Tales of Mod Power Abuse: Choose Your Own Adventure

Callum Gordon
8 min readJun 9, 2023

Friday afternoon, you watch the clock tick by slowly, willing it to malfunction and lurch forward to 5PM and the sweet release of the weekend. The energy of the office is dwindling, festering with apathy. Your boss struts up to your desk with a big smile on her face, good news?
“Hey [INSERT OWN NAME HERE], would you make sure that report is finished by Monday afternoon for me, please?”
“Sure thing.” You haven’t opened that report all day and you’re sure as shit not gonna start now, which means Monday morning is going to be an extremely painful exercise in stifling murder-suicidal ideation. You silently wish death upon your boss, then out-loud wish death upon your boss. “I hope you die, and I die too.”
“Hm? What’s that?” Your boss replies, filling her face with Kathy’s birthday cake, a tawdry lemon drizzle that has done nothing to take the sting out of a weary week.
“Have a great weekend, boss!” You say with a half-smile that turns to a demonic frown as your unelected leader returns to her office cubicle. If ever there was a time to be extremely toxic online, it is now.

You open your laptop, crack your knuckles and boot up Microsoft Edge. The slow browser loading and meditative modem noises give you a chance to think about which of your regular forum haunts will receive today’s explosive eruption of hot manure that you disingenuously refer to as “discourse”. Do you log on to {A} sonicdiscussion.net or {B} pokemoncave.com?

{A}

No, you don’t. You click on the bookmark at the top of your browser but are reminded with a splash page that you were banned two weeks ago for threatening the safety of KnucklesRuinedSonic and his children. A sober reminder of the consequences of your actions. Nevertheless…

{B}

You convince yourself that pokemoncave.com is where you wanted to be anyway. There’s been some bad blood between you and what you call the ‘Weepincels’ who are convinced that the grass-type Pokémon Weepinbell is better than its evolved form Victreebel. Unfortunately the Weepincels cruelly turned your own insult on you to refer to you and your peers as ‘Victreecels’. Evidently, there is still a lot of unresolved beef. Time to resolve it.

You pull down the Anonymous mask in your mind as you cease to be [INSERT OWN NAME HERE] and become your pokemoncave.com alias, MewtwoBrute. Almost by muscle memory, you navigate your way to the ‘Serious’ forum, smiling to yourself; you will be anything but. This is where the big boys play, you may find the odd meme or tier list from someone that has ventured too far from the ‘Casual chat’ forum, but here the posts are expected to be straight-laced, buttoned-down, and with the goal of elevating discussion and bringing forth new ideas. You chuckle.

You appear to have missed a lot since you were last online, posts on top of posts, seemingly on the topic of what makes an exciting legendary Pokémon. You’ve got a lot of time, it’s still only 4PM. Do you {C} catch up from the start of the conversation or {D} pull up, guns blazing, to rip into a minor detail of the most recent post, without context?

{C}

Boring. You think maybe going two pages back will cover it. Nope, they were well into it back then already. This was at 2PM. Do these people not have jobs? Do they do anything to contribute to society in a meaningful way or do they just waste their lives away talking about children’s games? You quickly tab out and look very thoughtfully at your desktop background as your boss walks past. Keen to avoid eye contact, you almost go cross-eyed from the strain of staring so intently at the Windows logo. The coast is clear, you tab back in.

Fucking hell, this is long. They’ve been arguing about this for five pages. Something about the size and stature of Groudon compared to Moltres… Something about whether it is professional to give a nickname to your Articuno… Ice legendaries are pointless… Using a Master Ball is for tryhard virgins. Very true, you reflect. Okay! I’m not reading the next four pages, I think I get the gist. No one can say I didn’t do my due diligence before coming in blasting and saying what I was going to say anyway.

Go to {D}.

{D}

The most recent post reads: “I never really got the hype with Rayquaza. I enjoyed the dichotomy between the ground and water that Groudon and Kyogre represented, but then out of nowhere this legendary green dragon that lives in the clouds just appears and is more powerful than both of them combined? It feels so forced idk”

Oh boy, big mistake. Why does he come on here, into the ‘Serious’ forum if he doesn’t even know shit about Rayquaza, the literal boxart mascot for Pokémon Emerald, it’s embarrassing. You’ve just got all the ammo you’ll ever need. You start typing:

“OK you fucking idiot, so here’s how I know you have no idea what you’re even talking about, other than the fact that you’re drooling your mother’s breast milk so hard that it’s coming through the internet and clogging up my disc drive: Rayquaza does not ‘live in the clouds’, he’s not fucking Mufasa. There are numerous Pokédex descriptions referring to Rayquaza living in the ozone layer **above** the clouds, you fucking moron. Obviously if he lived in the clouds he’d be down at the ground all the time getting involved with Groudon and Kyogre! The whole point is that it’s such a big deal for him to get called down from BEYOND the clouds because he’s so far away that it’s more effort for him to come down to ground/sea level!”

Oh my god, you’re annoyed at SquirtleSquirter for making you type all that out, you shouldn’t have to explain this to people in the ‘Serious’ forum like you’re in a forum of babies with advanced typing skills that their critical thinking ability and Pokémon knowledge haven’t quite caught up to yet. You’re getting quite heated in truth. You look around the office, but nobody has noticed you sweating.

Reply from IStillLikeElectrike. Here we bloody go.
“It doesn’t actually matter where Rayquaza is from, that’s not the point of his statement. And it’s still true that it’s weird that he comes out of nowhere to beat them both down when he could have been in the mix the whole time.” What. The. Fuck. You go to type a furious reply but before you can, the dreaded forum moderator rears his ugly head.

“I agree, Brute, but you don’t need to lose your temper, please be civil.” PalletTownPal replied. Great, the nazi mods are here to delete all traces of fun from the internet. Do they realise nobody likes them? You remember PalletTownPal as one of the Weepincels who couldn’t string together a proper argument on Weepinbell’s strengths last week.

They’re coming at you from all angles, who do you bite back at first? {E} The thinks-he’s-so-great-but-has-only-got-six-hundred-posting-karma IStillLikeElectrike or {F} Rail against authority and go after the mod, PalletTownPal, in support of free speech?

{E}

“Oh great, the poster with only 600 karma has an opinion! Everyone be quiet so we can hear what he has to say! Except, no! We shouldn’t be quiet! Not only because these messages are text and not audio, but because you are not even worthy of me turning off my Mumford & Sons album that I listen to three times a day. I’ve heard Little Lion Man so many times it just sounds like white noise to me. And yeah, it’s the only CD I own, but I can’t help if it’s the only album that I like. He doesn’t come out of ‘nowhere’ to beat them down, you fucking negative-brain infant. He comes from the fucking ozone layer, like I literally just said.”
“I still think he could afford to do that more than once every few thousand years.” IStillLikeElectrike comments, he clearly senses who the expert is here and isn’t willing to assert himself, his nubile reputation couldn’t take the damage from going up against you.
“Still more frequently than you have sex, you weird freak.”

OK, now it’s gotten slightly ad hominem, but you mess with the bull, you get the horns. Unfortunately your fast wit might have caused this meeting of the minds to close sooner than you intended. Go to {G}.

But fuck it, stop at {F} on the way.

{F}

“OK, first of all, you’re a mod, so your opinion is completely invalid. To be honest, I don’t give a fuck whether you agree with me you fucking shitter. If anything it’s a bad sign for my argument that someone like you is on my side when you think a fucking flower giving the world’s worst head is what passes for a ‘cool Pokémon’. You’re literally a Weepincel that edges at the thought of getting top from a mid-stage evolution. As for me being civil, if you think your stupid little mod powers actually have any sway over me, like you’re not just text on a screen, you are seriously deluded.”

But speaking truth to power has consequences, go to {G}.

Weepincels when you tell them that they stan the fellatio-plant

{G}

In this arena of digital combat, where only the strong survive, and the weak make a nice meal for the lions, you seem to have angered mighty Caesar, who, with a smug grin adorning his face (you assume), offers you an ultimatum. PalletTownPal is typing…
“Look, Brute, you’ve clearly got some problems that are bigger than anything that is going on in this forum, but it’s not cool that you just come on here every Friday and talk to people as if you are the only person in the world that matters. You’re one of the most toxic people I’ve ever encountered on this website, so you can either stop acting like a child, or I’ll have to ban you.”

Oh look! The mod thinks he’s hard! He thinks because he has the power to ban people for no good reason that he’s the coolest kid in the playground. But still, you like this forum and you don’t want to be banned, if you can avoid it. The way you see it, you’ve got three options: {H} Close your tab and cool off, come back when you’re less emotional; or you can {I} Double down, stand up to the power-hungry mod; lastly, you can {J} Do the mature thing, apologise and promise to be better.

{H}

Lol, good one.

{I}

“Oooh no! I’m so scared, please don’t ban me! Are you actually so insecure that you feel like you have to exercise this tiny amount of fake power that you have? You think I’ll be upset, begging you to let me back if I can’t go on a fucking Pokémon discussion forum for actual man-children? Grow up. If this is the only thing in your sad, little, ugly, life that can make you feel good, go ahead and do it. Then when you turn off your computer screen you’ll go back to looking at a permanoob with an inferiority complex. I highly suggest you kill yourself. Fuck you.”

Uh oh, you’ve really made him mad now. Go to {K} to see his response.

{J}

“You’re right PalletTownPal, I genuinely admit I was out of line there. I’m sorry @IStillLikeElectrike and @SquirtleSquirter. I hope I didn’t upset anyone, I’ll try to be more considerate and kind. I apologise.

Sike, you’re a paedo, kill yourself”

You just couldn’t resist, could you. Go to {K}.

{K}

YOU ARE BANNED.

You look up from your screen, the clock reads 4:05PM.

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