They’re Really The Worst
Language, an entirely human construct, is the most powerful weapon in humankind’s arsenal. Words can inspire, generate feelings of belonging, love, laughter, and can spread hatred, fear and even cause offense.
Insults, phrase and words designed to cause offence, are amongst essential parts of the vernacular that change and evolve constantly. For instance, in Shakespeare’s era, “villain, I have done thy mother”, is probably the first example of a ‘your mum’ joke.
And after hearing about ‘Rust Lord’ doing the rounds at schools all over the world, it got us thinking – what are the biggest gaming-related insults? And what are their origins?
#1 – You’re Such A Rust Lord
The hottest, most baddest insult doing the rounds right now, ‘Rust Lord’ is inspired by Fortnite, the battle royale behemoth, played by pretty anybody and everybody.
The game has even infiltrated pop culture, with Antoine Griezmann, the Atletico Madrid forward regularly ‘taking the L’ and mainstream news outlets claiming Fortnite is pretty much liquefying our brains.
Regardless, to be a ‘Rust Lord’ is to be the lowest of the low, as the parents of this fourth grade student found out. The parents say their child got a disciplinary referral for “calling a fellow classmate a ‘Rust Lord’ and upsetting the other student greatly”.
Rust Lord is a low-level skin from Season 3 of the free Battle Pass. All you had to do was reach Tier 23 to earn the unfashionable item – and therefore, becoming a pathetic Rust Lord in the process.
#2 – Urgh, Not Another Hanzo-main
Donald Trump, officially mains Hanzo. Don’t believe me? Check out this billboard used in the run-up to 2016 presidential election:
Hanzo is one of the playable characters in Blizzards smash hit FPS Overwatch. And when the game first came out, he was something a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he could one-shot Roadhog, and on the other, his scatter arrow was completely ineffective. Lots of people mained him, could have used more effective characters, and therefore, let the team down.
Urban Dictionary says, a Hanzo-main is a player who refuses to pick any hero other than Hanzo. They’re bad at the game, have no friends and none of their family members care about them, hence why they lash out on people on Overwatch because there are no consequences to their actions.
When you put it like that, it kinda sounds exactly like Trump…
#3 – Get Away From Me You Filthy Casual
Know someone that spams invites to Candy Crush Saga, Farmville or other mobile games? Or someone that claims they’re a hardcore gamer, but only play FIFA, Madden or Call of Duty? Well, they’re probably a filthy casual.
The bane of hardcore gamers, the much-maligned filthy casuals are blamed for screwing up games for die hard players or reducing the overall level of difficulty of a game.
One high profile example is Destiny 2, the loot shooter from Bungie. The original game had a hardcore following, with the DestinyTheGame subreddit home to deep lore, analysis of loot drops and a group of players dedicated to solving some of the games deepest mysteries; such as the Outbreak Prime exotic quest.
While the first one eventually turned into quite a frsutrating, yet utterly additive loot-fest, the second one hasn’t gone down as well as expansions Taken King or Rise of Iron. In fact, after about two weeks post-launch, the Destiny subreddit turned into a pretty big salt mine.
Hardcore players lashed out at Bungie, blaming filthy casuals for forcing Bungie to make the game more accessible, by making loot drops more predictable, making the crucible more balanced, nerfing supers, and fundamentally, altering the mechanics of the game to allow casuals to keep apace with the hardcore players, in a fraction of the time.
Overall, Destiny 2 hasn’t been the game it was promised to be, so with the upcoming release of the expansion Destiny: Forsaken, we’re looking forward to jumping back in to see what changes Bungie have made.
#4 – OMG, You’re Such a n00b
It’s a classic – but gamers have been calling one another n00bs since the internet became a thing. Wikipedia seems to think it all started in the late 20th century, when the United States Armed Forces, referred to new recruits as newbies. But, there might be a different explanation…
The word n00b can trace its origins to leet; the language predominantly used on the internet.
Characteristics include substituting certain letters with others, or replacing letters with numbers or even changing the meaning of a word entirely. The word leet comes from the word elite and involves specialised forms of symbolic writing. For instance, leet spelling of the word leet include: 1337 and l33t.
Synonymous with gaming, and online subculture, l33t influences much of the insults and lexicon used in video gaming circles.
For instance, take this sentence: “You really owned that noob!”
In leet, it looks something a bit like this: “Y0(_) r34lly 0wn3d th4t n00b!”
There’s different tiers of 1337, depending on your mastery of the language, so that same sentence looks a bit different with intermediate leet: “j0(_) I23411j 0\/\/|\|3|) 7#47 |\|00I3!”
Gamehouse have a god mode l33t resource which you should definitely check out here.
#5 – Scrubs Just Suck
Scrubs are players who are quite unskilled, but believe they’re one of the best players at the game they’re playing. They don’t respond well to criticism, never learn from their mistakes, don’t listen to advice from other players, and generally, just keep doing the same annoying things repeatedly.
Excuses are the hallmark of a scrub, blaming poor connections, lag, faulty controllers, cheating or whatever rationale they conjure up.
It’s probably fair to say a scrub would rather complain about the ‘broken’ mechanics of a game instead of gitting gud.
In terms of where scrub came from, there’s a couple of explanations. The popular sitcom Scrubs in the 2000s is all about medical interns, and popularised the notion that trainee doctors ‘graduate’ from their scrubs after completing their residency training.
However, after checking Urban Dictionary again, and sifting through a few alternative explanations, Street Fighter II is listed as one of the first uses of the word. Apparently, a scrub is a bad player that would repeatedly mash the buttons across the control pad in a sweeping motion, known as scrubbing.
Those that scrubbed controllers, therefore, became scrubs.
#6 – You Fight Like A Dairy Farmer
We saved the most scathing for last – you fight like a dairy farmer – the infamous line from The Secret of Monkey Island is best reserved for those that really draw your ire.
The phrase comes from a scene where your player fights a pirate, and you’re prompted to select lines to taunt your opponent.
You fight like a dairy farmer appears as one of the options, which the pirate retorts “How appropriate, you fight like a cow.”
As usual, the phrase earned infamy on the gaming community and has been using semi-ironically throughout internet culture.
But indeed, it is perhaps the most scathing of all insults, so if you must use it, ensure the recipient deserves it!
Got some gaming-related insults you’d like to share? Or just have some gaming culture references you’d like to talk about? Keep it clean and leave a comment below.