Trolls control the internet and wear many different masks. There are some that aim to personally attack and insult others, and there are some that look to annoy and or mildly inconvenience. I personally have been lucky enough to have never faced a “troll” whose intent was to offend me. Granted I don’t have a big persona on the internet, which makes me a pretty irrelevant target for trolls. In my experience trolls have always been a part of my experience when playing games online. I am not a huge gamer, but I dabble in the occasional game here and there. The first time I was ever trolled was when I snuck onto my brother’s computer and played the multiplayer of Halo: Combat Evolved. 2 guys were standing at the spawn just shooting everyone on their own team when they respawned. They would call you a name in the chat once you died and were being just generally annoying. It was enough to discourage me from playing games until I was older and understood what they were doing.
This to me in hindsight was frustrating but harmless, as I think most “trolls” are. Usually they are in it for a laugh, though it comes often at the price of another person’s inconvenience or mild frustration I seriously doubt most people have true malicious intent. I think that when someone has the goal of mentally hurting and or attacking someone personally that there should be another word for their actions. It is no longer the mildness of a “troll” but rather the aggression of a bully. I feel like calling the actions of those who delivered threats and attacks during “Gamergate” the ones of “trolls” really makes the whole situation too lighthearted. When I hear trolls I think of those guys who ruined my Halo game, not of misogyny and brutality. I agree with the article in that we need to reevaluate how we act online, but I think the first step comes with recognizing the impact that “trolls” and or “bullies” have on people’s lives outside the digital world.