What Not To Do With Player Two

Teabagging Master Chief

Hi. I'm Player One. This is my friend, Player Two. He can't say anything because he doesn't have a mic, but I assure you: He's sitting right next to me on the couch. Player Two doesn't own an Xbox, so he comes over to use mine sometimes. I'm generous like that, because -- and let me whisper here -- He's kind of poor.

I'm a gamer. You can tell I'm a gamer because I have a fat stack of games over there, and the hardware to play them with. Ownership is access. Access is practice. And man do I practice.

Check out my Gamerscore. Yep, I earned all of those points. Except for the co-op achievements, which Player Two helped out with. When I say "help", I mean that he usually gets lost and falls to his death in a bottomless pit somewhere while I complete objectives. But he's getting better. Under my supervision, Player Two is almost ready to graduate to normal difficulty. I'm so proud -- It's like he's my very own newbie-baby.

Sadly, I'm not sure you can call Player Two a gamer, though. Are you a gamer if you don't buy any games? I haven't read any reviews lately that gush about "a stunning experience for the dude who drops by after school." Exciting multiplayer action is an important bullet-point on the back of the box, but we all know who those reviews are for: me, Player One, the guy who may-or-may-not break out the credit card at Future Shop next week.

Oh, now Player Two's all mad, says he knows way more about video games than I ever will. He reads Kotaku every day, like a big nerd. Well why aren't you any good then, huh Player Two? What's your Gamerscore?

Enough chit-chat. It's Halo time. Player Two, you'll be using the bottom screen as usual. No, your controller isn't broken. That one is just a little ... wonky. From the time I got robbed in Peggle. Accidentally threw it against the floor there. You can see the divots in the hardwood. It still works fine, but you need to make sure to always aim a bit to the left.

It's not like you ever get the sniper rifle anyway. You don't even know where it is.

Okay, let's go. No, we're not going to play co-op. I've played through the campaign like a billion times already. And we can't play local multiplayer because I'm a pro and you're a creampuff. No contest. We have to play on the internet.

Sign in as my guest. Press the A button. No, the other A button. What are you doing? Okay, there you are: Player One(1).

Just don't embarrass me this time. Don't shoot any teammates. Every time you do something stupid, people will remember my name. You know, you're lucky you don't have your own identity and reputation to maintain. It can be stressful. Sometimes haters give negative feedback, and it can be pretty devastating to see those five stars turn into four-and-three-quarters stars.

Let me set up your online profile here. You'll be a Master Chief in shocking pink armor, with a little heart for your insignia. Yes, I know pink is rarely useful as camouflage, but that's kind of the point. You're supposed to be a distraction. That's what guests are for.

It's your job to stumble around and draw enemy fire while I work on boosting my stats. 2.1 kill-to-death ratio, baby! If they're killing you, they're not killing me. Guests don't even have stats, so it's not like you care, right? You're a blank slate every game, just waiting to be inscribed with new mistakes. Think of yourself as a palimpsest of failure and Halo will be a lot more fun.

Okay, we're connected. Look, these players have guests as well! It's like we're all shepherds, bringing our sheep to hang out together. Except the shepherds on the other team are also wolves and you happen to have flamboyantly pink wool.

We've played this map before. You might not remember because you only ever get to see it split-screen, but it's a good one. I play it full-screen all the time when you're not here and the architecture is f*cking glorious. The sniper rifle is underneath the obsidian homage to Gloucester Cathedral's famous depressed arch, in case you were wondering. Yeah, that castle thing, you Philistine. Squint harder.

Here we go! What are you ... ? Oh, that's right. You need inverted controls. You want to fly Master Chief around like he's an airplane. That's ridiculous, but whatever. I don't know why it doesn't save your control preferences. I guess the developers at Bungie didn't figure you'd be coming over to play more than once.

Triple kill! Stupid guests didn't even see it coming. Where are you going, Player Two? We're playing Oddball. You have to chase the guy with the ... You know what, it's so obvious, you'll figure it out. Just watch my screen for pointers when you die. Oh look, you're dead.

Don't use that weapon. Nobody uses that weapon. It's nerfed and underpowered. You look like an idiot. Don't bother going for the sniper rifle, because I got it while you were waiting to respawn.

Christ, how did you do that? You just killed three of our own team with a sticky grenade. No, I'm not going to say sorry for you. There are no apologies on the internet.

"Hey Rofflecopter or whatever your name is, my guest says that if you get in the way of his grenade again he's going to come to your house and blow up your dog instead." Hah!

Did he just shoot you in the back? What a bastard. The crouching thing he's doing, that's called "teabagging." It means he's your internet boyfriend now. He must like your pink armor.

Game's almost over and we're taking these guys apart. I have nineteen kills! I can't help but notice that you're doing very poorly on the scoreboard though. You're the worst out of all the guests. You're getting out-guested. That's like coming last in the Special Olympics.

Hey wait! Where are you going? Don't slam the controller; that's my controller! Are you going home, Player Two? I still need somebody to play my girlie-girl sidekick in Resident Evil 5!

... Player Two?

Fine, I'll just go it alone. That split-screen nonsense was messing up my aim anyway. It's a real handicap. How do people expect to get better, playing like that? Barbaric.

Comments

Amoebic wrote:

Do you have any more info on this study? I would love to learn more about it.
As a female that primarily plays (and prefers) FPS games, I'm curious as to what the 'norms' are regarding the genre. I'd have never thought that there could be a difference in the experience of playing various games between the two genders.

I would totally teabag player 1.

Sorry Amoebic... I can't seem to find the original study for you. Back when I was doing my Masters I would've saved it in a heartbeat. They just cut off my journal database access too... graaaaah!!

That said, here's a synopsis from Raph Koster's website. It's not quite what I remember, however. More-so focused on perceptual acuteness than cognitive presence. Still:

Koster's slide notes wrote:

Finding #6: it takes ten hours of gameplay for women to play with the same spatial attention skill as men.

U Toronto, part of an NSF grant, how do we get more women into science, math, etc. Videogames were part of their experimentation.

They did a first experiment where they looked at field of view tasks, etc. Gamers vs nongamers, and they found gamers were better than nongamers. Then they recruited men and women to play videogamnes. Control group used 3d puzzle game, and the other group used Medal of Honor Pacific assault, and they tested them at the start and end.

They were looking at spatial attention, what you bring to the process of rotating and locating on a screen.

In the pretest women did not score as well, which is consistent with past findings. And the end, women had gained more, and had almost equalled the men — to a non-statistically significant level. Five months later they tested them again, and they had maintained the ability.

Takeaway; Women can excel at spatial attention game if you give them the time to learn. How can you get new gamers to invest 10 hours in your game while they improve?

MikeP wrote:

I haven't done much reading on this sort of thing (my interests in cognition lie elsewhere), but I do know that many studies involving male vs female characteristics are quite controversial. It's exceedingly difficult to prove that even if a difference is found, that said difference is somehow inherent to XX vs XY chromosomes, as opposed to being the result of years of conditioning or anything else. These studies must necessarily be as anthropological and sociological as anything else.

Couldn't agree more. Like the study found and we all know anyway, once the practice time is put in anyone can rock them sticks.

Congratulations! The article gave me a Catcher in the Rye, or even more so, Red & White (a recent novel from Poland) feeling in its narrative style and the general odious nature of the narrator.

MikeP wrote:

And flying Master Chief like an airplane sounds like fun, especially if you want to really annoy Player 1 - maybe Player 2s could make swooshing noises too. "Neeeeroowww... oh, I died again. Respawn... ok, TAKEOFF! FWOOOSH! shhhh budda budda budda enh enh AHHHHH! CRASH! Respawn..."

This makes me think that a similar article from the other perspective could be fun too.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:
Clemenstation wrote:

Thanks all!

AcidCat wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:

I always invert my controls and fly Master Chef like an airplane. So there. :P

Hehe, me too

What I want to know is: when and how did you decide that up should be down and down should be up? Did you play lots of flight sims? Did it just feel 'right'? It's crazy!

It just feels more natural to me. I pull/tilt my head backwards to look up so I pull/tilt my joystick/mouse backwards to look up. I think the fact that it matches an aircraft controls is just a coincidence.

I agree. Us inverted players are stuff of legends I say!

For me it was my first 'Player 2' experience on the original XBox, Player 1 passed me a controller with the profile of the dude currently on the john and wouldn't you know it, it was inverted. That first 15 minutes of gameplay locked me into inversion forever. Its like when toddlers pickup languages super quick, and then later on lose the ability to quickly learn a new one.

Could be worse. Could be like when I convinced friends that there was a co-op feature on Final Fantasy, where hitting buttons quickly on the second controller would help with damage in combat or avoid random encounters.

You know, I don't think I ever even bothered coming up with a cohesive story.

Amoebic wrote:

Inverted controllers are just goofballs to me; I get frustrated when the controller gets passed to me and it's all buggered and I get shot because I'm spinning in a circle staring at the sky. My fiancé is pretty hardcore into games yet subscribes to that inverted nonsense. That's right, I called it nonsense!

You should just be happy that your fiance is intelligent, charming and handsome. That's right, I can tell all of that from his y-axis preference!

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Amoebic wrote:
Clemenstation wrote:

...I read about a cognitive study once upon a time that found the average female takes a bit longer to come to grips with the FPS perspective (comprehending their relative location within a 3D space) than the average male. Thought that was a bit weird...

Do you have any more info on this study? I would love to learn more about it.
As a female that primarily plays (and prefers) FPS games, I'm curious as to what the 'norms' are regarding the genre. I'd have never thought that there could be a difference in the experience of playing various games between the two genders.

I would totally teabag player 1.

I saw something similar about architecture. Apparently women do struggle with 3D perception more, it isn't debilitating, it just means that some retraining is necessary. Obviously you have done this for yourself, so it no longer applies.

Inverted, non-inverted. I suck equally at either. I barely notice when I pick the controller up, but do prefer non-inverted.

Now I'm fascinated (Also have a background in ID/Architecture). I believe my experience has been the opposite of struggle within conceptual/3D space. I'm very surprised now that I haven't ever heard of this phenomenon.

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/Liolai/MoreYouKnow.jpg?t=1247084017)

Inverted controllers are just goofballs to me; I get frustrated when the controller gets passed to me and it's all buggered and I get shot because I'm spinning in a circle staring at the sky. My fiancé is pretty hardcore into games yet subscribes to that inverted nonsense. That's right, I called it nonsense!

MikeP wrote:

Smart things.

Thanks for nicely telling me I should google if I'd like to learn more ; )

I did search the regular google, but wasn't very successful. Although my education beyond grade-school is lacking, I still have a general distrust of most online sources for the very reason you mention. (admittedly, I wasn't aware of scholar.google.com. Excellent link, thank you) I was mostly curious in learning more about the particular source of Clem's comment directly, because I'm somewhat skeptical of the statement at face value. scholar.google.com seems like a more credible resource, though, so I'll have to refine my search. If I ever have the time or resources to bus myself downtown to the U, it would be interesting to see if info they have available to the public relates to what I'd be looking for.

By the way: It pains me that I can't afford Interacting With Video right now. I would love to read more. Those previews are such a tease. Damn you, Google Books!

I find statements about differences between genders interesting because I suspect that much of it may be social conditioning in regards to how male or female children are taught to learn vs. how they then perceive the way each gender should behave in various contexts through their own experiences (totally anecdotal observation). I'm really interested in seeing how the current younger-gaming generation will handle the experience of simulated space versus my own and against that of my parents'. Having been brought up playing games since at least the age of two, my experience with orienting myself within 3D spaces has been largely a non-issue.

Now that computer and console gaming is pretty much the "norm" in many households, I look forward to more info on how different children of various backgrounds and upbringing establish themselves in conceptual 3D environments. Although the studies linked in scholar.google.com are great, they're generally behind the frequent advancements of electronic media and how that effects the current learning curve, so many observations that I'm finding regard research are done in children of my generation. Although it's only a personal observation, much of the engaging, stimulating game experience through that time frame seems constructed and marketed towards a socially recognized demographic that is young and robustly male. It's not surprising that females who are socially conditioned at an early age towards stereotypically feminine biases are going to struggle through a greater learning curve in that kind of gaming environment.

AmazingZoidberg wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

Inverted controllers are just goofballs to me; I get frustrated when the controller gets passed to me and it's all buggered and I get shot because I'm spinning in a circle staring at the sky. My fiancé is pretty hardcore into games yet subscribes to that inverted nonsense. That's right, I called it nonsense!

You should just be happy that your fiance is intelligent, charming and handsome. That's right, I can tell all of that from his y-axis preference!

How right you are! I stand (begrudgingly) corrected.

Welcome to the front page!

Really enjoyed it, cheers.

Amoebic wrote:

I find statements about differences between genders interesting because I suspect that much of it may be social conditioning in regards to how male or female children are taught to learn vs. how they then perceive the way each gender should behave in various contexts through their own experiences (totally anecdotal observation). I'm really interested in seeing how the current younger-gaming generation will handle the experience of simulated space versus my own and against that of my parents'. Having been brought up playing games since at least the age of two, my experience with orienting myself within 3D spaces has been largely a non-issue.

Now that computer and console gaming is pretty much the "norm" in many households, I look forward to more info on how different children of various backgrounds and upbringing establish themselves in conceptual 3D environments. Although the studies linked in scholar.google.com are great, they're generally behind the frequent advancements of electronic media and how that effects the current learning curve, so many observations that I'm finding regard research are done in children of my generation. Although it's only a personal observation, much of the engaging, stimulating game experience through that time frame seems constructed and marketed towards a socially recognized demographic that is young and robustly male. It's not surprising that females who are socially conditioned at an early age towards stereotypically feminine biases are going to struggle through a greater learning curve in that kind of gaming environment.

Social conditioning as a factor is entirely possible. Interestingly the place I got the info was on a television program about a boy who was raised as a girl because of an incident that happened when he was circumcised at birth.

He was ummmm.... surgically reconstructed and they attempted to use social conditioning to raise him as a girl, but it didn't work. He had drives and characteristics that were undoubtedly male and he had a terrible childhood. Eventually he had a sex change to make him male again and he was happier, although ill adjusted.

The program went further into various aspects of gender differences and examined apparent differences in male and female brain structures. The architecture bit was just thrown in at one stage.

I wouldn't consider a documentary to be gospel truth, but they made a strong case for the theories presented.

Nice opening salvo, sir

I recently discovered that my own personal Player Two is actually just a Player One who's without console. Makes for some fun time.

Also, on the top of inverting, I'm going to plug The Do You Inverts. Songs by gamers, about gamers, for gamers.

animal wrote:

We the people must now demand a reckoning that can put a clear and immediate stop to this filthy "standardized" control monopoly. For too long have we sat idly by while the de facto "declared" standard been non-inverted, whereas we the good people can all clearly see that the only obvious, nay righteous, thing to do is to declare inverted the new normal and to delete all non-inverted schemes from the face of controller setup-dom lest it ever rears its ugly head the wrong way again!

Well that's awfully draconian. How about a compromise: non-inverted controls remain standard, and inverted controls are renamed 'Pilot's Paradise'.

We the people must now demand a reckoning that can put a clear and immediate stop to this filthy "standardized" control monopoly. For too long have we sat idly by while the de facto "declared" standard has been non-inverted, whereas we the good people can all clearly see that the only obvious, nay righteous, thing to do is to declare inverted the new normal and to delete all non-inverted schemes from the face of controller setup-dom lest it ever rears its ugly head the wrong way again!

Clemenstation wrote:
animal wrote:

We the people must now demand a reckoning that can put a clear and immediate stop to this filthy "standardized" control monopoly. For too long have we sat idly by while the de facto "declared" standard been non-inverted, whereas we the good people can all clearly see that the only obvious, nay righteous, thing to do is to declare inverted the new normal and to delete all non-inverted schemes from the face of controller setup-dom lest it ever rears its ugly head the wrong way again!

Well that's awfully draconian. How about a compromise: non-inverted controls remain standard, and inverted controls are renamed 'Pilot's Paradise'.

I think I could get behind that.

Clemenstation wrote:
animal wrote:

We the people must now demand a reckoning that can put a clear and immediate stop to this filthy "standardized" control monopoly. For too long have we sat idly by while the de facto "declared" standard been non-inverted, whereas we the good people can all clearly see that the only obvious, nay righteous, thing to do is to declare inverted the new normal and to delete all non-inverted schemes from the face of controller setup-dom lest it ever rears its ugly head the wrong way again!

Well that's awfully draconian. How about a compromise: non-inverted controls remain standard, and inverted controls are renamed 'Pilot's Paradise'.

Pilot's Paradise? Mile-High Club?

Anyone know what the split between inverted and non-inverted is? I wouldn't be surprised if someone like Bungie knows the split for the Halo playerbase; they seem to collect a crapton of data.

Ah yes, the inverted control thing. I blame Descent and Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, the first for training me to use inverted controls, and second for forcing me to retrain after more than 10 years of inverted y-axis play.

Descent was... *is* a classic. It was groundbreaking because it used 3-D, and by that I mean real 3-D. Doom and its ilk were never really 3-D games at all, and learning the Doom controls taught me all sorts of good and bad controller habits. For one thing, this was in the pre-mouselook era, and you couldn't even look up or down at all. The controls were wonky by modern standards, with the numpad controlling movement. Left and right turned your character, while up and down controlled your forward and backward movement. Dark Forces changed that, by adding the ability to look up and down on the left hand, next to the jump/crouch controls.

Then came Descent. Now the numpad was full directional looking, with the left hand taking over forward/backward movement. In fact, the whole thing was reminiscent of a flight sim, and naturally you pulled back on the stick to look up, especially while cruising along down a long tunnel. After all, you were in a spaceship, and it was the logical control choice.

That was it--I was an inverted control guy, the one who would invariably end up staring at the floor or ceiling when someone else's controller was handed off to me. You know how it goes: you want to adjust your aim up a little, so you pull back a little, but that moves the view down and the positive feedback loop takes over from there.

Then there was that Sherlock Holmes game. Not a bad game, except that it wouldn't let you invert the y-axis controls. Worse, I had to review it, so skipping the game wasn't an option. I spent the first couple of days staring at the floor or ceiling, or just trying not to move my view up or down at all. My reflexes were fighting this new control scheme. For a while I would manage, and then I would be trying to avoid a guard somewhere and my old mouselook reflexes would kick in again. I feel a bit sorry for that game, since I'm sure my review was tainted by that awful experience. It's like controller withdrawal, a reflex-driven reaction to a control scheme that went against years of training.

And then I took a complete break from shooters. I went for about six months without touching anything that used a first-person view. And then I dove into Half-Life 2. Oh, the horror! I tried going back to my inverted y-axis ways, but my forced non-inverted experience had crossed the wires! Now I was having the opposite experience with inverted controls, where I'd manage just fine when strolling around, but as soon as someone started shooting at me I'd be facing the floor or ceiling again. This wasn't supposed to happen! That was the last straw; I decided to retrain in non-inverted controls and put the matter to rest.

Why ultimately choose non-inverted? Well, there was the worry that I'd run across another "no option to invert y-axis" game. There was also the appeal of being able to direct map my hand movements to the cursor movements, and so it was settled. Jumping in a plane or using a joystick, pulling back to look up is still the most natural thing, but on foot it's non-inverted for me.

- Alan

I was player two back in the days of having friends who played really long single player games like Resident Evil and Breath of Fire, but it was okay, because they were always player two at my house(twisted metal, wipeout xl).

Does anybody else invert based on which game they're playing?
I use the regular for fps & third person action-adventure and inverted for flight sims.
It just makes sense.
Last night I downloaded the pyroblazer demo and played it both with a gamepad + xpadder and kb + mouse. If I use the mouse I don't invert but with the gamepad or joystick I do. (It sure took a lot of tweaking as it was definitely designed with kb+mouse in mind.)

OK, somebody with a better memory than me needs to lay it down: What was the default for Quake?

I remember playing at a friend's house in college, but I was always "Player 2", and all the machines were configured for inverted look. Are you telling me that those jerks set me up for a lifetime of spending 5 minutes finding options for every FPS that I play?

I played Counter-Strike inverted for years. I think it was Metroid Prime that broke me of that habit.

I seem to remember that Quake didn't have m-look enabled by default. I most certainly remember that the default key for looking up was located above the default key for looking down though... non-inverted keyboard for the win!

drexle wrote:

I played Counter-Strike inverted for years. I think it was Metroid Prime that broke me of that habit.

Inverted with a mouse? An analog stick is odd but close enough to a joystick that I could see why people might prefer it, but inverted with a mouse is just strange.

inspiringsn wrote:
drexle wrote:

I played Counter-Strike inverted for years. I think it was Metroid Prime that broke me of that habit.

Inverted with a mouse? An analog stick is odd but close enough to a joystick that I could see why people might prefer it, but inverted with a mouse is just strange.

I started using inverted controls on a mouse and then later started using them on joysticks and analog sticks. The only game I remember playing through with non-inverted controls was Silent Hill 4 because I couldn't find the setting to change it, and I had the hardest time wrapping my head around the idea of pushing up to look up. It just doesn't make sense to me.

drexle wrote:

I think it was Metroid Prime that broke me of that habit.

Right and when I pick up Metroid Prime 3 or The Conduit on the Wii, it cannot function with some funny inverted controls. Up is up and down is down. I'm moving a pointer around and my viewpoint is tied to that. I think of all other FPS games the same way.

Wow. Great article. Gratz Clem

Dysplastic wrote:

For a joystick, up is down because that's how it was in flight games. That simple.

Very. And like the man implied, this wasn't a flight simulator.

Clemenstation wrote:

I seem to remember that Quake didn't have m-look enabled by default. I most certainly remember that the default key for looking up was located above the default key for looking down though... non-inverted keyboard for the win!

Well, that is because ball mice have always sucked. I remember some of the awesome "professional" shooter controllers from back then. There were the guys using trackballs, the guys with Thrustmaster sticks. Ah, good times. Then we discovered lasers and LED and all was right.

As for the topic at hand. Some of my least favorite times are when the de-facto activity of going to a buddy's house was firing up Halo and going online. Between the CHUDS online, and the rather stale gameplay(My appetite for Halo was satiated about halfway through Halo 2) I just do not enjoy it so much on that level. And there are not really any good ways to grief anyone in it. In TF2, you have options, at least.

Thanks for the smile Clemenstation. You crack me up.

Inverted for the win! The stick is like your head: tilt it backward to look UP!

so then, to keep the analogy, pushing right should turn your head left, and left should go right. Whatever works. Thank god for control custimization!

ruinate wrote:
Inverted for the win! The stick is like your head: tilt it backward to look UP!

so then, to keep the analogy, pushing right should turn your head left, and left should go right. Whatever works. Thank god for control custimization!

No, sticking with the analogy, pressing left or right on the stick should c*ck your head to the side and make you stare at the enemy incredulously.