In the article “Creative Player Actions in FPS Online Video Games” by Wright, Boria, Breidenbach, which was published in the Games Studies Journal in December 2002, the authors discuss the creative actions taken by player while playing the game Counter Strike. The authors consider a short list of actions to be creative; “Names, naming and identity talk; Joking, irony and word play; Map creations, map judging, and logo comments and designs; Changing game rules and technical limits (reflexive awareness of game features, i.e. low gravity); Popular culture references to in-game talk (for example, South Park, The Simpsons, Pulp Fiction, etc.)” For each of these categories they go into detail giving examples of how each category is creative. The most interesting thing I found in reading the article is that even though the communication on Counter Strike was all text based in 2002, all of the actions described in the article can still be witnessed while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II which uses verbal communication.
Players are still seen to create unique names that show an aspect of themselves, a favorite fictional character or some vulgarity. Verbal jokes and irony have become a part of the online shooter game play and it is seen as being better than someone if you can out-talk them and outplay them. Critiquing a map design is a past time of most online FPS players. Many of us will blame poor design of a map on our personal performance or boredom felt in the game. Black Ops II also gives the player the ability to create an emblem that is displayed to other players, same as on Counter Strike these emblems range from simple to vulgar to legitimate art work. In the game the best of players are expected to know all of the fastest routs to get across the maps, which guns are better than others, and which changes you can make to your layout to increase effectiveness. Pop culture still plays a major role in conversations, insults, names, emblem designs and other aspects of the game.
I just found it interesting how the way people behaved in Counter Strike 10 – 12 years ago has been unchanged with the evolution of the FPS online multiplayer since.