So there's a lot of topics about this on RG.StackExchange.com, but they all boil down to "Talk to the player." Unfortunately that's been done multiple times over the years to no meaningful effect.
I'm having trouble with a player with vastly different play style than myself. I tend to be slightly more grounded (like super-magic charged LotR? More or less the same level of "fantastic" that D&D 4e tends to be?) Meanwhile most of his view of narration comes from Metal Gear Revengence and Final Fantasy Advent Children, and then some; he links Youtube videos of these to explain what he's doing. Furthermore the player is fairly emotional.
I recently started GMing the player in a new group (Sci-Fantasy, Ultramodern 4e), and last evening went fantastically poorly. The other players were fantastic, but he—from my point of view, for a variety of reasons—acted overtly childish multiple times.
Examples (wordy, you can likely skip):
An example of one of the many issues was that he had his monk fly up in the air, stab a friendly mech with his katana, and said that he wanted to take control of the mech (directly through the impaling katana, like some kind of superpower). I, bewildered, asked him what power or item property was letting him attempt this. He angrily consented to make a skill check. I told him that I couldn't imagine a skill check that would allow him to stab a machine and take control, and I suggested trying the Psion class if he wanted to try to control creatures. (He knew this, he's quite a bit more rule savvy than I am, as he's a minmaxer.) He angrily stated it was the 'Rule of Cool' which is how 4e is supposed to work.
I, still taken aback, said that I could allow it once, I supposed, but it couldn't become a recurring thing as it didn't make sense. This made him more angry. I politely declined entirely, ended his turn, and moved on with the fight.
Later, after deflecting bullets with his fingers, he decided that the fight was 'unwinnable' (their goal was to protect an objective with 150 HP, the enemy force only reduced it to 145 HP in the end with no healing done, so they fantastically won the fight), and had his monk retreat. The rest of the fight he sullenly refused to participate.
During the dungeon crawl afterwards he had his monk repeatedly punch a locked door to get it open, and when it opened (because the other players went and figured out the puzzle to get it open, which they seemed to greatly enjoy) he refused to walk through.
And this is just one connected series of examples, of many during a single session.
I don't know what to do. I have talked to him before and our ideologies just do not mesh. I can't really kick him out because of drama — he's part of a group of friends, and just shutting him down each time causes less drama than kicking him would. If he was just "some guy I played with" it'd be different, but I'd really rather not resort to kicking him out. I guess it's not ruled out as an option, but I'd really like to explore different options first.
I know him doing this bothers most of the rest of the group but they're too nice to make an issue of it. I know one player enjoys minmaxing with him, but I nobody enjoys his play style in-game. We're all too nice, and we all tend to be more passive as players — when I play alongside him I just try to not have his and my character do to much together — so I guess that's just the culture of the group. They're not likely to approach him themselves.
I don't want to dissolve the group. I keep trying to give him second chances and honestly I let myself get pushed around for fear of being mean, but I can politely shut him down—and after him briefly angrily complaining it works—but shutting him down and ignoring his attempts seems rude and like poor GMing.
I've been hunting through RPG.StackExchange.com but the advice boils down to something like "talk to them" or "Consider asking them to leave the group"; the first one I've done, the second one I can't really do because of the group of friends. Here's how those approaches went:
Other Players Talk to Him
The culture of the group tends to be passive players (myself included, when I'm a player in our group) and not approach these topics. I'd have to approach a player and ask them to talk to him, which I suppose I could do this?
Ask Him to GM
As to him GMing, he's tried twice for very short campaigns (they both ended in under 3 sessions) and doesn't like it.
He exclusively wants to play 4e, and another player really enjoys 4e as well, so that's why we're using that. We're a small enough group that's enough to pick our ruleset. I certainly don't mind 4e, even if it's not my favorite. I don't feel like anything is broken about this ruleset or that contributes to these issues.
Suggest Finding Other Groups
I actually have suggested that he find other groups, the one he tried he didn't like.
Like I said I can just... shut him down, but that feels rude, and a poor excuse how to handle it.
I have no clue what to do at this point, since I think I've exhausted traditional options. Any help?