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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

admiralvic3499d ago

Well, there are a lot of ways to take it, but you don't give enough information to give an accurate opinion. Perhaps talk to this person to see if there is a game they might enjoy playing a little bit more. I know it really sucks when you're playing a game you don't get and everything feels awkward / weird to you (like when I got roped into playing a bunch of PC games at a game convention. Having never once played with a keyboard, I was ultimately at a severe disadvantage and completely lost as to what I need to do). Another thing is that fighting games can lead to anger pretty quickly, even those like Super Smash Bros. I think we've all had those times when several of your defeats are stolen or simply have a lot of bad luck.

Though like I said, giving a situation and a vague idea of what happens isn't really a lot to go off of. Not to mention, this isn't probably the best place to ask such a question.

TomShoe3499d ago

"Why do people rage"

Because some of us take games too seriously.

I'll admit, I'm part of that group, especially when it comes to playing Call of Duty. I only rage if I've had a really bad day at work and am doing very poorly at CoD. Normally, I'm a really chill guy, but the day has just been so stressful, I have to take my anger out somehow. Shotguns and Quickscopers make my fire burn greatly.

Of course, there are those screaming 10 y/o's, but a lot of us use games to unwind after a long day. Losing badly at a game doesn't help that.

TheFirstClassic3499d ago

Do you mean I don't give enough information on my own opinion or that I don't give enough information on my roommate's act of raging? I'm sort of confused on the whole concept because I'm just so generally laid back, that I really haven't formed an opinion. Now if you mean I don't give enough information of other's act of raging, I don't know what else to say. I think this sentence sums it up pretty well:

"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."

It's this that I have trouble understanding. How some people just can't hold in anger despite the social consequences that will come from their reaction. And also, just how common this sort of thing appears to be, based off of my experiences anyway.

And maybe this isn't the best place to ask this question, but I sorta just wrote this up on a whim and decided to submit it because, well, why the heck not?

admiralvic3499d ago

I meant the situation. As it stands, I thought the blog was pretty much saying "I got a friend who can't control his rage, so do you have tips to prevent him from breaking my property without confronting him?"

Like I said, there are a lot of situations and endless possible reasons. Ranging from him being frustrated at losing to him thinking he is being wronged in some way.

TheFirstClassic3499d ago

Can't really see him being wronged in any way. Like I said in a comment below, I go to smash bros tournaments, I honestly have this game down to a science. It was just frustration of being unable to beat me at the only game I'm really good at, the same thing has happened 1v1. And then later he wants to play some more, and I feel like I have to go easy on him so he won't break anything.

GrandpaSnake3499d ago

not everyone is a zen master, but i think people should strive for it. Competition is part of concentration and without focus you wont do well. when you dont do well you can rage. the way you rage is very imprtant. do you curse at the other players during the whole match? do you break stuff around you? do you break your controller on your head?(ive lived in a gamer house and have seen this fist hand).

310dodo3499d ago (Edited 3499d ago )

its about maturity.
I have broken about 4 Dualshock 3's this gen because of COD. (not proud)

then one day I was like "why am I breaking my expensive things?" "why is a game making me so mad?"

and I stopped getting mad and just played. MW2 was the last game I "raged" to.
it takes time. humans are strange lol

Thehyph3499d ago

True; maturity is a big part of it.

As we age, our perspectives, our responsibilities, and our thresholds age, too.

An 18 year old is going to get more raged than a 30 year old with squealing youngsters.
The 18 year old is probably way more into the game and has a thirst for the competitive edge. The 30 year old is probably playing to release that kind of energy.

310dodo3499d ago

absolutely, my 19 yr old self was a loud mouth fool on COD.
Now Im older (27) and Its like "wtf was I thinking?"

lol. live and learn

TheFirstClassic3499d ago

Honestly I think cod is the most rage inducing game I have ever played. I've never "raged" from it, but there's just something about that game that's so frustrating. I think a lot of it has to do with just how fast you die. Sometimes you can spawn, walk two steps, then get killed my three bullets. Feels like you've been cheated.

310dodo3499d ago

I played sports my whole life.
for me it was that damn K/d ratio.
it would eat at me so much, it killed me to lose a match or life.

But thats a sad existence. Video games are made for enjoyment, not to induce anger.

dredgewalker3499d ago

Agreed, it takes time to learn how to chill and not take a game too seriously. I used to rage too when I was a lot younger and realized it was a childish behavior that isn't necessary. Nowadays I don't rage anymore and my playing has improved a lot ever since. It helps to keep your head cool especially in fighting games and fps matches. You simply lose a lot more in games if you give in to anger. Gaming should be fun.

Thehyph3499d ago

If you aren't getting raged at some point, then you probably aren't being competitive during gameplay. Sports players get raged in a similar manner.

Also, anger can be constructive.

I got my Zen down pretty good, but I still get raged sometimes. Usually it's not from video games though.

When I get raged I usually pick up the guitar. Digging into the strings a little harder works wonders.

TheFirstClassic3499d ago

I actually go to smash bros tournaments, and I take my game very seriously. I've played the game a lot ever since release, and I do feel tense and nervous in a close game, the competitive drive is strong. But even when I lose, or get frustrated, I can always control myself. I would never break up a party or break something that doesn't belong to me.

DestinyHeroDoomlord3499d ago

When I get angry at a game I start fooling around in-game. I recall one cod4 match where I just started running straight at the other team while spinning around like a human twister (sensitivity 10 :) . But I rarely get angry...

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