There is an achingly thin and blurry line between comedy and trolling, I discovered today.
Kotaku's got this post up in which an Infinity Ward rep explains why Call of Duty: Ghosts is only 720p on Xbox One. I didn't read it ('cause I don't care enough about Call of Duty), but I thought it was rich ground for yuks at Microsoft's expense, so I posted this comment:
"First launch" is absolutely correct, and things will look very different even a few years into this next gen. Once third-party developers understand how to unlock the infinite power of the cloud, the Xbox One will be rockin' 4K resolution at 60fps while the PS4 languishes in grainy 'ol 1080p."Which I thought was pretty funny.
It soon became clear that the readers of Kotaku took... issue with my artistic choices. Some appeared to understand that I was joking, some tried to educate the fool they took me to be on the reality of cloud computing, and others just hated.
I returned to Kotaku to check headlines an hour or so later, and my notifications box had "exploded" with ten replies. A teensy, tiny number by any internet standards - but still rather robust for what I usually get on Kotaku (often it's just me and a few others agree that Fatal Frame II and Dragon's Crown are awesome) - and it became clear that I had inadvertently pissed a few people right off with my attempt in poking fun at Microsoft. There were paragraphs upon paragraphs of detailed explanation of cloud computing, and why it wouldn't actually have a significant impact on a system's graphical capability.
I had, quite unintentionally, trolled Kotaku.
I hadn't meant to piss anyone off. I thought it was funny - but instead of giving the world the gift of laughter, I inspired condescending hatred in my fellow gaming enthusiasts. Darnit. My favorite response was this semi-menacing cat, filing its claws in preparation of the violence to come:
Clearly, I had to stop this minor monster of negativity that I had unleashed, and sanzo_kal's insistence that
"this fails at so many levels it's not funny"seemed the perfect place to ask
"Oh c'mon, you didn't think it was a little funny? I thought it was pretty funny!"Which effectively deflated the minor tide of nastiness I'd spawned. No more notifications, just a joke, nothing to see here. But I get why it happened. Reading over my hilarious comment, it really fits the troll archetype.
My opening statement is generally factual, and consistent with understood norms.
""First launch" is absolutely correct, and things will look very different even a few years into this next gen."Things likely will look a very different a few years in to the next gen. This gets people onboard with the false reality I'm sellin' - they agree with me - then I smack 'em with the punchline:
"Once third-party developers understand how to unlock the infinite power of the cloud, the Xbox One will be rockin' 4K resolution at 60fps while the PS4 languishes in grainy 'ol 1080p."I think if I'd only posted the second part, but not the first, people would have understood it was a joke - but because I went in to it sounding like someone with an even head, taking this whole thing very seriously, readers took it very seriously in turn.
For what it's worth, universe, I'm sorry.
Oh, Internet. You and your microscopic dramas. Like an ant carrying a leaf, blown from a tree branch, forgotten in a breath.
A tiny tragedy.