Game Rage

Patience lost, civility forsaken, controllers destroyed.


Over the last few months I have been piecing together bits of commentary from gamers of all kinds, collecting stories of rage, violence, and even murder? Keep reading. I suspected, from personal experience, that I was not the only person out there who experiences a uniquely intense rage from failure at video games. I've done some maniacal things in response, but I now realize that psychological treatment may not be necessary, for there are others worse than me....

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Part 7

- o0o -

Jason Whalls, rage legend:

JWhalls64: was playing a game and was being hollered at by someone in another room
JWhalls64: really annoying the hell out of me
JWhalls64: so when I went out to get a drink
JWhalls64: I was already pissed
JWhalls64: then I have a problem getting the ice cubes out of the tray
JWhalls64: so I twist it really hard
JWhalls64: and 2 fall on the floor
JWhalls64: well
JWhalls64: that was apparently the last straw
JWhalls64: I just winged the tray across the room
JWhalls64: sending the remaining cubes all over the floor
JWhalls64: and of course
JWhalls64: multiple people are in the house
JWhalls64: no one seemed to know what was going on
JWhalls64: it's fun making people uncomfortable

Peter Osterland, GE:

"Yesterday I had to go to the doctor, been sick for about a week, and I was playing GE right before I went, having no luck as usual. During the doctor visit, he was like "Hmm...your blood pressure is unusually high, I wonder why?" Apparently the rage is still there, just buried."

Am I the only one that feels nervous after reading that? *Runs out to buy aroma therapy candles and "Meditation for Dummies"...*

"Failure Warning", multiple titles:

Now FW's story is amazing. His email to me was entitled "The console fights back" or something close to that. You see, our page is loaded with stories of controller abuse, console abuse, and just various acts of human violence toward inanimate objects. They seem like a satisfactory scapegoat most times, but this story may force you to wonder...will the game take its revenge on you?

"...When I was getting annoyed I had thrown the controller at the floor, as you do. I picked it up and continued to play. Getting annoyed once again I tried to pull the controller out of the socket but for some reason it didnt fall out when I tugged on it. I had let got of the controller and was pulling on the wire, but in doing so I had let the controller fall to the floor. The wire leading to it went in between my thumb and finger. As I pulled I shorted out the wire and it sent an electrical charge down the wire which electricuted me the first time. Now I don't know if you know this but when you get electricuted there has to be an in and out point where the current enters your body and then leaves it. This would be why I was electrcuited for a second time. Oh and I forgot to mention the 2 burns that I had on my arm.

In my "gaming center" I had (I say had because I have moved house since) some built in cupboards and shelves. These were about 4 feet high so it was perfect for a tv with a 64 next to it. This would be the side I was refering to. Now comes the intersting bit. As I pulled the N64 off of this side I saw it fall and tried to catch it. The edge of the console hit my thumb down in an akward way breaking it. The force that I pulled with cause the console to "follow through" into my wrist. Again the edge hit it cause it to break. I cracked my arm as the console fell towards me (top side down) and the cart hit me in such a way that it left a crack in my forearm. I got lucky though. I was told at the hospital that because I played so much my tendons were strong enough to hold the bones in place and that there was no need for a cast. I also have a fast recovery rate (e.g recovered from a torn acl in 3 months) and so within 2 week I was playing games again odviously not as much or as intensely but I was trying to keep moving as the worst part of recovery is learning how to move again. Now I don't get as stressed for some strange reason. I guess I'm fearful of the console fighting back again."

Unbelievable. Suddenly I don't feel bad for the guys that broke their favorite controller.

Paul George, GE:

"I was playing jungle for LOTW [level of the week] and for more points. well xenia was being a rolly poly ollie thing (like on disney) every run that i attempted. so the anger built up inside of me and i threw my controller at my system. but insted of hitting my system it hit my cart, one lucky through(though i wish it wasnt) knocked it out of action( :( ) now i cant even look in the mirror nowing i did this to myself but my freind said he would get me a new one soon and i should be back when he gets it :). P.S i hope my mom dont see what i typed. "

Mom a big GoldenEye fan? ...Throwing that controller at the system always seems like the perfect idea during those moments of blinding, stinging rage...(quickly followed by that feeling of sadness/horror as you realize you've done something to impede on your ability to regenerate such rage for a few days or weeks, or whatever....)

Harvey Manhood, GE:

Anyway....the point is, im finished for good. This decision piled itself onto my mind quickly, as i was still keen 3 weeks ago. BUT things have changed. On Saturday, i was talking to Wouter on AIM, suggesting that i might throw my GE cart in a lake sometime (and i also suggested this to come last week). Half an hour later, it was done. During the convo with Wouter, one of my housemates wanted to use the phone, so i had to come offline.....we needed groceries, and so at this point, i realise that this is the perfect oppertunity. I head to the grocery store with the cart in my pocket, and threw it into the lake on the way there. This was about 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. The X on the diagram represents the final resting place of my GE career.

Image edited by Mr. Food

Ultimate retirement.

"Silent Thunder", GE:

"I've already told some of my N64 controller abuse (I'm saving the final destruction of 'old blue' for Illinois '04 ), but I've also done some damage to my PS2 controllers.

With one I bashed it against the floor following some ts2 frustration. This caused one of the rumble thingys inside to come lose and cause the controller casing to not close properly making the controller awkward to play with.

Not feeling like fixing the damn thing, I switched to my other controller for awhile.

Following yet some more ts2 frustration, I took the second controller and bashed it against the floor like I did the first. This knocked out a couple of shoulder buttons.

So I had no choice but to fix the controllers, which I did.

As a final note, putting together a ps2 controller after opening it up is a total pain in the ass compared to the N64(unless you need to mess with the control stick). Also, PS2 controllers don't seem as tough as 64 controllers. The two instances that screwed up my PS2 controllers were only like the second or third times I had ever thrown each controller, whereas I've bashed, bit, punched, hurled, and tried to murder my N64 controller more times than I can count. The stupid fuckin' thing stood up amazingly well."

Go Nintendo! I don't even want to KNOW what the hell some of you other guys did to your controllers to produce some of the images I've seen. How do break off a wing on an N64 controller without hammer and some hardcore intent to destroy it? I've spazzed out my fair share of times, but Mean Green just kept on tickin'.

"Mr. Food", intranet vagrant:

The lovable Mr. Food has gone to quite an extent to illustrate the magnitude of his game rage. Check out his work:

Jim Barrett, GE:

"I usually catch myself before I go that far. Say I die at the end of a fast nat completed Control 00A run. I would stand up and start throwing punches at the air and for a split second think of ripping out my GE and throw it as hard as I can at the ground, but I usually start hitting myself instead."

LOL, yes...proper anger management--kicking your own ass. Good for two reasons:
1) Controllers/equipment remains intact, and
2) You probably deserve it.

Trent Hovis, GE:

This one's straight from the Elite boards.

TOPIC TITLE: GE Controller = Destroyed "Yes, Caverns 00 threw me over the edge. Caverns 00 failed 1:49 death at elevator. I take my controller and throw it against the wall. Pick it up, buttons don't work, slam it on the ground again. Get a screwdriver, proceed to dissect my controller. All buttons taken out, cord cut into 15 or so pieces. Pictures of this monstrosity will be taken soon. New controller will be bought soon."

Hmmm. I think this is the kind of guy that kills people.

Trent followed this story up with another, 3 months later.

"OK, another controller suffered my wrath today. Well, not on purpose. Supernova's giving my controller a blowjob inspired me to clean my joystick. So I unscrewed everything, took out the joystick box, unscrewed that, cleaned out all the stuff, put it back together (took like 2 hours to figure out), rescrewed the screws in, and put it back. But there was this one circuit board that I couldn't find where it went. Jimbo is still gay. So I was trying to fit it into different positions to try to get it to shut, when 2 of the wires snapped off. I was like WTFOMG, and swore vigorously. So I ripped the wires and circuit board out. I couldn't take a sledgehammer to it, unfortunately, because I stole from my friend a few months ago And he wants it back tonight. So I'm just going to return it and say something happened to your joystick. Bahaha.

"Something happened to your joystick." LOL, I hope you actually said that, because that would be hilarious.

Dan Cervone, GE:

"Nowadays when I'm pissed off instead of trashing controllers I do it to my plastic alarm clock which is near my playing area. My alarm clock is this gay little cat that plays trumpet when the alarm goes off, and I love to smash it against stuff when I'm frustrated. The worst part about getting frustrated over levels is that when I PR I don't feel happy at all--just relieved."

Sounds about right. I think that's why I retired. I think even PRs were pissing me off around the time I retired.

"Quiet Bol", PD:

"Many years ago, I was playing a Commodore 64 baseball game with my younger cousin and I guess something cheap happened in his favor. I threw the joystick at his head and stormed out, leaving him crying. These days we usually play the latest NCAA when we meet up. But everytime something goes his way, he cowers away, scared that I'll fire my controller at his dome. "

Haha, "dome". Yeah, game rage in the presence of others can be disastrous. Just think--with a little more velocity and the right impact point, you could've killed him.

Then it would be REALLY hilarious!

"Chico", from Massachusetts (email submission):

"I've got a few incidents of game rage if you'd like to put them on your site. I've stopped it now mostly, but every time I would get pissed at a game i used to punch myself in the face, very very hard. Not some pussy punch either, full force right near my temple. And i used to bang my head against doors, but anyway one time I punched myself so hard I kinda blacked out , my vision became very blurry I just couldn't see straight. I've since stopped that, now I only do it every now & then. And of course, lots of screaming and cursing, bloody knuckles from punching walls, etc. But other than that, 2 SNES controllers,PS2 controller, and a Gamecube controller have been broken, and my closet door is one of those paper-thin doors, I've thrown games through it at least 10 times, so it's full of jagged holes. The only game I broke was Wrestlemania for NES, because I was playing Punchout, got pissed at Tyson, but I didn't want to break that game, so I whipped out ol Wrestlemania and stomped it to death. And there was one close encounter, I got very very pissed off at FFX, took the game and threw it in the middle of the street. Luckily, I don't live on a busy road, so it didn't get run over."

"I was playing Punchout, got pissed at Tyson, but I didn't want to break that game, so I whipped out ol Wrestlemania and stomped it to death" - HAHAHAHA. Good call. Just knowing that "Wrestlemania" exists makes me want to smash it to bits. I wouldn't even have to be angry...I'd just see it and go berzerk probably.

I pause to wonder now...what if you stayed unconscious and your mom found you or something? And what if you smashed your nose upon falling and then drowned on your own blood? Would the newspaper say the next morning, "Teenager dead after accidentally killing self with bare hands"? Or would it simply say, "n00b gets pwned by teh Tyson, pwns self"

Patrick Zalesky, GE

Here's typical Elite chatroom banter. The topic of rage usually opens floodgates. Note how Phil Hughes just casually reports the death of his latest game.

Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:04:56 AM): broke mk:dd
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:04:59 AM): out of game rage
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:05:52 AM): lol
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:08 AM): I have a really good story for game rage
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:06:16 AM): go on...
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:18 AM): I still have the controller, too ha
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:25 AM): I was playing SMB2
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:42 AM): actually, I think it was smb1, whatever, doesn't matter
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:48 AM): I was trying for a 9999 run
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:06:52 AM): oh no...
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:56 AM): and I died on the stupidest level possible
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:06:59 AM): ever
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:01 AM): e47
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:07:04 AM): yeah
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:12 AM): I got so mad
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:07:17 AM): ive done that#
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:24 AM): I ripped the controller out of my cube
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:30 AM): threw it against the wall as hard as I could
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:37 AM): then decided it needed to suffer more
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:07:43 AM): the most ive made is expert extra 9
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:44 AM): so I took it outside (it was like midnight)
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:49 AM): doused it in gasoline
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:07:49 AM): lol
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:53 AM): and lit it on fire
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:07:57 AM): ha ha ha
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:07:59 AM): just melted part of it
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:08:05 AM): I've still got it
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:08:13 AM): everytime I look at it
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:08:15 AM): I get pissed
Dark Avenger 2K1 (11:08:23 AM): yeah
JtXeRdFgDhJgRhFd (11:08:24 AM): fucking thing

I can't escape this vision of him standing over the fire, hands clasped in a sinister manner, the glow of the fire illuminating an evil countenance...and some random guy walking his dog who will never come near your block again.

Axel Andersson, GE

OLLE boll e007: this controller lies on the floor
OLLE boll e007: then when I get mad
OLLE boll e007: I just grab it and a) take it and just bang it while still holding it. b) just throwing it like hell in my room (all my walls are concrete)
OLLE boll e007: well not all
OLLE boll e007: but the ones I throw at are
OLLE boll e007: my first rage was at the age of 7
OLLE boll e007: played punch out
[ seems everyone owned this game...and it owned us in return ]
OLLE boll e007: lost against piston honda (yes first). and I threw the controller. BAM, no Nintendo for 1 week...
OLLE boll e007: those were the times

Axel actually has offered us an incredible bit of wisdom, regarding rage management. Just find one of your old N64 controllers, flaccid joystick and all. Next time you want to break something, bam, grab Mr. Floppy and just blast him into the wall. If it breaks, good! Save it for next time and just keep smashing it to bits each time. Just be sure to save all the little broken bits and put them under your pillow at night. If you're lucky, the Anger Management Fairy will visit during the night and exchange your controller pieces with some Rolaids and a yoga pamphlet.


And with that, I'm outta here. Until next time. You deranged freaks.

- o0o -

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

This page was created by Derek Clark. If you would like to contribute to the page with your own story, please email me at All contributions are encouraged. I will continue to append this page as new stories come in.

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