Trolling Videos: Harmless Fun? Or Something More Sinister?

Trolling Videos: Harmless Fun? Or Something More Sinister?

The Youtube ‘gaming’ section has long been in decline in terms of quality. If it’s not a big youtuber suddenly deciding they like video games all of a sudden, it’s some awful coverage of games with misplaced lingo thrown in. It’s a sorry state, and its even impacting the actually industry (see Toby Turner’s car crash presenting at E3), but a new trend is rapidly on the rise, and it directly effects popular games communities.

The ‘Trolling’ video has quickly become one of the most popular video formats. The basic outline sees a user entering a game/lobby (commonly Call of Duty) with the intention to antagonize the other players. At it’s most innocent it’s merely a guy just being annoying down the microphone, at its worst it’s someone pretending to be disabled. Let that sink in, a person is pretending to be disabled and earning money from it….Machinma have also contracted him.

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The trolling videos show the very worst of people, most contain at least 200 homophobic and racial slurs. Most involve angry young men going irate at the youtuber to the point of rage quitting. The Youtuber will constantly seek for further reaction, this often results in the language and general tone of the ‘victim’ becoming utterly vile.

Some may argue that it’s all in the name of entertainment, and in some cases they’d be right, but some Youtubers trolling feels purely tasteless. There’s something rather unsettling when it comes to someone pretending to be disabled purely to bait out a reaction. The same Youtuber (names will not be mentioned) sometimes makes comments back at his ‘victims’ that are simply vile. There is no morale high ground on either side, the question is how low can they go?

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The trolling format is unquestionably successful. At times it can be funny, when the trolling is in moderation, but as the ‘genre’ becomes more stacked, the Youtubers look for a greater reactions from their victims. This can only mean that the baiting will be more severe, more distasteful, all in the name of gaining views and subs.

Trolling directly effects video game communities, even if the communities associated are known for their poor nature. People have seen that trolling is a means to gain internet fame (which oddly seems to be something a large number of modern gamers want) with little effort, this leads to people replicating the trolling format. Trolling showcases the very worst of a games community, there is rarely a youtuber who uploads someone reacting well to the trolling. The troller also ruins the game for all those involved in the game/lobby that they are currently trolling. It’s a utterly selfish act to jump into a random game and try to ruin peoples fun, or a more extreme view, waste their time.

At the end of the day, people will see trolling videos as harmless entertainment. Most trolling videos are there purely for the enjoyment of others, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Racial slurs, homophobic insults and vile taunts do little to entertain. It’s a slightly alarming that there’s a large proportion of people who enjoy the more ‘scummy’ trolling videos. If these videos are a sign of the times, and the what a lot of people want from the Youtube gaming circles, then that’s simply disheartening.

I whole heartily hope that the trend comes to a end, sooner rather than later. At the very least I hope that the Youtubers in this genre maintain some kind of morality in the pursuit of subscribers and views. After all, if this is the result of modern day gamers, then there’s a lot left to be desired, creatively and morally.

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Halliday


1 Comment

  1. mikey
    March 24, 2015, 1:55 pm

    its just a prank at the end of the day….certainly some can be alot more mean spirited than others, but that should be the only factor they need to be judged on

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