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Your Turn: Don't feed the trolls

To feed or not to feed, that is the question...

To feed or not to feed, that is the question...

Today’s YourTurn is brought to you by the letter GG . . . or was that QQ?

Ahh, the online multiplayer games. So many to choose from, so many different varieties of games and from this there is always the lovely civilised chatter from gamers such as “NS [name]” for a nice shot to the head, or “WTF haxx0r” for WOW how did you do that?.  Gamers come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours so everyone will have a differing opinion about something or a tendency to love annoying others having a good time, I think this is so common on certain games because it’s so easy to hide behind a keyboard.  I know this isn’t just related to games all types of forums have their trolls who love anonymity.

Personally I must admit to feeding a few trolls whilst gaming - which is exactly what they want - but sometimes I was so insulted by what they were saying or typing I felt it necessary to speak up even though it was really just fuelling the fire.

So today I have a few questions to ask.

1.    Are you or have you ever been a troll? Please be honest.

2.    Is trolling only for young adolescents who aren’t in earshot of their parents?

3.    Have you ever stopped playing a game due to its online community?

For me when CS:Source introduced the mute player function I thought all my dreams had been answered. You can’t ignore their text, sadly, but the ability to block out someone's inane chatter or their awful music was such a welcome addition to the game it made a game that was sometimes intolerable to enjoyable. I know there was plenty of different servers for CS but when you found a good one so did many others.

I’m sure the WoW players here will remember “Barrens Chat” the Barrens was one of the busiest zones for the Horde in the game having players from about level 8-22 which meant in the early days of the game there were a lot of players running around asking the same questions about quests which lead to many conversations in the gutter! If you ever wanted to chat or be insulted this zone was for you; there was always someone there to give you the wrong answers to your questions.

Please chat amongst yourselves, but please refrain from feeding the trolls.

 - Ben “Lotion” Hayes

Screen Play readers can submit articles and game reviews for consideration in Your Turn and Your Review using the email address The best blog post published on Screen Play between 1 April and 30 April 2013, as judged by James Dominguez, will win a PS Vita handheld console from Sony Computer Entertainment Australia. This is a wi-fi unit, and has a recommended retail price of $349. The next prize winner will be announced on Wednesday 1 May. Only Australian residents are eligible and the judge's decision is final.

twitter Screen Play is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

9 comments so far

  • I still remember Barrens chat in WoW for the 2 months I played it. I got ganked and had rare loot ninja'd in that game. That wasn't why I stopped playing after a short while, but it certainly contributed to it.

    When I played Champions Online a while ago for a few years, occasionally I responded to trolls. I wasn't feeding them, I was taking them down a notch (if I did it right). A friend and I tag teamed one troll who liked to talk himself up, and I was able to criticise him in such a way he wasn't aware I was criticising him and agreed with me. My friend was astounded by it and we had a good laugh about it. Other times in that game, the players who built themselves up as 'gods' or the nicest in the community, my friends and I also tried to bring notice to how much of a troll they actually were. They were able to killsteal and generally grief players, but because of their forum presence, people thought they were nice guys. This sort of thing takes way too much effort and I stopped doing it. You take down one troll, or a troll leaves to play another game, another one springs up in its place.

    In forums or articles if I see trolls sometimes I get bile fascination and read them for a laugh. I don't respond to that sort of thing anymore cause its way too much effort. If it becomes widespread enough, or the articles themselves is written by a troll, I leave the place completely.

    Date and time
    April 12, 2013, 6:06AM
    • Don't forget the endless Chuck Norris references in Barrens too. Nowadays, well my experience anyways, Barrens is fact only major cities have inane chat.

      Can't say I've fuelled a troll or been one. I'm quite reserved in my commenting these days. I used to try and be involved with heated discussions but now I don't usually care as I find it more of a hassle.

      Date and time
      April 12, 2013, 7:46AM
      • The Chuck Norris chat in the Barrens was painful to the degree that I would switch the chat box over to a battle text box for about 12 levels. Thanks for bringing up painful memories.

        Date and time
        April 12, 2013, 9:07AM
        • I used to troll around a little in CS1.6 back when I was in year 7 of high school. Would play grindcore (awful music) over the mic much to my glee xP

          I don't do anything like that anymore though - closest I've been is when I played DOTA2 recently and someone on the enemy team was called "Riggs". Every time he killed or got killed, my friend and I would type "RRRRIIIIIIIIGGGGGSSSSSSS" over the chat :P

          In that regard, I'd say trolling is much more pervasive in the younger years of one's life. To answer your last question, I've never left a game because of the online community. I rarely get too involved in games that are heavily online. The most I got involved was with Battlefield 2, but I was playing that with friends (I don't normally play online games otherwise), so the other flamers and annoying people didn't bother me at all.

          Date and time
          April 12, 2013, 9:34AM
          • 1. No, I've never been a troll.

            2. I doubt it. There seems to be plenty of asshats around of all ages.

            3. Yeah, pretty much all of them. I put up with a lot of trolls to get Platinum (and some other rewards) in Burnout Paradise but from playing some other games I've realised that B:P probably had one of the most courteous and respectful crowds going.

            Unless I'm playing with friends I don't bother with multiplayer anymore. Much like the real world, I'd rather spend time with people I care about than people I don't.

            Date and time
            April 12, 2013, 9:42AM
            • Pretty sure I've always been positive whenever I communicated in games. I never set out to offend or trick or upset or make fun of others. I've smack talked opponents when my friends and I were playing on the couch, but not through voice chat - just amongst ourselves. I've only used Voice chat on co-op games that required it to co-ordinate properly.

              I've always tried to ignore trolls and they do poison the community when there's enough of them.

              Lucid Fugue
              Date and time
              April 12, 2013, 10:19AM
              • 1. Never really trolled, I like to feed them occasionally to see where they are going. Genrally all roads lead to my promiscuous mother...

                2. No, I'd put good money on a lot of them being hen pecked dads with no other outlet than slandering my aforementioned promiscuous mother.

                3. Yes and No. I've been driven away from WOW every now and then due to the general pop on a server, I always seem to come back tho - glutton for punishment I guess!

                Ahhh Barrens chat... I was a much bigger fan of the endless search for Mankirks Wife than the silly Norris stuff ;)

                Slightly off topic but did anyone receive a beta invite for Wildstar? spamming refresh button but mine seems to be lost :*(

                Still searching for Mankirks wife...
                Date and time
                April 12, 2013, 11:23AM
                • When I look at what wow has become today with its endless spam of Gearscore and guild invites I think I would prefer the barrens chat
                  As every once in a while you got something so completely random it would have you cracking up…..The Your Mom and Chuck Norris jokes were pretty stale
                  But it was animated and lively…these days its automated…streamlined and casual

                  What made vanilla wow so great was not knowing if your team of 5 rogues could clear UBRS or LBRS..uncommon party healer ….2 tanks ect
                  It was all fun trying this sort of stuff out…now its simply a steamroller or a grind to get to a magic number that will allow you invites into raid regardless if you’re a crap player or not.

                  Trolling has really lost its art over time…..trolling should be clever and witty and if you get trolled you sit back and go wow..didnt see that coming lol
                  These days trolls simply attack with no gameplan

                  A good Troll is someone who is not recognised or suspected as a troll

                  Date and time
                  April 12, 2013, 12:35PM
                  • 1. Nup. This is a troll-free zone. I play online to enjoy the community and company of others not to break it.

                    2. Yoof-only trolls? Absolutely not, ime (and I've seen every shape and manner of troll conceivable, as a veteran of online games since BBS times) most persistent trolls are older, male and late 20s to mid 30s. When the young'uns arc up it is largely one offs and harmless or so gauchely provocative you know it is just a 10 yr trying to get a rise by typing all caps or racist slurs. The older trolls are the worst, because they exhibit something like a sociopathic trait - their idea of fun is to destroy the fun of everyone else and they have an impact on the game far in excess of their numbers.

                    3. I've only abandoned one game due to trolling (but there were other factors such as the changing demographic of players and content to appeal to them, Activision Blizzard's corporate policies, incl. their appalling treatment of the Oceanic community, and terrible aesthetics). That was WoW

                    (lol I must have a high tolerance to trolling, I don't even consider the Norris and Mankrik's memes trolling. Real trolls are about harassment and community breaking imo and my personal ignore isn't enough to stop their behaviour affecting my community)

                    Mr Coot
                    Perth, WA
                    Date and time
                    April 12, 2013, 1:40PM

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