We see it every day. People in chat or on the boards insulting other users by calling them a "noob". Or even in your favorite online game "'ing noob" this and "stupid nub that". It is like noob has become the newest derogitory word of the century. Much like Jew or any other racially derogitory term was of yesterday.
We all were noobs at some point. But somehow as if by magic we stopped being a noob and became normal. We caught onto not only how the social structure of our online enviroment worked but we also adjusted to the enviroment, mastering its physics, systems of government, polotics, and everything else that comes with it. In gaming terms- we also learned how to master the commands nessessary to progress in ranks to achieve glory and god-hood. Yet, the more experienced players are always quick to point out the newness of others.
What is this compelling urge we all have to declare someone new to something and then taunt them for it? Why is it that some players who are new are "cool" while other players seem to be the appitomy of what a noob is? What is the quality that people who are noobs have in common? Is it possible to identify this quality and then through knowledge and awareness help prevent others from being labled as a noob? Frankly, I don't know.
After being involved in the game industry for over 15 years at diffrent levels, I've seen many noobs come and go. Some went on to become respectable players or chatters, others have fallen by the way side. I myself have been a noob many times with each new game I go to play. In all my years of experience I've noticed that there is one major element that seems to be common ground to the most natorious of noobs that are on the net. Stupidity.
I don't mean to insult the player or chatter by calling them stupid. By no means is it to be assumed that the user is of below average intellegance. I'm sure that in their own life, or school setting they are either quite average or maybe even a little above average. Yet average as their life may be it doesn't go to support their noobish causes when they engage into social interactions within their chosen enviroment. Either through game mechanics or social taboos the noobish of noobs seem to repeatedly engage in actions that are repeatedly bashed into their skulls as not acceptable within that form of entertainment. Amazingly though, some of them never learn. The question is why?
In game terms, perhaps it is easier to accept a noobs mistakes. After all the gaming industry has come lightyears from its 8 bit graphics 8 button controllers of the NES days. Now we have games with more commands, bells, and whistles than you can shake a light gun at. I doubt even Capt'N would be a master of any of these modern games now days. Certainly there is a learning curve involved when you take up a new game as a past time. The noobs who are making mistakes that irritate players in these types of games can be understood. It is hard to get going when you play a game for the first time so begging for gold or items may seem like your only viable option to get anywhere close to knowing what to do. Or perhaps it will take you a 100 times of shooting your own team mates before you learn to identify what an enemy looks like. Are those the only reasons there are to lable someone a noob as if you were calling them a Parentaly Promiscuous person? If it still goes on after several months maybe.
What about chat rooms, or forums? What determains a noob here? Is it someone who doesn't follow the rules from the start? WHo doesn't bother to read they overly complicated or unnessesarly long list of do's and don'ts? Or is it someone who spams for no reason? Sometimes, people honestly don't know what the proper thing to do is. Just because it is posted, and they failed to read it, does that automaticly make them at fault? If so, does that automaticly make them a noob? Maybe it does it it goes to extremes.
A noob can also be someone who cheats to establish themself within their chosen forum, weather it be a game or a chat room. Hackers, L337ist, they have many names. The older players or chatters often get irritated that they spent X amount of time and energy, sometimes money, to get to a position within their chosen forum and to have some new user walk in, use a cheat, and best them is just nothing more than a cold hard slap in the face. Maybe this is the final true deffenition of what a noob is? Someone who cheats to get ahead in their game or forum. But if that is so, why not call them a cheater, or a hack. Why do we resort to calling them a noob?
To bring this to a close, as I have illistrated, we have many situations out there in cyberspace in which someone could fall into the "noob" catagory. In some cases, the insult can be warrented, in others maybe not so much. What do you think? What makes a noob? is the insult over used? Or perhaps not used enough?