Contrary to popular belief, I do still post here. Though I suppose it has been almost two months since I last made an update, you really have to think about why you'd want to read anything I write in the first place. Also, look at qedi — he hasn't updated in more than nine months. Compared to him I'm doing just fine.

While I have been perpetually sick for the last couple of months (something Dr House is working round the clock to solve), that's not really an excuse to not post. Neither is the fact that my parents have discovered my web presence (could be worse — I could have been Maddox). They do contribute, just not as much as the fact that I think I'm really bad at expressing things. You know what happened last time I tried to write when I wasn't in the right mindset to do it (I'm not even going to link internally to it; it was so bad).

So without further delay today I'm going to talk about the most important things in the world: the Internets. The Internets are many and few. They are a series of tubes, not unlike a dump truck.

Because of the nature of the Internets, when one is online one can choose to take on any personality and history one wishes. One can be an astronaut, a superhero or a mathematician. You obviously don't have to have been in space to convince someone you've been in space, and it's even easier to do with as long as you're sufficiently knowledgeable in the area. So using your new astronaut persona you can gain all kinds of notoriety or fame.

Mr Astronaut is now an online persona, and no one knows that in real life she's actually a 12-year-old girl who just read a book about astronomy. This separation of real life and online life is usually referred to as anonymity.

This is not to be confused with, y'know, the definition of anonymity. Our hypothetical space-walking friend is not anonymous at all. All he's accomplished is a separation of person and persona. His persona, if done correctly, is very popular and well known across the digital planes. When he does things online, people think, "There goes the famous astronaut." This is in direct contradiction to actual definition of anonymity.

Stop butchering English. C'mon, guys. Now that that annoyance is out of the way I'd like to apply some of the concepts above to the Internet's true purpose: multiplayer games.

The way I see it, there are four kinds of people with respect to games: the hardcore, the social, the Xbox gamers, and the assholes. (Note that the descriptions I'm about to list are extreme examples. Most people won't be definitively categorized into each group. If you want categorization, go take an online quiz, you weirdo.)

Hardcore gamers are the obsessive ones who play World of Warcraft 10 or 12 hours a day. They're the kind of player who sees the rules of the game as the be-all-end-all. People who side-step the rules by either cheating or having a custom-rules server of some kind are the enemy. These people band together into groups (called clans in videogame talk) in order to improve their skills and/or items in game, and have the most fun when their clan is an efficient well-oiled machine, achieving every objective, every minor goal and securing victory as quickly as efficiently as possible. These guys are no-nonsense and will always mop the floor with your stupid noob face at every confrontation, unless you happen to be one of them.

Social gamers are the opposite of hardcore gamers. These guys play games as an extention of hanging out with friends. They generally disregard the person/persona separation with their online comrades, and know each others' names, interests and whatnot. The rules of the games they play are seen as guidelines that can be broken at any time for the sake of having a good time, to the chagrin of the hardcore folks. They join clans based on interest (hint hint: The Daily WTF Steam community, founded by me) and real-life friendships.

The Xbox gamers go by many names. Fame-seeker, insecure little boy, whiner, smacktard — each describes them perfectly. These guys play games well and make friends (like the hardcores and socials, respectively), but do so differently and for different reasons. Xbox guys want everyone to know how awesome they are, either based on how good they are in game or how cool they are in real life. They complain every time they die, they complain when someone steals a point from them, the complain a server doesn't have a setting they like. They brag whenever they get a kill, they brag whenever they secure an objective, they brag about how nice their stuff is. Their sole purpose in playing games is to feel superior to everyone else. When these guys are in clans, they do it to secure personal power, kicking out anyone who crosses them. You can tell a server is operated by a clan consisting mainly of Xbox smacktards when the server's log-in message is something along the lines of "ALWAYS RESPECT ____ CLAN MEMBERS" where ____ is the name of the whiner clan.

Based on the above description, you'd have to wonder what I could possibly mean by asshole gamers that would be different from Xbox gamers. Assholes don't play games because of a desire to win like the hardcores. They don't play games to make friends or to feel superior to anyone else like the socials and the Xbox crowd. They play to have fun. (Remember fun? It's fun!) You might think everyone plays games for this reason, but then the preceding three types of people wouldn't exist and I would never have written down my observations about them. Assholes will exhibit whatever behaviours are strongest in the particular game they're playing. Assholes will appear social in social games, hardcore in hardcore games, Xboxy in Xboxy games. One thing that is always true is a lack of both fame-seeking and friend-seeking behaviour (hence the name asshole). They won't try to impress anyone to make friends or gain respect since that's not really the point of the game. But they won't get too much into the game itself since that's not as fun. They're just there, unknown and anonymous, having twice as much fun as you ever will.

And before anyone comments about it, I do not keep a blog to gain fame or respect (not that I even receive any of that as a secondary effect). I do it for my own purposes, mainly because every so often I feel like writing and the best way to get over that feeling is to write something, no matter how pointless it may be. No matter how few people read it. Enjoy your Xbox.