Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tilting at Avatars?

Full Tilt Poker is a fascinating place for psychology. Seriously.
I've been enjoying a particular group that hangs out at the Play Money 5/10 Pot Limit level. They're very friendly and talkative an occasionally get around to playing poker too. However there is one guy (an assumption) that shows up that has a really short fuse and gets into arguments with people at the table. Actually arguments is not the correct word. He starts spewing virile and threatening people One time it got to the point that we all agreed to "mute" him so we couldn't see his typing. It was like a group shunning and it worked very well.

But that only goes so far. The other night he was yelling at the perceived women at the table calling them some really hurtful things and any perceived male that intervened got of course called a f.a.g.g.e.t [sic] (how anyone gets the time to include periods in their name calling is really beyond me.)

What's interesting to me is that while there really are people behind the pictures/avatars, one really has no way of knowing who they are and yet it's really easy to make some completely unjustified assumptions about them. Female avatars and female names are assumed to be female and male ones similar. I really like the guys (a fair assumption) who start flirting with the very busty female avatars. Hello? Those are pictures - you're flirting with a picture, one that the person did not even create.

This guy is behaving in such a classic alcoholic/abusive way as after he has an explosion, he then apologizes and makes nice. There's even a very talented young woman (I know she's a woman) who will listen to him, take his shit and forgive him and even talk us into unmuting him. Can you say codependent? I don't think they know each other in real life (or at least I hope so).

So last night (hope I finish this today) things took an unusual (in my eyes) turn. It's common for the chicken (my avatar) to be threatened with being turned into dinner and another avatar who is a kitty started teasing the chicken. "Here chicky chicky" This was all pretty amusing and this guy started to defend the chicken, pseudo threatening the cat to stay away from the chicken. (Yes really this is at an online poker table in a little itty bitty chat window - you can create a world out of anything I swear.)

Now WHY would he defend the chicken? The only things I can think of are (a) the chicken is perceived male and the cat could be perceive female (b) the chicken is now known and well liked at the table - though the cat's known too (c) he was seated in between the two avatars and it seemed like the thing to do.

This does complicate things for me as now there's something of a "relationship" though I have no idea what it is. The next time he goes off the chicken may actually be in a position to talk sense to him or he will be even more angry at the chicken for not being loyal. (I'm going to have to brush up on my male bonding code.)

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