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Yet again, are we beating a dead horse? 
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:10 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
I wandered off from this site a couple of years ago because it was boring. Stifle people getting angry, swearing or whatever, and you stifle excitement and enthusiasm in general.

Points systems where people mark each-other's posts up or down turn into popularity contests, little circle-jerks where buddies give each-other points and mark down anyone who disagrees with them. I've seen it on other forums like bodybuilding.com, I don't recommend it.

Limiting a person's posts to a thread, or posts per day, is a very good way to limit the nastiness. Give it 24 hours or even 2 hours and you probably no longer feel like calling the guy a cunt. Anyway, how many people really have more than 1-6 quality posts in them each day? The flipside to that is that if your forum is already small and doesn't see a lot of traffic, limiting how much people can post isn't going to help that.

In general, I'm in favour of treating an rpg discussion forum the way I'd treat people in a game group. You just get in there and say whatever you like, if you're going too far or what you say is just too absurd then the others will let you know. Yes, on a forum unlike face-to-face you will get people being more persistently stupid and annoying for the sake of it, as pseudo was with Pundit's therpgsite. So that does raise the level of vitriol. But we are after all grownups, and they're just words on a screen.

The internet is like being in a crowd. It's exciting and you might brush up against someone attractive, but bustle around long enough and you'll get a few bruises. That's okay. At least it's not boring.

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"Don't let yourself get too worried about all this talk about roleplaying [...] the ultimate object of all this is for everyone to have fun, not to recreate some form of high dramatic art." - Dungeoneer


Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:22 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:16 pm
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Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
Nice to see some old faces....hope all is going well...

I'm curious because now I'm old and tired and I forget things, but I'm curious how much of an active effort is required to meet the threshold of "stifling". I'm not tying to be argumentative or overly snarky. I'm truly curious:

a) what kind of threshold that would require, and
b) is that how we started things here?

Because as I recall, it wasn't about forcing some kind of politeness, but aiming for it nonetheless. Whether or not hoping for something but having no real rules against it is a valid approach.....well...that is or can be a topic to peruse. I'm just really wondering if there was some kind of disconnect in communication from the very beginning...

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Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:18 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:10 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
I dunno, really. Yesterday I was trying to recall what made me leave last time, if there was anything specific, I only had like 8 posts, and in response to one of them had a couple of people say, "we don't talk like that here." Nothing official, just a bit of prissiness. I mean droog of all people, famed for literally calling people cunts on forum after forum, was telling me to talk nice. I'm a thousand times more open and honest, and engage with people's ideas genuinely and straightforwardly, compared to that guy. And he was telling me to talk nice? So I wandered off.

It doesn't have to be an official rule. As Herodotus said, custom is the strongest of laws. If that's the way everyone acts, then... you go along with it, or you leave. Nobody has to tell you when you're not welcome, you know.

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"Don't let yourself get too worried about all this talk about roleplaying [...] the ultimate object of all this is for everyone to have fun, not to recreate some form of high dramatic art." - Dungeoneer


Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:38 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:16 pm
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Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
S'all good.Like I said...just trying to recall...

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The rules are my slave, not my master. - Old Geezer

I'm reaching out for something, touching nothing's all I ever do.

If you're interested in GaryCon


Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:31 am
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:32 pm
Posts: 295
Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
Jim Skach wrote:
I'm curious because now I'm old and tired and I forget things, but I'm curious how much of an active effort is required to meet the threshold of "stifling". I'm not tying to be argumentative or overly snarky. I'm truly curious:

a) what kind of threshold that would require, and
b) is that how we started things here?

Because as I recall, it wasn't about forcing some kind of politeness, but aiming for it nonetheless.

I don't know if I ever thought there was a rule...but I guess that was settled pretty clearly by a certain thread about Dungeon Crawl Classics.

What I did see was some pretend-politeness, passive-aggressiveness, and trolling being met with some very impressive and genuine, but IMO excessive politeness. Honestly, I don't see how this should be a problem in the first place, but it's been a problem since back in the r.g.f.advocacy days--somebody always has to be the peacemaker and try to bridge the gap, which just leads to a bunch of yapping and trimming. Note, I don't blame you Jim, really you did a great job of firmly not letting people get away with shenanigans, without using any naughty words even, but at some point the old tired arguments need to be mooted, the people who insist on reviving them need to be called idiots and invited however nicely to STFU, and things must move on.


Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
ewilen wrote:
I don't know if I ever thought there was a rule...but I guess that was settled pretty clearly by a certain thread about Dungeon Crawl Classics.

What I did see was some pretend-politeness, passive-aggressiveness, and trolling being met with some very impressive and genuine, but IMO excessive politeness. Honestly, I don't see how this should be a problem in the first place, but it's been a problem since back in the r.g.f.advocacy days--somebody always has to be the peacemaker and try to bridge the gap, which just leads to a bunch of yapping and trimming. Note, I don't blame you Jim, really you did a great job of firmly not letting people get away with shenanigans, without using any naughty words even, but at some point the old tired arguments need to be mooted, the people who insist on reviving them need to be called idiots and invited however nicely to STFU, and things must move on.


I'm not sure I understand what you're saying Ewilen. Is it something like : When admin/mods try too hard to be polite, instead of being direct/blunt, it ends up badly?


Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:38 am
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:32 pm
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Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
You make it sound like a general law. It's more of a hypothesis based on observation, and not limited just to mods/admins.

What I've observed on Usenet, on RPG.net, here, and even on theRPGsite, is that some people are either dumb, ignorant, crazy, or liars, yet folks try to talk to them earnestly in an effort to "bridge the gap", which leads to a massive amount of verbiage and ends badly--at best, non-productively, at worst, counter-productively. The latter, because a huge amount of crufty language gets invented as a sort of political compromise, which then ends up poisoning future conversation.


Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:55 pm
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Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
I think it's more likely that a sizeable portion of the hobby hates absolutely everything about other portions of the hobby and many in the hobby believe others in the hobby are complete morons trying to sabotage everything, and if you make a rule saying they can't say that, it doesn't mean their minds change, it just means they can't SAY "you're an idiot who is destroying the hobby, shut up", which means that they'll imply it and say everything except those specific words, because that's what they think.

We are in a horrifically negative, vicious hobby that hates each other so much.


Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
I like you!


Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:30 pm
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Post Re: Yet again, are we beating a dead horse?
I have love in my heart for all humans, we are all brothers and sisters together on this fine green globe.


Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:34 pm
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