Sunday, October 16, 2011

From the compost pile... uh, ARCHIVES!

I may have mentioned this before but RoG is the successor blog to an earlier effort here on Blogger that I eventually divided in two. I decided to save the old blog to my desktop but I didn't save it as a file that could be readily uploaded back to Blogger. Reason being that some of the information was no longer current, some of the complaints no longer relevant and much of it just wouldn't make sense or be in context here. Still, it's interesting to visit the saved file and see what was on my mind "back when". In particular, one thing that has bothered me for a few years and still bothers me today, leads me to offer this delicious copypasta from May 17, 2010.

I've been on the internet since the late '90s and, in that time, I've participated in a number of forums covering my various hobby interests. In more recent years, I've also been a board admin and a moderator, so I understand the challenges faced by people who run message boards. I've seen both the good and bad of board administration and the behavior of board members. My complaint is that, I'm beginning to feel that two boards where I've participated for several years are becoming increasingly regimented and even a bit capricious. I get that both of these boards are big and probably need a larger degree of formality to keep them in check. However, both are beginning to feel a bit stifling in the sense of being in a small room where the heat has been set a bit too high.

In one particular case, a well-known board devoted to 1/6 scale action figures that severely limits criticism of controversial subjects. While I get that you don't want every post to have the potential to erupt in to a 20 page pissing contest, there are times when posters, especially manufacturers announcing new products, clearly don't have a clue. Without the ability to offer any criticism of a figure based on subject matter, you're left to stuff a sock in it while your hobby gets taken down a path you'd rather not see it go. I keep wondering if there's a limit beyond which even the staff of this board will say enough is enough. Beloved American Serial Killers of the 20th Century, perhaps? No, I doubt it.
At what point do I, as a member of the hobby community, finally get to say "enough"? How tasteless do 1/6 scale manufacturers get to be, and how long do they get to push "controversial" subjects in the faces of people who object to them before they finally lose the protection given them by the staff and owners of major on-line hobby forums? As of now, I really have to wonder if that point can ever be reached.

At the time I wrote this, I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable with two message boards where I was an active participant. The one I discuss but didn't name in the above post is One Sixth Warriors. They've had a ban in place on current events political discussions for many years and, sometime in the couple years or so, decided to extend that rule to cover discussions of the subject matter of the figures various manufacturers release or members post. I don't feel that the year and half or so since I wrote this has seen any great change in this situation (not just about Nazis but any potentially controversial or antagonizing subject) and in that time, I have largely stopped participating at that particular forum, aside from an occasional, bland "drive by" response that I never return to once I've offered an opinion.

This also touches, tangentially, on a subject that never fails to rile me up. The concept that a fight isn't a fight until someone has been pushed into a response. That's really a subject that deserves its own post, rather than allowing this one to veer into "tl;dr" territory. So until next time, and whenever I get around to writing that post, I'll say "adios"!

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