I do believe the newspaper article overstated Twixt’s infamy. Personally, I was less aware of the extent of that infamy than its intensity.
I agree, this study is not really an experiment. I label it as a “breaching experiment” in reference to analogous methods of Garfinkel, but, in fact, neither his nor my methods are experimental in any truly scientific sense. This should be obvious in that experimental methods require some sort of control group and there was none in this case. Likewise, experimental methods are characterized by the manipulation of a treatment variable and, likewise, there was none in this case. This is, of course, explained in the paper in the following paragraph….
“Online role-playing games are rules-regulated according to hardware mechanics and software code. While Garfinkeling normally requires some sort of social rules-breaking (in order to clarify the rules of rules construction), a similar Garfinkeling procedure can be practiced within online games simply by adhering to the objective rules of the game – or, the letter of the law, as it were – in contexts where game rules are verifiably distinct from prevailing social orders and etiquettes.”
Twixt was much more active in RV than any of his opponents. In general, Twixt’s opponents tended to sit in one place and throw taunts in broadcast. Tp’ing them out of their static defensive positions (and killing them) tended to be met with the same cries of “cheap” as tp’ing them into drones.
My actions were unlikely to chase off casual players. If someone wanted simply to avoid confrontation with me, there were many ways to do that.
Casual players were more often chased away by the same bcast obscenities and gank squads that I had to deal with and/or the other various social pressures described in the paper.
Those who became upset with me were more often those who had pre-arranged some sort of collusion with heroes and were farming or otherwise using the zone without fear of reprisal. Most often, these sorts of arrangements were not granted to casual players.
I was never banned. Still another example of how Twixt behavior was distorted by the social powers that be.
I did indeed use several phrases fairly consistently: arean boys, lootbois, lowlife slimeball farmers, get moar phase, etc. In general, I tended to use these in a mirrored response to the (much more) graphic verbal harassments I received in public and private game com channels.
…I used these phrases only after observing what happened when I said nothing at all (primarily on Champion and Infinity); using these phrases, or other similar verbal tauntings, had little to no impact on the behavior of others towards Twixt. It was the play, much more than the words, that seemed to determine the response.
…Also, note that I never ever, after killing another toon, said “PWNED,” or anything of that sort. Instead of making killing individual players a Twixt goal, I was much more conscious of making sure I consistently emphasized (after winning the zone) “vills lose.” I’m sure you — and many others in RV — can verify this.
I believe my long-term experience in these situations gave me the critical ability to interpret what was and was not a serious threat — which is why I found the threat mentioned in the online article so disturbing. It set off danger bells. But that, as I mentioned was an isolated incident, and I never had (knowing) contact with that player-character again. The “antagonism” that I normally felt in others was not as often emotional and sudden as it was calculated and devious — much, I might add, like some of the posts in this (or other) comment chains. I do not feel as though I placed others in a situation of stress so often as I might have placed others in a focused state of “lets get twixt.” During this intense periods, btw, when the game rules were being followed, everything was actually great fun. When social tricks and pressures entered the fray (increasingly often over time) things became miserable — but much more so for me than them, since I did not send the same tricks and pressures in their direction.