Video Game Strategy: Camping, Trapping, and Patrolling

Kill enough players in an online video game deathmatch and eventually you’re going to gets messages from that one guy who just kept running into your bullets. There’s a chance he’s going to accuse you of “camping.” Whether you are using an X-Box 360, PS3 or other device on which online video games allow you to speak to other people via headsets, you’ll probably here someone mention “camping” at least once a round. Video game veterans are familiar with what this term means already I am sure. Basically you are being accused of parking your video game character in a single hiding spot on the battle map and not moving from said spot: ever. However, a great percentage of the time the frustrated loser of the game is throwing out “camping” accusations without merit. Here is how “camping” can be expanded by definition in a way that goes to show that the camper that killed you might not have been camping at all.
First off, a camper shouldn’t be something to complain about. If an individual is camping within the video game map, chances are you have figured out where he is and what he is doing. Therefore, logically, you should be able to thwart his attempts to kill you and kill him first. Camping is generally a limited time activity that results in death soon after you’ve killed your first person, because revenge is the name of the game. Depending on the video game, be it an incarnation of Halo or Call Of Duty, a camper may have such a tight hidey-hole that he is actually able to kill you a couple more times upon your return for revenge. If this strategy works for him, then I guess it’s your own fault you keep getting killed by the camper. Perhaps twice is excusable if you were not able to determine exactly where he was, but enough times to frustrate you and for him to actually have the upper-hand: shameful indeed.

A camper will sometimes become a “trapper.” This is actually a sign of intelligence and not just camping, in fact, a camper who traps is not a camper trapping, but rather just a “trapper.” It can be fun! What a trapper will do is squat in a hiding spot, perhaps one already well known to the video gaming community as a favorite of campers. He will shoot a player and then anticipate that the player is going to return for some revenge against the camper. However, seeing as he is a trapper and not a camper, the trapper is not in that same spot when the victim returns. Instead, the trapper has moved slightly to a new spot, within sight of the original spot. So, when the victim returns to erase the camper he finds himself attacking a camper-less area and once again in the trapper’s sights. Blam: death number two. A good trapper can use the same small area of a video game map for many kills before his luck runs out. He can just keep rotating around from corner to corner lying in wait. However, if he keeps on cycling around he may no longer even be trapping, but “patrolling.”

Patrolling is another thing that may be misconceived as camping. Someone on patrol may stay in a certain area of a map, perhaps a solitary building, or they may branch out even further. When you play online shooter games such as Modern Warfare 2, after so many games you get a rhythm. Eventually you will start working the maps in a pattern that has been successful for you in the past. Patrolling a smaller section of map, let’s use the example of being in a single building, means you keep moving, but only within that section. If you are in a building, perhaps you keep moving from window to window to door, checking for bad guys as they may approach. If you are able to kill the same opponent several times he will register that this keeps happening at the same building and then call you a camper.

Well, there’s some food for thought when thinking online video game strategy or if you are the type to quickly label people as “campers.” If you let your mind leave the realm of video games for a second and think about how the real life situations of such gunfight scenarios would play out (space laser crazy guns excluded), you might realize that the team holing up in one spot for fortification and not moving is actually playing that for strength, not because they are sissy campers. Of course if both teams were to just park themselves on opposite sides of the map and wait for the other, nothing would happen. Darn campers.

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