Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bad Manner in Online Chess and Starcraft 2

One thing that has always puzzled me is a noticeable difference in the BM ("bad manner") I encounter in online chess and Starcraft 2:

Starcraft 2
Basically, in Starcaft 2 I got BMed in at least 50% of my games. As far as I could tell I got BMed pretty much across the board from players who were clearly better, about my level, and clearly worse. Here's a sample of the kind of trash talk that I'm sure anybody who plays online video games is only all too familiar with:

A classic

This one actually made me laugh

This came out of the blue at the beginning of a game

I never understood how someone who just lost a game can call you a "noob"

A classic... must have heard this about 1,000 times on Battlenet...

My all time favorite...

Overall, there's clearly a lot less BM in chess compared to SC2. I've always found this a little surprising because it seems to me that in chess, there's even more ego at stake than in SC2. Losing in chess is definitely more humiliating than losing in SC2.
The fact there is noticeably less BM in online chess might be explained by the fact that in both online and offline chess you're clearly dealing with an older and more sophisticated and mature crowd. Of course there are exceptions, but it is clear that a 40-year old corporate lawyer in a chess tournament won't trash talk nearly as much as a 17-year old kid in an SC2 tourney who's cowardly hiding behind the anonymity of the internet and thinks he or she can get away with anything.

Even more surprising to me however, is the fact that in chess, I only get BMed by players who are much much worse than me, usually rated at least 300 points below me. Here are some examples:

I should have my second comment on Control + C at all times so that I can always paste it when necessary... 

Another peculiarity about trash talkers on chess servers is they frequently lie against all evidence. This screen shot is an example of a message a pretty weak player sent me after a game. As the next screen shot shows, I did not "get owned" by him. Incidentally I believe Idra was banned from EG for a comment like "hope your death is slow and painful"

This speaks for itself

I really have no explanation why I only get trash talked by players who are, honestly, trash. From time to time I get clearly outplayed by players my level or better, but it is extremely rare to get some BM from them afterward.

Is it because these "noobs" are so disappointed because they think they are keeping their games against me balanced for longer than they actually are? Is it because they think they "almost" had a draw?

You'll always remember this as the day
This is the only "BM" I ever engage in. This line has come in handy many many time in SC2 and chess 
I'd be interested to know if any reader has some theories on this. I for my part have decided to no longer accept challenges from players rated below 2000. This has also had a very positive effect on my rating which is something I'll blog about next time.