Tag Archives: trash talk

How We Speak to Each Other Matters

I have been wanting to write this post for a while now, but wanted to be able to give it the time that it deserves. It is a sensitive topic and can often raise a lot of feelings on both sides. Here we go, recently I have read and heard a lot of information about people being verbally assaulted online while playing video games. Now the stories that I have read about are mostly about women, but that is not what is important. The problem is the amount of comments just saying that this is a common thing, it happens to everyone, and that anyone complaining should just grow a thicker skin.

The problem with this thought is that it does not deal with the problem. No one should be verbally harassed or sexually threatened. It just so happens that more women end up on the receiving end of these threatening comments, but that does not mean that it is okay to say these types of comments to a man either. The problem is what do we do about it? Continue reading

Freedom of Speech Online

This story is old news in some ways, but I only heard about it a couple of days ago. There are a couple of young men age 18/19 years old who in interactions in online games and Facebook, after being antagonized by other people, made unfortunate comments about shooting up a school. In reading various articles about this topic it definitely seems to me that neither of these young men meant the comments seriously, but now both of them are facing a potential of 10 years in jail and having a felony conviction on their records. You can find more information about these specific stories on the Huffington Post, The Daily Caller, and Opposing Views.

The thing that these two stories really bring to light is the idea of freedom of speech online. We are constantly told that we need to stand up for our right to freedom of speech. That we should be able to say almost anything we want as long as it is not causing true harm. The reason that shouting fire in a crowded theatre – when there is not a fire – is illegal is because the corresponding stampede could cause actual harm to people unnecessarily. At the same time if people are making threats and we just ignore them then what does that mean when things actually happen? It is such a complicated balance, but I definitely do not feel that the end – making schools safe – justifies the means – jailing a couple of just-turned adults. Continue reading

Video Game Trash Talk

This post was inspired after the problem during a demonstration of the game Killer Instinct at E3 you can read about that at the Mary Sue.

Trash Talk is practically a staple of online video games. Even in, what some might consider, the most mundane situation people still feel the need to talk smack. Now friendly trash talk is not in itself a bad thing, but when trash talk diminishes the importance of larger issues it is something to be discussed.

Some trash talk makes use of innuendos to imply double meaning, while other trash talk is very direct and brutal in its implications. Trash talk is kind of like Your Momma jokes in that it is meant to elicit a response from the other side to get them to mess up. It is about the insult, tearing the other side down to build yourself up.

I personally do not get the idea of trash talk, but that may partly be because of the violent nature of it. Trash talk seems to take over the game itself, it is not about the game, but about who can bring the other person down more. Continue reading