Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Ten Things You Should Never Say To An Angry Gamer

by Ben Reeves on Mar 01, 2015 at 01:00 PM

Highly competitive games can sometimes lead to highly combustible social situations. What should you do when facing down the angry stare of a fellow gamer? Defuse the situation with grace and diplomacy, and above all avoid saying any of the following.

1. “Don't be a baby! You lost and you suck!”
Why you shouldn’t say it: First of all, if this person is old enough to be playing a game then they’re probably not a baby. Show them a little respect and simply say something like, “You’re a grown human person. Sorry you didn’t win that round. You’ll do better next time because you have reflexes of a mature human.”

2. “Woah! Did you see that spark? You have too much plugged into that outlet; it could start a fire.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Don’t make fun of someone else’s home setup. It’s likely that there just was no other outlet to plug into. Cut them a little slack, or offer to help them rearrange the furniture if it really bugs you.

3. “Hey man, your leg is on fire.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Are you trying to imply that this person is so burning mad that their leg actually caught on fire? It’s a little ridiculous, don’t you think? It’s best not to point out how mad someone is when they’re mad. That will just make them madder.

4. “No, I mean your leg is literally on fire!”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Again, people don’t just spontaneously combust because they’re angry. Try saying something like, “Hey friend, I can tell that you’re mad because your blood pressure seems elevated and your body temperature has risen 1.4 degrees. Let’s both cool off with some ice cream and a walk around the lake.”

5. “I got the fire extinguisher. Hold your breath; I don't want you to breathe any of this in.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Don’t try to “cool” this person off with a fire extinguisher. This isn’t funny, and playing with fire extinguishers isn’t a good idea. However, you should test your fire safety gear every six months to make sure they are up to date. 

The face of your angry friend

6. “The place is filled with smoke. Cover your head with this wet towel. I’ll lead us outside.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Don’t try to imply that your friend is polluting the air with all their angry ranting. There is no reason for someone to insult you over a game. If their words are hurtful come right out and say it. Don’t beat around the bush. Try, “Look sir, I don’t appreciate those words. They are hurtful. Would you talk to your mother that way?”

7. “Those are some serious third degree burns. I’m calling the ambulance.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: First of all, the correct insult is whambulance. Second, you should never insult someone because they’re being whiny. Be the bigger person. Try to distract this angry gamer with a funny YouTube video or a magic trick.

8. “Bite down on this stick. I think your body is going into shock.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Maybe your friend is so angry that they look like they’re convulsing. Even so, don’t feed them a stick. They’re likely to see that as a hostile Action, which could push them over the edge, resulting in a fistfight. Or – if another stick is lying around – a stick fight.

9. “Can you hear me? I think you just blacked out. The ambulance accidentally backed up over your groin.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: First of all, this is racist. Second, the correct insult is whambulance, and we already told you not to say that. Try to see things from your friends point of view and say, “Hey buddy, I don’t understand why you’re upset, try explaining it to me calmly. Pretend that I’m your younger brother and your explaining the birds and the bees.”

10. “I can't feel a pulse, I don’t think he’s going to make it.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: No matter how frustrated your friend makes you, don’t pretend that they’re dead to you. That’s actually hurtful and likely to cause your angry friend to rage even harder. Say something like, “I appreciate your friendship let’s listen to this Rage Against the Machine album together.”

Bonus statement: “Welcome back, you’ve been in a coma for six months. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to save your right leg. But I want you to meet your baby daughter?”
Why you shouldn’t say it: What does this even mean? Did they somehow have a kid out of anger? It makes no sense, but actually it’s so bizarre that it might actually stun your friend and snap him out of his rage. It’s risky, but this might actually work.