As somebody who has participated on this forum primarily as a lurker, I've been fascinated by the interactions I've seen over the last few years.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts, especially following the controversial asset policy discussion on the general games forum.
I'm hoping others can weigh in with their thoughts / opinions and I'd love it if this turned into an introspective moment for the community where we can all civilly discuss what's going on here.
To be clear, this is *not* a place to discuss forum policy or how much we love or hate it. This is a place to discuss the community and where it's headed with as little finger pointing as possible.
Finally, before I kick us off, I'm not good at writing this kind of thing in an organized way, so apologies for the disorganized nature of this post in advance.
Round 1: Fight!
One of the first things that often crosses my mind when I come on here is the intensity of reactions to anything that happens.
Somebody announces an upcoming game? the forum collectively loses its mind and pesters whoever announced the game for details.
A developer disappoints the community because a new game isn't accessible at launch? "kill! Kill them all!" Case in point, how the Crafting Kingdom dev was basically chased off the forum.
Mods implement unpopular new policies? "our basic human rights are being violated! Chaaaaaaaaaaaarge!"
I could go on, but I think you all get the point.
To be fair, the internet brings this behavior out in a lot of people. We like to create perceived injustices where there are none because it feels good to fight the good fight, and the internet allows us to fight the good fight without ever leaving the comfort of our home.
Why do we bring this on ourselves though? we're all gamers here, and most of us are blind. We all have to navigate this arena we're in where we have to fight tooth and nail for access to the best content, so why are we repeatedly taking it out on each other?
I get that many people on here live in environments where they have no agency. Whether they're teenagers with restrictive / overbearing parents or young adults trying to navigate the real world and the struggles of finding employment. Either way, I get that it's easy to feel like you have little power over your circumstances. From that angle, I could see why some might come on the forum to stir shit up; it's empowering, and being empowered feels amazing. having people hit thumbs up on your posts is only a plus!
Instead of fighting these perceived injustices which aren't really there, why can't we focus our energy on fighting the real injustices which are these destructive behaviors that are destroying the forum? Better yet, can we just go back to talking about games?
gaming forum or social network?
Part of the problem seems to be that this forum is serving too many needs. People come here to talk about everything from gaming to politics to issues blind people face to literally everything under the sun. It's easy how this forum could become the center of a person's universe, so in that instance, riding in guns blazing almost makes sense.
If you find yourself feeling that way, you should seriously consider stepping back from the forum and invest yourself in more things. Mark Manson has a fantastic article on diversifying your identity which explains what I'm trying to say more eloquently. I'd also suggest checking out some of his other articles and books. He's the only self-help person I will probably ever read / listen to.
What about the mods?
I think people forget that a mod is basically a forum member with 10 times the responsibilities. Being a moderator doesn't grant people a fancy uniform with lots of stripes and a name badge. You can't go to Walmart and say 'hey, I'm a moderator of a forum! give me a discount!"
Similarly, mods can't go to audio game devs and say 'Hey, give me your game for free because I'm a moderator!"
People have this idea in their minds that the mods are on a power trip, and who knows, maybe some are. I don't know any of them, but it seems incredibly unlikely given that becoming a mod on this forum is basically the equivalent of sticking a "kick me" sign on your ass.
were some mod decisions of late a good idea or not? I don't know... I'm just a gamer. I feel like we have a bit too much legislation on here, but I think that's just as much a consequence of what I've already brought up as much as it is the nature of the mods we happen to have at the moment.
Let's make a new forum!
Okay. go make a new forum. who's going to run it? Who's going to host it? What are we going to do to prevent it from becoming this forum with new software and a new name?
Most of the problems we're experiencing now are not a consequence of the ancient forum technology we're using. They're problems brought on by the community and its members. There'd be a honeymoon period of sorts where everyone would be happy and get along, but in time, we'd be exactly where we are now, though presumably we would have new evil villains pretending to be moderators.
This has been a long and admittedly a little frustrated post that's been sitting in the back of my mind for a while. I came on this morning to see if anyone knew anything about sonar Islands then got caught up reading that stupid thread, and yes, I know, that is my own damn fault.
I know people on this forum are really intelligent and who knows, that might be part of the problem! I know most of us read a lot, and when we're constantly reading about evil regimes or the world's problems, we start seeing them everywhere in our lives and want to fight them!
Damn. I kinda wish I had had a section just for that.
Anyway, my point was supposed to be that I know we have intelligent, level-headed people on this forum, and I hope I've started a positive discussion that allows us to sort some of this stuff out.
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this!
I'm terrible at keeping up with forum threads, but I will do my best with this one and really want to hear what people think.