Okay, so I'm not a big fan of the orginal linked article, at all. It's needlessly combative in my eyes and seems to be an outlet for the author's frustrations with people asking their opinion on stuff, because they are the expert on such stuff (in this case feminism).
The examples mentioned in the article are people who are merely pretending to play devil's advocate to mask their opinions. So yeah, those people suck and should ask themselves why they feel the need to hide their own opinions.
It is incredibly painful to feel that in order for you to care about my safety, I have to win this verbal contest you have constructed “for fun.”
That's where I get the feeling the author doesn't understand or care what playing devil's advocate means. I'm already convinced that feminism is the right thing. I already care about your safety! If I choose the have this discussion it's because I think I can learn something from you. That's a compliment! If you don't feel like that discussion will benefit you too, I won't be upset if you walk away (except if you do this to avoid questioning your beliefs - but the difference between that is generally pretty obvious).
I mean, I don't deny I'm priviliged. My parents were immigrants to this country, but my own life has never been anything but pleasant. I usually stay the fuck away from anything to do with racism and feminism, because to me those are "solved" problems in that I'm pretty convinced I know what's wrong and needs to be changed (don't be racist, don't discriminate women - it's not hard). I don't really feel the need to wade into the shitfest those issues have become (or always been?). Not to mention that that stuff tends to be very... americanized? I have the feeling we handle that stuff completely different in europe, but that might just be online/IRL-dissonance.
I notice you put the "play" in quotes. I take it you don't like how it makes discussion into a game that one tries to "win"? That's a fair argument. I personally like discussing for sport, but I take care to only involve people I know enjoy it as well (or those I want to piss off if I'm feeling uncharitable). I've learned over time that the vast majority of people don't want to discuss their views. I think that's pretty appalling and makes the world a worse place, but it's their choice, not mine. I gotta respect that. Also I can argue with internet strangers all I want these days so it's all good.
In the end it always comes down intention. You can be DA for lots of reasons. You can pretend to be one to mask your actual opinion (dishonest). You can do it to "win" (not really discussing, merely one-upmanship), or you can do it out of a genuine desire to understand the issue at heart better, via reflection from people with unique viewpoints. If I have to pretend to believe something I don't to get that going, I will. And I don't fuck around - I'll defend that position as if it were my own, because only if an opinion can hold its own in an honest and informed discussion is it an opnion worth holding.