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Andres' Blog

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State of GDC


Fuzz

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We're a mess. Things are slow and some people are just being dicks to each other. It's not new, people are always dicks to each other, but it's usually sandwiched between Green Day news and new members coming in to water down the shitty attitudes.

I'm going to write today about two things that have always frustrated me the most since I've been in charge of GDC: cliques and people saying "it's just the internet" or some variation of that.

Cliques

noun

"a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them."

This is something GDC has always had. Some are better than others. Some are more interesting, some aren't based on exclusion, some aren't negative toward other members. Unfortunately the ones that most people remember are the negative ones. I remember talking about cliques with Amanda back when she was helping me run this place nearly a decade ago. When people group up and start using their friendships as a circlejerk to bash other members, it gets really tiring very fast. What I find most tiring is when people use them to not only bash other member, but then come after the mod team like a pack of hyenas who have somehow managed to learn how to write while using only half their brain. We're the authority here, it's fun to mock the people in charge. But it goes too far sometimes and ends up actually hurting people. That's not cool, no matter what position they have. Team members volunteer here because they like this place and want to have input on how to make it better. Having to deal with shitty people making shitty comments shouldn't be something that we just accept as part of the job and let it all slide. I find that this happens a whole lot more when people get all cliquey and find it amusing to push people's buttons, then go back to their private chats and giggle about it. Whether it's toward mods or just a member they don't like, it's destructive. It fuels negativity and it's basically the same mentality as high school bullies. How adults can act this way and feel justified in their behavior is beyond me.

Another negative side of cliques is when people disagree with someone's beliefs they get their friends to come in and own them. It's a popularity contest where winning is absolutely pointless and in the long run actually adds to the problem. Everything is just one misunderstanding away from someone being absolutely obliterated by someone else's friends. That's a fucked up community.

So how do we fix this? Either the mod team grows and we babysit everyone,telling people to stop saying mean things to each other. Or people act a little mature about differences and realize it's perfectly fine to disagree with someone about something while understanding that doesn't make them the fucking devil. You don't have to like the chat room to respect the people who go there. You definitely don't need to go there just to shit on the people who actually like chatting with their friends in there. You don't have visit the feminists club just to see how many people can riled up with your shitty point of view. You don't have find opportunities to shit on someone else just because you think it'll be funny.

"It's just the internet"

The internet isn't detached from reality. The things you say to someone don't magically get stored away in a special internet part of your brain. Fucked up things that upset you don't magically feel better just because it was said online. Everyone you talk to here is another person in the same situation you are, reading the same community from their home/phone/work/school/wherever. I think the internet just gives people a sense of selfishness and it's easy to detach feeling from the things you're saying to someone else like they're an actual human being. It's all just words thrown into the ether and random shit gets thrown back by faceless droids. There's no reason for people to think it's ok to say something fucked up to someone online and pretend like that's totally normal.

Everything doesn't need to be a fight or a battle. Disagreements don't all have to devolve into naming calling and seeing who gets hurt the most. GDC - or forums in general - are not like other online communities such as Reddit or Tumblr, because people actually start to know each other more easily. We're not all just another username. People become familiar with how individuals act, they become friends and couples, we learn about each others lives and struggles and it's not all in a passing way through the tubes. So the way people act toward each other actually starts to set a tone of how this place is perceived both by newcomers and oldies. That tone naturally changes from time to time, but when the tone changes in such a way that I no longer find this place enjoyable, the solution shouldn't be more me to leave or step back. Much to the chagrin of some, the solution is to delve in and make sure this is the community that I want it to be. That starts with getting rid of members who find it funny to push buttons so they can have a laugh about it with their friends.

I'm not interested in babysitting, nor am I interested in suspending or banning users. I am interested in making this community better for the people who actually appreciate it. That will be the guiding principle I use going forward this year.

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Based on my experience on here, you are not likely accept any of possible criticism I or somebody else might direct at certain aspects, the partial blame-shifting and the tone of this blog post. So, how about answering one simple question....

That starts with getting rid of members who find it funny to push buttons so they can have a laugh about it with their friends.

Give us names. Otherwise, this is as PA as these multiple meta threads and other spam.

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Based on my experience on here, you are not likely accept any of possible criticism I or somebody else might direct at certain aspects, the partial blame-shifting and the tone of this blog post. So, how about answering one simple question....

Give us names. Otherwise, this is as PA as these multiple meta threads and other spam.

Blame shifting? Don't be vague yourself. What am I shifting the blame from? I know that the status of GDC depends entirely on what I enforce or what I allow. I know that's my responsibility as an owner. I'm not shifting the blame for that from myself to others. The goal of this was to highlight the things I'm tired of, whether I allowed them before or not, and to indicate that I was looking to change that.

Calling specific people out in a blog post detracts from its goal. It doesn't solve the issue, it makes them the center of attention and precisely what they enjoy the most. Instead, when people cross those lines I've laid out in my post, they'll be fully aware I was talking about them.

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Vague? Not really, but I will try to keep it as short as possible: once "I" becomes "we" and you start seeing the community as a synergy of all of its members, the problem might be one step closer to solving. These things had to be handled long ago, when you were claiming that you were having fun. Now that you are tired, it suddenly matters. While I agree that things need to be better, it's important to understand where people come from long before you get "tired", "bored" or whatever.

Bullying brings more people into the "negative" groups. Those who have a problem belonging elsewhere, they will try and fit into whatever seems approachable and brings street cred. The others will either be intimidated or admire them, and if a group comes with a certain lingo, set of practices and such; the majority of the active posters WILL adopt it. We've come to the stage where genuine feelings are equated with "butthurt", people "enjoy shitstorms" and everything is meta to the point where it could be alienating to somebody new, who might have something worthy to contribute. Changing this attitude takes time and it sure won't change with a single spit of authority phlegm.

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1. There's never going to be a time when everyone's perfectly nice to each other

2. Two years ago will permanently be GDC's "golden years." People are nostalgic bastards. That'll never change.

With that being said, I agree with most of what's been written here. There's no reason this site can't continue to thrive without GD being that active.

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Vague? Not really, but I will try to keep it as short as possible: once "I" becomes "we" and you start seeing the community as a synergy of all of its members, the problem might be one step closer to solving. These things had to be handled long ago, when you were claiming that you were having fun. Now that you are tired, it suddenly matters. While I agree that things need to be better, it's important to understand where people come from long before you get "tired", "bored" or whatever.

Bullying brings more people into the "negative" groups. Those who have a problem belonging elsewhere, they will try and fit into whatever seems approachable and brings street cred. The others will either be intimidated or admire them, and if a group comes with a certain lingo, set of practices and such; the majority of the active posters WILL adopt it. We've come to the stage where genuine feelings are equated with "butthurt", people "enjoy shitstorms" and everything is meta to the point where it could be alienating to somebody new, who might have something worthy to contribute. Changing this attitude takes time and it sure won't change with a single spit of authority phlegm.

I agree with most of what you said. I don't expect, nor did I imply, that everything was going to be fixed because I wrote one blog post. But we have to start somewhere.

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I am glad the metaphor at the end didn't freak you out, as it was more meant to be a take on the whole post being a "spitting", rather than something else.

Wondering what will eventually happen, then. :)

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But what if one is doing a public service by notifying the community of members responsible for a disproportionate amount of low-quality content? What if they're creepy sex stalkers?
Then you can pass that on to the team and we can talk to the people involved so we can understand how they feel about it. Sometimes you're the only person that has a problem.
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BetterThanAir

Posted

i agree with most of what you said here, but i do think maybe people need to realize if they didn't react the way they do to ""bullies"" and baiting, then the ""bullies"" would just stop because it wouldn't be funny. seriously. i realize that it's not fair to expect the person being targeted to not get upset, but the sooner everyone realizes if you just stop rising to ceadagh's bait then he'll shut the fuck up, the better. trust me, i deal with it daily :P

[Edit]: That's like telling a girl that if she didn't wear fitted clothing, she wouldn't get cat-called.

It still shouldn't happen.

It's stupid to say, but it's easy for you because you're friends with the people who gang up on everyone else. Users on this site should be able to log on and say whatever they please without feeling like they're an idiot, or feeling belittled.

I know plenty of people on this site that are bullied in real life and come online to talk to other people. I come online here because I have friends here that share more in common with me than my IRL friends.

It's so sad to gang up on someone YOU HAVEN'T TALKED TO. In my opinion, if someone can't get out of their high school phase, then they are pathetic.

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BetterThanAir

Posted

first of all, don't ever imply that anything i said or will ever say is comparable to what was there before you edited it, thanks. i'm not saying that it "should" happen, seeing as in an ideal world we would all just get along and no one would argue ever and no one would ever say anything even remotely mean, but that's not how the world works. it's just not. not online, and not in real life. just because they're my friends doesn't mean i have to agree with everything they say or do (and i don't) but i also know that almost all of what they say that's taken as bullying is never meant as anything more than a joke. again, i'm not saying that makes it right, but i also think it's important sometimes for people to take a step back and realize that if someone is being mean to you and they don't even know you, their opinion doesn't matter anyway. seriously.

I do agree with your last statement; it doesn't matter. That is true. Well...it shouldn't matter, but again, it's easier said than to actually believe it in that moment. You never know if anyone has issues though with self-esteem or anything like that. When you're down about yourself and someone makes you feel like a fool, it's a form of bullying. Especially if that person has made it clear multiple times that they are uncomfortable with it, or were offended by it. Carrying on with that joke would be disrespectful. More people joining in with sneer remarks is rude beyond belief. And that's where 'jokes' get out of hand, and that's what often times happens on this site.

Because of it getting out of hand, it's really hard to just accept that 'it doesn't matter' or 'shouldn't be taken seriously'.

Also, it's extremely awkward and uncomfortable when a group of people randomly (and constantly) make your statements into something to laugh at. A lot of us don't know your friends on a level where it's appropriate to laugh at their jokes. To some people it's a joke, because they all know each other, but to other's it's just a comment that makes them feel inferior.

A lot of people don't know certain people that make these jokes too well to know how it's meant to come across, and the people who do this don't make themselves approachable to even get to know. It leaves people feeling they have to act a certain way, or keep quiet and lurk, which is what I just do. And that's why it sucks.

Also, I wasn't meaning to target you in any way. I just saw your response and I know you are friends with people who do this, so I figured I'd reply. I have nothing against you, and I don't really know much about you. I just wanted to clarify that, so sorry if I came across as though I was being rude to you.

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