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Thoughts on Gatekeeping

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I was thinking about the whole idea of "gatekeeping" within a community over the past few days, because usually people take it as some sort of modern-day subculture equivalent to the original sin. In broad strokes, today's culture and morality can be summed up with "live and let live", and as a result some people have come to the conclusion that with subcultures and interests the idea of barring or discouraging others from partaking in the aforementioned subculture or interest - "gatekeeping", as it's referred to - is inappropriate and counterproductive.

But pondering on the idea further, I've eventually come to understand something from a minor and unsurprising yet surprisingly elusive revelation; the world is not a binary system. Just because you don't make everyone jump through the eye of the tiger and sacrifice their firstborn son to post on Doomworld, for example, doesn't mean that Doomworld needs to end up becoming a slog of barely-relevant memes and posts parroting eachother.

Because without a bare minimum amount of preventing people who really aren't actually in the subculture or interest, the whole thing eventually starts to decompose and is used more as a means to and end as opposed to an end in it of itself. Gatekeeping can come in many forms, and I'd say that forum rules that aren't "Do not disrupt others" or "Do not make the place intolerably horrible for everyone else" are forms of gatekeeping. I'm not allowed to make a thread of me copying and pasting artwork of Isabelle from Animal Crossing and NuDoomguy (at least, I presume so.) even if it's in the "Everything Else" category of the forum. I, as someone posting on this forum, have a responsibility to make high quality posts. And that itself is a very abstract, yet still very real, form of gatekeeping.

But what's your personal input on this idea? Do you think I have a more reasonable and logical take on the idea of gatekeeping or am I just some loon spouting off about nothing?

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Don't be high, and you'll do just fine. Just give it a try.

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2 minutes ago, OniriA said:

Don't be high, and you'll do just fine. Just give it a try.

I am all too sober right now. I just have a lot of these weird, wannabe philosopher type of thoughts that run through my head all the time.

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Rejecting a person flirting with you is a microlevel form of gatekeeping too. Right? You know, rejecting a newcomer because they don't meet a certain or uncertain set of conditions. And it's "inappropriate and counterproductive" apparently.
The term is often misused, together with buzzwords like "elitism", but there should always be a "gate" of some sort of course. Handholding and transparency is appropriate surely, but counterproductive more often than not. Nowadays stray people on the internet commonly have zero respect and near-zero self awareness in new communities they enter, they're often taken for granted. It's not hard to see respect and self awareness, or the lack of them, right on the doorstep

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Posted (edited)

In an increasingly oversaturated, fake and exploitative world, the value of an individual is determined by the attainment and realization of higher goals 

and being part of a culture that symbolizes and represents those values in the best way possible. Which in turn is then valued by the rest of the world.

 

Attaining higher goals has always been through sacrifice and commitment, which is a biologically "gatekeeping" fact ingrained deep within the framework of humanity itself. Those who neglect this often learn it through rejection and humiliation, before realizing they too need to lift their status in life in order to be of value and meaning to others.

 

And in order to not be forgotten in the meaningless void of nothingness. 

Edited by OniriA

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My problem with the term 'gatekeeping' these days is that, in many cases, it has become synonymous with 'not wanting to water down content to appeal to the lowest common denominator'.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, act said:

and I'd say that forum rules that aren't "Do not disrupt others" or "Do not make the place intolerably horrible for everyone else" are forms of gatekeeping.

If forums rules count as gatekeeping, then do you think real-life law is also a form of gatekeeping?

If no, then let's tone it down: when someone is angry no matter if it's real chatting or online, and you ask him to be polite, is this really gatekeeping in your opinion?

Edited by Hitboi

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That's a very weird wall of text and that part where you say you're kinda 'obligated' to make quality posts sounds very far-fetched and a bit pretentious. Anyway, I think that gatekeeping is a good thing.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

Rejecting a person flirting with you is a microlevel form of gatekeeping too. Right? You know, rejecting a newcomer because they don't meet a certain or uncertain set of conditions. And it's "inappropriate and counterproductive" apparently.
The term is often misused, together with buzzwords like "elitism", but there should always be a "gate" of some sort of course. Handholding and transparency is appropriate surely, but counterproductive more often than not. Nowadays stray people on the internet commonly have zero respect and near-zero self awareness in new communities they enter, they're often taken for granted. It's not hard to see respect and self awareness, or the lack of them, right on the doorstep

 

1 hour ago, dasho said:

My problem with the term 'gatekeeping' these days is that, in many cases, it has become synonymous with 'not wanting to water down content to appeal to the lowest common denominator'.

 

1 hour ago, Sena said:

A certain degree of gatekeeping is always going to be necessary, if someone comes to Doomworld thinking it's going to be just like /r/doom and the whole thing is basically just a dumping ground for rip and tear memes, then it would be better to have someone point them in the right direction rather than do nothing and have them make it a worse place for everyone. Sometimes people take it too far and have to make a dick-measuring contest out of it (a small minority which I generally find are blown out of proportion by people who oppose gatekeeping), but the fact of the matter is, Doomworld, as with any other online community, has a certain objective, and if people want to come in completely ignorant of that objective and just make it about whatever they like, then they probably shouldn't be here in the first place, I certainly wouldn't want to share a community with someone that entitled.

 

In other words,  ad9.png

General smugness and holier-than-thou attitude everyone here is having aside... Gatekeeping is an assholish thing to do that I thought was nearly universally despised at this point. Having an hobby or wanting to join a community is not like a fucking Illuminati or Mensa membership. They're not societies.  Anyone can join, you don't need to apply for it. And about the pretentious "dumbing down" bullshit, again, the "I'm better than you and have objectively better tastes" arrogance aside, immediately throwing newbies in the fire because they don't immediately have tastes that 100% align with the fandom is evidently a good way to make sure it doesn't grow. Instead of explaining things and teaching them, you would all rather kick them out at the first slightest mistake? 

 

I know I've given r/Doom alot of crap in the past. But I've never said I wanted the place shut down, or anyone that comes over here to be banned, or even calling for everyone that ever made a Rip and Tear meme to be lynched. Don't be an asshole dictating how others should enjoy other things: you aren't the center of the universe, and liking certain games or TV shows fanatically isn't a personality trait for you to get so pissed about.

 

EDIT: And about that image, the metaphor backfires completely. You do know our immune system is extremely prone to attack our own body cells, right?

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2 hours ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

Rejecting a person flirting with you is a microlevel form of gatekeeping too. Right?

No

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1 hour ago, Sena said:

A certain degree of gatekeeping is always going to be necessary, if someone comes to Doomworld thinking it's going to be just like /r/doom and the whole thing is basically just a dumping ground for rip and tear memes, then it would be better to have someone point them in the right direction rather than do nothing and have them make it a worse place for everyone. Sometimes people take it too far and have to make a dick-measuring contest out of it (a small minority which I generally find are blown out of proportion by people who oppose gatekeeping), but the fact of the matter is, Doomworld, as with any other online community, has a certain objective, and if people want to come in completely ignorant of that objective and just make it about whatever they like, then they probably shouldn't be here in the first place, I certainly wouldn't want to share a community with someone that entitled.

 

In other words,  ad9.png

I've always heard gatekeeping described as members of a community rejecting new ideas they see as being too different from the "true" way things are "supposed to be" or "used to be". So it's interesting to hear it described this way instead.

I'm not sure what you mean by objective though, my guess is that you meant every site eventually evolves to a point where certain stuff is or isn't acceptable, and that people coming in fresh should be aware of those limits, which I agree with. But objective seems like a slightly strange wording since not everyone with a DW account is gonna agree with eachother.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, DSC said:

General smugness, pretentious arrogance aside

And irrational aggression beside

29 minutes ago, DSC said:

immediately throwing newbies in the fire because they don't immediately have tastes that 100% align
calling for everyone that ever made a Rip and Tear meme to be lynched


Basically a ridiculous overexaggerated extreme case, and no one else got even close to an extreme. If this is a discussion, this entire post is sand to the eyes

 

29 minutes ago, DSC said:

evidently a good way to make sure it doesn't grow. Instead of explaining things and teaching them, you would all rather kick them out

Some people with self-awareness, true love and curiosity for the subject teach themselves and make no mistakes, and eventually add a lot to the quality of the community. If valuing quality over quantity is "arrogant and pretentious", whatever

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2 minutes ago, DSC said:

 

 

General smugness and holier-than-thou attitude everyone here is having aside... Gatekeeping is an assholish thing to do that I thought was nearly universally despised at this point. Having an hobby or wanting to join a community is not like a fucking Illuminati or Mensa membership. They're not societies.  Anyone can join, you don't need to apply for it. And about the pretentious "dumbing down" bullshit, again, the "I'm better than you and have objectively better tastes" arrogance aside, immediately throwing newbies in the fire because they don't immediately have tastes that 100% align with the fandom is evidently a good way to make sure it doesn't grow. Instead of explaining things and teaching them, you would all rather kick them out at the first slightest mistake? 

 

I know I've given r/Doom alot of crap in the past. But I've never said I wanted the place shut down, or anyone that comes over here to be banned, or even calling for everyone that ever made a Rip and Tear meme to be lynched. Don't be an asshole dictating how others should enjoy other things: you aren't the center of the universe, and liking certain games or TV shows fanatically isn't a personality trait for you to get so pissed about.

 

EDIT: And about that image, the metaphor backfires completely. You do know our immune system is extremely prone to attack our own body cells, right?

'Instead of explaining things and teaching them, you would all rather kick them out at the first slightest mistake?' - huh? What the hell is this? Explaining things and teaching them? Are you talking about mapping? If not, then what's your issue? Why the hell people who've been around here for longer than a few days and who've been playing Doom for a long time should teach newbies who don't know basic stuff and ask stupid questions? I thought it's prerequisite that you should be quite familiar with the game before joining ANY forum dedicated to that said game. If someone doesn't know shit about Doom or can't play Doom for shit (the latter isn't that bad of an issue though, I'm not a great player myself heh), then what people like this are doing here? It's not anyone's duty to babysit them and 'teach' them about anything. Learn more about the game, get better at the game and then come back when you can bring anything of value to the conversation. Also, the part where you say 'don't be an asshole' is pretty hypocritical, as that's exactly what you did with your post.

 

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I believe all types of people should be able to participate in the forums. But rules are not a form of gatekeeping. The only thing they're keeping you from doing is wasting everyone else's time. You want to share a cool piece of doom art you found? Cool. Make sure you credit the artist and post it in the Doom Pictures thread. You want to post updates to your in progress wad? Do it all in one thread. You want to post low effort trash? Don't. And this has nothing to do with the level of quality. IMO there are lots of newbies that post their first earnest attempt at mapping and are met with users that are happy to play their work and give adequate feedback. But posting obvious bait should be punished.

 

3 minutes ago, CittyKat112 said:

I thought it's prerequisite that you should be quite familiar with the game before joining ANY forum dedicated to that said game. If someone doesn't know shit about Doom or can't play Doom for shit (the latter isn't that bad of an issue though, I'm not a great player myself heh), then what people like this are doing here? It's not anyone's duty to babysit them and 'teach' them about anything.

 

I disagree with this sentiment, this is a great place to learn about Doom, hell there's an entire subsection of the forums dedicated to editing questions. Lots of folk around here will be happy to help newcomers, I don't think there's anything wrong with someone coming here seeking advice or to be taught. Without the forums I would definitely not be where I am today, I learned a great deal from the forums, due to the community.

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Just now, Egg Boy said:

I believe all types of people should be able to participate in the forums. But rules are not a form of gatekeeping. The only thing they're keeping you from doing is wasting everyone else's time. You want to share a cool piece of doom art you found? Cool. Make sure you credit the artist and post it in the Doom Pictures thread. You want to post updates to your in progress wad? Do it all in one thread. You want to post low effort trash? Don't. And this has nothing to do with the level of quality. IMO there are lots of newbies that post their first earnest attempt at mapping and are met with users that are happy to play their work and give adequate feedback. But posting obvious bait should be punished.

 

 

I disagree with this sentiment, this is a great place to learn about Doom, hell there's an entire subsection of the forums dedicated to editing questions. Lots of folk around here will be happy to help newcomers, I don't think there's anything wrong with someone coming here seeking advice or to be taught. Without the forums I would definitely not be where I am today, I learned a great deal from the forums, due to the community.

I wasn't talking about editing at all, that's why I asked them if they're talking about mapping. I meant people who didn't even finish Plutonia but decided to jump straight into forums and make ridiculuous threads like the one where someone complained about the IWADs being 'hard'. That's my problem with what that commenter said. Imo you should have at least some basic knowledge about the game before joining the forums.

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 Lol I'm waiting for Redneckerz to come in with some delightfully sardonic comment like: "Vague, pointless topics like these are why gatekeeping is necessary." 

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As it goes I think this community is fairly good when it comes to gatekeeping - when I was new people were more than happy to answer questions I had, but equally there were lots of other resources I could find out there that could explain things I didn’t get, so Google answered more of my questions than actual users. There are lots of useful things to read as a new person, so I’m pretty sure I never annoyed anybody with stupid questions or posted anything stupid (although I can never be sure). I’ve also never felt like I haven’t been allowed to participate in a discussion, although often I haven’t felt like I needed to because I still haven’t played that much doom compared to other people. Looking at what people have said about Reddit, I do believe that the fact that every subreddit is linked to every other subreddit, and that random people will inevitably stumble into other subreddits and upvote things that may not be relevant, has been a disaster. The number of horrible people I’ve encountered on the internet  would be drastically lower if there was some kind of gatekeeping between subreddits, so clearly some kind of gatekeeping is useful.

 

That being said, most of the time I would rather err on the side of being too accommodating than making people feel unwelcome, especially when it comes to hobby spaces on the internet like this one. It may be a slight pain to explain something to someone for what may feel like the thousandth time, but that person could eventually go on to be the next skillsaw or the next Xaser - it’s unlikely, but the more you make people feel welcome you make people feel, the higher the chance of the next amazing mapper stumbling in is. There are lots of communities on the internet where you will get loads of snarky, mean comments the moment you say something that shows you know less about something than someone else, and usually this community succeeds at not doing this, and when they do it it’s usually because someone made an entire post about their fairly uninformed opinion because they thought it was worth sharing.

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7 minutes ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

Some people with self-awareness, true love and curiosity for the subject teach themselves and make no mistakes, and eventually add a lot to the quality of the community. If valuing quality over quantity is "arrogant and pretentious", whatever

First off, I don't think DSC was suggesting to open the floodgates and just let as many people as possible come in even if they don't have awareness of the forum or the game.
Secondly, people are people and will make mistakes, someone might love doom and have played iwads and pwads a bunch of times over and still not be completely aware of the culture of a particular Doom forum.
Perhaps they've never been in a forum before (discord and similar stuff has kind of taken over now), or maybe they've not talked to that many other people who are into doom, you simply can't expect people to drop in and be a perfect cookie cutter shaped user. Idk perhaps I'm reading too much into your reply.

I don't think newbies should be pushed away before they even get to make a second mistake, unless the very first thing they ever do is something extreme or forum rule breaking.

 

7 minutes ago, CittyKat112 said:

Why the hell people who've been around here for longer than a few days and who've been playing Doom for a long time should teach newbies who don't know basic stuff and ask stupid questions? I thought it's prerequisite that you should be quite familiar with the game before joining ANY forum dedicated to that said game. If someone doesn't know shit about Doom or can't play Doom for shit (the latter isn't that bad of an issue though, I'm not a great player myself heh), then what people like this are doing here? It's not anyone's duty to babysit them and 'teach' them about anything. Learn more about the game, get better at the game and then come back when you can bring anything of value to the conversation.

I agree that noone literally has an obligation to hand-hold new users, but after reading this almost 8 times over I can't shake the feeling that you're just expecting new people to magically know what not to do or say, which is kinda unrealistic.
 

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, DSC said:

And about the pretentious "dumbing down" bullshit, again, the "I'm better than you and have objectively better tastes" arrogance aside, immediately throwing newbies in the fire because they don't immediately have tastes that 100% align with the fandom is evidently a good way to make sure it doesn't grow. Instead of explaining things and teaching them, you would all rather kick them out at the first slightest mistake? 

 

For those of us who are capable of thinking in anything other than extremes, this is clearly not what I meant so calm down. People on this forum have an incredibly annoying habit of putting words in other people's mouths.

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3 hours ago, knifeworld said:

of all the words typed in a particular order those are definitely some of them

I'm glad this thread was made just so I got to experience this sentence. Exquisite

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, CittyKat112 said:

I thought it's prerequisite that you should be quite familiar with the game before joining ANY forum dedicated to that said game. If someone doesn't know shit about Doom or can't play Doom for shit (the latter isn't that bad of an issue though, I'm not a great player myself heh), then what people like this are doing here? It's not anyone's duty to babysit them and 'teach' them about anything. Learn more about the game, get better at the game and then come back when you can bring anything of value to the conversation.

 

Surely joining the forums can help people understand Doom more and help them know more about it/get better? I'm not saying that people should always be obliged to help new users but saying "If you don't know enough about Doom or can't play it well then don't join the forums" just discourages new people from joining in the first place. 

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5 minutes ago, knifeworld said:

First off, I don't think DSC was suggesting to open the floodgates and just let as many people as possible come in even if they don't have awareness of the forum or the game.
Secondly, people are people and will make mistakes, someone might love doom and have played iwads and pwads a bunch of times over and still not be completely aware of the culture of a particular Doom forum.
Perhaps they've never been in a forum before (discord and similar stuff has kind of taken over now), or maybe they've not talked to that many other people who are into doom, you simply can't expect people to drop in and be a perfect cookie cutter shaped user. Idk perhaps I'm reading too much into your reply.


Yeah, I'm not even talking about personal things or tastes. When a newbie is asking a question, it's pretty easy to know how much they have invested themselves in the subject from the wording. Sometimes it's ridiculous how they miss very low-level basic things, as if they just entered a math community to get an answer for homework without learning anything. Trying to teach anything here is an unquestionable waste of time at this point, and the newbie would never be a valuable asset. Everyone has a purpose, everyone belongs in different places. DSC's purpose so far seems like to agitate someone, rather than call for reconsidering anything.

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Posted (edited)

Here’s my experience with the community:

 

I’ve been playing doom on and off for about the past decade or so, glaring at the same few maps from Doom and Doom 2 and never playing Final Doom and hardly dipping my toes into any pwads or pk3s outside of the most popular ones, and even then for only small portions of time (I was mostly doing fighting game stuff instead). When I joined the community around March last year, I instantly found people that were ready and willing to be cool with me and ride together on my doom journey. I eventually met Egg Boy and my other friends from the community on Jimmy’s server, which is designed for doomers of all skills and experiences, even the ones ridiculed in this thread. In a little over a year I have met a lot of faces, done a lot of mapping, played dozens to hundreds of wads, and seen so many great things happen by some down to earth people. I wouldn’t have that chance if I was gatekept cause I hadn’t played anything harder than Plutonia Map01 and never reacted like anything was harder otherwise, cause I did. 

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31 minutes ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

And irrational aggression beside

Because being angry at people being elitist asses above everyone else is such an irrational thought to have.

 

32 minutes ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

Basically a ridiculous overexaggerated extreme case, and no one else got even close to an extreme. If this is a discussion, this entire post is sand to the eyes

Its not an extreme or exaggeration though...? It is literally what happens in a lot of cases, and its literally what you defend in the next fucking paragraph.

 

33 minutes ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

Some people with self-awareness, true love and curiosity for the subject teach themselves and make no mistakes, and eventually add a lot to the quality of the community. If valuing quality over quantity is "arrogant and pretentious", whatever

Again, having a hobby or being part of a community is not the same as fucking applying for an university course. Why does something that should be so simple take up so much work? And why is making mistakes such a bad thing? Learning from your mistakes is part of the process of learning, and everybody makes mistakes. Yes even you, and according to your shitty logic it means you should have been kicked out of here. Nobody is born knowing everything and being perfect, and just because a student fails a test, for example, doesn't mean he can't become excellent in the future.

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8 minutes ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

DSC's purpose so far seems like to agitate someone, rather than call for reconsidering anything.

P.S. I was losered here about 10 years ago. Not sure if it's still a thing here, like a semi-ban, a restriction to an isolated forum section. I was 11-12 years old and did some stupid things, contacted a mod half a year later and tried to be better. But in retrospect I'd consider it fair to have had been banned

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3 minutes ago, knifeworld said:

First off, I don't think DSC was suggesting to open the floodgates and just let as many people as possible come in even if they don't have awareness of the forum or the game.
Secondly, people are people and will make mistakes, someone might love doom and have played iwads and pwads a bunch of times over and still not be completely aware of the culture of a particular Doom forum.
Perhaps they've never been in a forum before (discord and similar stuff has kind of taken over now), or maybe they've not talked to that many other people who are into doom, you simply can't expect people to drop in and be a perfect cookie cutter shaped user. Idk perhaps I'm reading too much into your reply.

I don't think newbies should be pushed away before they even get to make a second mistake, unless the very first thing they ever do is something extreme or forum rule breaking.

 

I agree that noone literally has an obligation to hand-hold new users, but after reading this almost 8 times over I can't shake the feeling that you're just expecting new people to magically know what not to do or say, which is kinda unrealistic.
 

I don't get the part about mistakes. It's totally ok to ask for advice for mapping or when you're stuck playing a certain map, even though the latter seems kinda pointless since there's playthroughs on youtube and all that. What does 'cookie cutter shaped user' means? I don't think of 'newbies' as people who've never been to forums or anything, I meant people who are so green they didn't even beat the IWADs. But maybe I'm just biased because I didn't join the forums before I beat all of the IWADs and made sure I've learned enough about the game to not come off as a guy who only played Doom for a few times and decided to create an account here. That's kinda stupid, but to me it somehow makes sense. I'm not saying you should know what SR50 or zero press is for your opinion to matter or anything. But I think if you like the game (or PWADs, in my case) so much you want to be a part of the community you should have at least basic knowledge. Idk what to add right now, I probably should write a follow-up later, guess my reply sounded way too elitist lol.

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1 minute ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

Trying to teach anything here is an unquestionable waste of time at this point


, and the newbie would never be a valuable asset. Everyone has a purpose, everyone belongs in different places. DSC's purpose so far seems like to agitate someone, rather than call for reconsidering anything.


"Trying to teach anything here is an unquestionable waste of time at this point"
I don't often check in on the editing or other forums where much teaching would be happening or be of use, but AFAIK there's plenty of topics that newbies could research stuff from ... (for example I keep meaning to find texture tutorials so I don't make mistakes when I get around to submitting standalone wads to the archive) ... so I can see your point there!

What I don't agree with though is the idea that everyone should be expected to be "valuable" or have a "purpose" or that they should know how to behave the instant they join, which is why I said they should be allowed to make mistakes.

"everyone belongs in different places"
newbies who love Doom "belong" here, because they can learn, and anyone still willing can teach them, be it editing, mapping, making MIDIS, whatever.

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Going after a few things I missed:

14 minutes ago, ClumsyDoomer said:


DSC's purpose so far seems like to agitate someone, rather than call for reconsidering anything.

Yeah, I'm just trolling. Its not like I've been trying to make any points or arguments or engage in the discussion or whatever. Again, you people go and proclaim all your tastes superior and shit on newbies with your gatekeeping nonsense, yet I'm the one who's guilty for being angry about people being shitty and having shit attitudes.

 

24 minutes ago, dasho said:

 

For those of us who are capable of thinking in anything other than extremes, this is clearly not what I meant so calm down. People on this forum have an incredibly annoying habit of putting words in other people's mouths.

"People on this forum" yet again acting superior to everyone around here. If saying that your tastes and opinions are better than everyone elses and the only ones that matter was NOT your point... Then what the actual fucking one was?

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