League of Legends: the other side of AFK

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It’s after midnight and finally I can jump online. My boy has been asleep for hours and I’ve put my wife to bed so maybe I can do a little gaming. I log onto LoL and a three of my buddies are in a game. Cool. I’ll do some other stuff while they finish their game.

Suddenly I get a chat from one of them. “We just won two in a row! Want to jump in?”

Hmm. Dilemma. Yeah, I want to jump in, but if we lose, it’ll get blamed on me. Plus I don’t have “mumble” or whatever it is these guys are using instead of Skype so I won’t be able to communicate as well. I type my concerns to my buddies.

“Don’t worry. We’ll blame the random 5th player if we lose.”

After the jump, I’m the random 5th player

We get into the game and I take the top lane. Minions are about to spawn and…

My kid starts wailing. Growing pains again. Nothing to be done for it, and not really much to be said about it since I can’t chat with my dudes. I run Annie into the tall grass and go be a dad.

I return many minutes later to see LoL telling me I’m about to be logged out for inactivity. Interesting. I thought that whole AFK thing was a huge issue in my favor here. I’ve heard folks complain about how players who are away from the keyboard still get their experience points and how that annoys everybody because they nerf the team. I wasn’t counting on taking advantage of this bug, but it was in the back of my mind as I got my boy back to sleep. And here I was about to be logged out.

I jump in before being auto-logged out and try to help my team, but the damage is done. I’m level one, and everybody around me is eight or nine by now. Man that was fast. Didn’t think I was away that long. I try to help, but I’m so far behind it’s useless. I can’t get halfway into a lane without being killed. I’m playing ultra-conservative, running away at the first sign of danger and still getting chased down and killed. We go down in flames.

Nobody blames me. We do our normal ‘gg’ messages to the other team and one by one my buddies type to me that they’re done for the night. I can’t casually talk to them about what happened because I’m not set up for voice chat with them, and typing an excuse about my kid just reeks of lame.

I don’t know what you imagine when a random online player goes off keyboard and screws over your team. Me? I imagine some idiot teenager yelling at his mom about Mountain Dew. Or some other amorphous douchebaggery. I never really bothered to think it through, though.

Until tonight.

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