Camping is a strategy in Quake, and other first person shooter games, that in its vaguest sense, involves lingering around a certain area in a map to gain some sort of tactical advantage. The origins come from the idea that when you linger in a certain area, you make it a camp site. You are thus a camper, and you camp. "Did you pack you're tent you fucking camper?!"
There is a wide variety of methods and types of camping, according to factors such as items, weapons, covertness, as well as map and game type. Historically camping has gained a massive degree of notoriety and remains highly unpopular in deathmatch. So much so that often other players will become lumberjacks.
The most effective way of describing camping is through relational definition - Camping:FPS::Rushing:RTS
The definition of camping varies very widely. Some things can be considered camping, other's aren't. Generally camping is:
Sitting in one place in order to gain frags.
Running a pattern in a very small area in order to horde weapons and/or power-ups.
Using a grappling hook (or other method) of getting onto the roof of a level and then sniping.
Hanging out by a respawn area waiting for the helpless to arrive - see spawn rape.
Quake Weenie Tactics Site - www.weenie.com/quake - Accessed 18th August / Clan Monkey
Many people feel that camping, by definition, goes against the basic philosophy of deathmatch, which usually frowns upon if not openly discourages, the idea of playing with a fixed strategy in mind. Instead of being lucky and picking up the quad damage as you pass by, you could instead run a tight area around it, or just hang around the quad area. If executed properly one can effectively have quad damage for half the game, which is a devestating advantage. This type of play is generally considered extremely cheap.
Camping for spawn rapes, the other main form of camping, is similarly considered cheap.
On the other hand, in games of teamplay and duel, which involves the heavy use of strategy, it is considered acceptable to camp to win. On the sub-professional teamplay level, it is expected (see also lockdown). In duel its ineffectiveness deters players - for the most part.
Outside of teamplay, camping is usually an ineffectual tactic if you play to win. Despite this, its notoriety has made it a constant witch cry against both people who play fairly, and those who employ similarly unpopular tactics.
Quake is about the thrill of the hunt, not the nervous wait for the kill.
Part of the Quake metanode
-- Gung of Clan Monkey