In defence of the veterans…
I’m playing devil’s advocate here, and I think I have a right to.
Okay…seriously, some newbs just deserve to be flamed. Let me offer myself as an example. When I first came here, when it was the FF5 Shrine and Forums, I didn’t feel compelled to make an introductory “hi i’m new let me tell you people all about my stupid life as my first post even though none of you care”. As a matter of fact, nobody really did that back then. When we came to the boards, we came because we simply needed a question answered or because we wanted to contribute to some discussion. My first post (why I remember this crap is beyond me, seriously) was in response to a request by Rast for a save state which I happened to have. I posted, gave it to him, and stuck around in some discussions. Never did I bother to bore a bunch of people I never met with my life story…rather, with the friends I made like Bahamut, Blizzard, and all them, I’d talk about such stuff in private conversations with them. And that’s the way it was back then for everyone. You came to the forums to participate.
Now what’s with this bullshit need to introduce oneself anyway. If people who were new to these boards would simple take 15 minutes out of their precious day to read some of the old threads, they’d probably discover that making an introductions thread, especially as stupid as say FFMaster’s intro thread, they’re bound to get flamed up the bunghole. But guess what? They don’t bother to really read any of the old threads. Hell, they probably don’t even know why they’re joining, except for some sickening desire for attention from a bunch of people they’ve never met before. I seriously don’t understand why these idiotic welcome threads are even allowed anymore. Most forums don’t allow them, you know why? Because this exact thing happens. But they don’t go around blaming the veterans who’ve supported this site for a long time for flaming some new idiot who didn’t even take the time to learn what kind of forum he was getting into.
Now, let’s get academic, cause you’re probably just gonna dismiss this anyway. Let’s think about the situation sociologically. RPGClassics is clearly a group of likeminded individuals. The board was founded, initially, as a forum for people who like RPGs to come and discuss them. Clearly, as time goes along, a certain kind of RPG fan is going to become predominant among the group and direct where it is going. There are plenty of RPG forums out there, and each ends up catering to a certain kind of RPG fan. Obviously it’s over-simplifying the situation, but most of us tend to think of ourselves as a different kind of fan from the person who hangs out at the rpgfan boards, or the rpgamer boards, or the gamefaqs boards, etc. I think you see my point. We cater to a certain crowd, and over time we naturally begin to want to isolate ourselves from the other kinds of groups out there. We have to put up with diversity and people we can’t understand every day of our lives, and most of us like to belong to groups of likeminded people so we can more easily open up and be ourselves.
I feel that most of us veterans here are like that. We might not all get along perfectly with each other, but we generally think of courselves as a community. All groups, once they become established, resist outside forces of change that might enter the group and disrupt the normal flow of things. As far as I can tell, the average RPGC user is a pretty good speller and gramarian. Hell, we’ve got people like X who bitch and moan about the slightest grammatical mistake. As a community, we value people who take the time to think about what they’re going to type, so it’s not laiden with tons of unreadable typoes. And I think we’re pretty open with people who are ESL or of that sort, as long as we are aware they are. It’s only the people who should obviously know english well enough to not fail out of high school who seem to anger us, and why not? Why should we have to put up with their unwillingness to make a readably written post? Why should we be the ones punished for expecting this?
The fact of the matter is that there are going to be people who don’t fit on this board, and it doesn’t make sense to support a policy that punishes veterans who support this board only to make some newb who is only gonna stick around for a week feel a little better about himself. We have no shortage of new people assimilating into these forums, and it’s because most newbs who stick around longer than a week realize that there are certain standards expected of them if they want to participate here, they learn to accept them, and everyone lives happily ever after. Yes, we were all new, but most of us know we weren’t like that when we came here. We just found some way to assimilate, and we weren’t handed any silver platter.
I just don’t understand your motivation behind posting this now. I’ll admit I don’t really come to this forum at all anymore. I just happened to see the pretty link to this topic in the chat room, and you know I can’t resist clicking the purty link. But is the situation really any worse than it’s ever been? I feel I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but it seems like you’ve been looking for any excuse to drill into us lately. People (like me) have done far, far worse flames to newbs than what happened to FFMaster. Hell, arguably he wasn’t really flamed at all. Sure, the whole “this post should be closed” crap is pretty retarded, but people have always said that. And we’ve always had that same section of the charter. Why do you bring this up now? I feel like we’ve always just accepted that some newbs are going to get flamed, and while it might go overboard sometimes, sometimes newbs just make really stupid introductory threads. Some realize it and adjust, others leave and nobody is hurt by it. So who does it hurt to enforce this rule? It doesn’t hurt the newb, which the rule is trying to protect. If the newb doesn’t like it, he or she is just gonna leave, maybe fret about it for a day, then find some other board where he’ll be happier at anyway. And if he assimilates, well, maybe he learned a thing or two about forum ettiquette by meeting such a gruff welcoming.
If you want to stop this nonsense, why don’t you just outlaw welcome threads, or make a stickied thread for it like I suggested? Why keep punishing the veterans, who seem to feel more and more like the almighty hand of RPGC is pushing down on them for every minor infraction? I feel like I should have some rights for being here longer than others. Why the hell not? I put more into this community than someone who just came, why should I not be entreated to a special privelege or two? It doesn’t mean I should be put up on a pedestal and hailed as some wise man. I still expect to be told when I’m wrong, and to stay reasonably within the rules of the site. But why should I not get a bit of slack here and there? Now…obviously I do get cut a lot of slack around here, and I get away with things a lot of others don’t…but no one seems to have a problem with that. So why make a rule that no one really seems to care to enforce? And of course, as others assimilate into the site, they should be treated to the same rights and priveleges. It’s just the way social systems work…people stick with a community or group because they love it, yes…but also because they expect to get something back out of it. If people know they’re going to be treated like a newb three years after they’ve been here, it’s not going to do much for the motivation to stick around. Assimilation is just a natural process, and basically every community has some form of “test” or criterion for new members. People want to make sure new entries into a community reasonably meet their expectations of what they expect out of the community they belong to. So to deny people the right to perform these “rites of initiation” if you will, or to take away people’s incentives for sticking with a community, is ultimately harmful to the community. Yes, rules are needed, but it doesn’t mean you have to follow them to the letter for every single situation. I know you understand this.