Ah the internet. It’s such a wonderful way to express your displeasure with a product. From forums to Youtube to Facebook we have an ever evolving mechanism by which to bitch and moan. Some are content to do ordinary acts of trolling by posting four letter words in a comments section, but there are those of us who strive to be exceptional. Some choose to elevate the art and science of trolling to ever greater heights. One such person is a man known only as charlie1234 who chose the White House’s official petition page as his site of protest. charlie1234 chose to write a petition to President Obama himself, demanding that DMC remove the game from store shelves. The petition is posted below for your viewing pleasure.
Some took this as a legitimate attempt to get DMC pulled from shelves. Holly Green of Gameranx wrote:
“The stench of entitlement wafting off the games community these days is disgusting.
To the petitioners, if you’re reading this: one day you’re going to grow up realize that the mere existence of a video game is not the worst thing that is ever going to happen to you. That having an option is not the same thing as having a right taken away. That entertainment in and of itself is not a right, and that creators are not obligated to succumb to your every childish whim. You’ll have to learn to live with disappointment, and to adapt to change. And then and only then will you understand why your petition has only been signed by 11 people thus far.”
I very much doubt the poster wanted President Obama to pull the games off of the shelf, or indeed thought this was a possibility. This was simply an attempt to get under people’s skins and to grab attention. As a veteran of the internet, I can recognize a trolling attempt when I see one, and this is certainly one of the finest I’ve seen in recent memory.
This troll works on several different levels. On the most basic level it is an attempt to bring negative publicity to DMC. A petition could have been posted anywhere, but by taking it to the highest office of the land the troll ensured exposure and ruffled feathers. Looking beyond the initial troll, it’s also a troll on the gaming media. The troll expected an outraged reaction to his actions, and he certainly got one. The trolling doesn’t end there though. This is also a troll on DMC haters themselves by pointing out the absurdity of their vendetta against DMC. Posing as a zealot is a classic troll tactic, often as part of a larger tactic called troll baiting, and is used to perfection. Lastly, this is a troll on the White House Petition page itself, showing the silliness of having a page for any damn fool to petition for whatever they want and the farcical nature of the government’s pandering.
Oh charlie 1234. I see right through you. You want us to think that you’re an overly entitled moron who wants the President to personally remove a game you want from store shelves, but I see through that. I see you for what you really are. I see you as one of the finest upcoming trolls of the modern era. While I don’t personally endorse trolling, I must commend you on your effort. You may not be the first to troll using that page (see: Death Star Petition) nor the last, but you nevertheless have made the most effective use of the resources available to you. Your troll was subtle enough to be believable, yet obvious enough to let the truly enlightened see through the troll to your inner genius. While your genius is misdirected towards the vain pursuit of trolling, I nevertheless applaud your ingenuity and foresight. While others vainly rage on Youtube pages and in the comments section of N4G, you have found a way to get more bang for your trolling buck. You are a god among trolls. Bravo charlie 1234. Bravo. May you slumber under your bridge with the satisfaction of a job well done.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to write Ban Ki-moon a letter about Mega Man Legends 3.