SinSynn: Honor In Gaming

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

When Grand Theft Auto IV released, my stepson immediately took a shine to the multiplayer mode known as Cops and Crooks.
The premise of this game type is that one team plays Crooks, and attempts to reach a ‘getaway vehicle,’ while the other team of Cops tries to stop them.
Well, that’s the way it’s SUPPOSED to be played- my stepson didn’t see it that way.

And so, the first thing him and his lil’ squad of buddies would do when they spawned in is immediately team kill anyone who wasn’t ‘down with them,’ and proceed to destroy the getaway vehicle so no one is going anywhere, hunt down the opposing team, and kill the crap outta them using a combination of glitches (spamming the crouch button and firing a shotgun produces an ‘automatic shotgun’ effect, for example- no more pumping between rounds), and vicious pack tactics.
He sent his favorite controller out to be ‘modded,’ even.

He was quite proud of his Top 100 ranking on the worldwide leaderboards, too.
Right up until he received his first ‘Code of Conduct’ ban of 24 hours.
This was followed by the 72 hour ban, the week and month long bans, and eventually his account was killed by Microsoft altogether.
His Gamer Score, records, position on the Leaderboards, and everything else, gone.

*Feel the power*

Being the lil’ knucklehead he is, he shrugged, opened a new account, and began the process anew.
He’s somewhere in the top 300 now, and awaiting GTA V with evil anticipation.

When I would ask him why he would play the game this way, since clearly the only ones enjoying it where him and his gaggle of cronies, he would look at me funny and reply, ‘Well, because you can….duh, old timer.’
Yeah, but that doesn’t make it right, or fair, now…does it? Obviously the people filing complaints against you feel the same way.
‘Yeah, well…fuck them.’

…And it would be right around that moment I would hafta restrain myself from choking the life outta him.

I suppose the thing I found most upsetting was the lack of honor.

*You don’t get one of these by being a douchebag*

‘Just because you can,’ strikes me as a poor excuse for unsportsmanlike conduct.
That being said, I will admit to having a very rigid code of personal honor that extends into every facet of my life, and that includes gaming.

What that translates to on the tabletop is:

-I do not run ‘scumbag’ armies.
-I do not ‘rules lawyer.’
-I do not play dumb ‘mind games.’

Things I do do, religiously, include:
-Handshake and friendly introduction prior to the game, handshake and ‘good luck’ when the game starts.
-During the game, I gladly allow ‘takebacks, ‘ and things of that nature.
-Stopping my opponent from making huge mistakes. As in, ‘Hey, buddy- you might not wanna do that!’
-Acquiesce rather than argue.
-Handshake and ‘good game’ no matter where we end up.

In between the plethora of handshakes, a game gets played, and I want it to be a good one.
I wanna have fun, I wanna chitchat with my opponent. Since we already have this common ground between us, I see that as a foundation for friendship.
My opponent isn’t some bitter enemy, they’re a gamer, like me.
Win or lose, we’re supposed to be having fun, right?


Well, we know that’s not how everyone in this world thinks, don’t we?

You wanna know something?
I’ve been to at least two tournaments where I literally wanted to leap over the table and beat one of my opponents to a pulp.
To my shame, I even had one game where a little bit of ‘Bronx Thug’ came out of me, and I leaned forward over the table and said something like the following in a very low, even and somewhat menacing tone:

‘Yo, my man. How can you do this? How could you build that army, and play this way? What the fuck were you thinking? Is this fun for you? Have you NO…FUCKING… HONOR? This is some bullshit, son.’

There…may have been a bit more, I’m afraid. I’m not proud of my actions here, honestly, and later I apologized.

However, this was following several instances of him doing the things I ‘do not do,’ and several of the ‘things I don’t.’
During that game, I had to bite my hand a bunch of times (I do that when my temper flares, to keep bad things from happening), and go out for a ‘breath of air’…twice.

I called the game, gave him the victory and max points (I was confident of a draw before I sorta…snapped), and proceeded to pack my stuffs.
I just didn’t give a shit, and had no desire to continue that game.

*Before I shoot you in the face*

Several minutes after the red rage faded, I felt bad.
My opponent wasn’t a terrible, mean, horrible person, by any means.
Quite the opposite, in fact. He was a nice guy.

I just…didn’t approve of his army, his play style, and that’s on me, isn’t it?

I still feel a lil’ guilty about my behavior.
I don’t feel like I have the right to impose my own ‘personal morals’ on anyone. In fact, that’s one of the codes I live by.

If I’m being reasonable, I don’t wanna judge this guy based upon what I believe, because he may believe different.
We play the same game, and that’s how we came together. Other than that we may be very different people.
Just because I believe something, that does not necessarily make it ‘right.’
As per the rules, he damn well can build his army that way, and he damn well can play that way, if he so chooses.
So…SinSynn fail, in a sense.

Since the only way I felt I could protest what I felt was dishonorable was to call it a wrap, that’s what I did.
Was I…wrong?
I had zero issue with giving my opponent the win and max points, and a handshake…and an apology, when I uh…chilled out a bit.
I said I haz shame. Please…don’t judge me, and if you do…be eezy.
I try to do right…I do, really.


I may not go to tournaments to win, but other people do
I may like to put cool stuffs in my army despite the fact that…well, those units suck. Other people wouldn’t dream of it.

Here’s the kicker, though– I have my honor, and it extends into every facet of my life, including gaming.
I’m sorry to say this, but I won’t play you if I think your approach to the game is dishonorable, overall.

If you’re the kind of person is proud of ‘pwning n00bs,’ then please play Call of Duty, or somesuch game where that kind of thing is somewhat acceptable.

Hobbyists invest hundreds of hours painting their models, and I don’t go to tournaments to punish the guy with a beautifully painted army, and who just so happens to have no idea he should’ve bought a fucking netlist.

I also don’t go to beat up on the kid who has half-built stuff that’s not even primed, and then deploys poorly.

Don’t try to convince me that you’re running a power army for some kinda ‘fluff’ reasons, cuz it somehow ‘fits your army better.’
Yes, that extends to ‘counts-as,’ as that trend is all too prevalent in 40k, in my opinion.
A lovingly converted proxy force is one thing, but seeing unpainted Chaos models that are five plus years old trying to pass as Space Wolves is quite another.
At least paint the friggin’ things if yer gonna try and pull that bullshit.

Sigh…you can go ahead and get mad at me now for saying that…

That guy with the awesome army? Well, I wanna ogle his models, pick his brain for painting tips, and maybe learn something.
I wanna encourage that kid, and if his deployment is awful, I think it’s only right to help him out.
I do not wanna ruin their friggin’ day, I wanna make their day, if I can.

*Why I’m here*

I firmly believe in competition, and I play to win when I play.
But not at the sake of my opponent’s enjoyment of the game.

This has caused me some conundrums, actually, when I’ve played a capable opponent who just happened to catch some bad breaks.
Whether it was bad dice, or through their refusal to ‘take back a move’ that was tragic (remember what I said before- I can and will point these things out), or whatever, sometimes even I have games that just go my way, and my opponent…doesn’t.
Go figure.

It’s on these rare occasions that I’ll take the opportunity to make my own boneheaded moves. I’ll try an ill-advised assault, or do something similarly counter productive, just for the heck of it.
Yes, this has cost me games.
Yes, my opponents have asked me why the heck I did it.

Well, because I can, obviously.

Until next time, folks- Exit with catchphrase!