Alright. Tonight is the night - now is the time that I sever all ties and break all bonds of fellowship. I'm going to provide a fully accurate, eye witness account of the past year of the #gonintendo chat room. Whether people elect to believe this account is up to them - I really couldn't care less if you don't. I'm not going to sit and provide logs/timestamps/finderprints/forensic evidence because I've done that enough in the past, and it was all schluffed off anyway. I'm going to name names, throw people under the bus, violate ancient taboos, dig up some ancient Indian burial grounds, piss on the bodies, and bury them again upside down. I don't know nor do I care what the end result will be, but I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it!
First and foremost, I'm done caring about whether or not this chat room dies. I've played the role of the Lorax
of the chat room for the last several years, being the sole voice speaking for the trees, and trying my best to give suggestions based on experience running IRC networks to those at the top on how to maintain a 'happy' chat room. I'm done
. As often overstated, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. With that in mind, I refuse to continue to beat my head against the wall, and have joined with several (read as: the overwhelming majority) of the #gonintendo regulars to float off through the smog and start our own community.
Over the past year, two things have been made agonizingly clear to me:
a) Nobody engaged with this site in any official capacity has the intelligence, experience, common sense or plain old give-a-damn necessary to operate a successful IRC channel, and,
b) Nobody engaged with this site is going to set aside their own will to dominate all life
long enough to listen to anyone outside of the voices in their own heads.
I've been on IRC the greater part of my life at this point. I got involved in the Windows 3.1/28.8k modem days using mIRC16. I still remember the day mIRC32 came out. I've witnessed the birth and death of many channels as well as entire networks, and can recognize the final throes of either one just as surely as I can recognize my own hand. Understanding this, I'm using this post as less of any kind of suggestion and more of an autopsy for a community name I've now been a part of for over half a decade. I'm also going to detail what lead up to this fate, which will read something along the lines of a cancer pathology. Some people won't like it. I really couldn't give a rat's ass
at this point. The reality of the situation needs to be made abundantly clear.
As to be fair, I'll break this section into parts to address individual people/groups of people.To the non-regulars, non-IRCers, very occasional chatters or those who just join the room during the podcast hours
When I joined #gonintendo during the "Revolution" days, the channel was thriving with an average of 40-50 users daily. Most of these users would join several days of the week, and not just during the times 'events' which occurred on the site/in the media, or when big news was announced. We who are regulars are all that's left of that original crowd of people. We were just like you, but rather than disappearing at the end of such an event, we stuck around. We didn't all like each other - far from it - but we liked the chat room because it was a good place to hang out with gamers. Those who remained did what we could to try to draw you into this fold in the best way we could. In the end, we really couldn't help you. Short of site intervention and more events, there was no way we were going to get you to stick around. Some of you mentioned that you don't like the 'noisy' format, have "grown out of chat" or find it too confusing for you... In such cases there's really nothing anyone do for you to make it better. IRC is what it is, and it's not for everyone. A few weeks ago in a last ditch effort to clear up the cancer I made the suggestion to Cort that he should have more site events to garner people like you in hopes that you may stick. I even suggested bringing game bots into the channel... but in the end, simple real-time text-based communication is what IRC is about, not games or events. For the 'casual', there really isn't much draw, and if that's you, well, we come from two different worlds.
I'll let it be known that for a long time I personally
would tend to go out of my way to try to engage podcast chatters in conversation, and 90% of the time the response I'd get would be random shouts toward RMC (who, by the way, has joined the chat room a single digit number of times in the past couple years)... which were made in the hopes of, I guess, being famous and getting attention from their bearded hero. For those whose only goal is to "get on TV", the chat has
nothing to offer you. I'll grant that some of the regulars have been somewhat derisive of this crowd, but even that has an obvious psychology to it. The mass exodus at the end of every show serves as nothing but a bitter reminder of how little most of the people come to this site care about its IRC extension. If anything, any "attitude" received from regulars is a result of them gazing with melancholy bemusement as the list shrinks from 50+ people to a little less than 30 every week. Having the air let out of your tires on a weekly basis tends to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the people who care about those tires.. so what motivation do they have to be more than simply tolerant of this crowd?
All this aside, if any of you were concerned that you had an effect on the chat room imploding over the last couple days (*snicker*), you need not worry in the slightest. This tumor has been growing for a long time, and its now fully metastasized, spreading, and terminal. To the ops, current and former, many of whom now join me in our tantrum room
I. Warned. You. All. And like the Lorax, I was either ignored, balked at or sometimes aggressively pushed aside. You're not faultless, as a little less than a year ago you really were the problem
. You were quickly becoming a club to which even the most of the non-opped regulars of the channel did not belong, and you did not care what they thought and went on as though you could do whatever you wanted with no consequences. Ironically enough, I managed to gain your collective attention during that little episode to make all of you (save for Kolma) realize what you were doing. The grand majority of you either mellowed out or started to realize that houses of cards can come quickly tumbling down if not properly secured with adhesive tape. That said, you continued to stick to cards rather than even straw or sticks, let alone bricks, and coddled and caressed the big
crazy wolves when they came knocking on your door. They've now successfully huffed, puffed, and blown your house in. That said, I believe in the value of learning from mistakes, and I hope that you've learned valuable lessons from all of this (first and foremost that Wiggymaster is always right
).To the other regulars
Some of you tolerate me. Some of you hate my guts. Most of you begrudgingly put up with my ranting because it's amusing, and somewhere, deep in those dark places you don't talk about at parties, you want
me on that wall, you NEED
ME ON THAT WALL.. oh, whoops, wrong scenario.
a silver lining to this, and it's that you may now understand that your community can't be torn down by anyone but yourselves. You really do not
have to take this kind of rubbish if you don't want to. You are not bound to represent this website or be "subordinate" to anyone. You're as free as you wish, and just because a name changes doesn't mean a person, soul, or community does.To cortjezter
A year ago, I credited you for the work you put into the site, and criticized you for allowing the chat room to be sucked down into the tenth level of hell. Your response was that I was the only one complaining, and therefore there was no issue. Finally, a little less than a month ago, you realized that Kolma really wasn't
a good op, but it was the right thing for the entirely
wrong reasons. Kolma's decision to ban the person he banned and to op the person he opped was the first correct thing he's done in a long time. Again - it may have been the right things for the wrong reasons - but the cancer that has spread so quickly has been a direct result of that user (who I will get to soon), and something I was 'Loraxing' about to the other ops for quite sometime. Again, I'll get to that below, but to finish here, you've let me and a lot of people down big time
. You went from completely abandoning the chat room to getting directly involved to solve a direct attack on your
authority, only to push it off to another person who, admittedly, even I had faith in. Speaking of which...To t27duck
• What we expected:
• What we got:<!t27duck> if the room dies, the room dies. I'm pretty much the life support due to cort's imcompetence [sic] and the regulars being a bunch of d*cks. when/if it dies, i'll just go back to the AllGames room on gamesurge
I've really not much left to say to you at this point. You've taken something very near and dear to me and run a knife through it in a way I never would've expected. I'd joke with you about such things, but never once did I imagine a seriously malicious bone in your body. Regardless, you're the Matt Millen
of #gonintendo. Your poisonous cross between bungling decisions and rampaging, immature cries of "I OWN EVERYTHING NOW AND YOU CAN SUBMIT OR GET LOST" has ruined the place. The worst part of all of it is the sense of personal betrayal - the fact that you catered to crazies like valesmith
(to those reading and not familiar, a malicious user who ended up being akilled from the entire network) over my word was sickening enough. To go forward and alienate the entire chat room and declare yourself emperor after talking about how much you agreed
with me on my little 'bill of rights' (which I sent to you to emphasize the freedom of thought
that should be present in a chat room, and how users who flood/spam or have proven themselves TROLLS should be the ones sanctioned) is quite the slap in the face to say the least. Regardless, you've now made your own bed, and you now get to sleep with the people who are only still there to gather ammunition against you in the hopes of seeing you go the way of the paper bag in Detroit. Last but hardly the least (despised)
The wonderful thing about the internet is that it is, for people like me, the last bastion of let-your-guard-down sanity on the planet. Modern day professional life dictates that you conform to a very specific image, and that to be successful you must dance this dance and avoid speaking your mind, laughing at things that are funny, or otherwise demonstrating the real you. In the work place, so many ridiculous 'P.C.' rules and regulations have been put into place that it boggles the mind how so many people can manage to not
be sued, let alone remain employed. I'm thoroughly convinced that the internet saved our society from going completely insane from boxing itself in so hard. The grace of the internet is that, here, everyone's on equal ground. For the most part, you're anonymous, and provided you don't do overtly stupid things like threaten the president, you do not need to worry about someone coming for you in the night. I'm in no way advocating internet terrorism or malicious use, mind you, but I am lauding the fact that it's a place where you can let your hair down and be a bit more liberal than you can be with people in person.
With that in mind, there are a small percentage of internet users who, for whatever reason, wish to change this. These people react to jokes as though they were bullets shot from a fence line. These poor creatures are, generally, suffering from one of two afflictions - either they're completely crazy
(and I do mean crazy in the literal sense of the term - mentally deficient), or they're White Knights™ who wish to ride to the rescue of said crazy people. Both cases define
The Cancer That's Killing #Gonintendo, and are, in my humble opinion, the cause of just about every bit of e-drama to ever be penned, and the NUMBER ONE (1) cause of community death on the internet.
(Skip to the end if you're already familiar with the situation or do not care about the account of specific events) First, allow me to replay the events of the current situation. For those who aren't in the know, a particular user who falls into the first category, was banned from the chat room by nothing short of UNANIMOUS consensus among both moderators and users. He is one half of the cause of the great protests that have erupted (the other half being t27duck, playing the role of White Knight/arsonist). He's proven himself a tad smarter than the average wingnut, mind you, as he's rather manipulative and opportunistic when he wants to be. That said, he is a wingnut, make no mistake... or perhaps the very best actor I've ever encountered online.
A little over a year ago, this fellow joined our chat room and we were more that tolerant of him at first. He was definitely a tad strange, often engaging in conversations that resemble this one and generally annoyed most of the user base. Be that as it may, we'd still deal with him. I even played Smash Bros. with him several times. Then the inevitable jokes started. He did not respond well to this. He would, in fact, throw VIOLENT tantrums any time a joke was made which he didn't like. I'll admit - I'd provoke him as much as the next person, but what was it that got him so upset? A simple obviously joking running gag that his banter would cause him to lose IQ points, measured by a meter. This is something I've probably applied to a dozen people in that room and others, some of whom I'm actually pretty good acquaintances with. That said, any reference to it, or for that matter anything else he didn't like, would cause him to fly into an uncontrolled rage in which he DEMANDED respect (cause, you know, flying into a rage on IRC wins you lots of that) and that anyone who offended him be banned (especially me).
Over time, this behavior only increased, and I was hardly the trigger of all of it (just a preferred target, as he'd occasionally mention my name and how evil I was to him in the middle of such break downs even when I hadn't been online all day). He began to take issue with anyone who said anything to him, claim that he was being ganged up on by the users, and otherwise lobbied for our collective executions, swearing up and down that everyone but him was the problem. Most of the ops rightfully ignored him. A few took pity on him, and gave him quite a bit more leniency than they would any other user. They also ignored my warnings that crazy people are crazy and need not be on the internet. We had been through all of this with |cdarr|, another mentally deficient user who can be fine one minute and flooding the channel the next.
That said, Ice continued to make |cdarr| look tame by comparison. The situation progressively worsened, as did the situation of Kolma being an op. It got to the point where I'd had enough, and left the channel for nearly a month with no real intention of coming back. I can't speak for what went on during my absence. During this period of time, I learned that Ice was permanently banned from the chat room, and as such, decided to take his concerns to Cort in an effort to overrule/smear Kolma (an irony, as Kolma originally was his first White Knight). To make a long story short, an op named \g (ironically a black man) used the term negro, which for whatever reason was termed racist and worthy of demotion by cortjezter. A sh*tstorm ensued as Kolma fought him on this, and I rejoined because I figured whatever the outcome, some good had to come of it. Instead, it got much worse.
t27duck "decided" he was going to take over the chat room, granted with much encouragement from me and other users who figured this would be a new chance to finally gain sound and sane decision making. However, the past few weeks have been anything but. One particular situation involved me coming online from work during my lunchbreak to encounter a user (valesmith) who was banned the previous weekend for flooding the chat room during the Dragon Quest X event. I was under the impression that his ban had not yet expired, and expressed this. HIs response was to flood the chat room with obscenities and other rubbish. I ignored the user, t27duck's response was to kick my at-home client which I keep connected in order to catch up with conversations when I feel like signing on at the end of the day. Needless to say, I wasn't happy, but Ragnarok convinced me this was just a mistake based upon "inexperience" and that I should let it go, and come back. One week later, valesmith was akilled from the network for flooding other chat rooms.
Boring stories end here. The current situation is what it is because t27duck has pointedly decided to remove Ice's ban and let him back into the chat room, despite every single moderator
's disagreement. His response to the obvious and expected protest of the user base was, in so many words, "f--- you. Leave if you don't like it." With that in mind, many of us have taken his advice.My final thought
As I stated before, I no longer hold any ties to that room nor do I care of its fate. I'm not going to be a part of a community that puts the insanity defense above common sense, nor will I ever submit to the thought police. As a red-blooded American adult of sound mind and body (ok, at least sound mind) I'm going to make jokes about the things I find to be funny and there isn't a damned thing anyone's going to do to stop me
. Living with a 64 year old mother who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, I know a thing or two about mental illness. I know how to be patient and deal with people who can't take jokes or who are overly sensitive to the most trivial things. I also know that letting her go online would be a mistake akin to detonating a thermonuclear device in my living room.
Just as I am not responsible for children who are incapable of handling themselves amongst an adult group of people, I am not responsible for babysitting or coddling the mentally ill and mentally handicapped who happen to wander onto the internet. I am of the firm belief that all three
of these groups do not belong in online communities at all, as they are not capable of making responsible decisions among groups of strangers. The federal government prohibits
children under the age of 13 from entering any online community without parental consent and supervision, and people like Ice, |cdarr|, and others who are mentally deficient qualify as children as far as I'm concerned. Now, unfortunately, I don't rule the world (yet), and the courts have determined that despite the overwhelming risk
to the health of the mentally ill that the internet poses, they need no version of COPPA. Fact is, I don't want to be around any more ticking time bombs than I have to be.
Between the mental and the mental-less leadership, the chat room's problem is two-fold at this point, and that's two too many. I've said my farewells, as has around half
the user base. It's all over, including the shouting.
#gonintendo is already dead as far as I'm concerned. Just a faraway thought