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December 2, 2011 - Brandon Marx

Facebook Trash Talk

It has come to my attention as of late that it is in a pong players best interest to talk a big game. At least that’s how it feels. I am incapable of going on facebook or the forums without treading through a swamp of self infatuation and endless negativity. In fact it has become quite clear that some players take more pride in this type of mental terrorism than in their own game. I would be lying, though, if I denied the fact that it can be thoroughly entertaining.

It obviously can go without saying who tends to delve into this profession more than others, but what I enjoy is the different styles that they use to exact their revenge on victims. For instance there is the person who will let you beat yourself up. A Jones if you will. They accomplish a great deal with a small amount of effort. They use their apparent disinterest to get the people around them upset. Their main goal is to bring out your worst while responding with as little as a single word. It’s shocking how much of a retaliation a simple “yawn” can induce. I have witnessed multiple people explode in a vicious rant after being yawned at. I also believe the victim’s uncontrolled response has to do with this very subject. Every player is constantly trying to get their name out there. Every player wants others to fear them, so when they get brushed off it slices right through them. Sadly some of them just dont understand how badly they are being played.

Another route is driven by overwhelming pride. These players revel in their past accomplishments and do everything in their power to remind you of every success they have ever enjoyed. They will go as far as listing every single success they have ever known in order, as if they were turning in a 5th grade time-line project. This is often ignored, but they wont allow your ignorance. They drum it up again as often as possible and unless you can compare yourself to them then your opinion holds no weight. It does not even matter if they are 27 and you are 21, to them the statistics tell the whole story.
As painful as these ” victory time-lines” can become, it is nothing compared to a second type of unending and overwhelming pride. This group instead lives off of other people’s accomplishments. They somehow are made better by the people winning around them, especially if they reside in the same area. As if being one of the stepping stones in their friend’s past is a success in itself. Like the group listing their victories, they put themselves on a pedestal, except these players have no real reason to.

The last type of warrior on the facebook stomping ground is the person who will simply out yell you. They will just keep going until you give up or lose interest. To them the only battle lost is the one you stop fighting. This can be impressive at times, showing some serious dedication, but this also gets exhausting. This battle is almost never entertaining and often leads to the death of whatever they are commenting on, or the forum they are responding to. Their baseless rants have no subject, focus, or aim and often become too confusing to even follow. What starts with a conversation about an exciting overtime game ends with the structure for a make believe tournament where the casino pays us to play. Ron Hamilton for example turned a conversation about the (then) upcoming Mesquite tournament into a barrage of essays on the monetary value of our game as well a fantastical payout system that would surpass any player’s dreams.

As I said all of these types of rants have their place in pong’s social networking, mostly to pass the time between tournaments, but words only go so far. If SOME of these players took as much pride in the advancement of this game, as well as their own, great things could be accomplished. I realize that their is a very relevant mental aspect to this game, but not everything we see online deserves declaration of war. We have all heard the saying, “actions speak louder than words,” but how many of us actually understand what that means?


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