Why Ragequitting is Not Always Bad

We’ve all been there, right? Things get too much and you need to back out otherwise a controller gets broken. Here’s why ragequitting is not always a bad thing.

When going into an online ranked lobby on most racing games, more often than not there’s an unfunny saddo who will try to crash into you. It sucks all the fun out of racing, and it’s not just driving games where this sort of thing happens.

No game is safe from it. Players have their gaming experiences ruined by trolls, or maybe something else happens that just ruins the moment. Games are meant to be enjoyed, but the gaming community has tended to stigmatise those who quit when they’re not enjoying themselves. This is what has been dubbed as ‘ragequitting’.

So the question is: is ragequitting ever justified? Is the act something we unfairly look down on when it shouldn’t be? This is something I will be looking at from the perspective of driving games, and there’s plenty to discuss.

Dirty Driving

Have you ever encountered a driver who just so happens to forget where the apex is? Mainly, this happens when they’re about to be overtaken. Whether it’s at Interlagos T4, the first and last corners at Jeddah, T5 at Yas Marina, your opponent decides not to turn in and pins you on the outside leaving you with nowhere to go.

Or in the case of F1 Esports Challengers PlayStation champion Joost Noordijk, all the way around the Hungaroring. In a league race he was in, one of his opponents’ driving left something to be desired. Just see for yourself.

When your opponent is being overly aggressive and their ego can’t take the thought of being overtaken, it can really get to you. Try to pass fairly, and the opponent gets even more aggressive, make a move just as robust, then you’re just as bad.

If the frustration with other drivers taking the mickey overwhelms you and you’re not enjoying it, then you need to leave. This luxury isn’t afforded to drivers in real life, although there are some real life consequences when it comes to ragequitting.

Virtual Offence, Real Consequences

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was competing in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series on iRacing. These events were held in place of the real NASCAR season during the COVID lockdown, so it was the only type of racing action that could take place in that time.

Wallace was having to deal with fellow competitor Clint Bowyer and had enough. Despite having one quick repair left, he decided to call it a day only 15 laps in.

But Wallace’s sponsor Blue Emu tweeted after the race that they didn’t appreciate him quitting and dropped him. It caused quite the brouhaha in the NASCAR community, that this had impacted so severely on his racing career.

Think about it though from the perspective of Blue Emu. They weren’t able to get the viewership and airtime they had paid for with the real cars, so virtual racing was the next best thing at that moment. The same goes for drivers who have been hired by teams to represent them in competitions, and if money has exchanged hands or an agreement has been made, then a driver is obliged to do their best, no matter what.

There’s more to unpack here, but we will get to that in due course.

Impacting Other’s Races

For players of the F1 games, it’s all too well known what happens when a player leaves. The car continues to drive around, controlled by the AI. While the car is ghosted and doesn’t impact too much on the race as it’s most often multiple seconds off the pace.

This system is in place so drivers who have disconnected can re-join the race and re-take control of their car. In most other games, when a driver quits the server, the car just disappears from the track and goes back to the garage.

So, if a driver needs to quit, they have to drive into pit lane and then retire. The retiring option prevents the car from stopping out on track and causing a yellow flag or a safety car.

If they don’t do that, it impacts other people’s races. So it’s understandable that if just hitting quit and not making an effort to return on the F1 game compromises the experience for other players, then it should be discouraged.

But, if it doesn’t impact anybody in the game, why is it still frowned upon?

Hogging Up Space

The argument can be made that with the amount of players who are eager for a chance to compete, there are those who don’t get the chance. For someone to come in and just ragequit whenever a mild inconvenience comes their way, it doesn’t seem fair on those who were eagerly awaiting the chance.

Plus, for many competitive and organised leagues, the planning that goes into the races warrants the commitment of the people who were fortunate enough to be selected. So, for competitors to perhaps undermine that by not showing up or throwing their race early, it can come off negatively to the organisers.

Whilst not mandatory, it is encouraged to respect the work that goes on behind the scenes especially if the event will be broadcast. Irrespective of whether or not the drivers stand to gain financially for competing, it’s just common courtesy to show up and not undermine the organisers.

But then there are instances when rage quitting can perhaps be justified.

Acknowledge Issues

As we were mentioning earlier regarding dirty driving, grievances can also come in the form of people behind the scenes. If the stewards make a blatant call that favours one competitor and there’s no consistency, drivers should be well within their rights to leave if they see no scenario where they can win.

Ultimately, a fair chunk of the drivers who quit for whatever reason may be just throwing a tantrum. However, some bridges can remain unburned if the following is taken into account: “Step one to solving an issue is acknowledging that there is one”.

Rather than just grouping everyone who quits halfway through a race into the “fragile egos who can’t take being beaten” column, ask if that person is doing okay. Games should be fun and they should be fair of course. Whilst certain behaviours like blatantly crashing out a rival on purpose should be discourage, it’s also important not to be dismissive of problems people have.

What do you make of ragequitting in sim racing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Luca
Biggest esports racing fan in the world.