Camping (computer gaming)

From Academic Kids

Camping is computer gaming jargon for the practice of a player staying in one area of the game world waiting for enemies or useful objects to appear or to come to the player rather than actively seeking them out. Players camp in order to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Camping in most games is considered antisocial and is often frowned upon, and among some players is considered tantamount to cheating, especially in deathmatch-type games. The most common reason for this is that if every player camps, there will be no opportunities for players to come into conflict, and thus there will be no game at all. Breaking this deadlock requires some players not to camp, but this means they give up the advantages gained by camping and are often quickly defeated by the players who continue to camp. Camping is also seen as an unfair way of getting an advantage in the form of accumulated resources or a beneficial position. However, the rise in technology of computer gaming allow the ability for the production of more tactical games or strategic games that account for morale, and increasingly the label is not viewed as derogatory.

First-person shooters

Camping is most common in first-person shooters when a player finds and hides in a location that gives them a clear advantage over other players. The position is normally hidden from casual view and is used to ambush or carry out sniper attacks on other players. The position chosen is typically a high point that is not easily accessible so that the camper has the advantage of being out of the line of sight of other players and therefore has the time to take careful shots. In fast-paced games like Quake or Unreal Tournament, this is often regarded as an annoying and unsporting practice. In more tactical team-based games (for example, Counter-Strike) this might not apply, because ambushing is often a vital or necessary part of the game. Even still, someone who prolongs an informal match in one of these games will often be the subject of derogatory remarks, or worse, by players with less patience. Additionally, in games where a certain amount of kills are needed to win the match, camping is considered one of the most efficient, and possibly fairest ways to win.

One form of camping, considered by many to be especially reprehensible, is spawn camping, also known as respawn or refresh camping. A spawn camping player guards the positions where players are brought into the map when they are just entering the game or when they are revived after being killed ("respawn"). In fast-paced games, the camper has the advantage in that they are able to kill players before they have a chance to collect their starting weaponry or even before they get their bearings and sometimes can shoot them in their back every time. Therefore many games have spawn protection system that gives newly spawned player some seconds of invulnerability.

First-person shooters may experience other forms of camping, such as "vehicle camping", "armor camping", or "weapon camping". In many such games, the rarity of particularly valuable equipment (such as tanks, aircraft, or especially powerful guns) is enforced by the game engine imposing a time delay between the time which such an item is taken or used, and the time at which it reappears for other players to use. "Campers" wait at places where such an item is due to appear in order to guarantee that they, rather than some other players, are the ones who get to make use of it. This causes a problem because, while they are waiting, they are not participating in the rest of the game, thus making it harder for other players to find conflicts or - in a team-based game such as Battlefield 1942 - disadvantaging their team. In non-team based games, item campers may camp with the intent of denying any other players access to the item, enabling them to use its unique properties to gain an advantage over other players.

In some games, such as Day of Defeat, camping is sometimes considered to be a part of the game itself. Some also argue that camping is a premise of war, and is thus essential in order to survive or defeat the opposite team. Spawn camping, however, is generally not regarded as acceptable in informal on public matches as it renders the game unplayable for some who do not take being killed the instant they respawn lightly. This is in contrast with some tournament play where it is viewed as part of the game -- a consequence of the domination of the losing side. Camping certain locations also applies to games such as America's Army and other tactical shooters where a critical objective or terrain must be guarded.

Online role-playing games

In massively multiplayer online role-playing games and MUDs, camping is commonly the practice where the camper stays in a location near where non-player characters or monsters spawn or otherwise enter the game world. In some games, these positions are easy to spot and once a player or group of players is capable of establishing their camp, they can gain more rewards with less risk to their player characters. Generally, it is accepted that camping enemies is just the way some games are, and by convention this is respected. There is no official rule granting players exclusive rights to a camp.

As with valuable items in non-MMO games, often particularly significant monsters will be made "rare" via the game engine allowing a long period of time to pass between the monster being defeated by one group of players and it reappearing for another group to fight. Many players, rather than repeatedly returning to an area in the hope of meeting the monster, chose instead to wait in the monster's lair for it to respawn. Because of the long periods of time involved - frequently hours or days - this gave rise to absurd situations in which long queues of adventuring parties wait outside a monster's lair for the monster to respawn so they can kill it. Players utilize the information gathered from various Internet sites to wait around the areas of these spawns and wait for them. Sometimes players sit on these camps for days, waiting for the monster or NPC of interest. In some games, such as Final Fantasy XI, the player-run economy is dependant on the rarity of enemy-dropped items and the need for these items by certain classes. Specialized class-specific items tend to be worth more in the currency of the game.

Strategy games

Camping can also be applied to real-time and turn-based strategy games, where it is also referred to as turtling. It is the opposite of a rush. Instead of attacking, players put most or all efforts into fortifying defensive positions. Any attempt at attack against these positions is usually unsuccessful; any damage done to the defenses is often repaired or rebuilt before the other player can attack again. The obvious disadvantage is that turtling players often have no resources to invest in an effective offensive force, so they are not as mobile as rushers. As in first-person shooters, this is looked down upon as a rude practice due to the stalemate that often results, with neither side able to gain a victory over the other. Many strategy games attempt to prevent such camping by forcing players to collect resources outside their positions to build and repair. Because campers are usually unable to defend these areas, opposing players can cut off their source of funds and gradually wear down the defenses without the camper being able to


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