What is the point of trolling/insulting people in videogames?

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Revverie

Knight at Arms
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Just wondering, why does a big part of this community enjoys mocking other people, have you thought about why you do it? Are you achieving something by doing it?
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Master Knight
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This is not a new behaviour, far from it. In the age of the cyber coffee there was always the typical player who dominated certain games, or all of them, by spending the day between those four walls; insulting when you played badly or, directly, not allowing you to enter a local multiplayer game where everyone was present. The problem has been accentuated in recent years thanks to the anonymity of the internet, which allows many players to expose behaviour that in real life they would never have or would restrict from the view of society.

It is human behaviour in its purest form, capable of creating the most beautiful dreams and at the same time frightening nightmares.
 

Revverie

Knight at Arms
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This is not a new behaviour, far from it. In the age of the cyber coffee there was always the typical player who dominated certain games, or all of them, by spending the day between those four walls; insulting when you played badly or, directly, not allowing you to enter a local multiplayer game where everyone was present. The problem has been accentuated in recent years thanks to the anonymity of the internet, which allows many players to expose behaviour that in real life they would never have or would restrict from the view of society.

It is human behaviour in its purest form, capable of creating the most beautiful dreams and at the same time frightening nightmares.
In my opinion this has little to do with "human behaviour in it's purest form" since there isnt an exact definition for what that is, you know it's more like an individual thing, that's why while trolls and "dominators" exist but wholesome and caring communities exists and people that don't find support in real life end up finding friends and nice people in the internet, in videogames. If anything, trolls are just a face of online communities, some use games to connect, others to lay down their frustrations in the form of slurs. And honestly a lot of people that have bad behaviours in videogames have bad behaviours in real life too, even though I agree this is exacerbated by thousands thanks to anonymity. But what I say here is that, they DO have a reason for it. I see it more as a cry for help or attention, because not for nothing they're always calling people's attention with this attitude, again, I see it as a frustration canalized through insults towards others, loneliness and lack of communication (you can have friends/family irl, that doesn't mean you're truly expressing yourself) pushed down into other gamers in form of tk.
In addition, is a search for superiority, unachievable in real life, like you've said, people that dominate a game cancel those (noobs that are unable to play it) but it goes beyond that and people that aren't good that engage on online communities also can have power, because of seniority or their hability to say slurs as fast as they can. Which is actually terrible. Where I want to go here is that is depressing seeing communities like Bannerlord's and Warband's be plagued by this kind of people, where the chat just transforms in a constant fight between people, rejecting a wide variety of persons for no real reason other than making them feel bad and feeling good about it, having a little amount of power over them, while it could be a platform used for understanding, since being anonymous gives you the ability to insult people without consequences but it can also give you the ability to seek help, support and friendship without the shame you could have in real life, and kindness, in my opinion, does happen and it's a matter of choice, there's a choice of being a troll or a kind person. Some of the points here may seem contradictory, but bear in mind this could get more research, just to finish this text is that, we could choose to make this community better, and instead of creating an online world of slurs, insults and segregation we could choose to make it a world of joy, understanding and friendship, which I get is lacking for some of the people that interact here, in the end we build the communities and the people who interact in them end up being formed by the example we show to them. If you choose to reject someone in the form of slurs you're instantly losing someone that could be your friend, or someone that could need your support (and the same goes backwards).
To testify, I have had bad attitudes towards people online too, and I say that frustrations come in the form of trolling because sadly that's why I dealt with my past frustrations, later realizing how wrong it was. Happily I've found a lot of people online that I can call my friends thanks to this different approach and it's actually healthier than trolling and treating people bad since that frustration doesn't vanish doing so, it's like punching a wall, it serves no purpose really, and I think this community can grow bigger and better if we have this in mind when engaging with other people.
 
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NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
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...we could choose to make this community better, and instead of creating an online world of slurs, insults and segregation we could choose to make it a world of joy, understanding and friendship...
Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. We're all different and some members will always need to be muted by the forum's moderators. I'm just grateful that those threads that are troll magnets are fairly predictable and avoidable. :smile:

EDIT I can't recall a troll post in the modding boards.
 

๖Kern

Grandmaster Knight
WBNW
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People seek to elevate themselves above others, people have unproductive lives, people are upset, people are dumb, people are arrogant, people feel entitled, really, there are so many reasons why people behave the way they behave and it mostly and obviously stems from their personal lives and upbringing+/personality. How exactly does toxicity help? I don't know, it never did it for me, but then again, I am one of the people who do even the unharmful banter just because it's expected.
 
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It really isn't limited to gaming, humans tend to be more free when they can hide behind a nickname, and unfortunately for many people this translates into being a worst version of who they are out of the real world.

And it doesn't even happen just because of anonymity. Just have a look at social media, people will post unthinkable things and won't be deterred by the fact that they are signing them with their own name. In fact I am of the opinion that social media have contributed to a larger diffusion of toxic behavior in real life, by slowly making people think that it's OK to behave that way (and you can see the results today, in the US and Europe for sure at least, I don't know if that is as widespread in other continents).

There is actually a decent body of peer reviewed research on the topic by the way, and some of it is accessible (open access or similar). Apparently trolls tend to be males and psychopaths (although I suspect that this is not all there is, as in I am sure that those people are likely to be trolls, but probably not all trolls fall into this cathegory). This one focuses specifically on gaming, full text is not free but you can read the introduction that is already interesting I think (they blame boredom, desire for attention and revenge and anonymity).

Ultimately, we really are not as far from monkeys as we would like to think. And chimpanzees are not nice animals.
 

KSHMR

Veteran
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Most people playing video games don't have their life on track. They eat junk food, don't exercise enough, don't have some purpose in life. In general their overall health is shockingly bad as I see it. Its best just to ignore these people and continue a positive and healthy mindset and lifestyle :grin:
 

Yabloko

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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People's manners and conduct tend to deteriorate a lot when they feel disconnected from the consequences of their actions. Sometimes I wish, despite how awful it is, that our personal IDs were displayed along all our online activities. I bet the internet would be significantly cleaner.
 
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People's manners and conduct tend to deteriorate a lot when they feel disconnected from the consequences of their actions. Sometimes I wish, despite how awful it is, that our personal IDs were displayed along all our online activities. I bet the internet would be significantly cleaner.
When youtube first introduced profile pictures, there was a window of about 3 months where the comments were actually good. It was surreal. It wasn't just a bunch of memes or a load of nonsense.
In real life the upper bound to aggression is getting punched in the face, but on the internet there are no fists so arguments just keep escalating with one or both people in the fight-or-flight stage without being able to swing fists. Calling somebody a keyboard warrior is definitely a cliche, but I do think the lack of physical threat on the internet removes any deterrent to just throwing insults at people.
 

Yabloko

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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In real life the upper bound to aggression is getting punched in the face, but on the internet there are no fists so arguments just keep escalating with one or both people in the fight-or-flight stage without being able to swing fists. Calling somebody a keyboard warrior is definitely a cliche, but I do think the lack of physical threat on the internet removes any deterrent to just throwing insults at people.
Yup and it's not just about physical retaliation. There's something about eye contact and about knowing that someone else is watching you that renders people more honest.
 

Revverie

Knight at Arms
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I also feel like trolls live completely disconnected from reality, I really wonder how a troll is in real life, like those trolls that spam the N word looking to "trigger" people, I mean I understand dumb banters between people as jokes but looking to make people upset for the lulz it's a really weird attitude
 

Shiroin

Section Moderator
WF&S
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I think it is happening everywhere, not just the TaleWorlds forum. There are always people seeking civilized.

I have to admit, in the past, I was someone the thread mentioned. But nowadays, I finally realize trolling or insulting someone couldn't bring anything helpful but endless quarrel. (I used to insult someone for showing I was right, or I am wiser, but actually, I harmed someone and the whole community.)
 
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