It doesn’t seem possible to criticize people for abusive language or abusive behavior anymore. It’s almost like we, as a species, have managed to hit a wall. It comes from a place far too sincere to try and nullify, doesn’t it?
In the Roguelike genre of video games, making it to the end of a game without dying is usually a major pain the ass. One reason being how random the obstacles and enemies are, the risky shit you do for a small chance at victory.
In the game Undermine, certain you can end up with curses on your character, for the sake of opening doors, acquiring strength, or obtaining items that can totally save your ass.
Most of them involve you or your items becoming weaker, or certain things causing you to take damage, lose resources, or fight more enemies.
The weirdest of these curses is random teleportation upon taking damage. An inconvenience easy to explain, in a game with swarms of bad guys everywhere, fire and lightning traps, as well as dark pits.
Spelunky does it too in another way. Infinite bombs for fighting and for digging through ground, but at a certain time interval, you move involuntarily, and can teleport into a wall can kill you right away.
Pretty damn weird, right?
One of the greatest sources of joy in these games is overcoming the ridiculous handicaps you acquire during a single hour-or-so run. In your desperate attempts to combine all your knowledge of the game’s mechanics for successful survival through randomly generated levels, few things are more delicious than making things even crazier as a means of securing your very first victory after dozens of failures.
So why exactly do people get such good vibes from saying things they know sound absolutely wicked? Or rather, why does the person complaining about being called a burden, or crying their eyes out for being called a nuisance, or being driven to suicide for being called a curse of all things, seem like such a whiny little piece of garbage to the one committing poison to their tongue?
Why exactly does not wanting to be verbally beaten by someone you love seem so petty? Where do these monstrous actions get their fucking clarity from? Why are they so invincible that popular culture seems to make binding this need to be unpleasant with others an impossible task?
It’s all about the overcoming of chaos, and the positive energy that comes with it. To the abuser, the victim is an agent of chaos, even if they seem fairly helpless.
And every time the victim complains about being treated like an animal just for wanting to be free from trauma and pain, the abuser thinks back, and tries to remember exactly what distances them from the stereotypes in their head.
It’s in navigating the unpredictable bullshit. Living with someone, taking care of someone, loving someone, is like being forced to teleport around a room at times and distances you can’t predict.
No matter how calm or well behaved they claim to be, they feel like bullshit machines.
Even the worst among us think deeply about where interacting with someone is going to take us. You get to ready hit the fire, to fall in the muck, get bounced back by the swipe of a rat, and dodge them over and over, by tilting your body so slightly, readying your magic, swinging your sword before you’re even involuntarily moved across the chasm where the goblin waits to strike.
People call someone a curse when their ability to navigate their own life is being insulted. And people know it can cascade into worse things to even attempt so. To face the consequences of saying terrible things feels very spicy indeed. I don’t fucking blame your for feeling perfectly innocent. I don’t blame you for feeling nifty as fuck when the vitriol comes out.
But here’s a solution. Don’t be so enchanted by the highs of the risks you take and the moves you make.
Biting your tongue is as difficult as downplaying how many times you had to build yourself up just to endure the presence of other people.
Saying only nice things to someone is neither easy nor healthy.
But you can always start a new run when your bizarre strategies fall apart spectacularly enough to make you feel like the epitome of enraged innocence.