We've all been there and done it. At least once.
We've done something on Xbox Live that we've not been proud of. Sometimes it's something that can't be helped, such as being the weak link in a team and ultimately being the difference between winning and losing.
But what about the darkside? What about the times when you've deliberately killed a team-mate, or abandoned your team because you were losing? Here are a few simple and obvious steps on How Not To Be An Xbox Live Jerk...
Okay, sometimes it happens by accident. That's fine. No-one's going to explode in a rage over the odd grenade thrown by mistake (well, they will, but let's pretend they don't). What is annoying is when you get the morons who are clearly there to ruin the game for everyone else.
We're talking specifically about the morons who exist solely to ruin the game for everyone else. Those that turn Left 4 Dead Survival into a free-for-all deathmatch, run their own team over in the Warthog or just shoot their own team in Hardcore World at War, just because they can. So don't do it. An easy rule to follow.
Leave Positive Feedback
It's a sad truth of online gaming that it's easier to be proactive when leaving negative feedback than positive. You'll know this is especially true if you've been stuck with a foul-mouthed child on your team who spent the entire Capture The Flag round spouting racist abuse before rage-quitting when he realised he was about to lose.
Never Rage Quit
Which brings us onto the next point, rage quitting. It's bad enough in 1-on-1 games, especially as not all developers have implemented systems where players who disconnect as they're about to lose are punished. Some games even credit both players with a loss when this happens.
However, rage quitting is infinitely worse in team games. A bad situation such as losing that triggers the player to rage quit is then made worse by that team being a further man down and forced to compensate.
This in turn increases the likelihood of other players rage quitting, which in turn increases the likelihood of someone joining the match, seeing he's on the losing side with half the team missing, then quitting back out again.
In short, rage quitting is bad. As an incentive not to hit Quit Match when you get angry, think of those situations where you've pinned back and losing as practice - if you can play your way out of this situation, then you'll be able to deal with anything. If you rage quit, you're just avoiding a chance to turn a weakness in your game into a strength.
Don't Get In The Way
Sometimes it can't be helped but those playing as snipers in Call of Duty: World at War will experience this a lot. You'll have the perfect shot lined up, just at the point where the enemy team will rush to try and capture the flag in War... when another sniper on your own team runs right in front of you and stands there aiming, blocking your shot.
Just have consideration for what other people in your team are trying to do. If someone on your Left 4 Dead team in Survival has just carefully placed a petrol can by the door, don't then pick it up and carry it away for your own plans. Ask him what he's doing or leave him to his devices but don't blindly ruin his plans.
Not all citizens of Xbox Live are humble enough to accept the advice of someone who is clearly leading the pack. Any advice is greeted with a "**** YOU!" before said player charges off to his death underneath the tank's caterpillar tracks.