A man holding his arms up in the air while holding a bible.

Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, Reimagined for Gamers

Whether you’re a PvP addict or a coop-only SunBro, you’ve undoubtedly encountered gamers that you’d have strangled to death through your mic, if only the technology had allowed it.

Some are world-class jerks that know exactly what they’re doing; these gargantuan douche tacos are, in a way, not too much of a drain on your soul – there’s no pretence of innocence, so you can simply find another match to jump into and move on.

But then there’s a different class of offender: those who are more ignorant than malicious, or maybe they just don’t take this whole gaming thing as seriously as you do. Either way, it’s hard to get mad at them… but you do anyway. They aren’t abhorrent dumpster fires of human beings like the trolls are, but dammit, they’re still annoying. You know they aren’t wrecking your game on purpose, but you nonetheless want to kick them in the neck and/or genitals.

These are the poor damned souls who will pay for their transgressions after they’ve (finally, thankfully, blessedly) departed this mortal coil. You wish you could say you feel sorry for them, but you totally don’t. Maybe when they’re eventually reincarnated, they’ll have learned something.

Circle the First: Limbo
Inhabitants: The Sincere N00bs

Alongside unbaptized babies and virtuous pagans, here wander the ephemeral spirits of those who simply didn’t have the skills to keep up with the rest of your team. Can you really condemn them for going outside once in a while instead of drilling 300-yard headshots all weekend?

Yeah, you can, but only a little. The sincere n00bs meant well and did their best to help the team, they just… sucked. 5v5 was really 5v4 with one of these fellows on your side – sometimes even worse if they were enough of a liability.

The First Circle is Hell’s waiting room; it’s more dull than torturous. There are coffee-stained issues of Official PlayStation magazine to read, none of them newer than 2005. Down here, all available controllers are Mad Catz brand and no television has a resolution higher than 640×480. The damned in the First Circle are cursed with second-rate gear to match their second-rate skills for all eternity.

Circle the Second: Apathy
Inhabitants: Those With Busted Controllers

Remember the closest Halo match of your life? The one that still haunts you so deeply thirty years later that your children burst into tears at the sight of the withered husk you’ve become?

Yeah, you remember. The score was tied at 24 and your teammate XxD0NG$LING3R_420_N0$C0P3_BLAZ3ITxX got nailed in the head by an enemy Ghost. He’d been running in circles nonstop for 37 minutes because his goddamn left stick is broken.

He cost you the match. He cost you everything. All because he couldn’t be assed to fix or replace his controller.

As punishment, his eternal soul is now doomed to live out its endless existence with some weirdly specific handicaps. He can jump, but only backwards and only after trying fifteen times. He can never sit – only stand or lie down. He can’t make right turns.

Let it never be said that there is no justice in Hell. From now on, your compromised movement abilities will inconvenience no one but you, Busted Controller Guy.

Circle the Third: Chaos
Inhabitants: Foreigners

NavyDad: Alright, everyone stay to the right up here. Someone have a rocket launcher?
DildoFaggins58: Yep.
Incest_b/c_YOLO: Movement down this hallway.
iheartyogurt: I’m low on ammo, someone spare a mag?
IVANFRESH2015: Моя страна – бесконечная белая пустота, и моя жизнь такая же
NavyDad: What?
DildoFaggins58: God dammit, what is this guy talking abo-
☐☐☐☐☐☐☐: 500,000 GOLD $5 快速交货1小时$$$$$
IVANFRESH2015: Ты попробовал переводить это на гугле, но Гугл не может помочь тебе. Даже бог не может помочь тебе

It seems like the more the game depends on quick, precise communication between teammates, the greater the odds of ending up with someone in your squad who could be calling you a bag of pickled anuses for all you know. Those who show such little regard for English-only servers find themselves in an afterlife that would otherwise be quite pleasant, if not for the constant miscommunications over everyday details.

Those who order a steak medium-rare in the Third Circle receive a raw herring stapled to a manila folder, and so shall know the pain they have caused others.

Circle the Fourth: Sloth
Inhabitants: Those With Open Mics and Voice Chat Always On

Gaming theologians – those aligned with the console sects in particular – have for centuries debated the moral status of open mics. More traditional dioceses maintain that treating your teammates to a never-ending live audio feed of your Pibb-tinged breath is grounds for eternal damnation, while some who have sought to modernize the church suggest that this sin loses its mortal status if one at least makes an effort to use voice-activation mode.

At any rate, if everyone in your lobby knows the sound of your roommate’s voice, is aware that your dishwasher starts every night at 9:00, and occasionally says things like “goddammit Jeff if I hear one more Snickers wrapper at 140 decibels I will set your kids on fire,” you may be destined for the Fourth Circle.*

*Scholars continue to debate whether or not constantly trying to voice chat in a game where most people don’t voice chat also condemns one to the Fourth Circle – but why risk it? Seriously, everyone muted you a long time ago. Stop talking.

Circle the Fifth: Greed
Inhabitants: Microtransaction Magnates

This level of Hell is reserved for those who bought everything in the Real Money Store without even looking at it, then proceeded to rub their solid gold Japanese schoolgirl panties in everyone else’s face. Convictions on this charge are difficult to obtain; it’s not a sin to support the developers by purchasing an imaginary shirt for more than the price of an actual shirt, and so motive must be scrutinized carefully.

Thoughtless purchases that perpetuate poor game design are no bueno. If in life you were one of the people who, for example, didn’t see a problem with paying Bungie a second time for content you already bought once, enjoy being on fire forever. There’s no witty poetic justice in this Circle, you just get tossed into lava. Sometimes the classics are the best.

Circle the Sixth: Heresy
Inhabitants: Those Who Advertise Other Games

If you have been known to utter phrases such as “Overwatch sucks” while playing Overwatch, or “Overwatch is so much better than this game” while playing literally any other game on the planet, you are guilty to your deepest roots (and in the second case you’re a liar). Your teammates, astute and handsome as they undoubtedly were, likely suggested multiple times that you go play another game, if you hate this one so much. You didn’t listen. That’s why you’re here.

Now you get the spend the rest of infinity selling ad space and organizing marketing campaigns for every game you actually hate. You also have to do it in your natural state – naked, unshowered, and covered in Cheeto dust from uncombed beard to uncombed man-fupa. You even have to use Twitter. Souls in Circles above certainly don’t envy you.

Circle the Seventh: Treachery
Inhabitants: People Who Go AFK During Coop Games

Sometimes, on starless nights that are truly still and silent, the faintest whispers of a sound that many describe as a moaning howl can be heard from virtually anywhere on the planet. Often dismissed as low winds, these guttural wails are actually the tortured screams of oathbreakers having dastardly creative things done to their butts way down in the Seventh Circle.

Joining an online team deathmatch is the second most sacred contract men can enter, behind not eating your roommate’s food but ahead of child rearing. Once matched with complete strangers over the internet, you’ve basically all cut your hands with a Coke bottle and made a blood oath. They’re counting on you to pull your weight, and they’re definitely counting on you not to choose that exact time to go flip your gas station burrito in the microwave or comfort your crying infant. Seriously, get your priorities straight.

In addition to the aforementioned colorectal torture (which starts late about half the time), souls banished this far downstairs can expect everyone else to constantly renege on their commitments – including and especially their afterlife attorneys, who are allegedly trying to get in front of a judge to appeal the sentence, but gosh darn it, they just have so much else to do.

Circle the Eighth: Lust
Inhabitants: The Sirens

AnimeFan2287: Can anyone spare some money/ammo/upgrade stuff?
TheRealDildoFaggins: lol fuk of
Cleveland_Steamroller322: no
Cleveland_Steamroller322: no
Cleveland_Steamroller322: no
Cleveland_Steamroller322: no
notarussianbot: Я русский бот
Cleveland_Steamroller322: no
Cleveland_Steamroller322: no
^_^super-kawaii-senpai^_^: not a chance
AnimeFan2287: I have boobs ( . Y . )
Cleveland_Steamroller322: how much do you need? overestimate just to be safe
TheRealDildoFaggins: i don’t even like weapons, you can have all of mine
notarussianbot: Я подчиняюсь груди
^_^super-kawaii-senpai^_^ has died tripping over themselves to vomit cash all over AnimeFan2287

Like the mystical, supposedly mega-hot water monsters that lured Greek seafarers to their deaths upon the rocks, modern Sirens are fully aware of the mesmerizing power that breasts hold over weak minds and aren’t afraid to wield that power. Carefully coordinated team tactics evaporate in an instant as horny teenage boys – steadfast allies mere moments ago – battle one another to the death to win the superficial affections of a female none of them will ever see again. Team cohesion now in shambles, the Siren’s malevolent chuckle fades into the night as it withdraws to slumber atop its pile of ill-gotten wealth like a weirdly sexy dragon.

The punishment for Sirens in the Eighth Circle is stunning in its elegant simplicity. Matchmaking only ever puts them in games with gay guys.

Circle the Ninth: Also Lust, but Worse
Inhabitants: The Sailors

The only souls more guilty than the Siren are those that fall for her obvious tricks. Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves. Smdh.

If you find yourself here, you’re not even allowed to play video games anymore. The only game you can play now is all-male soccer. Outdoors, in the sun. Forever.