Congratulations! Despite your penchant for reading articles about video games on the internet, you've managed to scrounge up enough friends to warrant buying some extra Xbox controllers and a few multiplayer-heavy button mashers. Social life: managed, right?
Who or what you choose to play as in games as juvenile as Mario Kart to as life-replacingly epic as Mass Effect say a lot about the character of any gamer (excuse the pun.) Allow me to provide a comprehensive guide on who you're dealing with based on player character selection, and how to deal with them. Happy hunting.
How to spot him: Your first thought when walking in the room and spotting him is "Oh, this douchebag." He plays the easiest character to win with in any game, but insists he "knows all the tricks" and isn't just button mashing like the rest of you. Get a few drinks in him and he'll challenge the entire room to play him in his video game of choice as that character, then blame every external factor possible ("The sun was in my eyes!" "It's two AM, dude." "There was glare!") on why you kicked his ass in under a minute with your obscure favorite character.
Best course of action: Don't bait this inevitable douchecube into a match on the off chance he's the 1% that is actually really good at playing Kirby or Link (Soul Calibur 2 Link, the dirty bastard with the bombs that took away half your health. Remember that sh*t?). If he's the one to challenge you, pull out your A game and stomp him, preferably in a public setting. It'll hopefully shut him up and save the rest of us from having to do the same.
How to spot him: He really likes the Dead Or Alive series, even the godawful volleyball games. He gets his ass kicked in every fighting game and RPG he plays because of his terrible choice in character or character build. He hasn't played the new Call Of Duty because he's in the middle of replaying an old Final Fantasy title. Why beat around the bush (again, excuse the pun)? This guy likes boobs, and he plays games and characters with the lowest clothing-to-digital-boob ratio.
Best course of action: Just let the guy be. Leave him, his vintage Capcom titles and his hentai porn alone. And ALWAYS knock before you walk into his dorm room, lest ye be scarred for eternity.
How to spot him: Remember that phase in the mid 2000's where every RPG offered a "good," "bad" and "neutral" pathway for your character to go to make the gameplay seem less linear? This guy took full advantage. Every chance he got, he was a total dick. He'd curbstomp a digital kitten if the option was given to him. His avatar's face looks worse than Darth Sidious with a meth habit. He even customized his gear to all black-and-red.
What a drama queen.
Best course Of action: In all likelihood, this guy's a sweetheart taking out whatever negative urges he has out on the digital world to relax. Video games are about escapism and entertainment, after all. Just watch out if he starts talking about "eliminating the Argonian problem" in Elder Scrolls, especially if he's an art student.
How to spot him: This particular brand of gamer isn't difficult to spot. Find him in Second Life or The Sims, playing an idealized version of himself only with a "cooler" wardrobe and a soul patch. Watch as he climbs to the top of an impossible career, like a space marine or porn-star superhero. Admire as he attracts a blond in-game wife to whom he is eternally devoted. And nod off as he explains to you over and over how awesome his digital life is while his real one remains steadily mediocre.
Best Course Of Action: Wait it out until he gets bored with it after two weeks.
How to spot him: He's got a ton of gold. The most tricked-out gear imaginable. He reached every level cap with a new race the week after the new expansion came out. Leader of his guild. Did I mention the gold? He has so much gold.
Best course Of action: Say your final goodbyes and wish him well. You won't see him at another social function until your 10-year reunion. And even that's iffy.