing the horrific squeals of F-Bombs get dropped over a mic. We call these people trolls. Now, if somebody rages because they were provoked or insulted, their actions are unnecessary and unproductive, but somewhat understandable at the same time. The purpose of this blog is for me to share my experiences and thoughts with those who rage simply because they lost, and for no other reason.
Right now I’m a junior in college, and sometimes the best way to deal with stress is to get some buddies together and waste an hour or two playing Super Smash Brother Melee. On one such occasion, rather recently in fact, all seemed to be going smoothly. I was dominating as usual, my roommate was coming in second pretty consistently, and my other two friends who are a bit inexperienced were fighting it out for third. Everything seemed to be going well, jokes were made and fun was had…among three of us. After the end of one game, all of a sudden, a frightening sound broke all conversation. “&@%@ THIS GAME!!!” I looked over to see my roommate throw my hard earned controller across the room, and then stand up to deliver a straight punch to the stone wall in our room. Upon seeing my beautiful Wavebird wireless gamecube controller go bouncing across the room, my shock turned to anger. Every accessory, game, or system I own was purchased with my money, money that I worked for, and I didn’t take very kindly to having my possessions smacked around just because someone can’t control their temper. I managed to keep an even tone as I told him that if he breaks something I own I will make him pay for it. The game night was cut short and we all went back to doing different things, all feeling a bit awkward.
The sad thing is, this isn’t the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. Whether it’s been smash bros, Playstation All Stars, or even any single player game with moderate difficulty, they all have the potential to start a rage fest for this guy. This seems absolutely incomprehensible to me, I’m generally a pretty laid back person, and I can’t remember a single point in my life where I have ever raged at a video game. I’ve definitely gotten frustrated before, but even while playing games as a child I never got to the point to where my emotions really surfaced. See, I can understand getting angry at a video game. But what I can’t understand is getting so angry that you are unable to contain yourself that you just can’t stop yourself from breaking other people’s property and making yourself seem like a fool. I’ve witnessed this sort of thing among a lot of people, although my roommate seems more consistent with his rage than most (probably just because of the amount of time I spend with him). And don’t misunderstand; he’s normally a great guy…until he starts losing. Then all hell breaks loose. And I’ve been wondering… is there anything I can do to deal with my roommate? Once he rages he usually feels bad about it for a while, so I would estimate he won’t rage for at least another 3-4 weeks. But how do I deal with something like that? I’ve actually let him win on purpose a few times when it seemed like he was about to explode…which seems sort of pathetic in retrospect.
But I digress. What are your opinions? Am I overreacting? Do any of you consider yourselves to be ragers? If so, feel free to give some insight into the whole process of raging.