For ages I didn’t think this needed a post, because everybody knows how idiotic trade chat is, but the more I read the stupidity in /2, the more I wish there was something we could do to.. well.. tone it down a little. Usually I just don’t read it, but last night I saw something that really got to me, and no, it wasn’t what I linked in the screenshot above, that is stuff you see all the time, sadly, it’s something I didn’t screenshot, something that made me instantly ignore the person responsible for it.

In the trade channel, you can usually expect to see people looking for crafters, things to buy, things to sell, the things that the channel is intended for. It’s also used as a guild recruitment channel, and a looking for group channel, because it is the global channel that you can see from any city, and you can guarantee that the majority of people in cities will be able to see it unless they have it turned off. The other thing you see in trade chat is conversation. Whilst it’s not intended to be a chat channel, that is what it has become. Sometimes the chat is fine, sometimes it’s full of idiots. A bunch of people who don’t know much about life going by their derogatory statements about how all girls who play WoW are fat, how if you have less than 5k gearscore you’re a crap player, insults being thrown around, so and so is a retard, that guy’s a fucking noob, and so on, I’m sure you know how it is. I’ve also noticed a difference between the 3 servers I’m on. My main server always seems to be full of these idiots, and trolls who think they’re so very clever. Argent Dawn has always seemed more friendly than Vashj, though with the odd troll. My Alliance server always seemed to be a little bit witty, until recently, when one person took it upon themselves to constantly tell people about their day and their owning a vagina. From what I can tell, they’re half trolling, and half flaunting their supposed femininity.

The trouble I’ve found is, whilst trade chat spent hours discussing weight, and how to lose it, and generally doing the stupid dance, the perpetrator of the entire crap came out with a statement, “I wish I was anorexic.” Making light of mental health and disabilities really is where I draw the line. I’m used to the dickheads insulting female gamers, I don’t like it but female gamers can stick up for themselves. People with mental disabilities generally can’t, and the more people make light of mental health issues, the less they become issues (the same argument with the use of the words “rape” to mean “kick ass” and “gay” to mean “bad”).

I may be guilty of using the word ‘retard’ once in a while, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it, and I am trying not to use it so much because it’s a word that’s as lazy as the word ‘noob’. They’re insults people use to insult people when they can’t think of anything else to say, it makes me cringe a little. I guess growing up around people who are mentally handicapped gives you a little more tolerance, I always remember the time I went into town with a friend from the other side of the city, a guy with Down’s Syndrome walked past shaking a pot, trying to ask for some spare change. My friend started laughing, and I couldn’t understand why. I’d like to hope this is something that changes with age, but watching trade chat worries me a little bit. Admittedly, it has got to the point where most people seem to be de-sensitised to the word ‘retard’, but one that really gets me is the use of ‘downy’ as an insult, because that hasn’t become ‘just an insult’, that is very specific with what you are calling them and why, and it makes me feel ill when I see insults like that.

When it comes to mental health, admittedly I haven’t seen much. Somebody once told me that they “didn’t believe in” depression, they felt that people who said they were depressed were just lazy and looking for an excuse, that they have no reason to feel that way and should just stop it. That was a conversation I backed out of pretty swiftly, being a sufferer of depression myself, I know how hopeless you can feel, how difficult it is to go on some days, hearing somebody think that it’s not a real feeling but a bunch of lies designed to get you attention? Yeah, I was a little mad, but I forgot about it and moved on. When I saw that person say “I want to be anorexic” in trade chat, it made me realise how people haven’t necessarily become de-sensitised to mental health issues, but in fact, they don’t know a thing about them. This is something that needs to be taught in schools, to make people aware that people with these illnesses, in fact, can’t help it. Anorexia is a horrible illness that is not something I would ever wish upon anybody, seeing that in trade really made me wish that it wasn’t so futile trying to change it.