A FAREWELL TO FORUMS

Awhile ago, I was visiting a popular gaming forum that I've been going to for a little over a year now. A subject that came up was, "The 10 Most Violent Moments in NES Games". This is the original topic post:

Here are some of my own suggestions:

And this is the reply I get:

I don't believe I am the smartest person in the world, but I'm at least intelligent enough to know that you can't become a skeleton without first losing your skin. And it doesn't take a nuclear physicist to know that turning into a skeleton is certainly less pleasant than getting punched - you just need to have seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. (Note that I wouldn't necessarily say this is something that deserves an "M" or "T" rating, but we were speaking in relative terms, and as far as NES deaths go, it's certainly more explicit than the usual "Jump-and-Make-a-Wild-Face" of a lot of other protagonists.)

In years gone past, something like this wouldn't have bothered me too much. I would have just stated my case and be done with it. But this time around, I found myself getting really frustrated and angry. Neither of those things should even need to be explained, but that's the problem: There is a lot of stupidity amongst gamers on forums these days. They post knee-jerk reactions to the simplest things because they don't have any ability to think.

Earlier, I also had one of my posts edited on this same forum because someone didn't like that I said TMNT 2: The Arcade Game was one of the better beat-em-ups on the NES. What did he change it to say? That TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project was one of the better beat-em-ups on the NES. Yeah, so basically he changed one game to another that's nearly the same exact game, just with different backgrounds and boss sprites.

I wish gamers could be smarter. If they were, they might be taken more seriously, games wouldn't be so vilified in the media, and no one would listen to people like Jack Thompson. But as it stands, no one cares what gamers think because they'll look at any gaming forum and that's what they'll see. It's always been this way since the dawn of the internet's time, but lately it's become more the norm than the exception.

Although I've always been somewhat of a Forum Jackass (my friends could tell you a thing or two about my days at N-Sider and the Game Pond), I didn't used to be this cynical. My downward spiral began when I saw some of the ridiculously retarded responses to my Favorite Game Ending Songs article. The most surprising part of all to me were the number of people who acted like they never even heard of this site before. Guru Dean once told me that "it's hard to do a Google search for a classic game and not find a link to you", so I'd have to question why I should listen to people who don't care about classic games enough to bother trying to find sites about them. While everyone was saying what my favorite game ending song "should have been" (most of the suggestions were terrible), what REALLY "should have been" were more people saying, "Yeah, I already saw that article - a year ago when it was originally posted".

The problems that cropped up with the Cameos Database were another step in my curmudgeonly direction. It was great when it was just Port Saiid, the David Wonn crowd, the good half of the NES Scene, and a few other random good contributors. But then we got the bad apples and it went downhill: the ones who were submitting erroneous information, trying to debunk factually proven entries (in a very temperamental manner), and demanding I should only update Cameos and forget every other section of the site.

There are several main reasons I'm getting bothered more and more by crap like this lately.

The first reason is because I've just come off getting banned from a webcomics forum because one of their moderators refused to believe that the pictures I posted of myself were from the past seven years. I did eventually receive the ever-so-useful response that if I didn't want to get banned, then I shouldn't have posted pictures of myself. Uh-huh. How about we try, if you don't want people posting pictures of themselves on your forums, then don't have a topic for it! Also, I've posted pictures of myself in similar topics on other boards, and it's never caused a problem. To quote the great Jimmy Buffet:

"Yes, you're an A-S-S-H-O-L-E
And don't you try to blame it on me
You deserve all the credit
You're an asshole tonight"

The second reason is from dealing with these types on my own forums. I recently banned a known internet scammer who felt he had the right to dictate what we can and can't discuss there. We put up with his bullshit for three years (I didn't even realize it had been that long), but when he suggested he would try to scam my friends out of their games and money, showing absolutely no remorse or conscience for what he did to others in the past, that was the last straw. People who don't want to hear the opinions of critics should not be posting on a critic's forums.

I can keep kicking people like this off my own board, that's not a problem. But you can't eliminate dumb people everywhere, nor is it possible to educate them in most cases because they'll get angry before they'll listen, and I've lost my patience in dealing with them. There was a time when I delighted in hopping from forum to forum, not really caring what kinds of replies I'd get. If they were stupid, I ignored them or made fun of them (although Mother Bear Syndrome has ruined most chances for the latter these days), and if they were good replies, I'd have a lot of fun with the conversations.

But I've changed and times have changed. I've gotten older and worn out. It just isn't fun anymore. To quote another great rock legend, B.B. King, "The thrill is gone". People have suggested that I should take the time I would have spent posting on other forums and put it back into this website. It was never really that simple for me because being a forum denizen has been a part of who I am, ever since I first got on the internet way many years ago in 1995. But I think the time has finally arrived where taking that advice will end in the best results for everybody.

I'll continue to post at my own forums, my friends' forums, and a couple of the forums that are associated with affiliates' sites. I don't have a problem with any of those. But large, outside public forums of any kind, I am officially retiring from. This is one omelette that's been thoroughly fried.

Comments from the RAU Gallery:
Honen: You don't know what dealing with stupidity iz like until you've taught a class with Mr. Hallet and Mr. Paladin.
BOF2 Cat:

Honen: I said, you don't know what stupidity iz until you've dealt with Mr. Hallet and Mr. Paladin.
BOF2 Cat:

Honen: Nevermind.
Christopher: Well, I for one, am glad dumb gamers exist. They're what kick-started this section with the Site Tracking Adventures and they gave us ReviewPlanet. Think where we'd be without them.
Zumo: Guys, guys, we are losing focus here! The REAL issue is that the most violent moments in NES history aren't any of the things mentioned.
Christopher: No? Then what are they?
Zumo: Witness Exhibit A:

Needless Sword-on-Giant-Worm violence in Faxanadu.

Exhibit B:

Four against two in Final Fantasy. Just look at all the blood flying out of their mouths from all those unwarranted beatings!

Exhibit C:

Breaking and entering in a Giant Worm's bedroom in Monster Party and killing him in his sleep.

And finally, Exhibit D:

Feeding a hairy old wizard to a Giant Worm in The Immortal. That poor fella's gonna have indigestion for weeks to come.

Christopher: Damn. That's a lotta dead worms.
Zumo: And they don't put any warnings on these things, that's what bothers me.
Robin: Alright, guys, do we all know what time it is?
Honen: Time to pontificate how pointless all life on ze planet is?
Robin: No, we did that last week. It's time to revisit the posts of a forum-goer who is intelligent and makes worthwhile replies.
Christopher: Who is it this time?
Robin: I had a hard time deciding, so I picked a random name from a hat, and this is who it was. Roll it!


THE RAU GALLERY PRESENTS:
SethraShnoo's Greatest Hits


(If you'd like to set this to music, click above.)







































































Honen: After reading all ze moronic emails and forum posts dat have been put in zis series lately, dat waz surprisingly nice breath of fresh air.
BOF2 Cat:

Honen: I said "breath of fresh air", not breath of... Oh, vergessen Sie es.
Note: Picture of Royce from Monster Party lovingly swiped from Bogleech.

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