Continuing on with the Rainbow Six theme, I thought I would elaborate on the personality profiles discussed briefly in the Comments section…
The Captain: Despite what the comments section may suggest, The Captain is not the rigid authoritarian his subordinates portray him as… The Captain is an experienced field commander that simply understands the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies of his teammates and the enemy. Armed with this knowledge and a machine gun, he uses these assets to lead his team in an ongoing hunt for terrorists…
As a general rule, Captains are created, not appointed. It takes a dire moment of uncertainty on the battlefield, where lives are on the line and the mission objectives hang in the balance. The soon-to-be Captain looks into the vacuous, indifferent or bloodshot eyes of his fellow teammates and comes to the realization that any hope of success in the mission lies completely in his hands. When he ultimately leads them to victory, his role is cemented. Going forward, the greatest burden on The Captain is not surviving the war around him, but simply maintaining some degree of discipline and focus with a platoon filled with the personalities listed below…
Along for the Ride: Somehow, this person always has full health. No matter how intense the firefight, they seem to emerge completely unscathed. This is no accident, as this individual routinely positions himself behind another player for a human shield. Also, he usually is equipped with a sniper rifle, so that he can shoot enemies from great distances to accumulate the safest possible kills. Along for the Ride’s main objective is to simply survive as long as possible, even if it means demonstrating the cowardice of George McFly (before he fought Biff) in the process. While this person usually manages to survive for the duration of most missions, his act eventually runs thin…
The Glory Hog: This person picks and chooses his moments of bravery, but it will always be at the expense of the mission objectives and when very little danger is present. For example, The Glory Hog will never miss an opportunity to abandon his position to notch a kill, especially when he’s supposed to be prudently covering teammates or disarming a dirty bomb. For this reason, The Glory Hog is not entrusted with any critical objectives, as he generally spends the better part of each mission polishing his medals, applying moisturizer or whitening his teeth.
The Martyr: This squad member will risk his own life to save the life of a teammate or to insure the prolonging of the mission. For instance, The Martyr will place himself directly between a hostage and enemy gunfire to prevent an assassination attempt by the terrorists. By placing himself squarely in harm’s way, the Martyr often will pay the ultimate price. However, The Martyr’s actions are not totally selfless… The Martyr wants to die just to receive posthumous recognition for valor from his other teammates. Secretly, The Martyr hopes his surviving squad members will rally around his death and carry on the mission to seek vengeance in his name. The Martyr can stand to be gone, as long as he is not forgotten…
The Grieving Widow: This teammate takes a little too long to come to grips with the loss of a teammate. And for the record, the definition of “a little too long” is any length of time greater than one second. The Grieving Widow syndrome usually occurs when The Martyr has sacrificed his life for theirs. Feeling indebted to this person, The Grieving Widow will usually deliver the two-sentence eulogy every Martyr wants to be remembered by…
The Grieving Widow: “Wow, McSex came out of nowhere and just saved my life… I’ll have to name my first-born after him!!!”
The Overreactor: His philosophy is simple: No threat is too insignificant that it can’t be met with several grenades and intense, indiscriminate machine gun fire. The term “loose cannon” comes readily to mind. Being shot at by a video game terrorist is actually taken personally. If this player had a button on their controller that could make his character smear “Braveheart” war paint all over their face, scream an exalted battle cry and charge into a hornet’s nest of enemies it would be used constantly.
Cannon Fodder: The one teammate on which all other squad members silently agree is at best a profound annoyance and at worst a total detriment to the mission. Sadly, Cannon Fodder has no idea his life is completely expendable in the eyes of his teammates.
Sometimes “Along For the Ride” evolves into Cannon Fodder once teammates with only a shred of health determine that “Along for the Ride” hasn’t been pulling his weight. At this point, “Along for the Ride” will be pushed to the front of the unit where most attacks (and casualties) are rendered. Usually, the last sentence this individual hears is: “Ok, we’ll guard this empty parking lot, you go inside their ammunition stronghold and serve the terrorists with this UN resolution.”
Map Illiterate: In real life, my navigational skills are comparable to Gilligan’s. Surprisingly, I don’t fall into this category while video gaming. Somehow, I can look at a nebulous video grid with moving dots and flashing symbols and translate it like an air traffic controller.
Here’s an example of a typical exchange with someone who’s map illiterate:
Map Illiterate: “Where are you guys?”
McSex: “Look at the map screen…”
Map Illiterate (after a long pause): “Am I the flashing dot? What does the blinking triangle represent? I just walked over a bridge… Does that appear on the map somewhere?”
McSex (sighing): “Alright. We’ll come find you. We need a signal though… Drop several live grenades at your feet. The explosions and smoke trail will lead us to you…”
Map Illiterate: “Ok, thanks. That sounds like a good plan. All set. The grenades should be exploding any sec-”
Unfortunately, depending on how the mission is progressing, and the level of patience other teammates are feeling, Map Illiterate can frequently be reclassified as Cannon Fodder…
The Girl Scout: Does his best, but is frankly more suited to selling thin mints door-to-door than systematically killing terrorists. The Girl Scout is consistently at the bottom of the list when it comes to kills, life expectancy, and testosterone.
The Intoxicated: Long pauses, slurred speech, and slowed reaction times are trademarks of The Intoxicated player. While they bring no discernable skills to the mission, they do provide lively conversation and usually don’t mind (or notice) if they are accidentally killed by friendly fire. On a side note, The Girl Scout always enjoys playing with The Intoxicated, as it dramatically improves his odds that he won’t be the first to die.
The Malcontent: This team member strives to undermine the authority of The Captain above all else. There are varying degrees to which this disdain for leadership is felt and expressed. Sometimes it can be harmless acts of rebellion like a “Kick Me” sign on the back of a commanding officer. Often, the Malcontent will impersonate The Captain and issue mock orders in the same manner the Captain would use:
The Malcontent: “Ok, everyone. We need to regroup immediately and cease having fun. This is a mission-critical objective people. Any fun taking place will cause me to abort the mission entirely!”
At his worst, The Malcontent will actually sabotage the mission with treasonous orders that other teammates may unwittingly fall for…
The Malcontent (disguising voice): “This is your Captain talking… I think I might be a terrorist. Frankly, we can’t take the risk that I’m not. I am issuing a directive that I am to be shot on sight immediately.”
(This technique is especially effective if The Intoxicated or The Overreactor are members of the squad…)
Side Conversationalist: Unknowingly, this person will hold conversations with the outside world over his headset while his anti-terrorist platoon listens in. Most of the time, these are “Yes, dear” conversations with our wives/girlfriends that serve to emasculate us in front of our friends.
However, Ole_Cool, a lawyer in real life, takes it to a whole other level. He will often answer a client’s call to his cell phone and proceed to discuss their legal woes in great depth without turning off his headset. Let me say right now, it is extremely difficult to resist the urge to chime in with advice like “Plead insanity!!!” or “Bribe the judge!!” during his legal counseling. Apparently, as far as Ole_Cool is concerned, every member of his platoon shares in the attorney-client privilege.
The “Cover Me” Guy: This person will suspend all common sense and decide to take a ridiculously foolish risk in the game. Of course, the expression “Cover Me” originated sometime in the 80’s with wildly unrealistic cop movies like Lethal Weapon. The unfortunate by-product of these movies is a generation of Martin Riggs wannabe’s that thinks they can accomplish a suicide mission by simply ordering their partners to “Cover Me.”
Here’s an example of how it ties in with Rainbow Six:
The “Cover Me” Guy: “You see that building where the heavily armed Tangos have superior positions and are well-fortified? I’m gonna run in there with this Swiss Army knife and fight them all hand-to-hand. Cover me.”
McSex: “Ok… Or, you know, we could just sneak in through the back alley…”
The “Cover Me” Guy: “That’ll take too long. Just Cover Me. I’m goin’ in!!!!”
Of course, when The “Cover Me” Guy is subsequently killed in horrific fashion from a barrage of enemy gunfire, he naturally blames his death on his teammates for not “covering” him. Practicing social Darwinism, The Captain of the squad is utterly content to the team “naturally” thin itself…