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Been playing a lot of Call Of Duty 4 lately. In fact, I’ve been playing a lot of Call Of Duty 4 since it came out. But lately I’ve noticed something thanks to COD4’s excellent ‘Kill Cam’ feature: snipers are really weird.

They’ve been in multiplayer FPSs almost as long as there have been multiplayer FPSs, but it’s only since the advent of Kill Cam that the stark reality of what they actually do has come to light for me. The number of times during a game I’ve been sniped by the same person from the same position… they just don’t move, or waver from their path of going to that same place with that same rifle and doing that same thing. How is that fun? How empty are their lives? It’s not even that effective given that Kill Cam tells you where they are. Don’t get me wrong, sniping is fun and satisfying in moderation. It’s always worth having a go. I just can’t imagine pursuing such a narrow course of action so persistently. You just know that some of these people do it for several hours a day every day for weeks or even months. And it’s not just Call Of Duty. It’s Team Fortress 2, Resistance, Unreal Tournament III, Battlefield: Bad Company and too many Tom Clancy games to mention. Whatever in-game rewards there might be for this odd behaviour, it can’t be fun for the person doing it unless they’re deeply strange, and games are supposed to be fun, people. Fun!

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