Couldn't post in Al's thread without sticking my head in here too...

Discussion in 'The Welcome Room' started by Crazy Jamie, May 13, 2017.

  1. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I can't imagine I'll be sticking around for any length of time because, you know, life. But I noticed that Al has moved on, and thought I'd see who else is still here. I've already seen some familiar names. I expect the forums are on their last legs, but I figured it would always be worth making one more thread.
     
  2. Fool's Requiem

    Fool's Requiem Is that a pro Genji?! Premium Member

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    I rarely check in anymore. No one posts, and those threads people post in, I have no interest in.
     
  3. Apollo

    Apollo Omnipotent Moron Administrator

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    Good to see you again, Jamie :).

    There's a few of us still around, but you're not wrong, the forums are definitely winding down in activity.
     
  4. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Good to see you too :)

    To be fair we all knew that these forums were out dated a long time ago. The fact that they still exist at all is a testament to how strong the membership base is/was.
     
  5. Jawneh

    Jawneh ² ∞ & → Premium Member

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    I still rather come here to catch up than a Facebook group or something.
     
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  6. shortkut

    shortkut idea man Moderator Premium Member

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    this

    I stop in whenever I can. It only takes a few minutes to check the whole site rather than hours when I first joined, but it is still nice.
     
  7. Apollo

    Apollo Omnipotent Moron Administrator

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    True, it's been on the way out for a good while now. Cheats aren't relevant to anyone besides retro gamers these days, and the forums themselves haven't been game-centric in years. Those of us checking in are literally the only traffic the site gets as a whole now. It's a shame we could never get the site back to a level of decent activity again, but life moved on from GW a long time ago, so it only makes sense that our older member base moved on with it. It's still great seeing people check back in, though, and knowing we're still here for them to stop by and say hi, even if it is just a "wow, this place is still here, I haven't been here in years!" sort of post. That they remembered GW and checked it out is fantastic to me. I love still seeing this place online because it is such a part of the fabric of a lot our lives (while we grew up, at least). I can't speak for Al, obviously, but I certainly hope the site stays around for a good while longer, even if just for those nostalgia-induced visits.

    Very much this. I loathe social media in general. I have a Twitter, I have a FaceBook and I even have a Reddit account, but I can't stand how those platforms work. I grew up with forums and forum software and I love the categorization, the organization and the general format associated with forums. Social media never managed to do that right, no matter what form it took. Give me forums any day.
     
  8. Jon

    Jon Official Thread Killer Premium Member

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    I'm with Jawneh. Gamewinners > Facebook
     
  9. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I agree with all of that. This is going to turn into a weird analogy, but I watched a video recently made by the guy who photographs abandoned malls. There's this strange clash of emotions with things like that because it's sad to see something as a shell of what it used to be, but it will also trigger good memories in those who used to go there. There's a similar mix coming back to this site. I remember this site in its heyday, and as sad as it is to see the forums as they are now, it brings back those memories.
    For me it comes down largely to privacy. I use Facebook and Twitter predominantly, but the latter is mostly in a work context and I use Facebook very little now. Social media encourages people to bare all, except everyone inevitably tinkers with the image that they portray. That causes a simultaneous problem of lack of privacy combined with the pressures of only seeing the best of other people. Social media has genuine uses, but a lot is profoundly negative. One of the great things about forums is that you can engage with others and build relationships with complete control over your privacy. It's certainly an element of the internet generally in years gone by that I miss (albeit forums obviously exist elsewhere as well).
     
  10. Apollo

    Apollo Omnipotent Moron Administrator

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    It wouldn't be This is Dan Bell., would it? I've been watching a lot of his videos as well in the past few weeks, particularly the Rolling Acres Mall video, it's a strangely satisfying and nostalgic thing, even though I've never been to the places he visits :D.



    You're spot on, though, even if GW's just a shell of what it once was, coming here and getting to live those memories of the old days again is gratifying in some sense. Remembering things like the original UBB forums (what's the password to the mod forum?!?), the switch to vBulletin and the commotion it brought, the fake mod forum incident, the VMG, MichaelAngelo, etc. That's stuff that means nothing to those who have never been to GW, but for those of us here, they're memories of major events.

    Privacy's a big reason as to why I never got into social media, as well. You're absolutely right that the expectation is that you're supposed to share every detail of your life with people who don't particularly want or need to know about it, and it's equally troubling that kids are not only on the platform, but openly posting about their lives and locations, as well. That's terrifying when you consider the sort of people who scour sites like that. The filter comes off because people think they're just talking to friends, but they aren't, and so much comes out it's no wonder bad things happen. There's the rash of people doing or posting stupid things that get them fired, or that might impact their employment options later in life that they just don't consider at the time. Anyway, I'm rambling on so I'll stop there, but I completely agree with you about the privacy side of things on social media, and yes, forums are a fantastic way to still talk to and engage with people as much or as little as you want, and still maintain a level of privacy or distance.

    I have noticed, though, that even forums are starting to shift in a negative way when it comes to having an audience in the same age range as we were when GW started or was is its' prime. An NHL video game YouTuber I follow started his own website recently and I actually helped his brother in operating it for a good while. His audience is in the 13 to 21-ish range with a few of us "old guys" mixed in, so essentially the vast majority were people that grew up with social media as a primary point of communication, and one thing that sticks out with those people is they have no idea how forums function, they just expect it to be "YouTube Comments Section: The Website." It makes for a very unwelcoming, abrasive and ultimately annoying experience and it ruined what was a good place to talk about a shared interest because (while there were quite a few of us who were familiar with forums, netiquette could handle a discussion without resulting to name calling and bullying, and in fact we formed a good group of members that reminded me of GW at one point) those people became the majority and that is what greeted every user that joined. Nobody wants to join a website to be harassed, they joined that site to interact with one of their favourite YouTubers and talk with fellow enthusiasts of hockey and video games, but the discussions quickly gave way to groups of people parading around the website just to post memes, jokes and insults. There is still that level of anonymity because of how forums function, but to come to a website and find the same garbage you see on social media or sites like 4Chan as the primary focal point of a site is pretty disheartening (granted, I had also invested about a year of time helping to operate the site and offering advice along the way, so perhaps it was more the time that was ultimate wasted trying to build a decent site than actual disdain for the users?). I hope future forums can maintain the privacy aspects while also keeping a grasp on civility, though obviously that's up to the staff and owners that run them. Err...anyway, I did the rambling thing again, so I'd better stop this at this point or I'll be writing walls upon walls of commentary on something we all know about already. Those darn kids with their skinny jeans and their terrible music...
     
  11. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I can't remember his name, but it may well be. I agree that there is something strangely satisfying about watching the videos. There is also one that was circulated a couple of years ago about Camelot (which, for those who don't know, is an abandoned theme park in England). I actually went to Camelot probably four or five times when I was younger, so that was quite a hard hitting video for me. My recollection of it is a little sketchy, but my parents were amazed by the video when I showed them (they obviously remember it far better than I do).
    I spent some time looking through the Reunion Thread last night, and it brought back loads of memories of old members and incidents just by people and things that were mentioned. Loads of nostalgia there; I even got nostalgic from seeing the old smilies that were used. I'd forgotten about the fake mod forum incident; that was excellent.

    I find this a lot on major sites that allow comments, whether on Twitter, Facebook groups, Youtube comments, or even on sites that have functioning forums. The amount of ill feeling is incredible, and really it's just not very nice. We had some of that on Gamewinners of course, but on the whole I felt we controlled it well. There is a Facebook group that I am apart of for board games that has an absolutely amazing community spirit of the type that I've never seen on the internet. It has about 5,000 members and is overwhelmingly a pleasant and supportive community for people who share a hobby. It's a little sad how rare that is on the internet, but it highlights all of the problems that you've mentioned.
     
  12. Apollo

    Apollo Omnipotent Moron Administrator

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    I found that video, and it looks somewhat familiar to me, but I'm not actually certain if I went there or not when I still lived in England. I remember going to Pontins (...one of them, though specifically which one I don't remember) a fair few times, which was crap (and the abandoned videos of a couple of those locations point out just how underwhelming it was), but Camelot I'm not so sure about. Looks like it was a fun place in its' day, though!

    Some of the names of people in that thread alone bring back memories, it's quite the treasure trove! It's also quite funny that it was started as an "old peeps" thread in 2004, and is now likely one of the oldest threads still existing outside of the mod forum.

    It's incredibly rare to come across that level of civility that makes a place feel welcoming on the whole. You'll get pockets of members that are decent, but whole group or the majority of a group it's very rare that they're welcoming. GameWinners did a decent job of dealing with the hostility most of the time, but GW also got severely over-politicized at times to make that happen, which wasn't terribly pleasant at times, but on the whole GW's been more or less a civil place to be.
     
  13. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    There's no doubt that mistakes were made with Gamewinners at various points, which isn't really surprising, but as you say on the whole it worked well. If we were to do it again I'd certainly want to do things a little differently (honestly relaxing rules across the board would be the main one), but I doubt it would have made much if any difference to the decline of the site.
     
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