There are many things gamers despise in life: shoddy gameplay, poor hit-detection, movie-based games … physical activity. For anyone who is just a casual video game player or perhaps a friend/significant other of a gamer, things that may upset the gamer in question are usually unknown. Are there any little habits almost guaranteed to drive a typical gamer insane with anger? The answer, in short, is a resounding "Yes."

But which among these pet-peeves are the absolute worst? That's where Nerd Alert steps in. After carefully conducting a series of focus groups, laboratory tests and psychological examinations, we've gathered a list of the top four most annoying gaming habits. What follows is a rundown of what happens when good gaming goes bad. Are you driving someone bonkers? There's only one way to find out — keep reading. Game on.


Equipment Launchers

So I've got no problem if gamers really get into the game. In fact, I encourage it. Go ahead: yell, shout, run around your room, do that pouty thing two-year-olds do. Where I get peeved is when the overly enthused begin to think your controllers and other peripherals are made of rubber. They are not made of rubber. They do not bounce. If you throw my controller at the ground, I will throw you out a window.

It's really very simple.

Now, I know launching controllers at the ground may be a difficult thing to curb. What might be worse is seeing gamers who in frustration (and fear of pissing of their co-gamers) do not throw equipment around, but rather just squeeze the life out of it. I know I'm not the only one who has experienced this. Players will seethe uncontrollably, put all their force into a poor, helpless controller, and practically wrench it in half. I've never actually seen this done, but it's probably not too good for all the buttons and joysticks. In all actuality, I'd rather see the controller thrown. It's way more enjoyable and that way I get to throw someone out a window.


Grubby little mitts

Anyone who has ever played video games with me likely knows I'm a little over-protective of my consoles — namely my controllers. Ask my friends, my family, my girlfriend … even my roommate's dog will probably tell you I'm anal when it comes to anything even slightly dirty touching my controllers. One friend in particular is forever banned from using my controllers unless I first eyeball his hands — no lie.

What may seem like overkill to some is quite common to others. Chances are if you're big into video games you are nodding your head in agreement with me. If you're not, however, you're probably wondering if all gamers share my clean controller obsession. Believe it or not, the majority of them fall in line with me, likely freaking out if someone with less-than-spotless hands comes near a controller.

Don't believe me? Then try a little experiment. The next time someone invites you over to play their new Xbox 360, bring along a bag of cheetos, some cotton candy and barbecue potato chips. Get a nice coating of cheese, sugar, grease and barbecue flavoring on your fingers and — this is important — don't make any effort whatsoever to clean them off before grabbing for one of his/her controllers. Watch for the look of either pain or panic on their face as they watch their prized possession become sullied by someone they thought they could trust. If they are nice, chances are they won't say a thing and will just inwardly stew. If they really care about the controller, however, prepare for the guilt trip of a lifetime.

The lesson? I don't know that there necessarily is one. But if you ever (and I mean ever) want to use one of my controllers, please come over prepared with at least two forms of identification, a urine sample and at least a few cotton swabs of your hands — for safety's sake.


Game Hogs

When you've got friends over do not play video games by yourself. When you've got friends over do not play video games exclusively with one of your friends and not another. When you've got friends over, be generous.

It's just good etiquette.

Don't get me wrong though, I mean some people (Ryan and myself) are just really overprotective of their systems. We don't want you leaving your fingerprints on our precious controllers or throwing them around. Still, Ryan and I both realize that video games would be relatively boring if there wasn't such a thing as multiplayer or trading-off. Don't be a game hog.

Still, there are games where one is just content watching. For instance, most people are just stunned when watching someone play through "Shadow of the Colossus." It's like watching a movie.

Other games, however, are not so conducive for exclusive viewing. I do not want to watch anyone play "Tetris." I would probably pass out from exhaustion. In situations like this, I advocate using either of the above tactics for pure revenge and occasional fun. Feel free to throw your friends' controllers and games around the room or coat them in grease and sugar. Be prepared to run.



If there is one thing almost guaranteed to annoy any serious gamer, it has to be the button-masher (Buttonus Mashimus). For the unfamiliar, a button-masher is just what you'd expect — one who mashes buttons. Typically seen mostly when playing fighting games, button-mashers try to accommodate for lack of skill by hitting random buttons as quickly as possible.

The most common button-mashers? Children, the elderly and other inexperienced video gamers.

While typically good for little more than a laugh, occasionally a button-masher can pull of an upset over a seasoned gamer. And this, dear readers, is where button-mashing becomes less of an amusement and the greatest known gaming annoyance. Honestly, there is almost nothing worse than losing a round of "Mortal Kombat" to someone with the gaming skills of a seven-year-old with poor hand-eye coordination. Nothing.

So what can you do if a friend or loved one insists on randomly pressing the shit out of any controller set before him/her? There is still hope for them, through the use of instruction manuals, in-game tutorials and, in extreme cases, game coaching. There are few things more fulfilling than watching a young padawan learner mature into a seasoned gaming veteran, capable of taking down even the baddest of baddie.

And if that doesn't work? Well, there's always shock therapy …

Ryan ([email protected]) and Sundeep ([email protected]) are hopelessly addicted to video games. Ryan is completely enamored with "Guitar Hero" and mastering the solo of "More Than a Feeling." Sundeep is LA LA LA LA LA.