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“Camping” is an Internet slang term referring to the practice of positioning a character in one spot for an extended period of time to gain a tactical advantage in killing other players in first-person shooter (FPS) video games. Camping is often considered poor etiquette by many gamers, who criticize the practice for being obnoxious and unfair.
According to a thread on the Gamespot Forums, the term “camping” most likely originated with the 1990s multiplayer FPS games Doom (1993) and Quake (1996). The earliest submitted Urban Dictionary definition for “camper” was submitted by user Patrick O’Neill on October 28th, 2002. Within 11 years, the entry received over 380 up votes.
Found in online multiplayer games. A camper stays in one spot and waits for enemies to walk past him before attacking.
On April 14th, 2003, Urban Dictionary user FlamingCat submitted a entry for “camping,” which defined the term as “staying in one spot in a game and ‘sniping’ other players.” Within 10 years, the definition received over 260 up votes. On August 28th, 2004, DeviantArt user Puckducker submitted a pun illustration titled “Spawn Camping,” featuring the super hero character Spawn roasting marshmallows (shown below). The image referenced the practice of killing FPS players who enter the game at locations known as “spawn points.” Within the next nine years, the image received over 7,500 views and 100 favorites.
On January 26th, 2005, Beyond Unreal Forums member icemanex submitted a thread about a bot program that could be installed on Unreal Tournament servers that would seek out campers and kill them. On December 7th, 2007, a WikiHow article on succeeding in FPS games was created, which listed camping as a popular strategy. On December 18th, 2009, Anandtech Forums member DivideByZero started a debate thread, arguing that camping was a valid tactic in FPS games. On January 13th, 2013, YouTuber 402Thunder402 uploaded footage of a Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 game featuring a successful camper with an elaborate setup (shown below). Within two months, the video received over 630,000 views and 8,000 comments.