Trolls, Haters and Flame War Generals? Thank You

JP Sherman

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Trolls, Haters and Flame War Generals? Thank You

Why marketers love the most savage members of the community.

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Dogstile

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Jan 17, 2009
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This is quite creepy, but in the same way, its actually fascinating.

Also, all hail anarchy! *tosses in obligatory statement about metroid here*
 

hyperdrachen

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Jan 1, 2008
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Haha, fun read. The google alerts bit was a little creepy to think about. I'd hardly consider myself a troll though so I guess I'm not being watched... right. Still it's a bit odd looking at this industry from a marketing perspective. As you pointed out in a previous article I'm one of those people that questions marketings importance to me on the game front. But without good marketing some great games may have simply gone unknown to those that don't eat up the gaming web sites. I suppose if you can find something a troll is unfairly latching onto and address it in future marketing material, you can keep them from blinding the customer base with thier rhetoric.
 

dannymc18

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Dec 15, 2009
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It's harsh but it's true: nobody likes a marketer. In an ideal world, the games would be made, released, and that will be that. Bad games shouldn't make money just because of some outright lies by guys in suits, just like good games shouldn't flop just because they are marketed badly.

Reminds me of that excellent Game Engine level in The Simpsons Game, in fact.
 

Skyy High

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This is a great column, it's a completely different perspective from most other regular features you find on gaming sites. Very, very interesting.
 

TsunamiWombat

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dogstile said:
This is quite creepy, but in the same way, its actually fascinating.

Also, all hail anarchy! *tosses in obligatory statement about metroid here*
The Last Metroid is in Captivity... the Galaxy, is at peace.

Suprisingly good article, also very useful for anyone thinking to get into the business. I like the cut of your jib, sir, and find your honesty refreshing. The question is, why don't MORE marketers use that honesty- not all the time, just in necessary doses, like any other market ploy.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Ties in very interestingly when you consider the times publishers and developers make controversial statements they have to know will cause community based shitstorms.
 

coldfrog

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Dec 22, 2008
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My only problem with this is that techno-freaks and skeptics who aren't trolls would appear to be just as useful, if not moreso, as they most likely will also be able to point out when something is flat out GOOD. In fact, I'd think if you could find an intelligent person with the knowledge and experience that lets them criticize games to this level of depth without also trolling and trashing things, it'd feel like they'd be the most useful because they're also at least bound to not have a complex about their knowledge and provide more worthwhile conversation if you engage them. And that's actually kind of the problem I see here. Trolls will always be easily engaged by SOMEONE, but one who knows something may sit back and be silent after they get insulted. Trolls can be seen as useful from the outside through simple observation because they stir up trouble where it can be stirred, but a non-troller will (probably) not post their thoughts if they think they're being trolled. Unless, of course, you assume everyone who expresses an opinion on the internet is a troll.

Which might not be far off.
 

ThreeKneeNick

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I wonder if i have ever been tagged. How cool would that be. Its a little like wondering if someone thinks of you while they are in the shower.


This comment was useless to you.
 

SomeBritishDude

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Trolls help the things they hate.

Example; How many people had heard of Justin Bieber before he gained hatred on the internet?
 

Haz88

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Nov 19, 2009
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This is really interesting and a bit creepy, but it says a lot about how predictable people are when running on emotions, for example defending or attacking products like music and games. I guess this is pretty much sociology 101, identifying patterns of behaviour drawing out useful information.
 

ThreeWords

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Wow. I am impressed. Interesting to think that even the most annoying people perform a useful function, and ironic that their attempts to foil can be used to help you

Full marks form me, for what that's worth =)
 

Atmos Duality

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Great article, and it confirms a few theories I had about online marketing research strategies.

I used to play a game on other forums where I would attempt to discern whether a particular poster was being a world class idiot because he wanted attention, or because he was mining data.

I'm sure most people on this site know this, but your personal information is valuable, and I don't just mean that for illegal activities.

After a month or two, if you keep seeing the same topic (with similar questions) coming back week after week after week, and from a new account each time, chances are good that it's one of the marketing researchers stirring the pot; looking for fresh hits.

Some of the others I've seen become regulars; rarely posting, but always slowly nudging the conversation towards a specific topic.

It seems like stalking? Well, it is to a large degree.
I recall one of the first lessons taught in my network security class: "True privacy doesn't exist on the internet. Whenever you go online, you're going public in some form or another. The more of yourself that you leave behind, the more the world can find out about you."

To drive the point home; any information you can google about yourself, is information that marketers can gather about you.
 

BioTox

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I like this column a lot because using trolls can help more then just games. You could apply the same to any media that is on the net. If you can put it on the internet, there is a troll to hate it. It was a very interesting read. Keep up the good work and mine those troll for all they are worth... even if it's not THAT much. ;)
 

GrinningManiac

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In my mind's eye, I see a troll coming into the Escapist "Pub", screaming at us all, and then running away again. As the community looks out of the door, confused, I see the OP, looking like a cross between Agent 47 and The Spy, pressing his finger to his lips, going "Shhhh", smiling evily and then creeping after the rampant Troll in the distance

What an awesome idea, baggin' n' taggin' Trolls

If I ever find a hilariously "bad" Troll (one who gets too emotional and ends up being in turn trolled by his prey) I'll Google-tag him
 

KEM10

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Oct 22, 2008
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I think you have now become my favorite writer on the Escapist. That was shocking and I am a little unsure about how to take this information.