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5 Ways to be a Better Gamer in 2013

As the new year rolls around people start making the same declaration. “Next year will be better.” No matter how good or bad 2012 was, people will tell themselves that 2013 will be better. The thing is that if you want to see change you have to work for it. If you want to see a better game industry in the future you've got to be the change you want to see in the world. Here's some stuff we all need to work on. Some resolutions for the new year.

1. Be Nice Online

“Well duh,” You tell me, “obviously I’m going to be nice.”

Well… no, no you’re not. Online we’ve forgotten what it is to be nice. A lot of people don’t say anything mean and think that makes them kind. Kindness is complimenting your teammates, telling everyone when they did a good job. We’ve started punishing online bullies and jerks and that’s a step in the right direction but I think we should be rewarding those who are fun to play with.
There’s that bit in the movie Office Space where Ron Livingston is telling his bosses that since he doesn’t get rewarded for doing well, he’d only do enough work to not get fired. You can argue that virtue is its own reward and all that but in reality people will be only be as nice as they have to be to not get banned.

These games that got 6 or 7 or even 5 are still good games and you’ll still have fun with them. By only playing those big budget games that consistently score high; you’re crippling the industry by discouraging experimentation. So read those reviews. Read the ones that love the game and read the ones that hate the game. Learn about what they thought of the game, but don’t base your decision entirely on the number beside the words.

5. Stop Justifying Piracy to Yourself

Obviously this one should read “Stop Pirating Games you Jerk” but let’s be honest, the pirates wouldn’t listen. Instead, here’s what you should do. Stop justifying piracy to yourself. Whenever there’s a talk of piracy there’s always a bunch of people who say things like “I’m just pirating the game because I disagree with their DLC policy” or “I’m pirating the game because I hate their DRM” and so on and so on.

Stop it. You’re not a crusader; you’re not a freedom fighter. You’re just some kid with utorrent. If you’re going to steal games, then steal games but stop saying that you’re sticking it to the man by doing so. You’re the reason DRM is crippling and invasive. You’re not fighting DRM by pirating, you’re encouraging it.

There’s another excuse I hear for pirating all the time. “If I like it, I’ll buy it.” The idea is that you’ll pirate it, enjoy it, and then go purchase it. If you love the game, you’re probably not going to buy it. You already have it. If you want to try it out, most computer games have demos on Steam. There are Redboxes everywhere in America and they usually have the big names that come out. Rent it for a day then buy it if you like it. Go get a Gamefly account, it’s cheap and it’ll let you keep the games you really like.

The fact that piracy is such a problem is abhorrent. Stop pirating games, and if you can’t do that, stop lying to yourself.

Well that's the list! What about you? I'm sure you're already trying to be the best gamer you can be, is there anything else you're working on? Anything you would add to the list?
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About RamWarone of us since 11:25 AM on 10.20.2012

I'm a recent college graduate who majored in English and Fine Arts. While I wait for the lottery check to roll in, I figured I'd get into the game industry.

I've been playing games since I was five when my grandmother bought me a classic gameboy that came with F-1 Grand Prix, Link's Awakening, and Super Mario Land.

Super Mario Land became the first game I ever beat. Link's Awakening became the first game I was really invested in and F-1 Gran Prix became the first game I owned but didn't care about.

I love games and I love talking about them so feel free to comment on any of my blogs or message me or whatever.

You can follow me on twitter @Mattramwar