If you've been reading PTB for a while you may have picked up that I'm no fan of most online games. There are exceptions (Mario Kart DS and Tetris DS), but for the most part I really don't care to play Metroid Prime Hunters against the world of idiots out there who play only to shoot and kick people around instead of play as a team and work towards the common goal. Game Eaters sums up my thoughts nicely with this account of an online game gone wrong:
I was in a game [of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence], and one player seemed to be playing for no reason other than to abuse people. As Snake he refused to capture the microfilm, but rather just liked to see how many people he could kill by headshot. One time, when someone else was Snake, I sat down in a nook and drew my sniper rifle. He, playing a fellow soldier now, ran up and kicked me out of the way and took my place. As I was about to walk away, he shot me in the head. This really made me angry so I vowed to knock him out next time, just to express my frustration. I eventually found him, grabbed him, and threw him to the ground, a move that does no actual damage when done by a teammate--it merely is a humiliating animation. Literally two seconds later I was booted. He, it turns out, was the host.
Everyone's been a jerk in an online game at some point. Even me. Years ago when the Quake 3 demo was new, a co-worker ran a small game server in the evenings and since I knew the password to control the game settings remotely, I used to join the game as a spectator and screw around with the game's gravity. I'd wait until a player was about to hit a jump pad and then turn off the gravity, laughing as the hapless player shot off into the stratosphere. Then I'd turn the gravity back on full blast and watch that same player splat to the ground. It was fun for a while, sure, but a funny thing happens with you piss off the other players: they leave. Get a reputation for being an immature pest and nobody will want to play with you. You can't mess around with an empty server. Some people never seem to learn that lesson, unfortunately.