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Camping in computer gaming jargon, describes the practice of a player staying in one area of the game world waiting for enemies or useful objects to appear or to come to the player rather than actively seeking them out. Players camp in order to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Camping in most games is considered unsocial and is often frowned upon. Among some players, camping is considered tantamount to cheating, especially in deathmatch-type games. The most common reason for this is that if every player camps, there will be no opportunities for players to come into conflict, and thus there will be no game at all. Breaking this deadlock requires some players not to camp, but this means they give up the advantages gained by camping and are often quickly defeated by the players who continue to camp. Camping is also seen as an unfair way of getting an advantage in the form of accumulated resources or a beneficial position.

However, the rise in technology of computer gaming allow the ability for the production of more tactical games or strategic games that account for morale, and increasingly the label is not viewed as derogatory. For example, Capture the Flag and its variants, provides incentive to invade enemy territory, regardless of the risk, since scoring flags is more important than scoring frags. However even in such games, some players may choose to camp to give covering fire for other team members attempting to grab the flag and run back with it. It is comparable to turtling.

Online role-playing games Edit

In massively multiplayer online role-playing games and MUDs, camping is commonly the practice where the camper stays in a location near where non-player characters or monsters spawn or otherwise enter the game world. In some games, these positions are easy to spot and once a player or group of players is capable of establishing their camp, they can gain more rewards with less risk to their player characters. Generally, it is accepted that camping enemies is just the way some games are, and by convention this is respected. There is no official rule granting players exclusive rights to a camp.

As with valuable items in non-MMO games, often particularly significant monsters will be made "rare" via the game engine allowing a long period of time to pass between the monster being defeated by one group of players and it reappearing for another group to fight. Many players, rather than repeatedly returning to an area in the hope of meeting the monster, chose instead to wait in the monster's lair for it to respawn. Because of the long periods of time involved - frequently hours or days - this can give rise to absurd situations in which long queues of adventuring parties wait outside a monster's lair for the monster to respawn so they can kill it. Players can utilize the information gathered from various Internet sites to identify and wait around the areas of these spawns. Sometimes players sit on these camps for days, waiting for the monster or NPC of interest.

The MMORPG EverQuest was the first game to truly make camping a common and widely accepted part of advancement in online RPGs. When first released, advancement through the game was painstakingly slow for most, requiring many hours of slaying NPCs to advance in level. As a result, players quickly realized that camping in one spot and having a single player, referred to as a "puller" because he or she would leave the group to "pull" an npc monster back to the group, was the most efficient way to gain experience. In fact, the prevalence of camping became so strong in EverQuest that the game's playerbase (as well as many of its critics) jokingly refer to the game as "EverCamp".

The practice of camping in MMORPGs is distasteful to many, and it is that distaste which has most likely lead to the popularity of Blizzard's World of Warcraft. While camping is still possible in this game, much more experience and rewards can be had by performing quests, allowing the player to focus on something other than what some consider to be the monotony of camping.

Critics of this system say that it is the long, drawn out camping sessions that have helped build such a strong community in games like EverQuest. With so much idle time, it is surmised that most players will strike up conversations with fellow group and guild members as a way to pass the time, a practice that helps develop bonds.

In some MMORPGS which have PVP (Player-versus-player) elements (such as Diablo II and World of Warcraft), "corpse camping" is used to refer to a player repeatedly waiting near the corpse of a player they have killed, in order to attack them again after they respawn near their corpse. This is usually considered a dishonorable practice.

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