By End_Boss 64 Comments
Hi again.Lately I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about Giant Bomb. Not about anyone in particular, but about the community as a whole. Here are my thoughts.
What a fascinating social study Giant Bomb would make. Though some of us would rather believe that we are all disconnected from each other (and at times I can certainly see why), the truth is that we are more than anonymous users typing anonymous things into anonymous little boxes (unless we’ve actually become 4chan. Then god help us all). The truth is we are a community in every sense of the word; we bicker, fight, joke and laugh about things that are important to us both individually and collectively. We make friends and enemies, and the lines between both seem to blur the more we get to know one another. In fact, we’re so much a community I can already almost feel those cynical, world-weary fingertips trudging across your keyboard, primed and ready to tell me how wrong I am.
Now most often on Giant Bomb, when community is brought up, it’s in a negative light (or at least a would-be constructive one). Usually it gets brought up because we’re all being a bunch of jack-offs and someone feels the need to call us back into line. Usually those threads devolve into people slinging mud at one another, never wanting to admit they (le gasp!) might be in the wrong, so I’m not here to say or do any of those things. I think every part of Giant Bomb’s community is, for better or worse, essential to its survival. From the trolls to the old hands to the fanboys to the newbies to the bloggers to that guy who hates everything and everyone for no particular reason. Everyone has a place. I’m not here to tell you that the way you Giant Bomb is wrong, because there just ain’t no “right” way, baby.
However, if there was one thing I could leave you with in this section, it’s this: don’t lock the doors. In my year and change of activity on Giant Bomb I have seen a disturbing trend of clique-ism that is becoming more and more pronounced (although it wasn’t ever particularly subtle to begin with) amongst the “veteran” user base. I shan’t name any names and I hope no one takes this personally, because that’s not the point. The point is that it’s ultimately detrimental to everyone if we retreat to our ivory towers and scowl at the plebeians milling about below. Fresh blood should be welcomed, and if you honestly can find no other reason in your heart to do so, then at least take comfort in knowing that by your actions, you are promoting the continued existence of the Bomb. And if one of those newbloods ends up doing something cool, celebrate it. Let them know! It doesn’t make you less of a man/woman/forum-goer, and it will encourage the creation of worthwhile material instead of cheap gags to get a quick laugh.
Give a Little, Get a Little
This bit’s more for the moderators. First, you all do a daunting and thankless job. Without you, this forum would have collapsed under its collective weight long ago.
We need to talk about this quest thing. Namely we need to talk about the blogs that are still clogging the forums. We need to talk about the fact that in spite of the continued efforts of myself and many other regulars to flag them, these threads remain open for far too long, often taking hours to sink (unlocked!) to the bottom of the forums. The most common excuse thrown around is that you’re “too busy” to respond to every thread. Aren’t you forum mods? Shouldn’t your primary concern be the forums, regardless of whatever other task you’re no doubt saddled with? Didn’t you just recruit two more mods? Essentially, the regulars are moderating the forums for you, and it’s creating friction amongst them. Why? Because it’s unclear as to what should receive a reprimand and what shouldn’t. Should you post a clearer version of the forum guidelines so that we can understand and enforce them better?
Because we are not the mods. You are. So here’s the bottom line:
If you are a forum mod, moderate the forums. If you think you can’t find enough time to collectively respond to every spam thread, then find someone who can and give up your spot. It is not the community’s responsibility to clean up quest spam, and its sucking morale faster than a six-dollar hooker.
As I said before, moderating is a daunting and thankless task. Naturally, not everyone is up for this task. If you’re not then you’re not and you need to find someone who is. Whew! Now that that unfortunately nasty bit of business is out of the way, let’s move on.
You Rock. Yes You.
Specifically you. As you’re reading this, you are actively rocking. Why? Because you’re a part of this great, big, beautiful mess. Whether you’re staff, mod, blogger, troll, wiki slave, forum-goer, lurker or anything else you’d like to add to that list, you’re helping make Giant Bomb possible, and for that you have my personal thanks (for whatever its worth to ya'). In the year and change I’ve been here I’ve seen the forums grow and shrink, soar and self-destruct, praise and abhor. I’ve made both friends and enemies, and to both I am grateful for whatever wisdom they may have bestowed upon me. Now I never wanted to make this post overly sentimental or too self-indulgent, so I apologize if all of this seems rather abrupt. I won’t give much by way of explanation for what comes next, because I don’t think you guys need another one of those. The next bit, a quote from one of my favorite literary characters, sums up both how I feel and what I need to say, after which I suppose I’ll wait for the flights of coolstorybro.jpgs to sing this blog to its rest.
Alas, a year is far too short a time to live amongst such excellent and admirable forum-goers. I don’t know half of you as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
I regret to announce that this is THE END.
I am going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell.