What's the worst trolling you ever got during a game?
Trolling memories are not ones I like to relive, typically because as soon as a player begins exhibiting the warning signs, I block them immediately so I can focus on the game. However, occasionally, someone’s first words are more upsetting than anything else.
The Warning Signs
Before we go into just how ridiculously rude players can be, I think it's important to point out the warning signs. The mean ones typically follow a pattern.
1. You greet them, they insult you.
Even if it's a joking insult, the fact that they would turn a very friendly opening into something mean is typically a clear indicator they haven't quite yet picked up on things like empathy and usual human social interactions. They could very well also be a 13 year old that finds insults hilarious. Let's not lie to ourselves, here. We were all like that at 13.
2. They say "gg" no less than 5 to 10 minutes in.
Sure, we're all thinking it after the first objective grab went poorly, but that by no means results in an automatic loss. Take the final game from last week's PreShow. Just when all seemed lost, our team rushed the core and stole a victory. Someone that gives in so early will usually start blaming others for any loses/mishaps in the game because they can't fathom that they are the problem.
3. They give you directions.
Chances are, you know your Hero better than they do, so when someone tells you to go do something without having already proven their abilities, there's something wrong. Whether they have a grand idea of how games should go without knowing the actual mechanics or they simply believe bossing people around is the same as leading a group, they fall into the category of blaming other people for issues they either have no control over or are causing themselves.
To me, at least, these all earn immediate blocks. I don't get on to play after a long day of work (that might not be over yet) wanting to read angry messages.
The Grumpy Pants
1. The Funniest
By far the one that had me giggling the most was a Valla that told me to kill myself. It brought me back to the days of my childhood when that insult ran rampant without much ill will behind it. It was just what was said. It is the insult of the internet, pervading everything with online connectivity.
2. The Most Hurtful
This guy started going after me. No warning signs or anything. Just out of the blue called me the worst player on the team followed up by "dumbf*ck". Then his buddies joined before I had a break in gameplay to mute them all. It was very much middle school all over again.
My first reaction is to assess myself. Though mean, what they say might not be a lie. It could be that they haven’t learned how to critique constructive, and if I really am the monster they make me out to be, I need to get some practice in. However, aside from general things I personally know I need to get better at, these guys are only ever being mean because they want to.
Also, I'm a big fan of picking your battles and because these guys are easily muted forever, they're not worth engaging. Nothing of note gets accomplished arguing back and all it does is feed their grumpy fires.
Besides, who knows why they're so angry?
It could be they're simply following the internet protocol they've grown up with. We have to remember that younger generations are far more engrained in the internet attitude than we ever were. They actually were born into it. However, it could also be something far more serious. Maybe they're bullied at school and need some place to vent their impotent rage. Maybe they have a bad family life and, again, need to vent their pain and frustration.
Now, I'm not saying this behavior should go unpunished. Such vitriol is extremely unhealthy and will kill this game faster than any other cause. What I am saying is to take a few seconds before snapping back. Realize their anger could be, and probably is, very misplaced. Customers at my old jobs would do this all the time, never connecting the dots that their expletive filled blow up over an incorrect price was centered more on the fact they were struggling to pay the bills rather than a simple computational entry error not made by me, the cashier. And while a few of us are much better at understanding our own emotions and not taking them out on innocent cashiers or players, it’s far more common to meet those that don’t understand their inner turmoil.
Don't feed this. Be the stronger player and ignore them. All they want is someone to fight with so they can feel superior to something in their unhappy lives. If you do want to do something, send the grumpy player a private message afterward asking if they're doing okay. Some may spew further insults, but you will definitely find quite a few needing to vent. It's not easy to do, but it leads to a happier place where instead of being so selfishly focused on our own egos, we realize such bitterness comes from pained gamers that need help.
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