Regarding administration on MSB


  • Coder

    @krmbm said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    What we know is that the people here use the Hog Pit more than any other forum. Invalidating actual statistics because they don't agree with your side of the argument is a pretty shitty way to argue.

    "Past results show X but if we change Y we might get different results" is, like, the entire foundation of the scientific method. But sure, whatever you say.


  • Pitcrew

    I know I'm inviting ire, but... we've strayed into a whole new discussion here. It's not wholly off-topic, but I think it may be deserving of its own thread (as it's no longer explicitly about administration, but rather the state of the board in general).

    Would people be opposed to a focused topic on the subject?


  • Coder

    @faraday said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    I’m done tilting at windmills for awhile.

    You keep saying this.

    @bored

    Repetition is a normal risk of getting old no matter what you do.

    The power of you having seen these beats before is that you can help educate people who haven’t.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday Except that "Y" has been changed in the past and been shown to have a negative impact on the activity as a whole.

    I'm not trying to be a dick here. I'm just calling on a collective past experience. When IGU and WORA coexisted, WORA was always more active. When IGU and WORA both went down for various reasons, WORA was reanimated (many times) and IGU was left dead. We could just chalk that up to the past, but even now we see that the most active forum is the Hog Pit.

    The people that "might" show up if there was no Hog Pit? Could just make a new forum. It's not hard.

    At this point, instead of asserting that the most active part of this community is keeping people away - people who are not currently contributing - why not make another community where the constructive-only people will have a home?

    Instead of burning down our house because people who don't even live here don't like the backyard, just build a different neighborhood. If people like your neighborhood better, they'll drop by. If not, then the two peacefully coexist and everyone is happy. \o/


  • Admin

    @krmbm said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    What we know is that the people here use the Hog Pit more than any other forum. Invalidating actual statistics because they don't agree with your side of the argument is a pretty shitty way to argue.

    Statistics are only as good as how you interpret them.

    It is more likely you'd post about the guy who tried to push dick pics on you than a random person you met and had a pleasant scene with, and way more likely that others would respond to the former than the latter.

    So what though?


  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    It is more likely you'd post about the guy who tried to push dick pics on you than a random person you met and had a pleasant scene with, and way more likely that others would respond to the former than the latter.

    So what though?

    Maybe I misunderstand the purpose of having a forum. I took a quick look for MSB's "stated purpose" and didn't find one, so I guess maybe I'm just being the ass for assuming the point is to give people a place to discuss stuff.

    Is some of that stuff just random bitching? Absolutely. Is it detrimental to the community? That's debatable.

    Historical evidence shows that, if you take away the random bitching, everything else withers and dies.

    I guess you could make the case that having no forum at all would be better than having a toxic one, but - again - historical evidence shows that someone will just make one if you try to take it away. And it will be more popular than whatever Feel-Goodery you try to put in its place.

    Which I guess is as good a place as any for me to figure I've made my point as well as I can make it: Mods gonna mod. When the mods get to be too moddy, people vote with their feet.

    Hopefully, that won't happen any time soon.


  • TV & Movies

    (sorry, this probably ignores a lot of follow up, I haven't had time to get through all the feedback etc)

    @faraday said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    No, I am not saying that people being rude on a forum causes people being rude on games. That's absurd. What I am saying is that a culture of negativity can bring out the worst in people instead of the best, and that attitude can spill over into games as well. Especially when it devolves into personal grudges

    I still don't see it. Do you actually have any examples of an MSB-origin grudges moving to game? In my experience it's almost always the other way, where something happens on a game, and then someone calls them Hitler (for said game behavior) here. The only thing MSB helps there is that they might be able to see where each goes to play in the future.

    The cases of players really being hounded, singled out, or targeted because of stuff here... isn't that mostly people who really fucking deserve it, like VA Spider, Custodius, etc? I have people who really don't like me here. Not one has ever pursued me to a game. And maybe if they found out who I was, they might avoid me or something, but it still seems like you're just talking in vague terms ('negativity', 'toxicity') and suggesting a causal link, where really it's just a reflection of the world we live/play in.

    Literally nobody is saying "no bad game reviews" and literally nobody is saying "only kumbaya, rainbows and sunshine are welcome, if you have anything negative to say - zip it".

    I don't think people are saying it in those words. But we've seen how the more extreme rules of moderation that you and others specifically pushed for has had the actual effect of stifling it. Again, there is a thread with important content (such as the outing of a serial sexual predator!) buried in the Hog Pit, difficult (if not impossible for a lurker) to find and associate with its game, because we decided the ad thread for a genuinely shitty game couldn't call it what it was.

    You want everyone to be 100% high brow intellectuals all the time, and any trace of meanness banished to the depths. You claim you want this while still leaving space for meaningful reviews, but to that I say... are you familiar with the internet? With humanity? It's just a naive desire, and an unreasonable expectation that has an actual effect that is more stifling than you're willing to admit.

    The reality is that when you talk about behavior like this, some threshold of nastiness is going to happen. You can't accuse someone of being a creeper, a cheater, a toxic game-destroyer in a nice, positive, constructive way. Nor can you do it without their friends speaking up to defend them, and the larger arguments that result occurring. It just can't be done.

    Some blood will always be shed, and this is why we need the 2.0 rules, to clarify and protect a reasonable threshold of negativity where it is tied to meaningful content, while preserving some moderation rules for people who go full nastywordvomit. I have no problem with a post that just calls someone a shithead being deleted, forget moved to the Hog Pit. But at the same time, I have a BIG PROBLEM with the idea that someone will get their post calling out some corrupt dictator sent to the Hog Pit because they happened to include a couple four letter words while expressing their genuine feelings.

    For every person from MUSHland I know who posts or lurks here, there are ten more who are all: "Oh hell no" because of the negativity - either witnessed first-hand or by reputation. I think that does, ultimately, undermine the credibility and the good the site can do.

    I take rather severe factual issue with this. I think you're taking a small handful of your own friends who may not like posting here because of badness and then generalizing that to way more people than you have any justification to do.

    When you see everyone line up to say 'Oh those horrible WORA-ites, they're just haters, I'd never post there!' as a game gets roasted here (this happened on UH), this is... just them brown-nosing staff, and usually they're just lying. Some may not be regular posters, but often are lurkers. Why else do we have the phenomenon of tons of brand new accounts and posters showing up here when something happens on game? Why do the staffers know exactly where to come and defend themselves?

    Beyond that, you don't get to take all the people who don't post and claim them as evidence for your vision. Most people who don't participate are failing to do so for the same very mundane reasons only whatever % of any given hobby, game, etc goes to their forums/community site/reddit sub/whatever to post: they don't know about it, don't care, have other shit to do, etc. Not everyone is that interested in a hobby spends non-hobby time discussing the hobby, but you don't get to magically claim those people as evidence on your side.


  • Coder

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    Do you actually have any examples of an MSB-origin grudges moving to game?

    Yes.

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    I think you're taking a small handful of your own friends who may not like posting here because of badness and then generalizing that to way more people than you have any justification to do.

    Quite obviously I have not done an extensive poll of all MUSHers, but nor is it a "small handful" of people. I have heard this attitude expressed by lots of players through the years, re: WORA and MSB. There's an equal number who are all "What's MSB?" and I'm not comfortable inviting them.

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    But we've seen how the more extreme rules of moderation that you and others specifically pushed for has had the actual effect of stifling it.

    I have repeatedly supported a need for 1-star reviews as a PSA against toxic games (just in a different format than the current gangpile threads) and pushed back against the idea of having a "positive-only" ads thread. Don't blame me for the specific rules of engagement that I had no hand in crafting.


  • Reader

    Tangent to Auspice:
    I wouldn't mind a fork. The conversation may gain more views and opinions if it was split, since people tend to put threads out of mind once they think they know what's in it.

    On track:
    Whether or not to include something like the Hog Pit was discussed before we started up MSB. At first, it was just a category; it spilled everywhere (we deliberately didn't mod much, so this isn't a surprise). After further discussion we decided to make that particular side of things opt-in. This way the people who didn't want to participate in the uglier bits wouldn't need to. Heck, it's possible to go in and out of the Pit Crew with a few clicks, so it's not a permanent decision in either direction.

    How would removing it entirely -- a step further than opt-in -- help? I'll state plainly first that I don't think it would help, but I'm not in charge n'more, so I can ask in full curiosity: how do you-all think it would? My desire for a grown-up conversation with as many people as possible about MU nonsense is not secret. How would removing that outlet help us achieve my personal not-so-secret wish?

    It may be a broader question, I suppose. I think the 'darker' emotions are just as valid and important as the lighter ones, so my opinion on these things is biased. I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying mucking about in the uglier side of things, so long as you're making sure that the people with you also enjoy it (see above re: opt-in). I'm not sure denying that is a good idea; I'm open to hearing why I'm incorrect on that score.

    ES



  • @wizz said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    @surreality said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    Those changes took time. They evolved. None were the result of someone stomping a foot and saying, "No one is allowed to say mean things any more because that's not OK!"

    OK, boiling down the whole argument to "I don't like it when people are mean" is not what @faraday or I are talking about and it's a little condescending that that is what you and @ixokai are trying to make it about.

    And that's not actually what I said. There's a difference between stating a distaste for something and deeming it unacceptable behavior; it may not be relevant to you, but it actually is to me, and my words were chosen deliberately to reflect that.

    It also directly relates to the repeated reality we're presented with: 'my standard is here, yours is over there, and yet we have third parties whose standard (the 'everything but praise is an assault') is in yet a different place'.

    For my part, I also wasn't trying to apply some weird equivalence of the behavior here and on WORA to the entire, full-stop, MU*ing community and literally everyone in it.

    You haven't. Others indeed have. I wasn't replying to you or to @faraday, either.

    (If you haven't encountered it there, wow, great. That's a genuinely a good thing, no sarcasm intended at all.)

    Sure I've had crappy experiences on games.

    Very rarely with anyone on this forum.

    Shit, I've had fun with @Tempest on a game that was wholly constructive, collaborative, and entirely civil and friendly, with no improper behavior anywhere to be found, and she makes no bones about trolling and being snarky here. Would that be what you'd expect? Probably not, but it's still the reality of the situation.

    I also keep saying: wow, was it ever worse before WORA. So much worse.

    I mean, you either see it, or you don't. You either recognize the attitude that exists here as a problem, or you don't.

    Well then, I guess I just don't. My experiences are wholly and completely contrary to your premise.

    Is there stuff that goes on here I don't think is OK? Sure. Plenty of it. Odds are high it's not the same things any other person would point out, because as I said repeatedly before and repeated yet again above, different people have different sensitivities and different sensibilities. For instance, I swear by rote. I mean no offense by it whatsoever, and am not offended by the use of profanity at all. Does that mean no one is ever going to take offense or be offended by it? Of course not.

    Ultimately I think the purpose this whole conversation serves is to show what percentage of the board feels one way or the other, which to be honest is also a great barometer for "whether or not this iteration of the forum is a good fit for you."

    ^ This, yes.


  • Admin

    @krmbm said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    Maybe I misunderstand the purpose of having a forum. I took a quick look for MSB's "stated purpose" and didn't find one, so I guess maybe I'm just being the ass for assuming the point is to give people a place to discuss stuff.

    I didn't (mean to) imply you were an ass, I was simply debating the point you made - that the Hog Pit accounted for a large number of threads based on numbers, and whether those numbers inherently carry value or to what extent.

    Again, that category isn't going anywhere. The rules we are rehashing don't even change how it's to behave. But having conversations about it can help determine how MSB should be best set up so that... well, let's say that what happens in the Hog Pit stays there. :) At least to whatever degree we can arrange.

    Since you brought up MSB's overall purpose, as far as I'm concerned it's to give a neutral ground for the community. Games open and close, staff and players move on, burn out or come back, but a common point of reference can give us - as individuals or perhaps groups - a sense of belonging, or at least of continuity.


  • TV & Movies

    @faraday said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    Quite obviously I have not done an extensive poll of all MUSHers, but nor is it a "small handful" of people. I have heard this attitude expressed by lots of players through the years, re: WORA and MSB. There's an equal number who are all "What's MSB?" and I'm not comfortable inviting them.

    I'm still gonna go with 'a bunch of my (anonymous) friends agree with me!!' is always a bad argument.

    They're not relevant as long as they remain anonymous. I also doubt they'll suddenly start posting with some changes, or that they're necessarily worth hearing from if they really think we're a pack of braying jackals (as it indicates, if nothing else, that they have a poor grasp of nuance or are easily swayed by propaganda).

    I have repeatedly supported a need for 1-star reviews as a PSA against toxic games (just in a different format than the current gangpile threads) and pushed back against the idea of having a "positive-only" ads thread. Don't blame me for the specific rules of engagement that I had no hand in crafting.

    Sorry! Maybe I don't grasp your exact stance then, or what you're arguing for or against. It seems like we got harsher moderation than we even asked for the first time around, and maybe I'm flailing to find a cause and landing on you because you're on 'the other side.' My apologies.

    I will say that if you want the 'healthy center of game-design discussion' style board... you're probably going to have to help in forging that path. The category numbers are instructive (both # of posts and density of conversation), and a lot of these threads kind of limp along with minimal interest.

    @Arkandel, I've noticed, has started a few abstract 'Discuss a Thing' style threads himself, and that's a good start, although some of them may also suffer from the abstractness. I am in favor of promoting this stuff but I'm not sure how we're going to do it. What can we do here? I'm willing to help!


  • Admin

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    @Arkandel, I've noticed, has started a few abstract 'Discuss a Thing' style threads himself, and that's a good start, although some of them may also suffer from the abstractness. I am in favor of promoting this stuff but I'm not sure how we're going to do it. What can we do here? I'm willing to help!

    That happens for two reasons:

    1. I just... like discussing things (look at my thread history!). In fact I'm not greatly interested in discussing MSB in particular, as it feels pretty meta. I'd rather talk about plot design, characters or whatever else.

    2. I think being abstract and not hyper-focused lets us think outside of the box sometimes. Not everything has a solution (let alone a resolution) but we can still improve even from dead-end ideas. For example as a result of people thinking about giving 'star' reviews for games here I've been looking at nodebb plugins (there's just one, and the documentation on it is pretty thin) that could pull it off; but just because it can't be done it doesn't mean it wasn't a great suggestion.


  • TV & Movies

    @arkandel I'm not trying to be (overly) critical of them.

    I agree that abstractness lifts you out of the mire of any game (and personal feelings/connection to it), but it can also lead to... Let's take the Canon Property/Setting thread. Decent amount of discussion. But to some degree it's also just 'Hey this is my favorite media' or 'this would be fun... too bad it will never happen in a million years.' IE, without the goal of actually producing a game, it's somewhat meandering.

    Maybe what I'm scratching at is that the idea of a 'Wora/MSB-designed game' has always kind of been a running joke here, or at least something we understand is impractical (too many cooks, etc). Is there some kind of middle ground to those? To pure abstraction (where I'm not sure the conversation leads to much, result-wise) and 'game by committee'?

    Really just thinking out loud at this point.


  • Admin

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    Maybe what I'm scratching at is that the idea of a 'Wora/MSB-designed game' has always kind of been a running joke here, or at least something we understand is impractical (too many cooks, etc). Is there some kind of middle ground to those? To pure abstraction (where I'm not sure the conversation leads to much, result-wise) and 'game by committee'?

    You are reading too much into it. :)

    For starters that 'Canon Property' thread wasn't some high-minded effort to design games, by committee or otherwise; it was just me going from reading books and thinking "hey, this would make a cool MUSH setting" to extending the same line of thought to the rest of y'all. That's all, it's all it was.

    We're hobbyists playing games, and if we can't afford to lighten up some and throw ideas on walls just for the hell of it then who can? But on top of that you never know, some might stick. A random thought you or I have can bloom into someone else's head into a fully fledged awesome MUSH... or it could just be an exercise in creativity and futility at the same time.

    Conversely I don't know that you can produce a game through an MSB thread. The very idea of reconciling all these visions and goals, let alone personalities, is hardly promising. You'd probably have much better luck sitting in a Skype/Hangouts window with a couple of people you can work well with and hushing something out.

    All that though doesn't mean we can't talk about stuff here just because we're aware they quite likely won't ever happen. It might. It might not. Speaking for myself though just discussing it is fun on its own, which is 90% of why I'm here.

    That make sense?


  • TV & Movies

    @arkandel said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    You are reading too much into it. :)

    I don't know what that means.

    For starters that 'Canon Property' thread wasn't some high-minded effort to design games, by committee or otherwise; it was just me going from reading books and thinking "hey, this would make a cool MUSH setting" to extending the same line of thought to the rest of y'all. That's all, it's all it was.

    I was only using it as an example. As much as it's about theoretical settings and what might make them good, I think it fits the general category of thing that maybe @faraday would like to see? If not, I'm not sure what does.

    We're hobbyists playing games, and if we can't afford to lighten up some and throw ideas on walls just for the hell of it then who can? But on top of that you never know, some might stick. A random thought you or I have can bloom into someone else's head into a fully fledged awesome MUSH... or it could just be an exercise in creativity and futility at the same time.

    Lighten up from where? I don't see a ton of super-serious game design discussion. I think this is mostly what it looks like on the board, which was my point (ie, not highlighting your thread but just using it as a convenient example).

    Conversely I don't know that you can produce a game through an MSB thread. The very idea of reconciling all these visions and goals, let alone personalities, is hardly promising. You'd probably have much better luck sitting in a Skype/Hangouts window with a couple of people you can work well with and hushing something out.

    Well of course not, that was my point of bringing up that trope, it's one about it not working, not suggesting we need to strive to do that. But if the answer is 'go talk about it on Discord,' that does kind of undermine the usefulness of the forum for that kind of thing.

    All that though doesn't mean we can't talk about stuff here just because we're aware they quite likely won't ever happen. It might. It might not. Speaking for myself though just discussing it is fun on its own, which is 90% of why I'm here.

    I certainly haven't suggested people not do this. But this hits the IGU/Hog Pit problem: if it's not much more than 'stuff that's fun to chat about and has no serious value (except maybe by accident),' well, Hog clearly wins every day of the week.



  • Just a short thought: if we're choosing between setting rules that work for the people who actually post here versus setting rules to please people who might theoretically post here if the rules were different and they got the forum they would prefer, I'm definitely gonna vote for pleasing the people who actually use the damn thing already.

    I'm not usually one to say "just go do your own thing if you don't like this", but I guess that is what I'm saying in this case. It's just a friggin' bulletin board, man, it ain't worth all this angst.


  • Coder

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    I'm still gonna go with 'a bunch of my (anonymous) friends agree with me!!' is always a bad argument. They're not relevant as long as they remain anonymous.

    Look I don't know what you want from me here. It's not like I can provide specific citations to dozens of conversations had across a fifteen year period. They're relevant to me even if they are not compelling evidence to you.

    I like to discuss things about MUSHing. Not just "game design" but random stuff like "What's your favorite scene" or "What would you like to see in a Shadowrun game" (which is not exactly design-by-committee but could spark some ideas) or @Arkandel's recent post of "How do you create your characters".

    It saddens me that some portion of the players in this hobby feel alienated from these boards - and thus from the "cross-game community" that @Arkandel mentioned - because of the negativity here. It bothers me that I feel like I can't express a dissenting opinion without getting pounced on, as has happened in this thread. If you want people to post more constructive stuff, there has to be a constructive environment to post in.

    Various people have said "Well if you don't like it, leave". Which maybe is the only answer here. But given how small the community is already, splintering it further doesn't seem like it really does us any favors. And frankly it's depressing that the response to "Can't we all just be civil to each other?" is, essentially, "No - so quit your whining or leave."


  • Politics

    @bored said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    I'm still gonna go with 'a bunch of my (anonymous) friends agree with me!!' is always a bad argument.

    I agree with @faraday, and I'm not anonymous.

    That is, I agree with what's she's getting at.

    I, by no means, know everyone, but I've come across a lot of players on games I am new to who either have never heard of this place or its previous incarnations or actively avoid it. Those that fall into the latter have rumors and stories, all of which are only partially true.

    I have only been a moderator for a short few weeks, and it is overwhelming. Not that any members are particularly difficult to deal with -- to the contrary -- but what has come with it is a myriad of considerations and perspectives that I did not have to deal with before, and this sense of responsibility that I had underestimated.

    I think I see what people are getting at. Activity is what keeps places like this alive, but it's not the only thing. One could blame IGU's demise to that, or see how it coincided with the rise of MMORPGs and console gaming.

    I know what I'd like to see, so hearing a large number of voices and perspectives has been helpful. I would encourage more voices and opinions. I'm seeing people arguing with one another when there's really no need to argue; convincing one another of the weight or strength of an opinion seems pointless if the people who are supposed to be convinced aren't responding or engaging fully.

    I can verify that there are people who believe as Faraday does, and who don't come by this place with their ideas for the reasons she's stated. I can't speak for why Faraday remains to voice her position, but I think it is because it's not just her position. As a person who is employed to speak for others, I can empathize with holding on and repeating what has been said because it needs to be said. Take that for what it's worth.

    I think an Honest Review section is important. I think it needs to be watched carefully. I think the Hog Pit needs to remain as a check against pedantry and sophists. And I think that we need to be careful to keep the toxicity where it is supposed to be.

    Still working on Rules v 2.0.


  • Admin

    @faraday said in Regarding administration on MSB:

    Various people have said "Well if you don't like it, leave". Which maybe is the only answer here. But given how small the community is already, splintering it further doesn't seem like it really does us any favors. And frankly it's depressing that the response to "Can't we all just be civil to each other?" is, essentially, "No - so quit your whining or leave."

    If I have a vision for MSB it's to not force anyone but the most abhorrent people in our community to make that choice.

    But allow me to piggyback on your comment and bring up a counterpart to "if you don't like it leave" and that's "it's me or him/her", a tendency to throw ultimatums and make things personal and fixate on one word, one sentence, one microaggression and then escalate it into a vendetta. Entire pages of threads are turned toxic that way ("you suck!" "no YOU suck!") but that's not even my main issue.

    It frustrates me to see people I know have done good in their respective areas turn on each other, sometimes for no other reason than they don't get along, and if I had to isolate the reason that bugs me as much as it does is that in our real, adult lives we all manage that on a daily basis. We have had to deal with coworkers, friends' friends, clients, bosses that we don't like so much and somehow we're making it work, so why can't we do that here?

    I'd understand it on a game - you want to have fun, and so you can curate who you're playing with - but I see objectively good people dogpiled the shit out of by other good people, and it's really unfortunate.

    I don't expect us to all get along. That'd be stupid and naive. But surely we can at least let things go like we theoretically do every damn day of our adult lives.


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