Gaming forums and the small internet village

I was an active member of many BBS forums for a long time as a teenager when I was big into Atari and Commodore home computer gaming. Then I went away for awhile from 16 until about 25. Then in 1996 I re-joined the world of usenet/internet forums with the release of Meridian 59. I was a beta tester in the final months before release, and then an active retail player until I left for the UO beta and eventually for Everquest. Once I was hooked on Everquest checking online forums and gaming groups became a way of life and hasn’t stopped since.

When playing Meridian 59, UO and EQ I went by the name Raveneye almost exclusively on forums and in games. It was my first character name, and one I stuck with for a long time. It was also during my EQ days that I became a member of the Legends of Westwood, a small but very tight knit gaming group who’s 50-odd members spanned multiple games.

I discovered QT3 around 2004 by following a link from a Tom Chick review. I’d always liked Tom’s stuff in various gaming magazines and websites, and when I saw that Bruce and some other guys whose writing I enjoyed were also here I became a lurker, checking in every so often to see what was new. I finally joined officially in 2006, and this is now the first place I come on a daily basis for all things gaming related. I have a couple of other forums I frequent, almost always as “Slainte Mhath” as well, but I never got into 4Chan, Gone Gold, Octopus Overlords or any of the other sites with a big social tilt.

I know at least one veteran Qt3er remembers me from way back in the day on m0use.net, the dearly-departed onetime central hub for all of the best Elder Scrolls fan pages. I was active there for years, as well as in all the biggest Elder Scrolls IRC channels.

I wasn’t always known by the handle, though, which came about when I signed on to write and do other assorted things for TESGurus.net, a onetime Morrowind super-fansite that had more members than the official Elder Scrolls forums before it imploded spectacularly. Been using it for over 12 years now, and have no real reason to give it up.

Man, I remember TESGurus.net. I wasn’t an active member, but I did visit often for Morrowind tips, mods and help, and even gleaned some decent Daggerfall knowledge from there when I attempted a replay of that game post-Morrowind. (Trust me, it was far more difficult to go backwards from Morrowind to Daggerfall than it was from Oblivion to Morrowind. The textures, so fugly!)

So it is the same couple thousand guys.

I actually think it is. There are very few new users for this particular medium, since most young ones tend to use other social media like Twitter, Facebook and the like, and much much shorter and faster ways of communication.

Thats kinda why I find it interesting that I recognize so many people here from other places.

It’s sort of unfortunate really because I feel like forums capture one element (that is sometimes detrimental) that no other popular communication medium does: a sense of permanency and history.

Reddit posts fall off the main page in a day or so, causing the comment threads to die for anyone who didn’t keep the page open or bookmark it, and even then, it becomes locked for editing after a few months. Timeline or no, Facebook’s nature pushes new updates over old and doesn’t have much in the way of static pages or stickies; Twitter is the same on an even more rapid and insubstantial timeline. Chatrooms have always had this problem and newsgroups seem to run-around it only via massive reply chains that are even more unwieldy than 100-page forum threads.

Essentially, I don’t know of any other service that makes tracking the entire history of a long and fruitful discussion easy. It could be that kind of conversation doesn’t doesn’t track well on the post-Web2.0 internet and that newcomers will never have a need for it (thus killing forums when we all die), but I certainly hope that the need for it is recognized and inspires a new generation of history-preserving discussion formats :)

I posted on PlanetBaldursGate for many many years. Pretty much only when I was playing the game but often I would check in just to see if anything is going on.

I started with internet forums on PlanetDeusEx from 2000-2002 as Gabriel Syme. It gave me a false view of interaction with people on the internet. It was a community of fair-minded individuals united by a common interest that they actually enjoyed.

I used to be mod on the old Championship Manager Forums from a long time ago. Gone Gold I was a lurker and that led to OO and GT and QT3 when it imploded.

I read them all every day but really don’t post much, either i need help or am angry when i’m thinking of posting and one of those choices isn’t a good one.

Only ever posted as Reemul as it seems to be a not so popular handle, in fact never come across anyone else using it.

If we’re talking about online gaming communities, I started with Compuserve back in the early-mid 80s, then went onto Prodigy, PC-Link, the ImagiNation Network and so on.

If we’re talking simply forums, I bounced around a few in the 90s, but there weren’t any I really liked until I got to CGW, which I just loved, and still miss terribly. The loss of those forums brought me here.

I agree. Forums have one other benefit I find lacking in more modern methods of communication as well : they encourage you to write well.

Twitter, Facebook and IM are all well and good, but the short form of “burst communication” that those mediums breed is simply not condusive to actual conversation. In a forum, you need to communicate ideas and opinions clearly, and to do that you need to be able to write. I find that simply participating in forums keeps my written communication skills sharp, and that translates over to my every day life as better communication skills when I need to write emails, letters or professional correspondence.

Not to sound too much like an old man, but communication skills, especially written skills, are dying off in the new generation of adults weaned on computers, cell phones and Facebook. The result is not pretty.

I’ve always posted in game-specific forums, but QT3 is the only forum I’ve ever joined that’s a general gaming forum (or has a big general gaming component). I was attracted by the general immunity to hype here (carefully distinguishing being-taken-in-by-hype from eager anticipation, of course).

Lord yes. I went to school for journalism after a lifelong interest in writing (primarily fiction). It’s astonishing to me to see how few people ever manager to get a handle on basic written communication skills, even in a professional setting. I’m essentially the last-stop editor at an education-focused non-profit staffed by a bunch of people with Master’s degrees and backgrounds as teachers and administrators–and I’m the flipping secretary!

My boss communicates
In brief unpunctuated sentences
Like this
Sometimes abbrevs wds
Also no breaks betw paras

My beginnings include Quantum Link, CompuServe and the Asheron’s Call USENET forum. Met my present wife on Prodigy. I know I was on a few BBSes but they will not be named here.

Qt3 is my go to place. I really like it here, warts and all. I also spend time on MetaFilter. But that’s not a gaming forum at all. It is a small close knit community though and has its own good points.

Edit: I used the name Discord mostly. That was my first nick on Q-Link. I have another one that I started in AC when it went live. But I’d rather not put that here. If you’re inclined to stalk it was a Monty Python term. Very original , me.

Is your boss Rorschach?

I actually find this subject extremely interesting. I love words, with their origins and how people use them, and why and it seems to me that we are heading towards a new kind of society where we no longer may actually need the kind of communication skills you mention.

If everyone who is somewhat young these days are used to short burst communication, they will most probably carry this over to their respective careers.

I foresee a huge change in the way we communicate over the next 20 years, even in business’s.

My first game forum was State which I found on the awful Delphi forums (but which later moved to another software and then disappeared). I registered here after that and have pretty much lurked ever since. I’ve seen at least two or three people here that posted there.

I’m Danish and have trouble with those " ’ " thingies - sorry!