Grumpy Gamer's Open Letter to Wisenheimers Everywhere
I know you think it's really clever to answer earnest pleas for help with
flippant, obvious and unhelpful responses. But please stop. You're
embarrassing yourself. It's never as funny as you think, and your answers
are usually stupid anyway. You may think you are coming across as a real
wit, but you're only half right.
I'm referring to one very specific type of troll technique, which I have
dubbed "the Wisenheimer." Someone asks, "How do I beat this boss mob in
this dungeon?" and receives a response like "Don't die," or, on one
memorable occasion, "Use your attacks."
These responses are a waste of your time and energy. I get that you want
to troll this other person by being an unhelpful jerk - that much is
obvious. But that's just a stupid, pointless thing to say. It makes you
look even dumber for saying it than the person who asked the question.
You're not likely to get a reaction to your "clever quip," except perhaps
embarrassed pity. And worse yet, there are zero lulz to be had,
because it's not even funny.
I'm not asking you to stop trolling. Far from it - troll away to your
black heart's content. But do realize that there's a subtle art to
trolling. The goal is to actually make lulz - to get a reaction,
preferably a negative one, that amuses you. Taking the easy road is
essential to trolling, but there is still such a thing as a road too easy.
Put some effort into it. Troll harder.
Try being creative, like the rude elitist know-it-alls who clearly can't
stand the idea of people not knowing complex strategies when encountering
a new fight for the first time. "Google is your friend" is both obnoxious
and quasi-helpful at the same time - that's a tough one to pull off.
You're pointing out the perfectly obvious while still coming across as a
total douche nozzle, and making the questioner look ignorant for not
realizing that answers can be found on Google. It's win-win, really.
Or you could try being one of those people who is so thoroughly
exasperated by all the nooblets infringing upon his precious time with
stupid, obvious questions, and who clearly doesn't understand why anyone
would ever bother asking for personal advice in-game - "OMG have you
idiots never heard of YouTube? There are a thousand videos of that fight."
Again, you get a good mix of know-it-all-ism and jaded world-weariness,
plus scorn and insults, AND it's unhelpful. The trolling trifecta.
And with both of these troll-y responses, you get to completely ignore
the notion that people ask for help in-game, rather than use an impersonal
search engine, because they are seeking a sense of community. Reaching out
to others for a shared experience in a multiplayer game is clearly a
weakness, and one which you fail to exploit with something pointless like
"Don't die." By really humiliating the person asking for help from fellow
players, you get to erode the whole server's sense of community. If you
really bust balls, some of those players might even quit the game entirely
and leave you alone forever!
Of course, if you're really willing to put in the effort for a good
troll, there's always the Stanley Hudson:
Obviously, that one is going to be far too much work for most trolls. But
you can stand to earn some serious lulz with the right kind of buildup,
and you can make the other guy look like a complete fool for listening to
you for so long. Lulz shared with others are lulz well-earned.
But hey, at least you're not treating anyone with respect or contributing
to the community in any way - that would be lame. The most important
things to remember are that everyone else is an idiot, you're the only one
that really matters, and your time is more valuable and precious than
everyone else's. Use it wisely, and don't waste it on throwaway
half-witticisms. Stay true to these principles, young grasshopper, for
they shall guide you to true greatness and bigger lulz.
This might have been a challenging read for some of you witless
wisenheimers, so let me put it in a way you will better understand:
Q: "How do I troll?"
A: "Use words."
the Grumpy Gamer
P.S. Thanks for nothin', ass-hat. Go die.