The Inevitability of Trolling

Picture this scenario, someone recently purchased Soul Calibur 5. He went all the way through story mode and spent a few minutes in practice mode. He's starting to feel fairly good about his skills and decides to try his luck at ranked mode. His first match is against someone called "Coolguy97" who happens to have a score of 97 wins and 3 losses. "Man this guy must be good" he thinks to himself.

When the match starts he notices that Coolguys Mitsurugi custom is nothing but a naked dude with a cat head. As the match progresses the newcomer is trying his best but repeatedly gets hit by this move where misturgi lunges backwards really far then comes in with a stab. After every round Coolguy decides to hold guard and move up and down on the newcomers dead body. The newbie knows from experience that this is what people call "tea bagging" and he is furious. He decides to confront Coolguy through messages only to get madder through each response that Coolguy sends back. Coolguy is doing what we call trolling.





Random Mitsurugi picture



Trolling exists in many forms, not just within ranked mode but within 8wayrun and any other online medium. There was even a former mod who wanted a strict no trolling policy. Trolling is something that can never fully stopped, nor should it be anyone's goal to stop it. Trolling within the fighting game community is inevitable. Why is this? you ask? First and foremost, fighting games are competitive. No matter how you look at the game, someone wins the match and someone loses the match. This is a core structure of fighting games. Competition is something that occurs naturally throughout all living organisms. More importantly, it's the opposite of cooperation. A very typical example of a hobby that displays cooperation would be river rafting. Everyone on the raft needs to work together towards the same exact goal. Lots of businesses commonly use rafting as a team building exercise to create cooperation throughout the entire business.





an example of two animals competing in nature.




Since fighting games are the opposite of something like rafting, it holds some positive and negative aspects. Since it's a competition, both sides want to win. Through adaptation, each player will find a new way to use the game to their advantage and a set of skills being to appear. These set of skills appear through a desire to win and to do what will accomplish winning the most effectively. There is a very technical aspect of fighting games that is driven through competition. This tends to make playing at high levels very rewarding since each player is essentially trying to out play and out smart each other. Going back to the example of Coolguy97, he ultimately beat the newcomer in my story by spamming Mitsurugi's 4b. Which by now, most people know is a very good move. If the newbie I mentioned decided to keep playing and had a strong urge to get better and beat Coolguy. He might come under the idea of stepping the 4b spam and then attacking him. This would nullify Coolguy's strategy and he would have to adapt or he would end up losing. This would make Coolguy's trolling a motivation to ultimately get better. It also creates a scenario where if the new player got better and beat Coolguy. Coolguy's defeat would be more rewarding than if Coolguy didn't troll.




Picture of Fenris Zero, well known 8wayrun troll




Once people start figuring out how to play the game. There becomes forums like this one where ideas and strategies are passed around in hopes to get better. This actually forms a different kind of competition within the community. Since people form opinions on what character they think is better and how certain characters should be played. People will start to identify with certain ways of thinking and sometimes get angry if their beliefs are challenged. Ego's start to build and drama ensues. To laugh at this drama or to enjoy it, is actually a fairly reasonable response. Since if someone were to take things said on the forums too seriously, it will only end up hurting their own enjoyment of the forums. TITANSQUAD420SWAG are a good example of people who have learned to laugh and poke fun at drama. If you haven't seen any of their videos, I would recommend checking them out *shameless plug*. So next time someone like Fenris tells you, "you suck" or a character moves up and down on your T.V. See it for what it is, it's a fairly harmless jest in the grand scheme of things. We should enjoy the game and try to lighten up as a whole.
 

Comments

I'll also would like to say people need to stop throwing the word troll around so much. i got people call me a troll all because I don't agree with them.
 
No, we call you a troll cause that's the easiest way to describe you to another human being without using words with more than one syllable. Words with more than one syllable just become hurtful and no one wants that.
 
Ah yes, this newcomer would indeed be forced to adapt, stepping Mitsurugi's 4B... wait... stepping Mitsu's 4B? OK, lets say the new guy steps 4B, if done incorrectly it WILL track and catch this new guy's step. Being new this will most likely deter him from stepping since the answer he thought was right failed. SCV fails, not the new guy, game development fails, not the player...
 
If victims of trolling need to learn to lighten up, people who do troll need to grow up.
A PLACE FOR COMPETITIVE GAMING SHOULD ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BOTH LIGHTEN UP AND NOT GROW UP. THIS IS ONE PLACE WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE OUR TRUE, TERRIBLE SELVES FROM THE FACADE THAT IS SO-CALLED CIVILIZED SOCIETY.

PEOPLE I’VE HATED ON THE MOST WERE THE SAME ONES WHO TRY HARD TO PORTRAY THEMSELVES AS GOOD PEOPLE DESPITE THEIR OBVIOUS ASSHOLE NATURE. AT LEAST I CAN ADMIT THE TRUTH AND STOP PRETENDING AS IF BEING NICE CAN BE DONE WITHOUT DENYING ONE’S TRUE NATURE.

I SHALL LEAD BY EXAMPLE:

 
A lot of newcomers mistake trolling for outright malevolence when it really is just good harmless fun most of the time. I never do it though, mainly because I enjoy the game my own way, and when someone does it, it just encourages me to play their way. Depending on my mood, I either continue to play my way or return the favor. Very rarely though, my opponent and I share some laughs.

I am a little skeptical about your 90 win example though. Sometimes...sometimes, it's usually a rage-quitting troll. That's the bad kind of trolling, but I digress.
 
i love you moneymuffins, but you're not better at being a troll than me.

CY - Excellent post sir! ALL OF THEM

Everyone else.....BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA