Is it Wrong to Troll?

It’s just so odd. I’ve been sitting at my computer screen for the last five minutes trying to figure out how to describe trolling and I’m stuck. I can’t think of the right words to describe it. Maybe it’s the subtle art of using the anonymity of the internet to provoke emotions from others for personal amusement? But I don’t think I need a definition. You all know exactly what trolling is. You’re on this website reading about video games and geek culture, and if you don’t know what a good troll is then you’re way behind. The question is: is it wrong to troll?

I’ll admit that I’m an occasional troll. When I’m bored playing an online game I just can’t help myself from tricking other players.  I don’t do anything drastic, but little things here and there to keep me laughing. And I think that I’m a good troll, because usually other players don’t realize what I’m doing. I believe that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a good troll. Usually the only people that get really mad at a troll are way to into the game anyway. And trolling can help lighten those players up. If you can wield the shroud of the troll well I say more power to you.

But then there’s the annoying troll. Someone who spams stupid messages and asks the same dumb question over and over again. Or the troll that’s obvious and everyone call him out. The art of trolling is a subtle one, and if people discover your motives you’ve failed. I think that this kind of trolling is defiantly wrong. All it does is ruin game play, and it’s not funny for anyone. A good troll creates amusement and doesn’t just hinder game play.

Don’t confuse the trolling I’m talking about with flat out internet harassment. I don’t think trolling can go that far and be that mean. Trolls don’t send hate mail and aren’t bigots. They’re just your friendly video game peers looking for a laugh.

Trolling is a powerful tool. And if it’s used incorrectly it’s neither funny or helpful. But every online forum and video name needs a couple of trolls lurking in the shadows. It provides amusement for the rest of the community, and lightens the game up a bit. If you’re the kind of player that’s constantly insulted by trolling lighten up a little bit. Remember that it’s just a game. More importantly if you’re one of those annoying trolls then stop. You’re ruining your game and the proud art of trolling. At it’s core I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little trolling. In fact, I encourage it.