Rage Quitting for the Soul

I’ve never claimed to be a patient person. Genetics and a competitive NYC education have instilled in me a combative inclination and a cynical demeanor. I’ve yet to have a doctor tell me that I have blood pressure issues, but I know that surefire chemical rush to the face, tunnel vision, and heightened senses that come from rage. A scream may be muffled. An offensive phone call ceases to exist when it is hung up. Terse negotiations might reach their conclusion with a flipped table. In the world of gaming, there is the rage quit—it’s how I drop the mic.

We have learned to rely on the technological shortcuts, of which we have been afforded by the modern age. A mistake loses repercussion with the Ctrl + Z shortcut, and at the end of a long Sims binge, I find myself wanting nothing more than to press 3 to fast-forward through the difficult or the mundane IRL. But in this real world, the rousing mental crescendo before the final punch of tympani is meant to be tempered with anger management, breathing exercises, Klonopin, or yoga. I can’t disconnect from the server to escape a troll when they are right in front of me.

In some respect, rage quitting is a luxury that consoles and computers provide. If I’m lucky enough to be playing a game that allows me to save at leisure, there can be in-game benefits to returning to my main menu if, say, I accidentally declared war on a Civ a few hundred years too early. Whoops! Let’s try that again, shall we? But if I am at work, for example, I can’t flip my desk when I reach fuck-it-o’clock and expect to be allowed back on the property the next day, let alone continue to receive a paycheck.

The anonymity that online gaming affords, as well as the de-stressing nature of cyber-violence (keep an eye out for a post on this subject in the future from one of my favorite MMO addicts), can offer an outlet for vile behavior. Tensions mount, egos rise and fall, feelings may be hurt. The best medicine can sometimes be a heaping dose of GTFO. It’s much cheaper than throwing your N64 controller into the CRT, anyway…wait, am I dating myself?

There are many ways to quit, but when our gears are grinding and we feel our flesh turning green, it’s best to avoid the Hulk Smash and take a quick walk. A smoke break?  Hell, I don’t know. I’m a pretty angry lady. I am attracted to people who are willing to fight me, and then not hate me for having disagreed with the moral and intellectual implications of their statements. And to be honest: I love winning. I love praise. I love superiority.

When I feel like I am out of my league, I am unmotivated. I recall an ill-conceived attempt of my parents to have me learn to play tennis. I was enrolled in a tennis camp for two sessions, never making it out of the beginners group–my little brother and I were known to practice our mad homerun skills (that’s a tennis thing, right?). My father tried to motivate us by using this gentleman’s sport as an analogy for life and class, “we always want to play someone who has better skill than we.” Perhaps that’s why no one was willing to challenge us to their inevitable win. For more EEK and bro preppy sport failures, I will cite the sailing class that we didn’t pass–turns out we were meant to learn more than how to right the tipped boat.

I like playing games because I like feeling accomplished in my successes, I’m sure in a similar way to that of tennis players. So when my opponent has clear board advantage, why on Earth would I sit there and watch him slowly chip away at my pride. My PRIDE. Ok, not that I’m at all proud of this facet of my personality. I can be legitimately happy when a player reaches their tenth victory point in Settlers of Catan. Even if that happiness comes from the beautiful end to the agony of knowing I’m going to lose.

Taking myself out of the conflict zone can be the quickest path to peace. In fact, I think having the ability to rage quit is one of the elements of gaming’s escapism that resonates most with me. So, I encourage you to let your simmering hate of that 13-year-old who’s kicking your ass in SWtoR resolve with this rousing little ditty from a fellow sister in rage:

       If you’re livid and you know it, Alt-F4

       If you’re livid and you know it, Alt-F4

       If you’re livid and you know, fuckin’ rage quit, fuckin’ show it

       If you’re livid and you know it, Alt-F4

EEK came to a place in this article where she felt that she had made her point, only to be informed that it was too short. Rather than rage quitting, she procrastinated until the fear of disappointing the editorial board motivated her to continue stabbing the point. Er…taking another stab at it.  

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