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Author: HuskerGeek

Don’t Feed The Troll

Written By: HuskerGeek

The story of Jimmy Kimmel versus the Gaming Community.

It’s the first thing you learn as a rational human being participating in a large internet community.

Don’t feed the troll.

Our story begins with Youtube who launched it’s streaming service to compete with twitch.tv recently.  Sigh.  People watching other people play video games.  To many people, this would sound like the ever increase sedentary lifestyle of the young.  But to others, it’s among the best entertainment they find in a week.  I would be one of those people.  Kimmel’s videos have made it fairly apparent that he either is or wants to portray himself as the former.

The truth for the past several months has been a bit different, the television show that I make sure to see isn’t on television anymore.  The drama I can’t wait to see again when it’s over is broadcast on Twitch.  Based on the article so far, you probably think that I’m watching a big Smash tournament.  Or DotA.  Or LoL.  You would be wrong all counts.  The show I make sure to be available for every week is broadcast on a Twitch channel named Geek & Sundry and the show is called Critical Role.  Critical Role is a show where a group of friends gets together and plays Dungeons & Dragons.

That was a surprise wasn’t it.  I’m writing an article that in some ways will explain and justify the reasons for which people will watch video games and my example is a tabletop game often considered the nerdiest game ever created.  I do watch other events on twitch and often watch larger Smash tournaments, but ultimately it is Critical Role by which I set my watch so to speak.

Since I am operating a website called HuskerGeek, I think we can safely assume that I’m sports fan and often watch sporting events.  I’m also a golfer.  I’m also a video gamer.   I have never, ever played Dungeons & Dragons.  So, why would I watch it?  The reasons are same reasons I watch sports.  The same reasons I watch movies.  The same reasons I read books.  The same reasons I play video games.  The same reasons I play golf.  I find it dramatic, and funny, and sad, and joyful, and above all entertaining.

There is drama in the success or failure of a quest hinging on a single roll of a D20.   There is humor in the success or failure of a quest hinging on a single intelligence check made by the dumbest character on the show.  There is sadness when rolls go wrong, and elation when they go right.  And there is always, always entertainment.

So, how does this apply to Jimmy Kimmel and the three videos posted so far about him versus the gaming community?  Don’t feed the troll.  I want to begin by saying that I personally have no problems with anyone making fun of any of my hobbies.  The first video didn’t even rate a view until after I saw the second. Now, there is a third video.  Only the first really makes fun of my hobby.  The other two make make fun of the people getting mad about Jimmy Kimmel making fun of people watching people play video games.  Don’t feed the troll.

Kimmel continues to get clicks and views not because of what he originally said, but because people keep giving him ammunition.  The rules about responding to a troll are the same rules for arguing with ignorance or idiocy.  Don’t.  Your opponent will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

The more rational members of the community could endeavor to show Kimmel and those who think like him the incredible skill that video games require when played at the highest level.

But it won’t work.

Or maybe they could try showcasing the humor in gaming.

But it won’t work.

Or maybe they could try showcasing the drama.

But it won’t work.

The truth is that people find entertainment where they find it.  We all see drama, and comedy, and tragedy in different places for the same reasons.  Understanding the entertainment requires you understand the reasons.  That’s the whole key to this.  Jimmy Kimmel, nor anyone who makes fun of anyone else for their personal sense of entertainment cannot or will not try to understand the reasons.  Instead they will dismiss it, because in their world view that entertainment has no place.  Or worse, they will dismiss it because they want attention and dismissal is the easiest way to get it.

Don’t feed the troll.

I should probably take my own advice.

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