Do Video Games Make You Angry?

~first draft~

So here I am, back again for my second attempt at blogging. Let’s hope it’s better than my last.

Do they.. Well, do they? I suppose I’ll start by giving a brief history of my hazy, lazy, brain drain-y gaming ‘career’. I burst onto the gaming scene when I was around 10 years of age (1990) with the Commodore 64. I owned many, many games; all the classics: Green Beret, Double Dragon, Barbarian, Chase HQ.. I mean, the list, spongy memory permitting, is potentially endless. Without heading down a road brightly lit by nostalgia I remember them to be pretty good days on a whole.

I haven’t got any memory of being particularly affected in any way negative or otherwise, probably because it was all some time ago now, regrettably! Anyway, I think my next major gaming platform was a Sega Megadrive with a Nintendo Game Boy in between there somewhere. I don’t remember owning many games for the Megadrive, they were too expensive for a child from a working class background to afford, so whenever I could afford it I used to rent games out from the local corner shop.

Was I angry in this time — not that I can remember — but yes, the N64 and its games had an ability to play with my emotional states in other ways.

Next up was what I see as the pinnacle of my gaming life, never to be bettered; the ere of the N64. The system and its games landed in Earth’s timeline perfectly for true gamers of the day. Everything about it was pure 100% gaming perfection. The controller to this day (slight niggles aside) is my favourite gaming pad of all time. The other kids had Playstations but in my opinion despite having some big and very worthy games, was a system for gamers who found the N64 too difficult to play.

After the N64, bar a couple of handfuls of titles on the GameCube, my gaming hobby was on a steady decline. Thankfully the N64 wasn’t that long ago that I can’t still remember what emotions it evoked and stirred within me. I used to sweat, grind my teeth, competitive matches on F-Zero X even often gave me heart palpitations. I once stayed up all through the night playing Turok with my best friend of the time. Once I did finally close my eyes the now crude looking 3D polygons of a time past were burnt in to the backs of my retinas like a sick eyeball tattoo that proved my hardcore devotion to gaming.

Was I angry in this time — not that I can remember — but yes, the N64 and its games had an ability to play with my emotional states in other ways.

After the GameCube, the next Nintendo home console release was the Wii. As previously mentioned my interested in video computer games was in decline but I just had to get the Wii out of a sense of loyalty to Nintendo, I still had much respect for their creative work which everyone else in the industry measures their own by, and still to this days hasn’t matched or exceeded.

At the time of writing this the Wii is coming to the end of its lifespan with the so called ‘Wii U’ readied on the sidelines to take its place. I played all the AAA titles for Wii, Metroid, the Mario games, etc, and I loved them as works of art, but no where near as much as I would have done a few years previous… I guess sometimes you just grow out of things.

but there was a side effect, at times, I would get very, very angry.

Now with some time on my hands and a lack of any AAA Nintendo titles to play, I though I would give Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) on the Wii a go. Not ever owning an Xbox360 or PS3, these FPS games have by and large pasted me by. I think there are too many of them and I think there is nothing big or cleaver about them. I kicked off with the single player mode. I could only bare the first three or four levels: it was dull, boring, and linear; is this what all the kids are playing these days?

There was no way I could play that dross and what pleasure anyone gets some such poor game mechanics boggles me. I moved onto the online multiplayer. Now, this is different I thought. Online gaming was and still is quite new to me so there was a sense of the exotic about the experience. I soon found myself hooked, reaching out to real people around the globe and battling to see who has the best gaming skill. I found myself joining a ‘clan’, which is just a group of players who all meet up and play against other clans to fight for bragging rights.

I began to get better and better and am now able to give some of the best players in the MW3 Wii’isphere a run for their money, but there was a side effect; at times, I would get very, very angry. What I can say is I feel the anger has nothing to do with the theme of the game, warfare, but more to do with that which online FPS gaming entails. The online factor is the only new introduction into the equation.

With online FPS gaming comes many annoyances which have the ability to get right under your skin. On much too many an occasion, you can find yourself in impossible situations, being shot simultaneously from three different directions, and countless other situations which seem to purposefully taunt you like you are having the absolute worst luck of your life and are powerless to do anything about it. Powerless, because most of the time you are reliant on the other players on your team to work with you for the team, which more often than not, they don’t.

Then there are poor network connections which can see you shoot someone fair and square, only for you to realise their network connection is better than yours and they shot and killed you a split second earlier

Compounding on all the above is the single most annoyance of all.. hackers. Hackers who impose themselves on to others are the absolute scum of the gaming world, and it seems MW3 Wii players are at their mercy. They cheat with infinite ammo hacks, 1-shot-kill pokes and aim-bot mods. They can and often do, alter your profile and statistics — as if cheating their way through a match wasn’t bad enough!

The scary thing is, anger is addictive, and I can’t help but feel that the people who make these games induce that emotion along with other Jedi mind tricks tricks to keep people coming back for more torment. It would also explain why there is now a massive FPS market to cater for. These types of gamers are nothing more than people looking for a fix for their emotional peptide addiction.

So the answer to the question is a big fat yes, video games can make you angry, but not all games.

I know that it would be easy to give into the seemingly harmless addiction and continue playing the game, but I know the wise choice would be to just get rid of it and never look back before the anger and irritability seeps through into other areas of my life any more than it already has.


8 thoughts on “Do Video Games Make You Angry?

  1. JustWingIT says:

    I used to play games for fun. Until MW2 came out. I thought I was gaming at gaming for my age. But it turns out my friends were just as good or better. Soon I tried to be better than them and it became a personal problem. Everytime I would die I would get real angry and throw my controller. Then buy a new one

  2. I actually intend to take note of this specific article, “Do Video Games Make You
    Angry? | The Curiosity Thought Shop.” on my web site.
    Would you care in case I personallydo? Thx -Flossie

  3. Matt says:

    I think you nailed it with the emotional attachment gamers develop. I rarely play online, and when I do it’s actually a good time. The problem isn’t even with losing, losing is an essential part to learning and becoming better. My anger and frustration comes from an emotional attachment conflicting with flaws in the actual game-play. For example, I recently played through Fallout 1 and 2. I love the Fallout universe and the whole alternate future. Both games are classics in the series and so I thought it would fun to experience the story from the beginning. What I didn’t expect was the outdated game-play that requires the patience of a Buddhist monk. They’re both turn-based isometric rpg’s (which are great), but these are games where you WILL die, and die, and restart, and die, and restart, multiple multiple multiple multiple times until you build the right character just to survive through the beginning of the game. And speaking of combat, how does one miss multiple times (5-6) with a 95% to hit. In the beginning encounters take roughly 4-5 minutes to kill a couple rats or geckos because your character simply misses every time. And when he does hit, it’s a whopping 3 or 4 damage, meaning you need to hit these geckos at least 5 more times. God help you if there’s more than one, or if you didn’t spam the save button before. And how the **** does the enemy get to move his full distance and still fire twice at me, yet I can barely move two or three tiles if I want to shoot just once… See where I’m going with this. I wanted to enjoy this game so much, I basically tried to force myself to love it because it was Fallout, when really I hated every second of the whole experience thanks to the frustrating game-play. I raged hard through the whole experience, yelling and screaming over nothing really. And it’s not that it was a shitty game, not at all. At the time it was rated one of the best rpg’s (I think around 97′ or 98′).

    No, my thinking is that we want to enjoy something so much that we build up all these expectations in our head, and when the game doesn’t meet those expectations we take it personally because of this attachment we may have already developed (as was in my case). Anyway that’s my piece. Great article. I’m tired of reading the same “you need anger management/therapy/counselling because you have gamer-rage.” Why place a stigma on something that’s just going to alienate people and push them into an even more frustrated state of mind (I personally hate it when people offer those “solutions” because it seems like an easy alternative to addressing the problem directly). What helps me is to just turn it off and move on with my life. If I don’t do that then it quickly turns into this cycle of feeling frustrated with the game, then feeling frustrated with myself for being frustrated with the game and so on. The key is to recognize those feelings and just move away. An hour later I wont even remember why I was pissed.

  4. Arturo says:

    I really consider this specific posting , Custom Shades “Do
    Video Games Make You Angry? | The Curiosity Thought Shop.
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    superb read. Many thanks,Jacques

  5. BOB says:

    Rss says, heres an angle I wonder at, who has considered the business aspect of any and every game consol? myself having been gaming since around 1977 when space invaders came out in arcades.
    Anger and Rage have allways been there- break a controller!??, how about a nearly new PS3 500gb system slammed on a hard tile floor? total scrap in a hot jiffy.
    Now lets consider the business end of it a little deeper by one observation , and this the thing- ” Is it any strange cooincedence that every time hardware gets broken on any game system, that company profits financially?
    Lets expand on that some by this question, ” How many companies anywhere in this world have been exposed for capitalizing on disasters?
    These two must be in the same catagory.
    As for the poor souls just like myself, I know the pain of this unfounded rage, the question to those who program and produce some of these titles ” is there an underlying intent to the games content”?

  6. IvanBelic says:

    I bought world of warcraft to help me stop smoking which it kinda did i’ve been clean for 3 years now. After my friends stopped playing on our pvp server cause they moved to playin LoL i didnt want to cause of the rage out there and intolerance for noobs (at least here in Europe). So i decided to continue but on a different realm so i switch to a roleplaying realm. I had no idea what i was getting into. So i met these people we’ve been rping and skyping and playing together for years when all of a sudden they found out i was roleplaying myself and obviously that wasnt allowed you can either be good or evil but not yourself, and the drama started in a manner that i started to take everything pretty pretty personal with not an ounce of criticism nor advice. I’ve fallen so far that i couldnt even tell if i i was handed over an advice or critique or insult it all sounded both wrong and unfair to me. And there was this night i got so mad that my heart started to race and i felt bad and i had to vomit to actually feel better.
    And here comes the catch i am not violent. I had very few real life fights and i never trough a punch. It was either my jumping in to save a a girl of i was being set up after helping the girl in the first place. I was the silent quiet nerdy type who always had a smile on his face and ive been gaming since the age of 5 (im 25 now). I never had any problems outside of my house (excluding the classical pre school bullying if that even counts) So im pretty social. But i was told that the fact that i make friends fast is both a gift and a curse and recently more or less it was more of a curse than a gift.

    And the bitter irony this all started after i bought a new PC to replace my old one and i worked for months to afford this custom built PC and managed to push through college (im in my final year) at the same time.
    I would like to note that i wasted 3 years after high school for trusting a so called best friend and it wrecked my first try in college and i had to do it again with a 3 year lag ^_^ which i don’t mind i met some great people in this 3 year break.
    So life has given me a second chance to make this important decision again and i dont know what to do. I’m disappointed that i actually developed gamer rage to that level that it threatened my health and even though this WILL not make me stop playing i know that the passion that i once had has to go away.
    I want to finish college and leave my country (serbia) and try my luck in another country i was thinking of norway maybe.
    Cause i simply cannot ignore the fact that i’m 25 and its should be time for me to do something with my life other than work and play so sorry for boring you but this just had to come out if gaming makes you angry do something like really do something do not feed it or do not level it cause its not good…. -.- it will only sabotage you and well..what not

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