Even if you don’t know what you’re doing …
One of the most intimidating parts of getting started with online games is overcoming the fear of ruining things for other players. It’s one thing to play a game and make mistakes at home, but it’s completely different to play a game and make mistakes that can cause other people’s games to fail.
But there is no reason to let this fear stop you or another beginner from having fun. This article will give you the pros and cons of online gaming so you can get started with the security you need to continue.
The first step for anyone unfamiliar with online games is to learn to play offline. You can read the manual for the game and avoid seeing the infamous acronym “RTFM” scrolling across the screen. Do you know what this acronym means? It stands for “Read the fucking manual” and is thrown by serious gamers at vulnerable newbies who interrupt a game with questions like “What is this place?” or “What should I do?”
You can search the web for discussion groups, FAQs, and game guides. And you could learn more from game-specific Usenet newsgroups. In other words, you could do your “homework.” Some of the types of information you want to learn include how to play, how to create characters, how to collect equipment, and how to implement some smart strategies. Trust us when we say your fellow players will appreciate it!
In addition to reading how to play an online game, you can familiarize yourself with the interface of the game. Just as you searched the web for textual instructions for a game, you can also search the web for a screenshot of the game (or series of screenshots). Having a graphical representation (.gif or .jpg image) of a game on the screen gives you the ability to memorize where all the game controls are. Knowing where everything is in a game before playing will speed things up not only for you, but for everyone else as well. Nobody wants to wait for you to search for an inventory panel or message screen in a game when the location of these items is obvious to everyone else.
Once you start a game, don’t let the pressure of staying in the game stop you from doing the unthinkable – dying. A character dying in a game is unavoidable at certain times, and unless you voluntarily abandon a losing situation, you run the risk of keeping the game for everyone else. It is like a game of chess. If it’s checkmate, it’s checkmate. Call one day and start over. Whatever you do, don’t wait for a magical fairy to come and rescue you. Let your character die with dignity.
Likewise, you don’t want to take death personally. Remember that online games are still just a game. A character who dies in a game is not representative of your character as a person. Turn death into a learning experience. At the very least, you will learn how to navigate an online game by learning all the things not to do!
The most important thing is to make sure your computer has what it takes to keep up with the current pace of an online game. Don’t try to play an online game on a slow computer or slow internet connection. In fact, if you are still using the phone connection, find another hobby. A slow processor and connection will ensure immediate death because other players will not politely await their own defeat. They will crush you like an insect.
Find a computer designed for online gaming and get a DSL or ISDN Internet connection. You will need a fast processor, a high-quality graphics card, and a matching sound machine.
By following these simple tips, you will have passed the “beginner” test and earned respect as a serious gamer much faster than if you had come across what others pride themselves on as “the ultimate pastime.”