One day I was ambulating around the internet, doing my usual Hill-Dwarf Paladin thing by minding my own business whilst simultaneously sticking my nose into other people’s, when I was accosted by Mr Shikaki (@MrShikaki). Oh-ho I thought, a Gamergate Troll! Engarde!
So, just who the hell is this guy? As I dodged and ducked his flailing claws and acidic vomit I began to find out.
‘I’m the board owner of /gamergate/ on 8chan… People consider me a “Professional Shitposter”, which is essentially someone who makes light of a lot of things and jokes about stuff online,’ he said as he smashed my warhorse from beneath me.
I had to make sure he didn’t spread any of that horrible soggy knee stuff we’ve heard so much about, so I went tried to bop him on the head with my hammer.
‘I’m pretty big on video games… it’s such an interactive entertainment medium. Ever since my mom got me into video games when I was five I’d play them. Around ten I became interested in more hardcore titles.’
A clear sign of soggy knees! I had seen this sort of thing before and I was prepared. Drawing my +5 Holy Avenger I lunged ready to smite the beast. Yet my weapon of purity and overcompensation did nothing as he blocked my attacks.
‘By hardcore, I don’t mean gritty gray-scaled blood soaked shooters, I mean games that require effort and skill to beat and take a while to get through. Ocarina of Time is what really turned me into a gamer.’
I did not allow his words to penetrate my defences, for I knew they must be falsehoods. Of course, as a gamer myself, I had to find out what his favourites were (and then disagree with him). ‘Gotcha Force – A little known title from Capcom on the Gamecube. Basically Pokemon meets Transformers. Highly recommend it to anyone that can find it. Dot hack series (GU) – I can’t really just pick one since it’s a large story spread across three games. It’s a single player MMO, which is way more fun than it sounds. Kirby Crystal Shards – I’m a pretty big fan of Kirby, and in my opinion this is the best of the franchise. Monster Rancher 2 – This had to be put somewhere on the list. My sister and I would spend hours playing this game when we were younger, and it’s still fun now. It’s a shame that Tecmo probably isn’t going to bring the franchise back, but it had a pretty great run.’
I laughed at his evil blandishment, but my confidence was shaken somewhat. As far as I’m concerned if Baldur’s Gate 2 isn’t on your top five list them you might as well curl up into a ball and eat yourself from the bollocks upwards. Yet he seemed sincere. Wrong, but sincere.
With deft and cunning jabs I managed to impale one of Mr Shikaki’s paws. At last, I thought, a chance for a killing stroke. I raised my axe, ready to finish off the vile monster when he suddenly said, in a cool and detached voice, ‘I tutor special needs children for free.’
Oh… oh, well then. My axe remained in my hands and not plunging into his neck. Go on, I said.
‘I guess I could consider my best achievement to be helping a 13 year old who had never attended school before get caught up with school to the point where last semester she had straight A’s.’
I tried to hold onto my holy symbol and whispered to myself that GamerGate was a hate movement, but, let me tell you I was having a significant crisis of faith. That and I was seriously wishing this guy had been around during my GCSE’s.
I let the sword stay in his paw and kept my axe ready. This could all be a trick, I reminded myself. How’d it make you feel? I asked.
‘It made me feel great, I’m always happy when I help get someone on a good path. Helping people with their Algebra homework started when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I started tutoring in my junior year of highschool. Most of the time my job is to help them teach themselves. I’ll generally reinforce basic strategies to make sure that they won’t need to constantly rely on a someone else. It usually works, I’ve never had someone come back with less than a two grade improvement. I know not everyone has time to do something big, but if everyone did something small I think the world would be a much better place. I’d just like to encourage people to get more active in their community. You don’t have to join an organization, just give a little bit of your time up to help make the world a better place.’
I was momentarily speechless. But then I rallied.
You’re nothing but a vile soggy kneed individual, I declared.
‘I’m a pretty easy going person,’ countered the troll. ‘I always try to get other people to laugh. Life becomes a lot more sad when you can’t laugh at it.’
He then handed me back my penis compensation sword and went back down under his bridge were he proceeded to eat my warhorse.
The end… but not really.
Now, ya’ll out there in internet land may have heard of Gamergate. I’ve opined on it myself at times. However, both Mr Shikaki and I agree on one thing. ‘I believe that the movement started incredibly strong but has begun to get so divided that it’s no longer as powerful as it used to be. Many people would rather talk about #Gamergate than the actual issues #Gamergate was originally focusing on.’
So to all you good people out there, be you pro or anti, remember this. Be critical of everything, just the way you would if someone brought you something they claimed was a dragon egg or a smoked coelacanth. Just don’t be rude, because that never helps your public image.