Friday, October 08, 2010

Gamers, Cheaters, and Assholes

This started off as a comment on one of Calebs posts, but got a little long so I decided to move it over here
In my still young IDPA career, I’ve been called a “gamer” a lot. In IDPA circles that usually means someone that treats IDPA as a game to be won, and will work within the full extent of the rules to win. For example, a “gamer” will ask the SO during the walk-through very specific questions about where they’re considered behind cover, if they’re allowed to load on the move in certain areas, etc. The reason for this is that a gamer doesn’t want to cheat – but they certainly want to win.

Cheating is an entirely different concept. A cheater is someone who is aware of the rules and simply doesn’t care – whether they’re the rules on reloading or the rules on magazine capacity, this person simply ignores them. In 3 years of shooting IDPA, I had never encountered a true cheater until recently, and it was a completely flabbergasting experience to me. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen someone openly defy IDPA rules, get a procedural and they say that they “don’t care”.

I'm pretty much with Caleb on this one... though I don't know if this guy was a cheater, or just an asshole.

Either one, I don't want to shoot with.

When I shot IDPA, I shot what I carried, with the rig I carried in. At times, what I was carrying didn't fit within IDPA rules at the time (especially when there was still a limited holster list). If that meant I didn't score for that day, that was fine with me; it was still good practice.

...BUT everyone knew what I was doing BEFORE I did it.

I've also discussed with SOs BEFORE my run, that I wasn't going to use the stage reload rules; that I was running it for trigger time under pressure, and didn't want to play the game rules, because I didn't think it was sound practice (sometimes the stage designers liked to get cute with partial mag reloads, retains, and then using the retained mag etc...).

Frankly, if the SO is expecting you to conform to a pattern and you don't, that could be a safety hazard; never mind it just being common courtesy. 

I have always viewed IDPA primarily as a good exercise in training under pressure; and cared a lot more about doing what I felt was tactically correct, rather than what the stage designer wanted.

BUT I ALWAYS talked with the SO before the run, and let them know beforehand. In fact, I usually talked with the other shooters and the SOs at the briefing. If anybody had a problem with it (which only happened a couple of times) then I ran the stage by the rules, or I didn't run it at all. 

That said, that's what I'M there for, personally; not necessarily what everyone else is there for. They don't need to accomodate me in my preferences, I'm playing on their range, with their time, and I need to make sure that I'm playing by their rules, or at the least with their permission.

I have no problem with someone who is playing the game. That's the point of the rules. Thats why they time and score and publish the results. It's a competition, with structure and rules. Faulting someone for competing to the rules, because you don't like the rules, is asinine.

The idiots who act like anyone playing the game is "just a gamer" and not worth respecting... Well, I have a few less polite words for them.

Fine. You don't want to "play games", and you're always tactically correct etc... Great for you... but why on earth do you think you have the right to screw with anyone elses fun, or training, or competition, or for that matter any other damn thing they please?

But those people, are just assholes, not cheaters.

Sadly, there are a lot of assholes out there.

Now... for those who purport to be playing the game, and then don't follow the rules, to gain advantage? THOSE are cheaters, and they are beneath contempt.

There's an old saying, "If you didn't win, you didn't cheat hard enough"... and under certain circumstances I'm an ardent practitioner of that policy; but when you AGREE to play a GAME, you agree to follow the rules.