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PlanetSide 2 collision bug causes 'teabagging' confusion among players

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A bug in Sony Online Entertainment's massively multiplayer online shooter PlanetSide 2 that appeared to restrict the act of "teabagging" one's opponents caused confusion among the community today, opening up a larger discussion about the role of the mocking gesture in the game.

Teabagging, or crouching over a dead player's body repeatedly, is commonly used in first-person shooters and online games as a way to show dominance over defeated foes. Due to PlanetSide 2's collision bug, however, players have been unable to move quickly from a crouch to a stand in-game — effectively preventing them from teabagging. An SOE representative told Polygon, however, that this isn't what the crouch mechanic is intended for.

"We can't control what our players will and won't do," the representative said. "Everyone is their own gamer. But we don't have a specific taunt or proper feature that allows you to do that.

"It's not intended to be something where people can go out and do teabagging. We do want an environment that's friendly, inviting and approachable for every type of player, so that's what we're trying to focus on."

"We can't control what our players will and won't do."

Confusion recently arose in the game's official forums after community manager RadarX mistakenly said the action had been intentionally removed. RadarX added that the game has a screen dedicated to "telling people they were owned," and that the mechanic was unnecessary.

"PlanetSide 2 is a massive multiplayer FPS in a science fiction based world that pits empires against each other in mortal combat," he wrote. "While immersion is certainly a subjective topic, if sexually assaulting a corpse is a key component of your gameplay experience this just may not be the game for you ... We considered this mechanic ‘not fun' and removed it."

RadarX's post has since been updated to reflect that the decision was not intentional, but that it is a bug. This statement has been echoed by PlanetSide 2 creative director Matthew Higby as well.

"This collision bug prevents players from standing up from a crouch position when on a corpse — anywhere on it," the representative told Polygon. "So let's say a player kills someone behind a bush, starts getting fired at and then crouches, s/he wouldn't be able to stand up at the moment. This issue is on our dev team's radar and with every update we include bug fixes. Timing is just dependent on what else is in the queue."

In November of 2013, PlanetSide 2 forum user Lamat pointed out the game's "growing teabag culture," citing a personal notice of it appearing more frequently. Many PlanetSide 2 players in the game's forums dismiss the act as playful trolling or even define it as an act of expression, while others consider teabagging "a part of the FPS culture," and a harmless, if not juvenille, act.

"While I understand that some people might find it puerile, I accept it as the universal FPS taunt that brings with it a certain aspect of risk," wrote user Latrodectus. "After all, there's nothing better than seeing someone begin crouching over your corpse mere second before a harasser runs him over. All I ask is that people please MAX-bag responsibly."

Some users, such as Meliorist, decried the act, calling it "revolting and disgusting conduct," while user Kaon1311 added that there is "teabagging etiquette which has long been forgotten." Other PlanetSide 2 players had similarly strong opinions.

"Teabagging is most definitely the dumbest thing I've come accros in 12 years of online gaming," wrote KAHR-Alpha. " It's probably the ultimate proof of immaturity in a FPS."

"Teabagging etiquette ... has long been forgotten."

"Tea-bagging is a symptom of a juvenile tool's need to express their frail ego's limits by ‘dominating' someone in a video-game," wrote user FocusLight. "It's bad enough considering what it used to be — a ‘I just owned you ha ha' message in physical form — you just shot the guy, I do think he knows you bested him. These days however teabaggers go and do it to anything and anyone they want, because on the internet, everyone is an unknown and can't be punished for being pathetic and useless."

In September, forum user EazyDuzIt posted about the game's collision bug. Responses at the time were mixed, as many thought the action was intentionally removed due to teabagging players.

One player complained about encountering the problem while trying to crouch and move over a fallen enemy, while another claimed that dead bodies as a no-crouch zone will impact the ability to take cover in tight spots.

First-person shooters such as Halo 4 still include the basic idea of teabagging, though 343 Industries has since renamed the act as a "victory crouch." Players also have the option to not watch their corpse be victory crouched upon, if they so choose.