Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

It’s Just a Game – Says the Internet Bully

Ever met someone rude in game or just on the internet in general? Someone who flipped out, overreacted and showed no courtesy whatsoever, and you thought this person had to be crazy?

Ever heard about the “Fuckwad Theory“? In a simple picture, it describes the internet bully, who I’m sure you have met, and there’s a good chance you’ve been one yourself.

Of course it’s more complicated than the picture shows. In fact, some psychologists have payed interest in this phenomenon for a while now, since it turned out that human behaviour didn’t follow the same norms for interaction online as “offline”. They named what we in internet slang call the Fuckwad Theory – the Online Disinhibition Effect.

Perhaps you have also heard the expression “it’s just a game”. I have, multiple times for multiple reasons, often as a reminder for people not to take it too seriously.

That’s also what this guy said – and he is probably the best example I could find that shows, at what point saying that, makes you a genuine fuckwad.

One day on the guild management forum, a thread named “Want to sell a active casual guild” spawned with the poster enquiring whom would be interested in buying his guild. Let’s call him Mr. F. It had 4 banktabs, some stuff in the bank and 150 members, so he wanted 4000 gold for it. Fair deal he thought. He wanted to raid, but he admitted to lack raid leading experience and thus he did not want to raid lead his own guild. Instead, he wanted to raid elsewhere and might as well earn back some gold he spent on the functional stuff of the guild. As he put it himself:

It is my choice to sell my guild, im not just going to give it away free

The reception of his offer was not along the lines of what he had expected though. People replied, asking about the consent of the 150 active members and he writes back, now rather annoyed:

The guild is just like 1 month old.. I don’t need permision from other guild members to sell my guild.. Lol ?!

Concerned people went as far as to make a character on the guys realm, to ask the members whether they knew what was going on – and they didn’t!

A post sprouts at his realm forum to inform the members of this, and the whole case turns into a parent-child argument between various posters and Mr. F, with the latter throwing caps lock tantrums in both threads:


After “yelling” at people to stop posting in his thread, it’s hilariously ironic, that only his posts have since been purged in the remains of his original thread. The other thread doesn’t exist any longer.

I couldn’t help but do some reseach a few months after the drama. What happened to his guild, and what happened to Mr. F?

To my great surprise, Mr. F is STILL the guildmaster of said guild, which is STILL hosting precicely 150 members, 20 of which are 80. Here’s playing journalist asking a lone member online one evening.

Mr. F himself has not logged in for around two months. Furthermore, it looks like he actually did try to set up a raid team, by means of posting a recruitment note on his realm forum only a few weeks later. He is still level 74 and has obviously not suceeded (yet).

Even though Mr. F is not neccesarily actively playing anymore, the internet isn’t cured of bullies, we all have it in us. It’s not uncommon for people in general to forget the second “M” in MMO – multiplayer. Sometimes the distance to others online is so big, it becomes increasingly abstract, that we tend to read others as imaginary, npc-like. According to the Fuckwad Theory aka the Online Disinhibition Effect “They split or “dissociate” online fiction from offline fact.” (“It’s just a game“)

So, at what point does saying “it’s just a game” lose it’s meaning?

– Perhaps when one says it trying to minimize other people as a factor online. In a social sense, this game is perfectly real.

It is my choice to sell my guild, im not just going to give it away free !

6 comments on “It’s Just a Game – Says the Internet Bully

  1. twilie
    May 7, 2010

    I love my guild and if it were to be randomly sold off I would be quite upset, careless of if you talk to the guild owner or not you make friends within the guild. If you randomly had a new owner it would be slightly off putting, and in my case annoying, I dont do anything for the guild other than put my ocd to good use and organise the gb, it calms me, I dont like it when its disorganised, and a new guild leader would probably remove the right of full access to gb as he wouldnt know who to trust and whats what. I also think all guild members might leave if they had been sold off so someone could make some gold

  2. ironyca
    May 10, 2010

    Most people, I think, would be upset to find their guild sold off for gold, yet some people seem to “forget” what guilds are really about.

    The example in the post is real, but I don’t think it happens often … hopefully!

  3. Livae
    December 24, 2010

    Guilds are sometimes just groups for one common goal: loot.
    But other guilds are actual families who share Facebook info.
    Then there are guilds made just for the name and extra bank space.

  4. All the Cake is Gone
    March 10, 2011

    While I didn’t get to read your whole post, I was thoroughly impressed with the parts that I did read, do you mind if I reference you for some of my digital culture essays? Because quite simply you have backed up your research and are an excellent source. Will be redirecting traffic your way from my blog very soon!
    And for the record I am a female yet play WoW on male avatars, more because I like the look of the armor, but it also means I avoid the sexual harassment while running instances.
    When I have played as a female I was offered free in game items and currency as I was starting out brand new and such, but from randoms, I very quickly turned around said that I was their equal in game and out and that I didn’t need their pity :p

    • ironyca
      March 10, 2011

      Hey and thanks for the very positive comment, it’s always nice when others find what you’ve written useful, makes me all fluffy inside.
      I think this comment was meant for one of the gender-bending posts.
      But of course you can reference me, I’m just a student though, the sources I mention however, are the work of researchers :)

  5. Pingback: The Immediate Circle and Guild Membership – Solo Play pt. 7 | Ironyca Stood in the Fire

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