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What Is Your 'Gamer's Code'?

Chances are you are following a gamer's code whether you mean to or not.

Some of you may be fans of a little show on Showtime called Dexter that has become a cultural phenomenon. I've been watching for years, it's about to come to a close with the final episode and I'm a sucker for a tribute article. As a general observer of human behavior I noticed a loose parallel between the title character in that entertainment medium and how we conduct ourselves in our gaming.

If you don't know the show, Dexter Morgan is a serial killer who only kills other murderers. In order to do what he does and control his need he follows a special code of behavior. While I'm sure most of us would find a way to keep gaming without special restrictions I have noted that gamers tend to follow their own code anyway. It guides them, telling them right from wrong while they do what they enjoy. What drives the code is different for everyone.

Whether it's across the interwebs or right here in our upstanding community I see gamers proudly asserting what is to be done and what is not to be done when it comes to this hobby. A lot of the time we don't quite understand how other people don't feel compelled to follow the same code we do, but most learn to respect the codes of others.

What kinds of things qualify? I'd say any rule that, for the time being, is hard and fast. I've seen people who absolutely refuse to buy a single piece of downloadable content no matter what. Maybe they don't want to support the often controversial practice, or maybe they have no intention of investing more than the retail price in a single game. Often it is just on principle that this stuff should be on the disc.

Others rule out certain kinds of games or gaming for whatever reason. Using myself as an example I will not let myself get involved in an MMORPG. Aside from the monthly cost I refuse to pay I know I've got an addictive personality and an unreasonable love of RPGs. That is a potentially troublesome mix. I also stay away from multiplayer because it is just too stressful and I like my game time to be rather relaxed. Maybe some of you have your own multiplayer rules like staying away from it until you've completed the single player campaign.

There are all kinds of examples out there. Perhaps you just won't let yourself play more than one game at a time to keep from buying too many. I know there's a chance that with some of you certain kinds of games aren't going to get put away until a platinum trophy is obtained and 100% completion is reached.

A theme I constantly see in the average gamer's code today (myself very much included) is that of support: I refuse to support this, or I will even spend extra money to support that. I want developers who do this to get my money and developers who do that will never get a full price purchase out of me. Annualization? Not for me, that's against my code. You want to make this into an action franchise? I'll make it into a used game purchase. You get the drift.

Whatever our rules may be I think many of us follow some kind of code in this hobby; now's your chance to tell us about your code and what it means to you.

Tags: gaming habits, culture

9/18/2013 9:44:56 PM David D. Nelson

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Comments (45 posts)

ulsterscot
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 10:33:44 PM
Reply

If the game is shit - then I just won't buy it.

Learnt my lesson with DNF.

That's my code. Its iron.

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cLoudou
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 10:57:05 PM

One person's shit may be the shit for another.

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Underdog15
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:36:36 AM

One man's turd another man's fodder

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bigrailer19
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 2:03:59 AM

But its his code not yours, or the others.

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Kryten1029a
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 10:56:00 PM
Reply

I always try to pursue the moral high ground. In the first Buioshock, I saved before dealing with the first Little Sister and after seeing the harvest animation, I reloaded and saved every one I came across. I may pursue an evil path if achievements or trophies are on the line but I'll never choose that path. Paragon in Mass Effect wasn't a choice so much as an obligation for me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:02:09 PM

Oh yeah man I always play the altruistic hero first in these kinds of games, I can't help myself.

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cLoudou
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:05:38 PM

me three, must come from the JRPG background.

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Vitron
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:30:49 AM

Me 4 JRPG maybe JRPG players have a lot in common.
I always play full paragon on Mass Effect, very good karma in Fall Out 3, etc.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 5:40:18 AM

Meh - this is much wider than just jrpg crowd. I'm like that too.

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Dukemz_UK
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 2:07:17 PM

Same here ;)

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BigDanT
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 7:58:23 PM

Im the exact opposite, if i have the choice of being the bad guy then that is the choice. That was why i chose horde in wow. My karma in fallout three was horrible. I killed all the little girls in bioshock.

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FoReVeR_0515
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 @ 3:41:59 PM

Same way here, I always take the "good" route.

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cLoudou
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:01:50 PM
Reply

Cheating, don't like it. I understand if you are using for fun like just screwing around in GTA, but using cheats to advance in games is a no no for me.

DLC for unlocks, xp, money, etc. that people earn through playing that people unlock by paying. I don't like it as much as cheating.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:03:21 PM

Even I get a little sick when I see that you can BUY a period of time where XP is multiplied for MP.

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Gabriel013
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:50:07 AM

See I don't agree with that.
If I buy a £40 game, why should I not get through to the end and enjoy all the content simply because I get stuck at a frustrating part of the game?
I think it was the original Gears of War I had to ditch after hitting a wall of frustration and in Halo whenever the swarm (or whatever they were called) I knew that's about as far as I was going to get.

Cheating to beat other human players I will agree is wrong. Cheating simply to bypass a section which is stopping you enjoying the product you bought to enjoy? That's perfectly ok with me.

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JDC80
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:57:02 PM
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In games like InFamous where you have a morality choice I'm always the good guy.. Games like GTA I raise all kinds of unholy hell on the citizens of Vice, Liberty and San Andreas. The rare times I play co-op multi-player games I always play the good teammate role.

Last edited by JDC80 on 9/18/2013 11:57:27 PM

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VampDeLeon
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 12:05:11 AM
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If the game doesn't pull me in within the first hour of game play, it's hopeless to continue. I adopted this from playing PS1 demos as a kid, where you literally were given ten minutes or until you 'died' to get a taste of the game play.

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Banky A
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 4:59:06 AM

That was a time where every demo was better than any single game.

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karneli lll
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:00:43 AM
Reply

For me its an interesting story and thought out cutscenes. Max Payne 3 bored me because it was a simple story told through an indie filter, the game took itself way too seriously. Give me a metal gear, uncharted, legacy of Kain, any final fantasy before 13, gta V(story is so much better than previous entries) any day.

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trumpetmon65
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:28:56 AM
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No fat chi.... I mean uh.... good story and workable gameplay.

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CharlesD
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:56:46 AM
Reply

When I stop and think about it I actually have an extremely rigorous code.

1.) Average review above a 7 only. (90% of the games I own are 8's and up)

2.) Either a sense of cinematic entertainment, a good sense of humor, or some sort of well thought out structure and attention given to the GUI which shows they paid attention to the little things. The last one is if the first two don't really apply depending on genre. The failsafe being an absolutely riveting story.

3.) No music based games

4.) I only support DLC that is unique and / or artistic. (those gigs are valuable!)

5.) I only play two games at a time. One multiplayer, one single player and if it's an exceptional single player there is no multiplayer.

I realize a lot of this is just pure snobbery but the fact of the matter is my collection is well over 100 titles and I do not have the time and money, as I am sure most of us on here don't, to spend on inferior quality productions. So really it's snobbery out of necessity :P



Last edited by CharlesD on 9/19/2013 1:57:38 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:52:21 AM

Sounds like it works and that's the point of a code right? I typically dismiss music/rhythm games out of hand as well. Though I was mildly smitten with Space Channel 5 :)

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daus26
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 2:34:25 AM
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Any game with a money/credit system, I like to pile them up. It gives me a feeling of security, so I don't buy things in the game unless I really need it.

On a side note, I don't buy games at full retail price unless I think it really deserves it, but it's more about the budget on this one.

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Sol
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 2:38:54 AM

Ditto on that latter sentence.

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Sol
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 2:35:44 AM
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Play whatever game I get (I only get what I like and/or what fits my style...) as true to myself. Do things the way I feel I'd do them if it were me to maximize the experience (awesome for Dragon's Dogma btw). Take my time, taking everything all in, and when I finally reach the end of another awesome, smile(and sometimes tear)-inducing experience/beat the game...

Go get the Trophies... 33 Plats, and still counting.

Last edited by Sol on 9/19/2013 2:37:32 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:47:04 AM

I like to play Bethesda games as if it were actually ME in the game, making the decisions I think I would in real life :)

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Sol
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 11:39:00 AM

That's the best way in my opinion. You actually learn a lot about yourself when you play the game like that, because it is no longer about the character's choices. It is about yours. Those playthroughs resonate with you more and increase immersion tenfold, making the experience that much greater.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 1:26:26 PM

agreed

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 4:36:03 AM
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Oh man I got *loads*.

- A metascore of 80+. Anything less and I am *very* leary of the game, and will only buy it if the content is a perfect match with my preferences - coop games being the major exception.

- No more strictly linear games. This is a quite recent decision I've made. I'm done with'em. If I want to be served a strict and tightly directed story I'll watch a movie. When I am gaming I want my input to matter. Period.

- I ALWAYS choose the "good guy" route (within the context of the game, of course). I can't stand being bad.

- Female avatar whenever possible.

- I'm not interested in competitive multiplayer any more. My gaming pattern has become way too casual for it.

- Anything sci-fi themed fetches my interest, regardless of genre.

- Same with campaign coop. A major magnet on me.

(very cool idea for an editorial, David!)

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/19/2013 8:47:01 AM

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Masszt3r
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 8:42:55 AM

I have to say I am very much like you, except for the fifth point: the linear games. I don't mind if they are linear, as long as they get the job done. The Uncharted series is an example of this. But other than that, I think your rules are a prime example of mine.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:50:34 AM

Thanks Beam :)

I also like to pick a female person for 3rd person RPGs when I can, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Dogma, Amalur, WKC. Why? I'm not sure.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 10:44:30 AM

@Masszt3r: Sorry I edited the post while you commented. So the fifth point moved up to #2.
Cool to hear there's more of us (except #2 that is ;))!

@World: It's a real interesting topic this, about female characters in games. For me it really makes a significant difference if I can create/choose a female protagonist. It insta-add interest to any game.

There's just something very cool about female game characters. In RPGs, even though the animations might be the exact same it still looks so much more elegant when a female swings the sword than when a male do the same.

Also, the classes I choose are typically not strength-based, but agility/intelligence/stealth. Sneaking, social skills, thief-like characteristics. And then a good looking female character fits the bill so much better!

And speaking of good looking, to be totally frank, with all the sexyness on offer with the female avatars why the heck should we choose to control a bulky he-man for hour after hour instead? Neeeh screw that. I want feline grace tyvm.

BioWare are really, really good at making this work. The way the NPCs respond, details in what they say, obviously recorded male/female response sentences, BioWare really put effort into these details.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/19/2013 10:55:52 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 11:05:52 AM

True that, I'm just generally uninterested in men so yeah having a female be the heroic Shepard is infinitely more interesting to me. It even elevates the narrative imo.

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Masszt3r
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 12:01:22 PM

Beamboom Yes! I think the sexiness is one of the reasons I choose females :D. But in all seriousness, females do bring that touch of elegance, class, or whatever you want to call it, at least for me. The idea of seeing a beautiful, sexy, yet elegant and deadly woman in combat is exhilarating!

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 5:42:41 AM
Reply

Let's see...I try my very hardest to always purchase a game new.
Unless, I intentionally don't want to support the developer (Definitely waiting til the price drops on Lightning Returns, then I'm gonna buy it used), or if it's a really old game, and I can't find a new copy anywhere.

Aside from that I can't really think of any "codes" per say :)

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 6:27:38 AM
Reply

Buy new as often as possible.
Only get Assassin's Creed after it's available in the Platinum range.
Always wait until I can get a niche/lower rated title (unless I'm for some peculiar reason really excited for it) after it drops below $50.
Always be leery of first-person games. I've tried to like them, but Resistance and Bioshock are the exceptions. Sure, Skyrim, Fallout, Dishonored, Deus Ex were good, but something about them just didn't sit well with me.
Give everything a chance.
Always do my best to finish a campaign... unless it's something like FFXIII-2. That last battle frustrated the hell out of me.
Try to stick to one game at a time.

That's pretty much what springs to mind. Just remember, the code is more "guidelines" than actual "rules". :)
*sorry, couldn't resist a Pirates reference there*

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:56:12 AM

If you like dark and spooky atmospherics you might want to give Metro: Last Light a chance as well. One of the best first person experiences this gen imo.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 4:29:52 AM

As I've heard nothing but positive things about it, Metro is on my "to buy" list. It's just not very high because of the first-person thing.

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big6
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:45:55 AM
Reply

My code is never play a game on the "Normal" setting. Always play on the "Hard", but not the hardest setting.
Also, when playing Co-op, *never* hoard loot! If I play with someone who does that, they are gone. They can play solo, if they want to hoard.

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big6
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:48:51 AM
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Oh, my other code is to watch the credits TO THE VERY END, after I finish a game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 9:53:21 AM

Me too, for a few reasons but mainly because all the good games add more to the ending. I get the feeling a lot of people don't know this.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 10:00:21 AM
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If a game is unique in my eyes, doesn't even have to be that "great" it goes into the collection and isn't sold. I don't want to look back on a generation and want to experience that game again only to find it's hard to locate or too expensive to re-buy. That's why I still have Dark Void, not the most amazing shooter but I may feel the need to fly with a jetpack again some day.

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coverton341
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 3:35:42 PM
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I won't play any game with a fee. So, no MMORPG games or anything else with a monthly transaction fee. I fully understand the need, but I don't want to be tied into anything like it. I also don't do midnight releases any more. That's more of a function of getting too damn old for that stuff.

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Harerazer
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 6:24:01 PM
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My code consists of various "rules". 1) I always support games/companies that I feel are quality. They don't necessarily have to be the best in their genre, etc. For example I will always buy games by Spike, Treasure, and traditional Pokemon games. Conversely I stay away from Activision games (tho I did get Skylanders for my daughter) solely because I disagree with their franchise milking.
As far as playing games, I never take a starting advantage when playing multiplayer and make sure my opponent knows all rules and tactics so that when I beat I them, the bragging is so much better. I've always felt that whether you admit it to anyone else or not...if you choose to cheat against someone you are admitting straight out that you are not as good as them. Period.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 7:13:50 PM
Reply

well i for one refuse to buy over priced DLC i'll only get it will a complete pack edition as in comes with the game the only exception to this was in my mid year break when i got the BF3 DLC but only cos it was on sale and i was a bit bored but other wise i refuse to buy it unless it comes with the game.

i also refuse to support annulization now i will no longer buy COD for that and other reasons i will still be getting AC4 even though it's the 1st time it's doing the annual thing if AC5 comes a year after the 4th i will have to re evalutate my position cos i really enjoy AC games but yeah

i support variety and creativity and innovation

it is hard to keep to ur code completely but i'll try my best.

happy gaming =)

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