I’ve been playing video games for well over 2 decades, with more hours playing than I care to admit. There was once I picked up Payday 2 and put something like 400 hours into the game within a month. I’ve also lived in many countries, the ones I’ve spent a significant amount of time in being America, Germany and Malaysia. Having been in Europe for several years now, I can’t help but notice something unique about gamers here that I’ve never seen on the 2 other continents where I’ve lived.
Hiccup at the start? GG we lose
To jump right in, players in Europe have a noticeably higher defeatist attitude across the board, whether it’s Overwatch or League of Legends or Counterstrike. They are quick to declare “GG” (for non-gamers, that’s “good game” and that the game is over and lost) in the early game, typically the first 5-10 minutes, with even the smallest score discrepancy in favor of the enemy team – for instance, when the score is 1-4 at 8 minutes.
In my most recent obsession, League of Legends, it’s more obvious than ever how quickly players give up because of how often and quickly “FF15”, short for forfeit at 15 minutes (you cannot surrender before 15 minutes), comes up. A minor score difference, especially at early game, is a terrible reason to just give up and I’ve never observed this happen as often as I have in Europe.
Maybe defeatist, but also spiteful
Having said the above, it’s also incredible how a large number of defeatist players are also unwilling to surrender after their initial bout of giving up, even when things have gone south. I’m not sure what turns a person from instantly giving up when there’s a small score difference, to wanting to prolong the game when the score difference is huge (such as 9-28 and down 5+1 objectives at 24 minutes as shown in the above example) and the only thing that’s going to happen for the next 15 to 20 minutes is getting stomped on the face even more by the enemy team.
But the only possibility I can think of is spite – to waste 4 or 5 other people’s time because they didn’t agree with you when you first gave up.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of defeatist and spiteful players (the latter usually being more trolls because you stole their kill or something, and not spiteful without a reason) across the world.
But at least in America and Asia, they seem more consistent and siloed into one type. That is to say the ‘defeatist’ kind of player will be constantly starting surrender votes until the match ends. Given the chance to surrender, they will hop on the opportunity to give up. Very unlike their typical European counterpart who is on one end of the spectrum at first, then goes to the other – just to make others’ lives miserable.
It’s a shared opinion
I’ve watch some League of Legends smaller time streamers to improve my gameplay – it’s especially helpful when one is pretty new to the game. Interestingly, a couple of them based in North America (physically) and normally play on NA servers, who have EU West accounts, have noted that the latter server is far more toxic and that people give up more easily.
They separately note that the players on the EU server are significantly more defeatist, apparently never having heard of teams making comebacks, and some go as far as giving up immediately in the early game and going AFK (basically abandoning the game).
Those comments are consistent with my observations and experience from this side of the ocean.
Europeans love to write essays during games
On another note, people from Europe are also significantly more likely, compared to other parts of the planet, to start arguing or voicing their defeatism in team communication (whether it’s Counterstrike or League of Legends, etc). Most of the time, they end up typing (fewer people own or use a microphone in Europe) more than actually playing during an ongoing match. This is from both personal experience and also seeing the same thing happen in streamed games.
Maybe if they focused more on the game than writing essays, they could help their team make a comeback. But no, they start writing about how their team sucks and continuously point fingers (generally voicing how they give up on the match and their team). Not uncommonly, the essay writing contest is joined by other players arguing back and can turn into an insult-themed war of the essays.
Again, this can happen in America or Asia, but seems to be a significantly rarer occurrence. Usually the people from those two regions are brief and repetitive with their finger pointing and/or insults (so at least they still are more involved in playing the game), and don’t tend to write lines and lines of prose to explain in great detail why they are giving up and how much they hate their teammates (not like anyone cares, I usually just mute them, but European players also always like to have the final say so they end up arguing to hell and back, and by the end of the match, you can produce a Harry Potter book’s worth of text written during gameplay).
The real life crossover
I think the most interesting observation is what I’ve heard from speaking with other foreigners living in Europe about real-life matters. The best instance was when I once had a friend join my coworkers (an American and Australian) and I for dinner. One of the things we discussed was how she wanted to start a side gig during her spare time to improve her financial stability and decrease reliance on a monthly paycheck working a 9-6 job.
After we left, this friend said my coworkers were really nice and their positivity was refreshing. Curious, I asked her what she meant. She told me the times she had brought up the thought of starting a side gig to her local friends, they would shoot down her idea almost immediately.
“You think it’s going to work? You will probably fail. Best just keep working your job.” I mean this girl is talking about a side gig with very little upfront capital required – it wasn’t like she was planning to quit her job and start a business to compete with Apple and make billions of dollars in the first year.
Is it such a coincidence anymore that relatively new (within the last 30 years) big and popular names like Apple, Samsung, Uber, Facebook, Huawei, Amazon, Netflix and more are either American or Asian? Perhaps it’s this exact defeatist attitude that European businesses are all very conservative and we’ve rarely ever seen anything super innovative with insane popularity come out of the continent this century.