Monday, December 24, 2007

Flame Warrior Archetypes: Part 3

I agree with Ham Hayes' recent posting regarding Public Discourse, and particularly comments signed as 'anonymous' or some other pseudonym.
While it's easy to see why some folks prefer to remain cloaked in such forums, doing so still amounts to a cowardly act.
No one can vote without a name identity, not can you legally drive a car.
A lot of things that require proper identification for reasons our society has considered appropriate.
There is a time and place for secrecy, but civil public discourse needs to be honored, and anonymity has limited value in it.

I believe it is incumbent upon the various forums to moderate comments, and to eliminate -or severely limit- those submitted anonymously.
That is particularly true of mass media, like newspapers, radio and TV.
As far as blogs and websites go, I also prefer to know who is behind them, too.
You never know these days, do you?

I'm again repeating the brief intro from this website:
Just skip it if you've already read it. Eleven more types are presented here

"If there was some way to win a Pulitzer Prize for online work, specifically sociology-satire-commentary-art, then illustrator extraordinaire Mike Reed and his Flame Warriors should win hands-down. In my opinion it is one of the finest pieces of journo-sociology ever posted on the Internet or published anywhere for that matter. I do not make this claim lightly. Reed has managed to accurately stereotype pretty much all of the participants in online discussion forums so well that it’s an eye-opener to read this material. I have probably been writing and participating in the online world as much as anyone since I began going online around 1979 with BBS systems and wrote some of the first online only commercial columns. This work by Reed is a definitive breakdown of it all! It is sheer genius. Each of the characters is aptly named: Bliss Ninny, Weenie, Artful Doger, Blowhard, and Evil Clown are a few examples.

Even the discussions on this site — which try to find variants of the main Flame Warrior archetypes — is also outstanding.

Anyone who ever posts a comment or gets involved in online debate should read through the 99 archetypes and see where you fit in. (YOU are in there!) I have excerpted a couple of my favorites below.
The rest are here. []"


Stealth prefers to go into battle disguised or heavily camouflaged, often using pseudonyms, anonymous mail servers and multiple e mail addresses. Operating from a position of anonymity he can launch vicious attacks with little fear of reprisals. Because of his cowardice Stealth is often dismissed by other Warriors as an unworthy adversary.


Garble is a mystery: Is he a foreigner with only tenuous grasp of English? Is his brain addled by some powerful drug? Does he suffer a serious mental debility? Is he typing wearing a catcher's mit? Garble's rampant typos, malapropisms and seemingly aggressive use of execrable grammar can't be explained merely in terms of poor typing skills or the lack of a spell checker. Even non-English speakers generally do a better job of punctuation grammar and capitalization, and Garble is all the more puzzling because if one goes to the trouble of wading through the muddle of his messages a discernable idea will usually emerge. For example, in a forum discussion about a painting he might say, "Sorry the picchr the har is wrog. The culir. I liike the lips bot teh Paintng is sucs". When attacked for his random capitalization Garble might respond, "oPS i HITTED THE CAPDLOCK". Not surprisingly, he drives Grammarian and Nitpick absolutely nuts, but he is utterly impervious to any sort of correction and if their attacks persist he will sign off in a huff with something like, "yuor forum si stupef. bYE!" CAUTION: Garble may be Net Rat.

L'Enfant Provocateur

L'Enfant Provocateur likes to stir up trouble because...because, well...just because. This species of Flame Warrior is almost always young and male - it could be just a hormone thing.

Furious Typer

Furious Typer's combat strategy is to drown her adversary with a tsunami of angry verbiage. She is absolutely immune to subtlty and ignores all but the barest essentials of any argument. After briefly appraising the gist of her opponent's counter attack she puts her head down and rapidly fires off long rambling messages replete with grammatical and factual errors. The typical Furious Typer lacks endurance, however, and if the other combatants can weather the initial assault she will quickly exhaust herself and retire from the field.

Cyber Sisters

Cyber Sisters are an extremely fierce confederation of fighting females who act something like a shrill Greek chorus, echoing and amplifying one another's voice until their foes retreat in disarray. They are generally leaderless, but anyone who challenges one Cyber Sister can expect to be savagely attacked by the others. Only the most powerful and battle-hardened of Warriors is strong enough to weather a Cyber Sisters attack

Toxic Granny

Warriors often underestimate Toxic Granny's fighting abilities. She can be very aggressive, and because of the deference paid to the elderly, not only does Toxic Granny easily attract allies to aid in her defense, but her foes are reluctant to employ their strongest weapons against her. Prudent Warriors avoid confrontations with Toxic Granny because there is no glory in victory and defeat at her hands is ignominious.


Weenie is a very sensitive guy, and it angers him that everyone isn't as sensitive as he. A soi-disant male feminist, he not only cares deeply about women's issues, he's concerned about poverty, people of color, gay rights and sea turtles. Weenie strives to be politically correct at all times and is ever vigilant against anti progressive attitudes. Weenie is always solicitous towards the oppressed classes, but will lash out viciously at retrograde brutes such as Deacon and Troglodyte.

Tiny Yapper

Ill tempered and aggressive, Tiny Yapper is always right out at the end of his leash and barks furiously at the slightest provocation. Though his constant high pitched yips can be very annoying, his diminutive stature and limited strength pose no real threat to other Warriors.

Innocence Abused

Innocence Abused guards her purity jealously and cannot countenance crude language and gets the vapors over frank references to intimate bodily functions. This digital ingenue is a very weak Warrior, and is a favorite target of L'Enfant Provocateur, Jerk, Troller and Evil Clown, but Innocence Abused can always count on other Warriors, such as Cyber Sisters, Weenie and Toxic Granny, to come to her defence.

Net Rat

Not every kid on the internet is an Enfant Provocateur; sometimes they're just Net Rat. Net Rat spends countless hours in front of the computer and loves to play at being a grownup. Imagine your chagrin if in a love and romance forum you've been pouring out your anguish over a recent messy breakup with your boyfriend, or you have finally mustered the courage to talk about some particularly lurid desires that have been throbbing in your libido, or perhaps you thought you found a romantic soulmate on the internet only to discover that your hot cyber lover turns out to be in junior high. Even worse, in a serious discussion forum you may think you have succesfully faked a convincing understanding of Spinoza and later discover that the only person you have really managed to fool is still reading Harry Potter. Well, don't feel too bad about it - some Net Rats can very convincing, but they will almost always slip and give themselves away at some point. WARNING: Perv will sometimes pretend to be Net Rat.


Ennui only rouses himself from his torpor to cajole other Warriors to be more interesting - without, of course, ever contributing anything of interest himself. Ennui has limited weaponry at his disposal, but his majestic affectation of boredom provides an effective defense to attacks. When pressed in battle he will announce his intention of moving on to a more stimulating forum, but instead he will generally lurk quietly until the threat passes.