Over the past few days I have been cogitating over one of the oldest art forms in human history: smack talk. Trash talk, giving it the mouth, trolling, or – if you want to cut it down to its core – the attempt to incite tears, irritation, anger, depression, or the ultimate reward; A glorious bout of nerd rage with broken computer peripheral devices. PMs, email, forum comments, private convos, and/or local all work. I have spent the last week or so in a high-sec war against a mining corporation. If I’m not warping in from an adjacent system to land right on top of a Retriever or Mackinaw with it’s pants around it’s ankles, I’m station camping and generally doing my best to force a surrender via asphyxiating their ISK income like Agent 47 with a garotte around the neck of some hapless guard.
I volunteered for this role; my corp mates are fighting the other five or six corps we’re currently engaged with. So this means I’m all alone in this mining corp’s home system, and I bear the brunt of their local-based verbal diarrhea. I have been painted with a rainbow of insults, colorful metaphors describing my actions, with a smattering of shady adverbs regarding what they are doing to my mother.
I was not aware she was such a hussy until these people informed me of her behavior.
But, at least they were polite about it, and asked me where I would like her to be dropped off once they were done with her. Who knew miners were so sexually frustrated and yet tactfully considerate?
Yesterday, I was called a “pussy” and a “coward”. I am not sure how I earned such titles, being that I offered to fight outnumbered and without support (they can fly cruisers, too!). When I gave chase, I exposed their blatant hypocrisy and made it plain in local. Only to be informed that I was still a “pussy”. I did my best to reveal the logical incongruities that were before me, but, alas, my retorts fell on deaf ears. I still fail to see how engaging them with hostile intent turns one into a vulva. Perhaps some strange new Jovian technology I do not know about. I should be careful.
It became clear that it did not matter what their own reactions were, so as long as mine could be criticized in some manner. This was their only method of rationalizing their cowardice.
For any adult who is aware of “sticks and stones”, and that EVE Online is a game, the words of a relatively anonymous person probably half-way across the globe should have no affect whatsoever on one’s emotions or morale in real life. I found myself increasingly apathetic to their sophomoric depictions of the length and girth of my genitalia. I am not insecure, and neither do I have any personal information on display for anyone to take advantage of. This should have been a simple case of water off a duck’s back. But it’s so much more fun to agitate!
If we take into account their understanding of how easy it is to simply ignore trash talk, one must conclude that either they are attempting to compensate for their lack of practical ability (KAPOW’ing my ships), or they’re hoping that allusion to engaging in promiscuous behaviour with my sister will induce a bad case of nerd rage.
I spoke with my CEO and we shared our favorite quotes. Their attempts at insulting discourse have become so well known and desperate that we have taken to sending alliance-wide messages with logs.
When there are buckets of tears and ennui in spades… share that shit with friends! For the laughs, you know?
I asked our CEO if there was a financial point to continuing the war with them, and he told me “No.”. “Only reason we’re keeping this going is because of their smack talk and because they think they’ll make us surrender.” I wondered how far, exactly, we needed to go in order to exert our dominance over them.
Verbal sparring across the Internet really isn’t so powerful (or incredibly damaging) unless you happen to know [of] them in real life, or know something about their personal lives. Say, you know, if their marriage is breaking up and they have low self-esteem. But I know nothing of these miners, other than their degenerate sexual desires, so I must resort to actions.
Could we cause them enough financial and time-damage to put them in their place, admit defeat, and to stifle their squealing? Talk is cheap, and free, so I must suppose not. And we are the ones paying the 50+ million a week. If they couldn’t personally insult us, are they still winning?
Conversely, is it their own sperging in local that is making them lose the war? I can be AFK-docked in their station while biotic’ing Geth to death in Mass Effect 3 multi-player, while their pilots are too afraid to undock and go mine. Gods forbid I alt + tab back into the EVE client. All without reading about the loins of my relatives being ravished in a manner that only Prince could describe in a song.
Let us know if or how trash talk affects you in the comments! Funniest quotes will win a pat on the back from me, too. It’s worth it.