Friday, 24 February 2017
The End of an Era
I have decided never to visit rpg.net ever again. I have felt for a long time that the site has fallen prey to Bill Hicks' "fevered egos tainting our collective subconscious" - a coterie of very strange and miserable people with cripplingly low self-esteem, hell-bent on making life as awkward for everybody else as it is for them. (You don't have to be Carl Jung to notice there is something really weird and deep going on in the group psychology of that place; the spectacle of Trouble Tickets, with its mean-spirited sycophants egging on the mods to ever greater feats of arbitrary banning, is frankly just fucking bizarre.) The site is a case study in how control of speech leads almost in a straight line, as in A to B, to control of all other aspects of behaviour, and I'm not going to have any truck with that.
I was happy to leave it at that, and have barely visited the site in the last, say, 2 years, except to see if anybody is talking about Yoon-Suin on it. (We all have our vanities.) But recent events, which you are probably aware of, made me feel that I had to be definitive and make a clean break. (If you don't know what those recent events are, consider yourself lucky and move on.)
This is a great shame. That forum was important to me once. I devoted a really quite stupidly inordinate amount of time to reviewing every monster in the AD&D 2nd edition Monstrous Manual there, but I loved every minute of it, and I look back on the days when I was writing those posts with great pride. The thread stands, I think, as an everlasting proof-of-concept of what feats of imagination a group of nerds can achieve together when they put their minds to it. There were some brilliantly imaginative people posting on that thread, and it created a virtuous circle of ever-greater feats of creativity.
Indeed, I probably have to say that those years, around 2008-2009, were formatively important to me. Reading some of the posts on my thread, and posts elsewhere, taught me quite a lot about what the human imagination could do in community with other human imaginations. Not to make huge overstatements, but it was a genuine inspiration to me. There was a power in it. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have started the blog, wouldn't have got involved in online discussion of RPGs at all really, and in that sense wouldn't have any access to what is now quite a major outlet for my own creativity. I suspect I'd be doing something else instead, but still - rpg.net was responsible for setting me off down a path which has added a lot of enjoyment to my life.
So here's to you, rpg.net. You may be shit now. But once, you were all right.