British gamers are "notorious non-talkers" in online games on Xbox Live and PC.
That's according to Valve's Chet Faliszek, who says that us fair Bighty-dwellers need to pipe up when playing with strangers.
"One thing I wanted to add before I go for you Brits: communicate. Don't be scared of a microphone," Faliszek said in a recent CVG interview.
"You guys are notorious non-talkers on both 360 and PC. Americans are just chattering away, working together as a team. If you want to work together as a team you've got to talk!
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"You can go into a random 360 game on US servers and it's crazy talk. It's fun. I think a lot of people knock that community but again and again I'm surprised by how fun that is. I've played expert campaigns where by the end of it we're best buddies," he said.
The Valve man hopes that Left 4 Dead's new realism mode, which turns off on-screen assistance to demand teamwork, will fire up us shy Britain-types.
"Realism mode will prod you - you have to talk. If you don't talk you're not going to make it. Instead of being harder Realism's actually more challenging as a team because you have to communicate. When a Smoker pulls you off somewhere you've got to yell because nobody can see where you are.
"The first time you see people play somebody will go in a house to get some stuff, turn around a be like 'shit, I can't see anybody'. It's a scary feeling. We'll see if that maybe stimulate the British sternness."