People really hate to lose. This shouldn't come as a surprise; we've all lost at something at some point or another. It sucks to not end up on top. But hey, it happens. We learn to deal with it and take it in stride.

Or if you are on Xbox Live you just send your opponent hateful messages. I've received my fair share of angry internet messages in my over seven year long career on Xbox Live, some of them for being good at a game and others for being much less so. But by far the vast majority of online anger that has come my way in recent years has come in the last several weeks from playing  the DC Comics fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us online.

First, some context. After messing around a bit with all of the characters, I found Sinestro, Green Lantern's arch-nemesis, to be my favorite. I jumped into practice mode and got good at a few simple combo chains while familiarizing myself with all of his special abilities.

I felt confident I could take Sinestro online and hold my own. Using the matchmaking system, I was quickly paired up with an opponent. He picks Aquaman. Of course, I pick Sinestro.

The battle begins. Aquaman tries to get in close. I don't let him. Forty seconds later, Aquaman is on the ground defeated and I've barely been injured. Rather than choose rematch, my opponent leaves. Approximately 15 seconds later I receive a message from my recently defeated opponent.

"SPAMMER!" it read.

Fair enough, I thought. It is, after all, partly true. I've failed to mention why exactly I enjoy playing Sinestro so much. He excels at long range combat - my whole strategy is essentially to get as far away as possible and pelt my opponent with projectiles. If my opponent runs at me, I shoot a standard fireball at him, which I can enhance with my super meter to fire additional projectiles if need be. If my opponent jumps at me, I summon a meteor from the sky to crush him with. Sinestro also has an ability that binds enemies in place, allowing for follow up attacks. This is the bulk of my arsenal.

People really, really do not like this play style. Finding success with this "death from afar" strategy, I continued to play Sinestro online.  In total, I've received six hostile Xbox Live messages from angry and frustrated opponents about my play style, in addition to several instances of "rage quitting."

Now, for your reading enjoyment, I shall provide some of these gems of sportsmanship and understanding, each with context and commentary:

"you suck"

This is a fairly standard response to being pummeled to death by meteors. Not very creative. I kind of wonder why this guy even took time out of his day to write the message in the first place. Moving on.

"*** you so scared lololol"

Of all my Sinestro matches, this one was by far the most intense. My opponent was the Joker. I'm not incredibly familiar with Joker's move set as I hardly ever see him played online, and I proceeded to lose my first health bar within the first 10-20 seconds, barely landing a hit on the clown prince. Second round I managed to escape from close quarters and started my usual routine. We exchanged projectiles for a time, each taking hits, until I managed to bind him, hit him with a meteor, and from then on never eased up the pressure. It was a major come from behind win.  I saw this hate-filled message coming a mile away.


This one just might be my favorite. No expletives, no racial or homophobic slurs, just one simple word. It actually kind of stung a little. Nobody wants to be boring. All this guy wanted was to have an exciting battle, and instead all I gave him was a face-full of meteors and fireballs. Oh well, I'm over it.

"I know what's coming next."

The above quote isn't a private message, but actually a phrase repeated over and over again by my opponent with increasing passion through voice chat. I wasn't wearing a headset, so his voice came through my TV speakers. Our time together consisted of two matches, first against a fighter I can't remember, and the second against Deathstroke, another long ranged fighter. From the first second of game one he talked smack. It didn't help him and I won easily. Game two, however, was much more interesting.  From what I could gather through voice chat, my opponent from the previous game, while still wearing the headset, had handed his controller off to a friend and proceeded to coach him as to how to best deal with my strategy. He frantically called for his friend to get in close. I didn't let him. As meteor after meteor crashed down onto Deathstroke's head, he exclaimed the above phrase repeatedly. No matter how many times he said it, he still didn't block. So I kept doing it. Just before he was about to lose, he quit the match, robbing me of a victory and saving himself the "shame" of having an additional loss to his name. His final words as he pulled the plug on the match were "How do you like this?" I thought the exact same thing as I reported him shortly after.

The sad part is I've come to expect these kinds of responses, so much in fact that I try to avoid playing Sinestro unless I know I am far outmatched and pick him to even the odds.  I knew the internet and its anonymity brought out the worst of people, but this is just ridiculous. I get frustrated and discouraged when I get my butt handed to me. It's human nature. But when I do get stomped it only hardens my resolve to improve and figure out a way to beat my opponent. Whining and sending hostile messages worthy of a 12-year-old (which many of these players on Xbox Live may very well be) isn't going to help anything.

Oh well, it's their loss. I will just keep creating magic rocks from the sky until they figure it out. 

In the meantime, I could see this type of blog becoming a regular thing, especially if the messages keep rolling in. If providing the Game Informer community with humorous hate-filled messages becomes popular, I may have to jog my memory and recall some of the messages I got a few years back playing Gears of War 1 and 2 -- they put many of the above messages to shame. Does this happen to anybody else on a semi-regular basis? What are some of your favorite (or least favorite) messages you've received while gaming online?