We Shall Fight Them On The Beaches…

Right, I’m here to show solidarity with wordsmiths Chris Schilling and Tom Hoggins by talking about the Internet for a minute. Or, rather, the people who do their best to ruin it.

Yes, I too am amazed, but somehow not even mildly surprised, by the fanboy ire that greeted Tom’s 8/10 review of God of War III in the Telegraph.

People’s responses to this well-written and well-argued piece? Stuff like this: “LOL JUST LOL!!!!! Did you even play the game? Giving it a 8 haha These petty sights giving it a low score is getting on my nerves.”

And: “SHOCKER. U obviously haven’t played God of War games and are an XBOT!!!”

Other reviews that didn’t fall at the altar of Kratos and his bad mood, suffered similar reactions. And what tends to unite these particular commenters?

1. They think their opinion is worth more than the reviewer’s.
2. They haven’t even played the game that has been reviewed yet.
3. They have the combined literacy level of a mashed potato.

I reckon it’s about time people should have to pass some kind of basic exam before they’re even allowed to touch a keyboard. Maybe every time they contribute to a comments page underneath an article and spell an easy word wrongly, or show the reasoning ability of the average Dale Winton contestant, the keyboard could give them a mild electric shock, with the punishments becoming ever more severe as the mistakes get increasingly primary school, culminating in the entire mains blowing up in their faces if they can’t use the correct form of “you’re” or “they’re”. Or apostrophes properly. Or full stops. Or if they WRITE IN ALL CAPS. Maybe their IP addresses could be logged, and enforcement officers sent in to immediately put their schools into Special Measures, as well as prosecuting their head teachers or parents for crimes against forumity.

Unfortunately, on the Internet, fools revel in their almost unchallengeable idiocy. Other fools even agree with them. The World Wide Web’s a great leveller, but it’s hard not to wonder after reading the dribble on some webpages, whether some of the divides present in real life – like not having to mix with gurning cretins if you don’t want to – are such a bad idea after all. I want the Internet equivalent of a dress code. I want qualifications for entry. I want keyboards to have “taste chips” and explode for the greater good if necessary.

Is that being elitist? Is it really too much to expect a modicum of thought and politeness when it comes to one’s conduct on the Web, just as I’d expect in real life? Come to think of it, what are these people with their LOLs and their terrible spelling and their outright stupidity like in real life? If it’s anything like they are on the Internet, I shudder to think.

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Filed under Videogames, Writing

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