1: A longtime member of a community who is disliked and bothers others with ignorant and rude behavior
2: Someone who reads (or writes) an article about how to not be a noob
Elitism has a way of rearing its ugly head wherever people gather. It seems we can’t resist creating a hierarchy of leaders, followers, those who are cool, and those who just plain suck. Online gaming is no exception, and at the bottom of the food chain lies the lowliest of the low, the dreaded noob. Not to be confused with newbies - whose ignorance may be attributed to them being new to any given game or online community - noobs have been around long enough to know better, and shoulder the brunt of the internet’s unlimited hatred.
Above: A newbie is someone who may not know what’s going on simply because they’re new. A noob is someone who’s been around long enough to know better
Being labeled as a noob can result in symptoms ranging from feelings of intense rejection, utter indignation and downright hurl-yourself-under-a-passing-bus humiliation. And you don't want that. So, read on and find out how to never be labeled as an online gaming noob again.
Have you ever typed out a lengthy question on a board or forum in a desperate moment of need only to receive a bunch of rude responses with cutting comments like “RTFM noob!” or “lol wat a noob!”? If so, you might have unwittingly revealed that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Forum loudmouths and those actually listening in on a game’s general chat channel love camping out and waiting for anyone they can slam as a noob.
Above: There’s this website called Google. It’s really amazing and has helped us figure out why everyone hates us on several occasions
These heartless elitists are ever vigilant and unforgiving. But to their credit, typing out your question probably took ten times as long as it would’ve taken if you just did a quick search on Google or bothered to read the manual.
To 1337 or not to leet
Getting slammed by a bunch of foreign combinations of letters, numbers, acronyms, and abbreviations can be maddening. One theory on leet speak’s origin is that it was developed as a way for people to share and discuss subversive material (read: hacks and porn) without getting nailed by text searches and filters. Today, leet speak is fairly synonymous with internet slang, covering everything from “pr0n” to arcane game-specific code words. Knowing when and when not to speak leet can make the difference between being “teh 1337 sauce” and “nubilicious.”
Write with proper punctuation and spelling, and you’ll be labeled as an uptight noob. On the other hand, if you overload your messages with too much “leetness,” you’ll wind up looking like a total jackass. It’s a tough tightrope to walk, so we’ve put together a few examples below to illustrate the dos and don’ts of leet speak.
Above: Leet speak runs rampant in MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, and it totally “suxxors”
Not 1337 enough
Player A: When you are fighting the boss dragon Onyxia, you have to be careful not to get hit by her tail which can send you flying into the back of the cave, causing all the dragon whelps to spawn – which will kill your entire raiding party.
Player B: lmao! u sound like a total noob!!
Player A: ZOMG!!11! WTF!?!? can u plz stop getting wtfpwned by 0ny’s tail swipe!?!?!
Player B: OMG! no duh!!1! its cuz u cant tank for crap u worthless noob.
Player A: u suck. learn how 2 play
Player B: ok...
Many gamers have a penchant for helping others with their encyclopedic knowledge. But it’s another thing to ask for a free ride or handout. Unless you traveled through time to the future and bought a new game before bringing it back to the present before it was released, chances are that any trouble you’re having has already been thoroughly explained in a detailed walkthrough.
Above: Begging or demanding unreasonable aid is a sure fire way to get yourself blacklisted as a useless noob
If you need help, go ahead and ask. But if your pleas are met with cold silence, then it might be because it sounds like you’re begging or demanding an unreasonable amount of aid.
The 2 tips
Stop playing with jerks
Here’s the thing about people who angrily call other gamers noobs: They often harbor an unhealthy obsession with the game in question, and make up for their social insecurities by blaming others for their own inadequacies - at least that’s what our therapist keeps telling us every time we start ranting about this one noob we can’t stand. He calls it “displacement.”
The answer? Games aren’t supposed to be stressful. They’re supposed to be fun. So stop hanging out with angry elitists who play every round of capture the flag like their lives depend on it. Whether you’re talking about consoles or PCs, most online games have a system you can use to mute and ignore foul-mouthed players. Flesh out your friend lists with amiable gamers you cross paths with and enjoy playing online again.
Above: Hanging out online with people who don’t take themselves too seriously is the best
Call the other guy a noob first
There’s one more important thing you need to know about people who angrily call other gamers noobs. It turns out that they are actually the biggest noobs (that therapist again). So now that you’re armed with this fascinating factoid, you can rest easy with the knowledge that the biggest noob of all is the guy who just called you one.
But what’s the fun in just turning the other cheek? If you have a suspicion that someone’s about to call you the “N” word, beat them to the punch with a preemptive strike by calling them a noob first. It’ll get their 1337 blood boiling and the vicious circle of vitriolic online hatred will truly be complete.