If you’ve ever played a single round of any first-person shooter on the market, you will have no doubt noticed (or been killed by) individuals waiting for other players to cross their paths so they may kill them.
For those unfamiliar with the term, this is known simply as “camping.” You know, “he’s holding so close to that spot, he might as well set up camp”? It’s meant as a derogatory term for players who stay in the same spot on a map for extended periods of time, hoping to increase their kill count without having to put themselves in danger.
For the hardcore players out there, camping is an offensive act. It’s done by players who are otherwise incapable of maneuvering around the maps and who couldn’t get a kill if the player they were trying to shoot was standing still.
For the casual players, however, they are merely a minor nuisance, serving as that little speed bump in the road to the occasional MVP match.
Campers are usually an easy kill once you know where they will be. If it is a confined area, it’s usually easiest to flush them out with an explosive of some kind.
But it’s never really been about how easy it is to kill them or who has how much anger towards them. The question that I have always encountered is to whether or not this is an acceptable tactic.
On the one hand, it’s hard to say what play style that happens to suit someone is “incorrect,” as play styles are largely subjective (what’s good for one is not necessarily good for another). So to that end, camping is technically as valid as you want it to be, if it is indeed allowable to call it a play style. After all, much what it employs is using the particular map you are playing on to your advantage by way of hiding in concealing areas near or in high-traffic choke points.
However, on the other hand, some might argue that camping is a cowardly response to one’s own lack of understanding when it comes to the maps and – very likely – the weaponry being used in the multiplayer matches. If you know how to use your weapon and do it well, and you know the map like the back of your hand, there is no reason why you should be backed into a corner, waiting for someone to walk buy so you don’t have to put effort into aiming, right?
Personally, I think it can be considered both.
Tactically speaking, there are some times when holing-up for a couple of minutes will allow you to collect your thoughts and maybe even a kill or two, allowing you to get back into the game – both mentally and mathematically. Alternately, if you’re playing a game mode where defensive positions will benefit the team, staying in the same area might not only be a good idea, but also encouraged by teammates to ensure a decisive victory.
People may be upset with you for these reasons, but at least they are serving a purpose. The best examples are Domination mode Call of Duty or Conquest mode in Battlefield. If you have an objective that requires capture and containment, then once you capture said objective, setting a “perimeter” around it and staying within that perimeter might be considered camping, but it is also a tactical approach to keeping the game in your favor.
Conversely, I think if you’re outside of those situations (or outside of sniping, which isn’t camping if you’re in a hide trying to take out enemies around the the map), you’re a coward. I mean come on, with how the maps in Call of Duty are made, it’s difficult to be terrible at this game and NOT get at least five to 10 kills in a match. On top of that, camping immediately implies that you don’t know the map (at least to me) well enough to be dangerous – which is exactly why you should be moving around it; you need to learn the different paths to be a more effective player.
And, worse than hindering your own ability to benefit your team, you’re hindering the other players’ chances of enjoying the game by employing a cheap (and have I mentioned cowardly?) method of getting kills, usually against people who are better than you and are expecting you to face them head-on.
So what is there to be done about this? Simple: If you’re the camper and you’re not playing a defensive position on an objective, try growing a pair and moving around the map. You’ll die quite a bit, but that comes with the territory of learning the layout so you can *gasp* GET BETTER. You’re not only hindering yourself by sitting in a corner, you’re ruining the game for other people.
If you’re one of those players who plays the objective and goes for defensive points or likes to snipe: Mute everyone on the opposing team. Because if you end up destroying them, you’re going to hear about how much of a camper you are, even if what you’re doing isn’t really the camping that they think it is.
Lastly, if you’re in a game and you come across a camper, make it a point to target that one individual the rest of the game – preferably with explosives. Trust me.