Ah, the interweb

Monday, March 3, 2008 4:00 PM Posted by Loaki

The internet is a dazzling place, full of wonder and sparkle. It's a funny place, though. There are rules and guidelines and tutorials. I'm still amazed that after having the internets around so long, my parents are still SO CLUELESS. My parents manage to completely break their computers once every year or so and because of this, I have to "reconnect" them to the interweb. The funny thing is, they don't have a network, and they don't have dial-up...they have DSL. They refuse to believe me when I tell them that with DSL they are always online, too! My mom insists that she will need the latest version of AOL so she can get on the internet and check her email. NOTHING I say can change her mind on that. She is right and I am stupid...which is why I have to hook them back up to the internets.

How to Behave on an Internet Forum


Unwritten Internet Rules
(I'm sure I've broken some of these)

Unwritten Rule 1: When in doubt, create a link that reads "click here."

In the Internet's early days, when people were trying to create momentum on a Web page, it was necessary to instruct people what to do and where to do it. So, the "click here" hyperlink was born. It's overstayed its welcome.

People know what to do when they see a hyperlink. Telling them to "click here" is equivalent to placing road signs every couple of yards that read "Stay on the road."

Example following the rule:

The X-Arcade 2 Player is guaranteed for life. To read our lifetime warranty, click here.

Now, let's break the rule:

See how your X-Arcade 2 Player is guaranteed for life.

Unwritten Rule 2: Use lots of "more info" links.

People want more info, right? But info about what? It seems adding a few extra words to the "more info" hyperlink is cost-prohibitive. No one seems willing to tell me what info I'll get when I click the link. Do those extra few letters cost money?

Example of following that rule:

Microsoft Word is the industry-standard word processor. It has a seemingly endless number of features, each designed to help you be more productive while creating and revising documents. More Info

Let's break the rule:

Microsoft Word is the industry-standard word processor. See Microsoft Word's seemingly endless number of features, each designed to help you be more productive while creating and revising documents.

Which is more persuasive?

Unwritten Rule 3: Use as many vague hyperlinks as possible, such as "read more," "continue reading," and "next."

Same as rule 2. What will I be reading more about? Why can't you tell me what will happen when I click?

Instead of "Read more," why not "Read more about how this Magic Widget can help you work smarter and faster"?

Instead of "Continue reading," why not "Continue reading this article"?

Tell people specifically what happens next: "Next: enter your billing information."

For more Rules, READ HERE :)

Oldie But a Goodie


The 10 Commandments of Gaming

GamerHelp 666:10, 1st Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Be Offended by Harsh Language
It's going to happen. Somewhere, somehow, in the future, someone you're playing a game with online is going to say "holy flying greased Jesuses, we're being attacked by flying ass-rapists from the abortionist dimension!" Or something like that. Anyone who's ever been on Xbox Live knows that 90% of the words in the English language either begin or end with the F-word.

Therefore, it is entirely pointless to get offended by anything anyone says during gameplay. For Christ's sake, we're all playing games in which we blow each other into little bloody bits, does it really make sense to be offended by cursing amidst the carnage?

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GamerHelp 666:11, 2nd Commandment
Thou Shalt Keep Holy the Sabbath
Sunday, SUN-day SUNDAY! To hell with church. Sunday is for gaming. It is only day of the week when you can really assure yourself that you've got nothing else going on from morning to night. Or at least, that's the way it should be. Saturday nights are for drinking, Friday nights are for chasing tail, but Sunday is for staying in and shooting zombies.

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GamerHelp 666:12, 3rd Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Take Bad Endings Lightly
No longer must we suffer from craptacular endings like the ones we once endured on the NES. The credits certainly fit in well at the end of the game, but if all you get when a game is over is a long list of the people who made it and a sappy love song, then it's time to write an email to the developers. For too long have we humans put up with shitty endings in our video games. For developers, this is usually done because they're rushing to complete other aspects of the game before ship date. But for players, it's the ultimate insult to all of our efforts. It's not as though adding in a few clips or jokes at the end is impossible or all that time consuming.

Take Capcom's God Hand. Rather than just playing the credits at the end, this game gives us credits AND clips of the game's characters dancing away to the theme music. Adding in this type of clip didn't take a whole lot of effort: just clip the character models to the body joints of a motion-captured dancer, and voila! These endings don't have to be over the top or exceptionally long. But they should show a little bit of creativity, god dammit! Think Pixar's out takes. think Star Control II's final interviews with each of the space races. Think ToeJam and Earl wandering around Funkitron! Think of something other than "You Win. Game Over!"

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GamerHelp 666:13, 4th Commandment
Thou Shalt Gloat
Halo players know that the ultimate in defeat is being tea-bagged. When you've killed someone in an online game, it's not just time to turn around and hunt for the next victim. It's time to turn on the mic and laugh triumphantly, like a retarded janitor with a bagel in his nose. Don't be afraid to hit the taunt button, or to run over to that dead Heavy Weapons Guy, and do your little Pyro happiness dance. While it's certainly not recommended that you start getting your racist on, or to joke about their mom, it is entirely appropriate to say that they've been "0wnzor3d."

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GamerHelp 666:14, 5th Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Rig
Not all of us can afford a $3000 computer. Neither, too, can we all buy a 360, a PS3 and a Wii. Rather than drooling over your friends' good fortune at having all of these things, the true gamer simply goes to GameStop or the local Goodwill to find some last generation goodness for 5 bucks a hit. Why, there are thousands of games out there that you've never played, and most of them aren't current generation technology. Better still, go online to a site like Abandonia or the TheUnderdogs.com to download abandoned games for your PC for free. Or, even better still, go get an emulator and try out those NES games you never got a chance to play as a kid. Thou shalt not waste rent money on an Xbox 360 when thou can just as easily buy 30 games for the original Xbox for the same price.

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GamerHelp 666:15, 6th Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Name Thyself After Thy Own Birthday
Gamer tags aren't so easy to come up with anymore. With thousands of gamers out there registering their nicknames with Xbox Live, or in your favorite MMO, it's a fair chance that your first choice of nickname is already taken. But while all the good ones may seem to have been taken, that is no excuse to name yourself "Steve71685" or "Robert1013". These types of names only make you look like an inbred newbie from West Virginia. There are plenty of good names left out there, and only the ones in Leet Speak, or mimicing a license plate need to have numbers in them. Try using names like "BiscuitOfRage" or "MonkeyButtLuv" or "HalfALoafUvKungFu" or "StonedGnome" or "BackPimplesRossario" or "St00pidDoucher" or "StudBeefPile" or "LunchBox" or any of the thousands of other possibilities! Get creative! Do something original. And for god's sake, keep your f**cking birthday out of your name!

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GamerHelp 666:16, 7th Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Use FAQs Unless Thou Art Stuck
For GamerHelp, it's all about the FAQs, of course. But you should never go running through those FAQs unless you are specifically stuck somewhere. There is no form of life on this Earth that is lower than that dood who buys a new game and the walkthrough guide at the same time at GameStop. First of all, FAQs are free online, idiot. Second of all, You're probably one of those assholes who sits in front of the TV with the game running and the walkthrough open to page one. It's not a f'ing game if you just read what to do next every time you complete a task, dumbass. Close the book, and figure it out yer damn self.

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GamerHelp 666:17, 8th Commandment
Thou Shalt Watch Your Buddy's Back
When playing games online, don't let your buddies get back stabbed. It's not cool and it's not friendly. What's the point of playing online with other people if you can't even trust your own teammates to keep you from being being pistol whipped from behind? Keep those eyes open, and watch those corners. You know it's going to happen at some point, and even if you can't stop the guy from attacking, you can at least call out to your pal and say "look out behind you!" Remember, this online gaming thing isn't really worth a damn if the people you play with run off into the enemy base every time they respawn, like some digitized Rambo with a chip on his shoulder.

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GamerHelp 666:18, 9th Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Take Gaming Too Seriously
We've all been there: you're on a server playing with a bunch of people you've never seen before. The enemy team captures your flag, and someone on your team blows up in a screaming rage over the lack of teamwork. This man (and they are always men) is way too involved. Games are supposed to be fun, not work. If you're really that worried about how the red team does in the next round, spend your time talking strategy, not yelling into the mic about how "Joe3216" is a complete idiot who shouldn't be playing the game at all. This isn't pickup football on the playground, and we don't get to pick teams. You're always going to be saddled with some douche-bag who has one arm and no ears, so just resign yourself to sitting down and trying to work with what you've got. Besides, the feeling of accomplishment is much greater when you win a round knowing that your team is made up entirely of 12 years olds with no thumbs and cleft palettes.

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GamerHelp 666:19, 10th Commandment
Thou Shalt Save Early, and Save Often
There aren't too many games, these days, that remove points or bonuses from the player based on the number of times they save. This used to be something of a common practice, back when game developers saw the player as a toy with which to play and squeeze. But today, developers know better. They know we all hate running through the same corridor 33 times and dying on the same jump over and over again. That's why they offer more save spots, save-anywhere features, and on-the-fly difficulty adjustments. With all these wonderful helpers, however, there are still gamers who like to live on the edge. When the scene ends and the level is over, they say "NO" to "Do you want to save?" They don't use the save rooms, and they never turn the machine off. These are the maniacs who try to beat Final Fantasy XII in one sitting. And these are the people we do not want to emulate. Save early, save often. You never know when the power may go out and you'll be stuck trying to kill the same goddamn monsters over and over again.

How did I forget this gem?




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