Before a few weeks ago, I haven’t heard the word “tryhard” outside of some friends’ comments about celebrity fashion. I definitely got it: the term was for someone who put much more effort into something than was necessary for public approval, thus gaining negative reception instead. In the context of fitting into a clique, it made sense.
Yet the other night playing of Mortal Kombat, I got an angry message. Some might call it “mail” full of “hate.” And while I typically get the majority of my hatemail from people who are angry I support the concept of charity, this one was different.
“Hey faggot,” the message eloquently began, “stop beings such a tryhard and maybe youll get friends.”
While I couldn’t fathom by what sorcery this wizard was able to tell I was both homosexual and a social outcast, I was confused by his use of the term “tryhard.” I do typically try to win at video games, but I don’t put any special effort into it other than avoiding distractions during play. In fact, I can’t say my Scrub Zero game is at a level where I could claim anything I’m doing even looks like it takes effort. I know about two combos, and my predictive skills are on par with that of a typical stock broker.
Tonight, playing Team Fortress 2, an enemy player continually called me a range of things during my time as Spy:
- Little dick tryhard
- Fucking OP Spy bullshit asshat
- Gay ass tryhard
What’s the hilarious part of this story, other than the future in which this person grows up to serve me chicken wings at a dive bar one day? I only killed him once. He was a Scout, so I wasn’t even attempting to take him out. I got one lucky Enforcer kill on him, and his rants on how Spy is the most overpowered class in TF2 went on forever.
But one whiny loser isn’t the point… the bigger question is: Why is it now bad to win?
After all, the immature slime typically whining about tryhards aren’t actually mad about how hard you are or aren’t trying. Hell, unlike fighting games, FPS games don’t even make it clear exactly how hard your opponent is trying. A lucky shot looks almost exactly like a perfectly aimed shot to a victim.
I’ve been told the tryhard phenomenon comes from Call of Duty, which is about as surprising as learning the gender of someone’s newborn.* There are certainly skilled players in every CoD, up to the ranks of those who compete in major events like MLG. But for every pro, there are thousands (if not tens of thousands) of sentient fecal composites. These foul players simply cannot handle any game outcome maturely.
Here is a list of things these whiners are likely to cry/scream/flame/hatemail you for:
- They’re better than you
- They’re worse than you
- They don’t understand your strategy
- They don’t share your opinion on a trivial matter
- You “spammed” something
- You used too great a variety of anything
- You defended against their attacks
- You relentlessly assaulted them
- You used a weapon, item, skill, or special move
That last bullet is particularly puzzling, since some people will get angry over seemingly anything. Did you use Sub Zero’s ice clone? You are clearly a turtle-ass faggot. Did you block an attack? Turtle. Did you throw the opponent when he himself was turtling? Tryhard. Did you set a Spy on fire, or reflect a rocket, or just pop an uber? RAGEQUIT.
If you ask these crybabies what they would prefer you do, there is no answer. They don’t actually have something they consider a “fair” strategy, other than any scenario in which they win. You can’t shut them up, and you sure as hell can guess that beating them, losing to them, or leaving the match will all result in hatemail. So you only have one real solution.
Hack their accounts, delete everything they have ever earned, then change the password and close the trade window.
*It’s a boy? Holy shit! There was only like, a 50% chance of that!