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The List: 5 Forum Archetypes

Column By Suzie Ford on January 23, 2012

Internet forums are a strange beast. We both love and hate them yet are strangely and inexplicably attracted to them much the way our eyes stray to the accident on the side of the road even when we promise ourselves we aren’t going to look. We just can’t help ourselves. But what makes any internet forum in general and gaming forums in particular so interesting is the wide variety of fauna that can be encountered on them. All sorts of fascinating characters inhabit gaming forums here at MMORPG.com and across the web.

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So who are these people, these forum visitors who keep us so happily entertained? We’ve rounded up our five favorite archetypes for your viewing pleasure.

5) n00b

The n00b is that person who shows up on an internet forum for the first time. In the gaming world, it’s that guy who comes on and asks a question that has been answered a hundred or a thousand times before. Generally, it’s done innocently enough but the usual response from the #2 types (see below) is “There IS a thing called a search button, man. Try using it.” Sometimes a n00b is confident enough in his Internet prowess to take on the Troll but usually not. These poor folks are rather skittish and are easily chased off by those who are less than helpful to their causes.

n00bs are generally identified by the color GREEN.

4) Peacemaker

This is a rare beast indeed. The Peacemaker type is the person who tries to take the n00b under his/her wing and to actually, you know, help them. Even if the question has been dealt with a million times, these folks will post links to answer the question or will just take it upon themselves to answer it in their own words. They’re never harsh and usually end each post with a smiley. N00bs love Peacemakers and will often flock to them in great numbers as some sort of forum God or Goddess who embodies all knowledge. Some n00bs even become Peacemakers if they hang around long enough and aren’t scared off by the notorious Trolls. Peacemakers are also those who delicately balance themselves between Fanboys and Trolls and often exhibit no actual preference for anything.

Peacemakers tend to fade to GRAY as their predominant color.

3) Fanboy

Fanboys are not just male. Fanboys can be either male or female and are those visitors who flock to negative threads about the game(s) they love like pigeons to bread crumbs. They prefer to gather in groups in order to lay siege to anyone who dares speak a negative word about the game that ignites their passion. Usually these Fanboys are seen wearing rose-tinted glasses or blinders and are seemingly incapable of admitting that their game is anything less than perfect. They are ardent in their love and will take on Trolls at any and all opportunities, even being brave enough to follow said Trolls anywhere they happen to be posting. Often times, Fanboys take on the “Holier than Thou” personae.

Fanboys deal in sunshine YELLOW. Such a happy color, isn’t it?

2) Troll

Trolls are the flipside of the Fanboys. Like Fanboys, Trolls’ passions are inflamed by games. Unlike Fanboys, Trolls are ardent in their hatred of certain games and aren’t afraid to use the scorched earth tactic to make their “point”. Generally speaking, Trolls can’t acknowledge any redeeming quality in the game that sits square in the middle of their crosshairs. There IS no good. Trolls are most easily enflamed by Fanboys’ adoration of any game they deem beneath them. Trolls also tend to be condescending and rude. When all else fails, they usually resort to name calling.

Trolls tend to identify with the color RED, the color of the blood they spill during vicious exchanges with Fanboys.

1) Lurker

Lurkers are undoubtedly the most predominant forum type on the planet even though you wouldn’t actually know that since they rarely, if ever, post on internet forums. They seem to know better, don’t they? Lurkers are folks who generally defy any sort of category such as those listed above. Lurkers read but don’t post. They snicker at the antics of the other four and hop from forum to forum to glean the best information about the games they love. They believe in the old adage: “Take what they say with a grain of salt.” These folks are relatively neutral in their opinions of the games they play or follow. They are honestly looking for something that appeals to them on an individual basis and aren’t ready to use a sledgehammer to make anyone else believe as they do.

Lurkers tend to prefer the color WHITE which embodies all colors.

So who did we miss? Which archetype do you identify with most? C’mon now.  Be honest! Let us know in the comments.

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