league of legends

The Headphone Actress

Who wants a piece of the champ?

Who wants a piece of the champ?

The words “toxic” and “toxicity” are often employed to describe player behavior problems in online gaming. In spite of their over-saturation within the esports lexicon, the terms themselves are apt in encapsulating how negative behavior comes in varying amounts and diffuses outward to affect other players in the same match, or even on the same team. In chemical or biological toxicology, even things that we consume every day can be toxic depending on dosage, with water being the easiest example. Figurative toxicity comes in doses as well. There’s a large gap between someone telling you to go kill yourself, and someone simply offering advice when it is neither needed nor wanted.

Gatchaman Crowds speaks of how one’s personal context directly relates to how toxic their actions can be. Hajime Ichinose stands on one side, with her bubbly personality as a panacea, and her opponent, Berg Katze, poisoning everything he touches. Put them together and one has the emotional state of the average human being, with all of the highs and lows to follow. How one acts in game is directly related to what happens to them outside of the game. Takane Enomoto of Mekaku City Actors is one such ordinary person, who also happens to be heavily invested in online gaming.


Owning Your Ground: Notes on World Conquest Zvezda Plot

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“No matter what anyone says, I own the ground I stand upon. That’s the first step to conquering the world.”

-Kate Hoshimiya, World Conquest Zvezda Plot, episode 1

While driving to work last week, I glanced towards the on-ramp immediately before my exit, as I usually do. Accelerating down the on-ramp was a large, black sport utility vehicle. Judging the distance between my speed and theirs, the length of the on-ramp, and the distance that I was traveling on the highway, it appeared to me that I would pass the entrance before that vehicle. I sped up a bit, just to be safe. Simultaneously, they sped up and continued to accelerate. I sped up a bit more. They continued accelerating. This went on until I was forced to slow down, allowing the other car to merge onto the highway ahead of my vehicle’s position. The interstate belongs to no car, but at that moment, that sport utility vehicle owned the highway, and I had been thoroughly conquered.


Uninstall your life you n00blord.

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I’d like to introduce you to someone. His name is James Ramsay, and he’s six years old. All he wants, in this immediate moment, is to go on a sailing trip to a nearby lighthouse. He thinks happily of the possibility of going the next day as he cuts out pictures from magazines, while his mother reassures him that they will be able to go. Then his father cuts in, saying that the weather will most likely not permit the trip. James immediately feels flashes of murderous rage towards his father, and imagines stabbing him with the scissors that he holds in his hands.

A natural, logical reaction, right?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I see people stopping in a rotary when they have the right of way, it makes me want to throw things. When my neighbors neglected to fully shovel out their parking spots following a snowstorm, allowing large piles of ice to build up in their now un-parkable spaces while they took my fully-shoveled spot, I wanted to shovel ice onto their cars, or throw snow at them. But did I actually do these things? No. Just as James Ramsay does not stab his father with scissors, and just as I did not throw things at my neighbors, we all make choices like this each and every day, allowing the first visceral reaction to crash over us like a wave before proceeding forward and, hopefully, leaving most of it behind.

However, interesting things occur when one removes that logical filter that keeps us from raging at, throwing things at, or generally being horrid to others. It is here, where Gatchaman Crowds‘ Berg Katze makes his home, in our “black hearts.”

It is also here where communication on the internet takes place.