We’ve all met That Guy. You know who I’m talking about. He’s the one who somehow manages to leave a bad taste in the mouth of everyone he associates with; his very presence is toxic to those around him. If you play online, you’ll eventually meet him (or her; let’s be gender-inclusive here, folks) and very likely have your day ruined. It’s an encounter you’ll remember – and tell stories about – for months to come; cautionary tales about how people on the Internet are genuinely some of the most unpleasant in the world.
Here’s just a sampling of some of the worst people you’re likely to meet. Maybe knowing what to expect will help you feel less rage at their existence.
We’ll start with one everybody knows. Trolls, for those of you who’ve been living under a rock, are vile little individuals whose sole purpose is to bring misery into the lives of other people. Why they behave in such a fashion is anyone’s guess, and likely varies by the troll. Yeah, that’s probably the worst part about trolls – they’re many and varied. While many are of the knuckle-dragging variety who think that spouting hateful rhetoric makes them witty, there are a rare few trolls that most definitely do treat it like it’s An Science.
These individuals are the ones you need to truly be afraid of. They’re the men and women who could do great things, were they willing to put their minds to it. They might spend days, months, or even weeks planning their elaborate pranks, but when the curtain rises and their trolling is revealed, no one escapes unscathed.
Though they’d never admit it, these folks have something in common with the baser trolls, and indeed with everyone who’s ever considered themselves one: they take Schadenfreude to a ludicrous extreme; they’re only happy when you aren’t.
This guy’s good – he might even be one of the best – and he has no problem telling you about it every second of the day. To him, you’re little more than a peasant who exists for the express purpose of licking his boots. He only respects those who are his equal or better in skill/gear. If you’re a casual (and you can guarantee he’ll spit that word out like he’s got a bad taste in his mouth), don’t even bother talking to him. Well…unless you enjoy being subjected to a torrent of belittling abuse. Hey, some people are into that; I’m not gonna judge.
That said, if you can demonstrate that you’ve got the skills to compete with him – to stand on equal footing with or even defeat him – on a regular basis, he’ll probably welcome you into his peer group with open arms. Elitists respect anyone they deem worthy to join their clique, after all. Just don’t be surprised if he expects you to share his opinion of the ‘lesser gamers’ who scrabble about beneath him.
Are you the sort of person who plays a game for fun? Do you not care about ELO, MMR, or the current meta in League of Legends? Is high-level raiding and PVP in World of Warcraft not really your cup of tea? Best stay away from Tryhard Tim, then. With the way this sad, strange little man acts, you’d swear the game he’s playing is quite literally the only priority he has in life. If he’s playing an ARAM, he’s complaining about how bad his teammates are. If he’s playing URF, he’s pissing and moaning that his team doesn’t understand the meta. If he’s on any sort of raid, expect him to attack even the barest hint of humor with a ferocity normally only seen in starving lions.
See, the thing about Tryhard Tim is that he lacks the self-awareness to understand that not everyone takes the game as seriously as he does (nor should they).
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a phenomenon in which an individual is literally so incompetent at a particular task that they believe themselves to be skilled. The Walking Dunning-Kruger Effect exemplifies this bias. They’d probably have as much luck playing the game if they were to simply roll their face across the keyboard – but don’t bother trying to explain that to them, as they’ll assume you’re just jealous of how good they are. As a matter of fact, don’t bother trying to have any conversations with one of these people – you’ll just hurt yourself by trying to understand where they’re coming from.
See, I figure the mind of a Dunning-Kruger is a strange, mystical land where blue is yellow, up is down, and they’re actually the best in the world at whatever they do.
No, I’m actually not exaggerating. I’ve encountered this one personally, and the temptation to strike myself in the head with a hammer that I might understand their flawed logic lingered for days afterwards. Do yourself a favor – make liberal use of whatever ‘mute’ or ‘squelch’ feature is included in your game.
This guy right here is the reason so many women online pretend to be men. He’s obsessed with finding the perfect “adorahawt” gamer girl to adorn his arm, and tells everyone who will listen what a nice guy he is (and how he’s so unappreciated for that fact). He probably owns at least one fedora, which he proudly sports atop his greasy hair wherever he goes, in the desperate hope that clothing worn by the late Frank Sinatra might impart even a shred of the man’s charm (it won’t). If you’re a woman, please avoid making him aware of this fact – he’ll never leave you alone.