Very few words in the average gamer’s vocabulary illicit a response as negative as “camping”. The term is commonplace within the Call of Duty Series, and is especially familiar in any competitive shooter. Players bearing the brunt of such an expression are tarnished with a badge of shame, dishonored among the gaming community. The tactic of camping is widespread. Its utilization is far reaching and the effects are of epidemic proportions, but are our perceptions of camping worse than the actual approach?
Let me first preface this article by stating I despise campers. I hate being shot from a player sitting in a corner or an opponent lying prone in the middle of a hallway. I loathe the feeling of adding another blemish to my kill/death ratio due to someone with no skill, who engages in the abhorrent art of camping. I would however, like to shed some light on a more strategic play style, one that is often misinterpreted as a gamer’s cardinal sin.
According to the Call of Duty Wiki, camping is defined as: a tactic in which a player will obtain a static strategic position of advantage, often providing a clear field of view over a choke point or position of tactical interest whilst retaining cover. In simple terms, camping refers to players who sit, lie, or stand, in a stationary position for prolonged periods of time. This is not to be confused with those who use the level and stealth to their advantage however.
The Call of Duty battlefield is a scene of chaos; bullets dotting the landscape, grenades thrown from undetermined locations, potential enemies at every turn. The frantic nature is what makes the online experience so entertaining. It also provides a platform to be killed from a million different locations in a million different scenarios. For some players, myself included, rushing is favorable only when it is an option, not as a default. The run-and-gun technique is exciting when the conditions are right, but the ability to adapt to situations is what defines a seasoned player.
If I see an enemy hastening to my position on the UAV, why wouldn’t I wait right around the corner to deliver the kill shot? If the map is delivering vital information about the whereabouts of enemy soldiers why not use it to my advantage? Increasing the odds of survival while effectively pursuing the opposition is the key. Approaching an enemy head on might not be the way to go, but lying on the floor forever isn’t either. Corners can be your friend when the need to reload or heal arises, but what separates the tacticians from the campers is that they don’t stay in the same location. Once the kill is gained from an unsuspecting foe, MOVE ON.
I think it’s time to redefine the meaning of camping. Using a choke point to surprise an enemy is not an issue, staying in the same waiting position for long amounts of time in an attempt to repeat the process is. Camping is frowned upon because lingering in a corner is not actively playing, and why should they be rewarded for such activity?
The reality is, fast-paced shooters dominate the popular market. Despite the insistence on rushing in constant pursuit of foes, some will choose a more calculated path. The fact that a player deviates from the traditional model should not be a penalizable offence. I agree that, camping represents the pinnacle of annoyance, but just because I caught you off guard doesn’t make me a camper. As gamers we should be able to differentiate between those who are playing tactically and those who play the never-ending waiting game.
How would you define camping? Do you think it’s possible to adopt a stealth-driven or tactical play style without camping? For more about the newest installment to the CoD franchise, check out Top 10 Features We Want to See in Black Ops 2 Multiplayer.
Editor’s Note: This article is referring primarily to the Team Death game mode. I’m a big fan of the competitive nature of the Call of Duty multiplayer. While I love going head-to-head against other players and showcasing my skills, I also am a huge fan of utilizing the UAV, map, and radar, to the fullest. I play smart. If that means flanking some guy then so be it. I personally hate camping because it ruins the flow of the entire game. What’s the point of playing if you plan on lying on the ground the whole time? It’s possible to create the element of surprise without maintaining a stationary position and that is what I would propose instead of sitting in the corner of a room with a claymore at the door. JUST SAYING.