I was an Online Jerk
Due to recent good fortune I decided to dip into my archives yet again. Enjoy this piece where I discuss the inappropriate and at times outright reprehensible behavior I have engaged in.
The Internet and online gaming specifically are sometimes described as “The New Wild West”. Loose monitoring, crazy people and just like in the “Old West”, women residents are treated terribly by a good deal of people and called words that usually rhyme with bore and door. At the present, I find myself rightfully mortified by this disgusting conduct that so-called “Gentlemen” carry out on services ranging from Xbox Live to Steam. What most don’t know is that I used to be just as bad as some of the GamerGoob fools that are wreaking havoc in my lady friend’s lives.
Yes, though it seems like a millennia ago now. I was once cruel and callous in my conduct with individuals online. Where some engaged in friendly “Trash Talk” that wasn’t meant to offend, I often went for the emotional jugular. For me, it was delightful to shatter someone at their core.
Once, my current close friends and I made friends with a nice lady we met while playing Halo. She rightfully felt I was creepy at the time and thus didn’t communicate with me as in depth as she did with others in my friendship group when we were not playing games. While they got to see what she looked like, I was rightfully castigated for acting like a total prick in our matches.
One day though, I relentlessly bugged my close Hispanic friend for a link to the photo in question. Knowing how much of a fool I was at the time, he showed me what our female friend looked like, but made me promise to never mention it or be creepy in future Halo interactions.
If you’re wondering, I didn’t listen.
Not more than 2 days later, I instantly brought up the young lady’s physical attributes during a session in Forge on Halo 3. “Oh maaaan, you’re soooo hawttttt.” “I’m gonnna coooome visit youuuu. I totally know where you live.” Yeah, I actually acted like that around other people. She rightfully freaked out, got mad at my friend and I haven’t spoken to her since that horrid day.
Outside of interactions with women that my teenage years should not be used to justify, I find that I am struck by how relentlessly cruel I was to random people during those years. One time, I lost a match to a fellow who had spelled the word assassin wrong in his gamertag. I went nuts.
First, I followed the guy around online for the rest of the day. All across Halo, I joined in matches with him and spoke in a way that would get me beaten severely in our modern day. I encouraged him to kill himself, questioned the purity of his mother and even went so far as to speculate on his intellect level. You’d think I would’ve stopped there, but I unfortunately didn’t.
Later that night, I messaged every single person on the man’s friends list. I told them that I was his romantic partner and that the man was a homosexual. After that, I spent time scouring the forums on various popular gaming sites to see if he was a contributor. I found nothing and was dismayed that my hopes of sending this guy violent imagery were not to be realized at all.
Thankfully I later grew out of this boorish style of conduct and am far more civil today, but that behaviour is not something that everyone always escapes. Just go take a look around YouTube at the hate lobbed at Anita Sarkeesian or Brianna Wu and you’ll see what I’m talking about. To those that I’ve been cruel or creepy to (Especially TylerADreamer and AssasinOps.), I’m sorry. If you see this, I hope you can forgive me and realize that my dickishness was a product of the time. To those who still think its ok to be an asshole, grow up or get out of the gaming pastime.
We have no room for people like you.