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40oz

Forums are dead

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I’ve been experiencing an increasing indifference towards the internet over the course of a decade. I’ve been unable to pinpoint what it is specifically. I spend a majority of my time listening to music, audiobooks, and speeches on youtube while at work or in my car. I very briskly skim facebook. I watch plenty of Netflix and documentaries and I have the most positive opinions about the ability to search a summarized bio on a person’s name, or find a definition of a word, learn a new skill, or get driving directions to where I want to go, and for that I am still very grateful. I do seem to plug myself heavily into reading Doomworld forums, hopeful that something interesting will happen each time i check. These days it seems less and less. I can’t say with any confidence that the new forum software we switched to is the definite unmistakable reason. Rather, I believe the reason to be more ambiguous but can be easily projected on it due to some specific commonalities that people like myself aim to retreat from. I took some time to really think about what my particular interests in Doomworld are that make me keep coming back to it, which raises many questions. Ive concluded that it has to do with nature of the basic internet forum being so antiquated that it serves no purpose but to be buried. Allow me to elaborate.


I think it’s no surprise that Doomworld seems to be rife with very surface-level discussions taking place. What’s the best megawad? What’s the best music? What’s your favorite monster? What are you thinking about right now? I’m not entirely sure what is specifically entertaining the idea that forum thread topics need to go this way. I’m also not suggesting that Doomworld was without these types of threads before the transition. Without a doubt, the new Doom 2016 game attracted a flock of newcomers that may have only participated in social networking sites such as twitter, facebook, and youtube, along with other sites like reddit, imgur, and tumblr, before migrating here. All of the listed sites support and promote the pursuit of quantifiable internet reward points.


With the entrance of these hot new things in this forum, such as notifications, reputation, likes, popular posts, hot topics, and followers, there is now a new goal to the forum. Now, no one is obligated to participate in this game, like refraining from killing monsters in Doom, but the bottom line is that it is here and in your face no matter what, just like the weapons and ammunition and a pointed weapon at the center of your screen is at all times. Should you decide to remain pacifist, you’ll question what you’re doing here when you’re surrounded by a warzone of space marines vs. demons.


I do see the benefits of this introduction of internet points. It’s more than likely that most rude and awkward people may be dissuaded from staying here long should they struggle to promote or maintain a steady stream of increasing reputation and desirable achievements. The ability to bore newcomers to death by making trolls and otherwise socially disruptive people difficult to succeed at achieving forum goals while pushing negative and unwanted behavior is probably a powerful moderating tool to keep people from killing each other without 24/7 moderator vigilance. I think we can all agree that these particular types of people land here from time to time and it’s not fun and it’s best that they are denied the attention they want and float around elsewhere.


I can’t, however, find ways in which these new goals are conducive to personal connections, deep conversations, intellectual debates, or the exchange of specific information that may only be useful to a small scope of highly interested people. Whether these types of things can suffice to be eliminated from the forum is anyone’s guess. But in my personal opinion I found many of these things to be a very attractive feature of the Doomworld forum when I first arrived. While there are many features of this site that are cool, I find that the internet reward points are deceptive in healthy conversation. The people that are winning the game are thoughtful, charismatic, selfless, and the light of the party. It feigns the illusion that these are the qualities that the individuals naturally have. I’m sure some, maybe even many, of these people really are socially awesome people, who knows? But is it not vain, narcissistic even, to be on this ultimate quest, to say things with the most mass appeal, to be liked and adored and followed by everyone? What is selfless about that?


Perhaps the new wave of “what’s your favorite?” “What’s the best?” and “What do you like” threads are simply these breeding grounds for reputation builders. Say the thing the most people agree with and score big! But what do these conversations have to do with learning about one another? This game simply attracts people to a centralized location where we can interact with one another. But it’s the competitive nature of the game that they stay for. I think it’s especially misleading that you should be initiating yourself within a group by building a reputation on the foundation that everybody likes and agrees with you, before you can ride your wave of followers to say things people will actually hear. I believe that the genuine interest in one another should be the glue that holds the community together. Not this quest for an innocent and healthy reputation. Not to mention that I don’t believe reputation has to be this dichotomy of good and bad. I think it’s healthy for people to be aware and understand each other’s position on particular issues, and discuss them, especially if you personally disagree with them, and transparency of one’s reputation shouldn’t influence their credibility to stand in that particular position. It’s extremely powerful and informative for yourself to participate in a heated discussions, as well as quietly observing from the sidelines.


So should Doomworld do it differently? Who am I to say? Doomworld isn’t mine. And should Doomworld plant its heels firmly in the mud while the strong current of internet social media flows in that particular direction? I don’t know if that will help anything, as anyone who is using the internet will be from somewhere else before they get here. Those social internet norms will definitely leak their way in here in some way or another. What I am here to say however, is that forums are done. It was fun while it lasted, but my attraction to controversy isn’t being fed anymore. Real controversy. Like American reality TV, we know when it is being staged, or when one is trolling, or the opinions or agendas are forced. I need it to be real, and I don’t know where to find that anymore.

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I admit to looking some askance at the whole rep thing, having seen firsthand what a mess it is on the GOG forums, but it seems to be working all right here.  Maybe it's because there's no equivalent downrep so there are no voting wars over posts and users.  Maybe it's down to other differences between here and there.

 

But personally?  I think these forums are at the best they've ever been.  If reputation, or removing Post Hell, or anything else the administration might have done has convinced people to quit their constant political/religious/whatever dead-horse-beating in arguments that never change anyone's mind anyway, that's an excellent thing.  I don't come to a Doom forum for "controversy", I come to a Doom forum for Doom.  And that seems to me to be more lively and community-oriented on the new forum than ever before.

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I don't think doing "good things" is the same as convincing someone to press a "like button" on a post. Have we not learned anything about clickbait in the past 5+ years of the internet? Clickbait is something that allows a person to interact with content on a knee-jerk basis, not because they think the content is worthwhile. It's like a nervous tic, and it's why stuff like Facebook is so addictive, because it enables people to interact with everything like it is a tic, not a well-thought out or deliberately chosen behavior.

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I don't see much individuality on Doomworld anymore. Everyone now knows everyone else through IRC, Discord, Twitch, team BTSX, etc, and they act like one big family where all members support each other unconditionally and will usually avoid anything even remotely controversial in fear of hurting someone's feelings. Of course, this social network structure will further contribute to this lifeless atmosphere.

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11 minutes ago, Memfis said:

I don't see much individuality on Doomworld anymore. Everyone now knows everyone else through IRC, Discord, Twitch, team BTSX, etc, and they act like one big family where all members support each other unconditionally and will usually avoid anything even remotely controversial in fear of hurting someone's feelings. Of course, this social network structure will further contribute to this lifeless atmosphere.

Isn't that how every basic human society works?

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44 minutes ago, 40oz said:

@Linguica case in point

Case in point, people with the most to say are usually the most full of shit.

I find the new DW to be a lot more attractive and positive place to peruse now without all the one-sided agenda-ridden political BS drama war zones that lead to post hell and/or the losers subforum. I like how some 'experts' here get real offended over the toxicity of some individuals on Twitter or FB yet if they looked in the mirror themselves they'd realize they're no better running their mouths here. Get some fucking perspective.

I don't gain any rep points for nefarious reasons, I happen to say things that some people like and that's that. Besides who personally cares about how much rep you have in the first place?
 

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14 minutes ago, Memfis said:

I don't see much individuality on Doomworld anymore. Everyone now knows everyone else through IRC, Discord, Twitch, team BTSX, etc, and they act like one big family where all members support each other unconditionally and will usually avoid anything even remotely controversial in fear of hurting someone's feelings. Of course, this social network structure will further contribute to this lifeless atmosphere.

The Doom community has had a big IRC presence (with associated inside jokes and such) pretty much forever, though -- at least since the early 2000s, so I don't think what you're describing really correlates... Actually, this is kind of a new one on me, since I'm used to Doom's IRC culture being accused of dragging controversy and trolling onto the forum, rather than being accused of making things too peaceful.

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I actually think the forums are alive more than ever, I think the point system encourages people to become more active and review wads more than ever before.  As for post hell I think it was good to remove it because trolls felt like their shitty posts got written in stone by it so others can find their posts and get all riled up about it, and thus their inner troll got fed.  Not gonna lie though... post hell did have some funny ass shit! but then again maybe this will cause people to be more active so they can find those hidden gems before they get deleted forever.

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6 minutes ago, Pavera said:

What we need to do is unban some notoriously terrible users and start a huge dumpster fire across all of Doomworld. That'll really liven things up around here.

This, but without the irony.

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1 hour ago, 40oz said:

@Linguica case in point

So using a snarky comment to point out absurdity suddenly becomes bad when a "like" system is introduced?

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I kinda see where 40oz is coming from, though he was crazy long-winded about it.  Reputation isn't really something that you can naturally quantify with a number.  I didn't post here much before recently (and still don't compared to most regulars) but I've heard of many of you through other sources, and it wasn't because you have a high score on Doomworld.  It was because you made or discovered things that were notable, or were generally good people (or lovable jerks... or just jerks).  A "like" system is kinda superfluous in an environment like this. 

Not to say that I haven't used it...  But it probably would've been better for me to tell someone why I liked their content instead.  But I just hit a button.  Maybe I'm just lazy, but I feel like it might deter some conversation, or better understanding.  That's all supposition,though.  I have no idea if it's good or bad in the long run. Just feels out of place.

The notification system is kind of nice though.

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At this point, it depends exclusively to the user to behave and contribute or help in a positive way or to be a bad person in a forum. In my case, I try to gave some help and contribute this forum in a good way.

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I like the new forum, and dont get your criticizm of reputation systém. Reputation is fair cause the most popular posts are maps that play nice, screenshots that look nice, or anything else that is worth. Posts  about creating something are getting the best reputation. You mentioned threads where people discuss things that already are done, like "whats best", "whats favorite", but those are nothing more that passive dickriding of the past - even if myself occassionally post here too. Also "whats best" often ends just by bunch of guys posting here shit and not interacting the others, while everyone thinking his shit is the best. I prefer active stuff like "here is my map", cause - even if the maps are mediocre - you deserve more attention when you make something.

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1 hour ago, esselfortium said:

What an absurd analogy.

The analogy is that if you’re playing a game such as Doom,  a game that puts a gun in your hands and continually feeds you new weapons and ammunition and other killing tools, and you’re surrounded by other space marines (such as in a multiplayer game) who are having fun going around killing things without you, you may feel just as alienated as you would if you come to this site with the intention of confiding with people who play this old obscure video game, but it would seem that its users are more or less here to outdo each other in scoring the most internet points. The competition isn’t in itself nefarious, and I have no reason to discourage people from being nice or silly or funny. The issue I have is that its existence only distracts from a human natural desire to have these more serious talks where we can disagree and understand each other more thoroughly. Being a Doomer is a very personally revealing interest because we all have an intimate love and appreciation for the game. Telling someone you like Doom isn’t really something you open up with when meeting strangers for the first time. But you can talk to it with people you can trust and build rapport with. Under the structure of this social networking game, being sarcastic and knee-jerky and funny and fun-fact styled in your approach to interact with people is just better at the mass appeal thing than establishing closer and more interesting relationships that isn’t quantified under these conditions.


 

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For map topics. Yes, because you can give some ideas by testing, giving feedback, fixing stuff and that keep you active no matter what. And that's why Doom is a game that is still alive after 23 years. 

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12 minutes ago, NinjaLiquidator said:

Reputation is fair cause the most popular posts are maps that play nice, screenshots that look nice, or anything else that is worth. Posts  about creating something are getting the best reputation.

"Reputation" is not the number of likes that a particular post receives. It's the number of likes that a particular person receives across all posts he ever made.

Edited by scifista42

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Right now the doomwiki seems to be a fun place for me to hang out (and do secrets!). If there's nothing to talk about on the forums...uh...I got nothing myself.

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54 minutes ago, Decay said:

 

I don't get why you're looking for deep intellectual debates or anything of the sort on a Doom forum. This is simply not the place for it.

...

I'm also not sure what exactly you mean by you want people to be real. The behaviour hasn't really changed (and won't change)

 

I don’t know you very well, but you came here to debate my position didn’t you? I have more faith in people in that people here have much deeper interests and insight on things that they often aren’t invited to reveal. Your cover picture on profile is a stack of books. Am I not supposed to assume that you enjoy reading, analyzing, and criticizing written text? I think you’re deliberately being contrarian and distant, even though the clues point elsewhere.

 

Again, pardon me being presumptuous, I don’t know how long you’ve been involved with Doom or how long you’ve been lurking, but your join date is just over a year long. If this is indicative of when you showed up here, I’m not sure you’re in the position to say that things have always been this way to me when I’ve been a member for 9 years longer and lurked for two years prior.

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1 minute ago, scifista42 said:

"Reputation" is not the number of likes that a particular post receives. It's the number of likes that a particular person receives across all post he ever made.

Again, perfectly fair.

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A very offtopic question. Since I'm new here, how old is this forum?

It's just to have an idea of how evolved this forum...

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For what it's worth, I'm not wedded to the idea of a public reputation score, or at the very least, conspicuously attaching it to everyone's post. It was the default in the software so I just left it there.

1 minute ago, leodoom85 said:

A very offtopic question. Since I'm new here, how old is this forum?

 

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9 minutes ago, 40oz said:

The analogy is that if you’re playing a game such as Doom,  a game that puts a gun in your hands and continually feeds you new weapons and ammunition and other killing tools, and you’re surrounded by other space marines (such as in a multiplayer game) who are having fun going around killing things without you, you may feel just as alienated as you would if you come to this site with the intention of confiding with people who play this old obscure video game, but it would seem that its users are more or less here to outdo each other in scoring the most internet points. The competition isn’t in itself nefarious, and I have no reason to discourage people from being nice or silly or funny. The issue I have is that its existence only distracts from a human natural desire to have these more serious talks where we can disagree and understand each other more thoroughly. Being a Doomer is a very personally revealing interest because we all have an intimate love and appreciation for the game. Telling someone you like Doom isn’t really something you open up with when meeting strangers for the first time. But you can talk to it with people you can trust and build rapport with. Under the structure of this social networking game, being sarcastic and knee-jerky and funny and fun-fact styled in your approach to interact with people is just better at the mass appeal thing than establishing closer and more interesting relationships that isn’t quantified under these conditions.


 

 

I'd seriously question the basis of your post(s), that people are attempting to 'outscore' each other. I doubt that is prevalent or even anything above extremely rare. There have also been a lot of deep/serious discussions lately -- where have you been looking? 

 

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A sequel to this one? Interesting.

--

IMO reputation is a nice idea in its current implementation (if my shitposts got less likes, I wouldn't be saying that LOL), it helps you see who are the most active and respected folks here. If you look at the users with the highest reputation, you'll notice that all of them are very helpful/fun/intelligent people who regularly contribute to the community in one way or another, even if it's edgy jokes. It'd be boring without edgy jokes, just like it'd be boring without maps discussion, editing h4x0rs and all that. We all kinda have a place here.

 

This post makes no sense

 

EDIT: while I was writing this post, this thread got 13 more replies.

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