Beyond the Nigerian princes, lonely Russian maidens and undercover FBI agents lies a whole world of lesser-known Internet fakers and poseurs. Leaving behind their uninteresting lives as Wal-mart greeters and unemployed fanfic writers, these people turn to the Internet as an everlasting source of love, acceptance and admiration. Such as…
1. The Mall Ninja
Example: The one and only original Mall Ninja
Otherwise known as the military poseur or phony soldier, this guy will endlessly talk up his toughness and experience in the battlefield, when in fact his only real experience in the ‘field’ involves the one he panted his way through while on the losing side of a woodland Airsoft battle. The mall ninja either brags outright about his heroism, or drops hints that he thinks make him sound like a more hardcore version of that guy from Taken. Unfortunately for him, his lack of either research skills or restraint makes it obvious to anyone with a clue that he is really just a lonely dude who owns way too much camo gear.
Usually, his stories include military experience, but the mall ninja is far too hardcore to admit that his job involved fixing lame trucks or flying boring planes. Instead, he will claim that he was a Navy SEAL who was in hand-to-hand combat with Osama bin Laden. A typical story told on an internet forum might go like this:
So then my sergeant told me to run after the cars with the terrorists in them and I was like “Yes, sir!” and I totally sprayed the place with my M16. I must have fired off like a thousand f**king rounds. Two of the cars f**king exploded. Then I noticed I had shot a hole in the fuel tank and fuel was leaking all over the ground. I fired off a bullet at the closest puddle of oil and BAM! The third car EXPLODES. I just walked away without even f**king looking back.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more amazing combat stories someone tells on the Internet about his Special Forces days, the more likely it is that he spent his time in the military reshelving bathroom supplies in Guam.
Not all mall ninjas limit their experience to the military, though. Some simply project the idea of living in a dangerous parallel universe where everyone in the world is out to kill them, but where luckily they also have the strength and powers of Batman. For example:
So last night I was doing the closing shift at Quiznos when this guy comes in with a pair of nunchucks and starts holding up the place. Of course everyone else is screaming and panicking. So I jumped up and did a flying roundhouse kick right over the f**king counter into his face. Then I pulled out my Desert Eagle that I keep as my backup work gun (the bigger ones I keep at home) and totally pinned the guy and fired a warning shot over his shoulder. The guy f**king pisses himself and lies there until the cops come!
Later one of his friends tried to stab me in the alley as I was walking home but luckily I had my body armor on.
2. Women Who Are Really Men
No, not those sort of women who are really men, the ones who advertise near the back pages of that newspaper you get for free on the subway. We’re talking about the type of man who pretends to be a woman online for the sake of getting attention, or in the case of games, free gifts. Operating on the popular fallacy that there are, indeed, no women on the Internet, this poseur expects that by acting girly and coquettish he can finally get someone to notice him.
The main danger signs for this kind of poseur are constant mentions that the person is, in fact, female, combined with an ultra-feminine and/or sexy username such as JessicaLove101 or HoneyBunny69. If icons or avatars are present, they must feature at least one of the following: pink, sparkles, lips, women’s shoes, a partial female face, a female anime character, or breasts.
Unfortunately, all of the above are also often used by genuine females who also happen to be attention whores. To be sure, look for the person who is behaving a lot like a stereotypical nerd would expect a young woman to act, or alternatively, the way he wishes all women would act. She will probably have stereotypically male interests, and talk constantly about how much she loves and thinks about sex. Whether or not this interest extends to actual cybering depends on how desperate the poseur is to get more WoW gold.