By David Futrelle
Alt-right trolls have a new insult: NPC, a sort of all-purpose replacement for formerly ubiquitous anti-SJW putdowns like “cuck” and “soyboy,” suggesting that everyone who doesn’t agree with them is a mindless, even soulless, robot, akin to a videogame Non-Player Character who can only respond to stimulus with a small number of preprogrammed lines of dialogue.
As an insult, NPC has been floating around the chans for some time, but it took off in a big way recently after a two-year-old 4chan post resurfaced on social media. In the post, one disaffected anon wrote about how he — I’m assuming it’s a he — had started to look upon most of those he encountered on a daily basis as little more than real-world NPCs,
soulless extra walking flesh piles … who autonomously follow group think and social trends in order to appear convingly [sic] human.
For these NPC “flesh piles”, he continued, politics is literally no more than a collection of handy catchphrases.
If you get in a discussion with them it’s always the same buzzwords and hackneyed arguments. … it’s like in a vidya [game] when you accidentally talk to somebody twice and they give you the exact same lines word for word once more.
As journalist Cecilia D’Anastasio has recently noted in Kotaku, this is literal dehumanization, a way for alt-rightists and their fellow travelers to reduce their “enemies [to] objects, pawns, strawmen, tools.”
But, I would add, it’s also proven to be a great way for the trolls to demonstrate what completely original thinkers they are, and how seldom they resort to meaningless buzzwords.
By the way, did I mention that these guys really hate buzzwords?
Press F to Pay Respects to these brave and original thinkers.
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