The Professional Victim
Type: Unfortunate Victim, or
Habitat: Complaint threads, Customer Service queues
The Professional Victim is offended by simply everything. While it is
perfectly natural for a person to be offended when someone violates his
personal code of ethical and moral behavior, the Professional Victim has a
much stricter, more narrowly-defined code, and will respond with the most
righteous of indignations whenever this code is breached. It doesn't even
have to be a rude comment in General Chat or an offensive forum post that
sets the Professional Victim off - it may be something as trivial as
gameplay that is perceived as somehow incorrect, or - in extreme cases -
different interpretations of certain common words.
The Professional Victim comes in two very different varieties. The first
variety consists of those unfortunate, sensitive souls who actually do
have extraordinarily precarious world-views and whose delicate
sensibilities are genuinely affected by the chaos of other human beings.
What may seem witty and amusing to most is morally outrageous to these
unfortunate people. It may come as a shock to some of them that all the
rest of humanity does not share their same exact ideology or viewpoint,
and when these variations are given expression, the Professional Victim
takes it personally.
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/251539">The rest of us need
to go easy on these poor people. It's probably not their fault that they
have no "filters" or that they are invariably insulted by every attempt at
levity by the Jim Halperts of the world - they may have had a sheltered
upbringing in a very strict household, and may be unaccustomed to the raw
depths of human depravity that are glimpsed in the online gaming
community. They may even have somewhat noble intentions, acting as a
"white knight" on behalf of a third party to give them a voice against a
perceived offense. While their strenuous objections to seemingly
everything may be obnoxious and annoying, they are not trolling for a
reaction. Their concern is genuine. It's not that they cannot take a joke
- they simply don't recognize that there is anything to joke about. Some
people really are that humourless.
The other variety of Professional Victim is the flipside of that coin.
These are people who act at being offended by everything for the lulz.
They loudly voice their objections to anything and everything, whether it
be controversial or not, deliberately taking offense in the least
offensive situations. This is a method of "reverse trolling" - regular
trolls act in an offensive manner to get a reaction from their audiences,
and the Professional Victim troll takes it a step further by giving them a
reaction above and beyond their expectations.
Taking offense at the inoffensive can also spark its own reaction.
Supporters of the person committing the original offense may encourage the
Professional Victim to "call the waaambulance." The internet - and, by
extension, the online gaming community - is full of hate, and hating on
the haters who hate haters can be a full-time job if one tries to take it
It can be very difficult to tell whether a Professional Victim is doing
it on purpose or is actually offended, except by very careful observation
over time. Actual victims are likely to be offended repeatedly by the same
type of thing, over and over, throughout the course of their gaming
careers, and are more likely to fill out complaint reports in attempts to
get offending players banned or punished for their transgressions.
Victim-trolls will more likely drop the act once the lulz wear off,
because maintaining the Professional Victim persona takes a fair amount of
It's not wrong to be offended by someone acting offensive, and some
people do take things too far. But growing a thicker skin and accepting
that others may have ideas and beliefs different than one's own, and that
it doesn't make them automatically "wrong" or offensive, makes everybody