I got called this in a public MW3 lobby the other day and I’ve heard mention of the term in some gaming videos.
I know that FPS public games breed antipathy and that most people* will require some form of insult for their opponents. If you’re beating someone, you call them garbage, noob, etc. If they’re beating you using what you consider to be cheap tactics, you call them a camper, noob-tuber, etc. However, if they’re beating you by dint of non-cheap tactics and a higher skill level than what you’ve got, you’re kind of stuck in your choice of insults. But you’re still angry, so you’ve got to insult them somehow.
Hence “try-hard,” I guess. From what I can tell, calling someone this is essentially a compliment: you’re saying they have more talent than you do. Is there anything else to it? When you call someone this, are you saying he has more skill than you, but he fails to make it look easy? That he lacks some kind of in-game grace or poise? I don’t know, but I’m puzzled what goes through players’ heads when they use this term derisively.
- For what it’s worth, I don’t insult people in-game, no matter how much they deserve it. I find it more rewarding to be extremely civil, telling people quite earnestly “nice kill” when they get me, and being totally sympathetic in post-game lobbies: people are absolutely flummoxed by this attitude.