by Noor Alkhadra
Trash Talk is defined as:
“Ruthlessly ripping someone for their gaming skills. Designed to wash away abusive language that should not be confused with, or taken as personal attacks, but merely in the interest of friendly hate.”
It’s what I grew up on.
Looking back at my childhood in Saudi Arabia the best memories I had consisted of gaming with my cousins and family members. I longed for the moments with everyone participating and the house echoing with endless laughter, and of course, Trash Talk.
As a grown 25 year old adult I still long for those moments. Was it because games back in the day were so good and irreplaceable? I doubt that (although nothing will ever beat Final Fantasy Tactics…Nothing!). There must have been a deeper meaning to the infinite smiles and giggles that came about as a result from Trash Talk.
When I moved to the US to pursue my passion in game design I would host game nights at my house all the time. We would play games like Tekken and Mortal Kombat with us Trash Talking all night. When I worked tireless hours on my 3D models in the game design lab, my ultimate break and energy booster, was to ask everyone to participate in a Tekken tournament, and most importantly, I made sure to light the fire of Trash Talk.
I liked Trash Talk so much that I actually had to question myself and ask why the hell does this rude and mocking form of conversation make me so happy?
In a world where we are expected to always show fake politeness to one another; I believe Trash Talk cracks that illusion; it breaks societal norms. Nonetheless, Trash Talk isn’t for everyone, it requires the participants to understand that this mockery isn’t a personal attack in order for it to be an enjoyable experience. Nevertheless, it’s is clear why Trash Talk is perfect in the setting of playing games. I found that this ‘friendly hate’ breakage in our social norms results in a stronger and more authentic bond between people.
I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t actually the Trash Talk that brought happiness upon my soul, it was the atmosphere that arose as a result of this Trash Talking. I realised that what I was really longing for, was a community.
I was and still am, determined to spread this unique social phenomenon with others: this was the stimulus for starting WeGeek.
WeGeek is a community where everyone can be themselves and bond through the medium of playing games. Why does being in a community where everyone can be themselves matter? Because it makes you happy, simple.
From WeGeek October 2017, Rocket League Tournament at WeWork London
Happiness is a concept people, scientists, and philosophers have been trying to grasp and achieve for decades. I think it’s important to reflect on the moments that really do make you happy instead of defining it with the social standards of sex, money and power.
In the words of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow:
“Happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person.”
The way I cultivate my happiness is through Trash Talking. I encourage everyone else to give it a try.
Article Also found in the Analog magazine .