What Is Backseat Gaming?

Do you want to know what backseat gaming is? The term “backseat gamer” emerged as gaming became more popular. And it was first used in arcades before home video games became popular. But what does it mean?

“Backseat gaming” is when someone watches another player play a game and comments on their every move. You don’t have to express these remarks verbally. Just sighing or gasping whenever the player moves can label you a backseat gamer. Generally, backseat gaming is frowned upon as it typically makes the player uncomfortable.

What is Backseat Gaming?

A backseat gamer is a term that originated with the rise of gaming. Initially used in arcades before the popularity of home video games, the term has been around for a long time. 

Home gaming, however, allowed more kids to play games than ever before. Thus, many family members and friends would fight over control access. 

As a result of kids not being in control of their games, they start dictating what others should do. Urban Dictionary’s earliest entry of the term dates back to 2006; however, it is unclear who coined it.

I’ll illustrate the point with a few examples if you’re unsure what this means. If you’re driving in a car with friends, does it ever happen that they comment on the way you drive?

Possibly they dislike how you take turns or think you drive too fast. Regardless of what they believe, you’ll hear it from them. Those who drive in the backseat are called backseat drivers.

Is Backseat Gaming Beneficial?

If you’ve never tried “backseat gaming,” you may find it frustrating and even infuriating. The feeling of accomplishment is real when you finish a game independently.

Overcoming the challenges, solving the puzzles, and achieving the story are rewarding experiences. However, backseat gaming can take these things from you, especially if they give you a solution you would have instead found on your own.

In addition, backseat gaming hinders your experience in various games. You need to know what backseat gaming is to deal with a backseat gamer; you can ask for advice if necessary.

You should block backseat gamers immediately if you are a victim of backseat gaming; otherwise, you may experience some annoying gaming experiences. If you cannot block them, you can talk with them or wait for them to leave.


When someone backseats games, they observe another player’s actions and comment on them. The positioning has nothing to do with this use of the expression. 

Also, utilizing the term would be incorrect when referring to another player’s taunts or slanders. With the rise of gaming, the term “backseat gamer” emerged. 

Arcades were the first place the term appeared before home video games became widespread. Thanks to home gaming, kids can now play more games at home than ever. 

It led to family members and friends fighting to control access to these games at home. Children who don’t control their games dictate what others should do.

Harold Anderson
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