Here's a weird fact: I've spent more hours watching video game trolling videos than I did on homework throughout all of high school. Even weirder: Only one of those things has ever made me any money. I'll let you figure out which one.
It's trolling videos. Sorry, I can't leave things open-ended like that. I thought I could, but it felt gross -- like the doing-homework of article writing.
In watching hundreds of hours of those videos, I've noticed that trolling is kind of a double-edged sword. When it's done right, it can be more entertaining than the actual game itself. But, tragically, most people don't know how to do it, so they just end up as dickheads being dickheads, dickheadedly.
The greatest video game troll I've ever seen goes by the name "Weregonnalose," and he knows that trolling isn't about victimizing and harassing players. It's a comedy performance:
Yes, sometimes he does play the role of a blatant douche, but way more often, he just plays a game badly, loops in a running joke, and lets people with anger issues do the rest. Before you jump in and start trying this on your own, though, let me show you what he's already figured out ...
5The Trolling Needs To Feel Justified
The whole reason Weregonnalose started trolling is a series of incidents that happened years ago. He and a friend joined an online game of ... actually, I don't remember which game he told me. We'll say Barbie Super Sports. His friend wasn't very good at it, but what the hell. It's all about having fun, right? No matter how bad a person is, they have as much of a right to play as everyone else.
Not really, according to the people in that game. They acted like he had walked into their living rooms and pissed on their TVs while giving them the finger and never breaking eye contact. They screamed every racial and homophobic slur in the book. You know ... normal online gaming behavior. And it happened over and over again, no matter how many different lobbies they joined. After a while, he finally hit a breaking point and figured that if these people were going to be ridiculous fucknuts, he might as well have some fun with them.
The above video is a perfect example of that. He's playing the goalie in a game of NHL 12, pretending to not know what a "power play" is. He thinks it means "any time a goalie comes out of the net, for any reason." Instead of teaching him what it actually means, his teammates immediately jump on him, calling him a fucker (and a whole lot of homophobic slurs) and eventually exploding in nuclear rage. Not all of his trolling videos are about making people lose their minds, but this one is. By the end of it, a guy from Boston is begging for his address so he can come to his home and beat his ass.
But don't feel sorry for these dickholes. It's one thing for someone to get pissed off because someone is ruining their game. It's another for them to melt down and tell them, "If there's any justice, you'll fucking die in a car crash tonight, you f**got." He hears this a lot, by the way. That word is the go-to insult for all unoriginal rage machines, and all it takes to get them going is finding someone who isn't very good at the game. Or, you know, talking for any reason at all:
Those are the people who deserve it. People who immediately jump to insults, death threats, bigotry, racism ... complete sacks of shit who in any other real-life setting would be prescribed anti-psychotic medication and court-ordered anger management counseling. Like these guys who try to talk him into suicide, threaten to stab him, and, of course, use their favorite go-to insult:
4There Needs To Be A Good Running Joke
I mentioned that not all of his videos are about riling people up. In fact, most of them are straight-up comedy performances. That's what separates Weregonnalose from virtually every other troll I've seen. He doesn't just go into a NASCAR game with the plan of "Let's crash everyone until they start screaming." He'll actually create a character who thinks the best race car driver of all time was Tom Cruise in the 1980s when he drove the Mellow Yellow car. Or that the racer Kyle Petty was the lead singer of the Heartbreakers:
You'll find that Tom Cruise joke as a running theme in his racing series. And the thing that blows me away is that nobody ever catches on that he's just screwing with them. A large part of that is how he maintains a steady "dumb" character throughout the videos, so every ridiculous claim he makes sounds like a legitimate belief. Like in this one, where he keeps claiming that to begin the race, everyone has to hit start at the same time, even though that's clearly not an option:
And of course, if he doesn't find any angry people in the lobby, he can just pretend to have those issues himself. One of my favorite videos is when he claims that sometimes when he has mic issues, he'll get so mad that he throws his TV out the window. And that one time he got so mad that he kicked his three-year-old son in the face. Then later in the conversation, he tells a guy, "You can come over to my house and play if you want. Just don't bring your kids, because I kick them in the face sometimes."
Yes, crashing is a big part of the trolling, but it's rarely the central feature of the video. I'd still watch him pissing off rednecks all day, but when he adds in claims that everyone from Detroit steals, it takes it to a whole other level. Or when he based an entire video around yelling, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" as he slammed into other cars. Then explained to them that "Dingledorf said that to Harry at the end of Chambers Of Fire."