Escapist Magazine, not always known for their collective tact, has a nice overview of the vile reaction by commenters on the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games Kickstarter project. Since the initial comments were made, the project has skyrocketed beyond its initial goal to the tune of $125,000+.
I wonder though, is the reaction merely a result of YouTube’s “scum of the earth” comment situation or the larger attitude of gamers towards women. Either way, some of these comments go beyond horrible into the realm of fully ludicrous. Then the thought occurred to me that at my job as a high school teacher, this type of behavior is common (not the specific language or sexism, but the behavior that brings them about). When a student wants attention, and has trouble getting it by performing well in class, the result is often hat the student will act out in order to bring on the attention of either the teacher or the other students. In some cases, the behavior escalates until it is impossible to ignore. Eventually, someone has to pay attention.
I think the YouTube posters may be doing just the same thing. In a sea of millions, the single YouTube commenter is unlikely to be heard. So, he (in this case) cranks up the controversial factor until he gets some clicks and eventually some spotlight. Now you might say that those clicking the comment because they find it funny are just exactly the problem, but I think they are participating in the same behavior as the original commenter, just from a different capacity. The clickers’ insulting comments didn’t catch on, but here is someone who represents their similar bad behavior. They promote the comment and suddenly their voices are heard via the crowd-selected winner of the “Who can be the biggest moron, because none of us have anything else to do?” competition.
Either way, check out the wrap-up here.