So, what's the deal with SHIT BONERZ?

so all that pith is gone? thats like, sad.

I’m working on it.

All of those threads still exist, at least, all the ones I searched for do. The links are just broken.

For example, if I wanted a dose of sperm injections, I’d go here:

Sadly, this means evidence of my utter batshit insanity in 2003 is here to stay.

Yeah, all the posts got brought over from the old forum, it’s just the old forum software that is gone now (or at least its URL is different).

Does the wayback machine work?

We must save this Qt3 Lore from being lost forever.

It’s not lost. It just needs to be re-search’ed.

This is not a bad idea. I’m going to do that.

Qt3 Cultural FAQ v0.1

I - Technical History

I.1: Origin
Quarter to Three was started by Tom Chick, Mark Asher, and Chet Faliszek in December 2000 as an outgrowth of the newsgroup comp.sys.ibm.pc.games (popularly called “sissypigs”) due to that group’s difficulties, which some saw as stemming from a lack of moderation. Chick and Asher were moderators and Faliszek handled the technical end. The site was hosted on www.quartertothree.com, a domain belonging to Chick.

I.2: Discus
The initial boards, now called the “old old boards” or “the blue boards,” were organized around the site’s front page and were implemented via Discus. The Discus boards had few features. Their contents have not been merged into any of the subsequent boards, meaning that anyone who wants to read them must contend with their dated forum software and lack of a working native search function.

I.3: phpBB2
The phpBB2 boards replaced the blue boards in June 2002. Now also called “the old boards,” the phpBB2 boards reorganized the subforums, reducing them to Games, Movies, Books/Comics/TV/Music, and Everything Else. The Hardware and Politics & Religion boards were added in August 2003. Although the phpBB2 boards had the capacity to include signatures and avatars, these features were disabled, although some Usenet veterans continued to sign their posts manually. To help pay the site’s operating costs, the forum began to run banner advertisements.

I.4: IRC
In August 2002 there was an attempt to set up a Qt3 chat channel at irc.webchat.org, but it never really caught on. Subsequently, Xaroc established a #qt3 IRC channel elsewhere (probably in mid-2004), but its members are clannish and secretive.

I.5: vBulletin
The vBulletin boards replaced the phpBB2 boards in December 2005. It retained the five subforums of the phpBB2 boards and would later merge the phpBB2 era’s content into its own, meaning that the current boards go back to mid-2002. Somewhat controversially, the move to vBulletin saw graphical smileys disabled. Faliszek, who had long been enthusiastic about vBulletin and its features, cited technical reasons for the move, although the page timeouts that plagued phpBB2 have begun to appear again on the new boards. Advertising is currently a mix of banners from Google Adwords and Portal of Evil.

II - Moderation

II.1: The Entity
Chick, Asher, and Faliszek are the board’s administrators, although Faliszek’s involvement in moderation is limited and Asher has little current involvement with the boards. A common perception of the moderation process as secretive led Brian Koontz to dub Chick and Asher “The Entity” in recognition of their mysterious power.

II.2: Discreet Moderation
Most Qt3 moderation is done through the boards’ Private Messaging features. According to Tom Chick, most bans come only after the victim refuses to modify an offending post. The aim of this approach has been to create a tolerant but civil community ruled by self-restraint. Though Chick has dismissed forum members curious about specific bans as “yentas,” the process has become somewhat more public over time, in large part because it is difficult to keep secrets from the growing forum membership and its scrutiny of the boards.

II.3: Anonymity
Anonymous posting was once allowed on Quarter to Three, but it was disabled sometime in the phpBB2 period in favor of “stringent vetting,” explained below.

II.4: Stringent Vetting
New members must have their accounts approved by Chick, a process which requires them to submit an introductory email. This process, commonly called “stringent vetting,” has led to the buildup of a significant backlog of new member applications, particularly since the boards have come to the attention of digg, a high-traffic link aggregator.

II.5: Bans
Also popularly known as “gentle touching,” several bans have been given out over the history of the boards. Bans in line with the “discreet moderation” policy discussed above have been enacted primarily for reasons of incivility, particularly racism or the appearance of racism. Bans have also been given for spamming, illiteracy, and viral marketing. (The term “viral marketing” has since been applied to situations where direct compensation from an advertiser may or may not have occurred, and the board as a whole no longer takes the mention of “viral marketing” entirely seriously.)

II.6: The Ban Amnesty
The move to vBulletin did not preserve existing bans, and some banned members have since returned. Others have been rebanned.

II.7: Name Changes
Some posters have changed the handles under which they post. Depending on the method they use, it can involve a new account, or it can be retroactive.

II.8: Bananas and Nuts
Albert Woo maintains a comprehensive history of bannings and name changes. The most recent version as of this writing (v.25) is here. The figure at the top is David Cross as Tobias Funke in Arrested Development, from which the “Bananas and Nuts” title is also drawn.

III - Curiosities

III.1: Board Taglines
Games: “Don’t shoot, I’m with the science team!” This phrase is spoken by scientists in the original Half-Life.
Movies: “A guy started at Fight Club, his ass was a wad of cookie dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of wood.” Fight Club was also the inspiration behind the name of Tom Chick’s “Shoot Club.”
Books/Comics/TV/Music: “I’m not normally a religious man, but if you’re up there, save me, Superman!” Homer Simpson.
Politics & Religion: “You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.” Jon Stewart.
Hardware: “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.” 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Everything Else: “What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.” Woody Allen.

III.2: Postcount Titles (vBulletin)
[none] (0-4)
Funky (5-9)
Bad Girl (10-19)
Pillow Talk (20-39)
Good Shape (40-79)
Goodluck!! (80-149)
Broad Band (150-299)
Hustle (300-499)
Spinning Toe (500-999)
Mad Chester (1,000-1,499)
Neo Acoustic (1,500-1,999)
Social Worker (2,000-4,999)
New Romantic (5,000-9,999)
How To Go (10,000-14,999)
World’s End Supernova (15,000+)
These titles are taken from Killer7, where they appear on the many t-shirts of a ghostly guide.

III.3: Postcount Titles (phpBB2)
argumentum ad ignorantiam (argument to ignorance) (1)
Frater, ave atque vale (Hail, brother, farewell) (2)
Puri sermonis amator (Lover of pure speech) (3)
Quid agis, medice? (What’s up, Doc?) (4)
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditu (Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound) (5)
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem (Stand aside plebeians! I am on imperial business.) (6)
non compos mentis (not of a sound mind) (7)
Disiecti membra poetae (Limbs of a dismembered poet) (8)
Ignotum per ignotius (Explaining the unknown in terms of the more unknown) (9)
Oderint dum metuant (Let them hate so long as they fear.) (10)
Raptus regaliter (Royally screwed) (11)
Ipsa scientia potestas est (Knowledge itself is power.) (12)
Re vera, potas bene (Say, you sure are drinking a lot) (13)
Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est (Nothing is sillier than a silly laugh) (14)
O praeclarum custodem ovium lupum! (An excellent protector of sheep, the wolf!) (15)
O tempora! O mores! (Oh the Times, Oh the Morals!) (16)
Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est (The check is in the mail) (17)
Braccae tuae aperiuntur (Your fly is open) (18)
Amoto quaeramus seria ludo (Joking aside, let us turn to serious matters) (19)
Trahimur omnes laudis studio (We are all led on by our eagerness for praise.) (20)
Vitanda est improba siren desidia (One must avoid that wicked temptress, Laziness.) (21)
Insanabile cacoëthes scribendi (Incurable passion to write) (22)
Magister mundi sum! (I am the master of the universe!) (23-3,999)
Magister Mundi McCullough (I am the master of McCullough!) (4000+)
The phpBB2 post titles were phrases in Latin, with no translations given. The manner of their ordering meant that nearly every poster had the same title (“Magister mundi sum!”). The final title was named for the infamously prolific Jason McCullough, who continues to hold a commanding postcount lead as the vBulletin era’s only World’s End Supernova.

IV - Qt3 vs. The Internet

IV.1: Gone Gold/Octopus Overlords
The stereotype on Qt3 is that Gone Gold (subsequently Octopus Overlords) is a whiny disease support group and lacks substance in its discussion of games. Despite this prejudice, some people are members of both communities.

IV.2: Gaming Age Forums/NeoGAF
The stereotype on Qt3 is that the Gaming Age Forums (subsequently NeoGAF) are too big, too noisy, and too console-centric. Despite this prejudice, some people are members of both communities.

IV.3: No Mutants Allowed & RPG Codex
The stereotype on Qt3 is that NMA and the Codex hate all games except for one or two that they have enshrined as the ultimate expressions possible in the medium. Despite this prejudice, some people are members of both communities.

IV.4: Caltrops
The stereotype on Qt3 is that Caltrops is Hell as envisioned by Sartre. Despite this prejudice, some people are members of both communities.

IV.5: Quarter to Three
The stereotype of Qt3 elsewhere is that its members are arrogant, boring pedants who hate consoles, love complicated PC games, and have an average age above 30. This is all fairly accurate. In addition, Qt3 is said – even by some of its own members – to have a “groupthink.” Any community will have some prevalent opinions, of course, and without there being some truth to the “groupthink” charge, this section would have been impossible to write, but for everything written here, you’ll find dissenting opinions on the boards.

V - Notable Posters

This FAQ will not discuss individual Qt3 members in detail.

VI - Joining Qt3

VI.1: Usernames

Many of us use our real names here, but you don’t have to. Ideally, a handle is memorable and not too similar to one that someone else is already using. There is only minimal restriction on usernames with respect to their offensiveness. (Current active members include Union Carbide and nutsak.)

VI.2: Lurking
I strongly suggest using the delay between registering your username and its approval to lurk and read parts of the archives. Squirrel Killer’s updated list of meme threads is one possible place to start, although it constitutes the “Jerry Springer edition” of Qt3, since its focus is on memorable spectacles rather than on thoughtful, substantial, useful stuff about games. For that, you may have to look harder. I hope that in the near future we can devise a more balanced list of sample topics and posts for inclusion in this FAQ.

VI.3: First Posts
Qt3 as a whole does not encourage the practice of starting a thread to say hello. Instead, new members should jump into a discussion where they have something to add. Being too contentious early on tends to make a bad impression. Games is the best board to start posting in, and P&R is incontestably the worst.

VI.4: Necromancy
Please use the search function, or Google site-searching if necessary, to find old threads before making new ones. Chances are, your question has already been answered or your point already made.

VI.5: SHIT, BONERZ!!
This option or one like it serves as an abstention in polls.

I forgot to credit Squirrel Killer for the lists of postcount titles. The vBulletin list has been slightly revised for accuracy.

Jesus McGriddle, great job man.

Lordy, good job, but a couple things:

I.1: Firstly, Chet Marmoset (that’s his real name) had nothing to do with it when it started. It was just me and Mark doing a site for c|net. Aszurom helped us cobble the graphics together, which was particularly memorable for the way he accidentally deleted everything the night before the day we were supposed to go live. Ah, good times! Unfortunately, we arrived on the scene just in time to watch the internet bubble was burst. It’s all in the ti-ming.

Our starting it had nothing to do with csip.strategic, although that is how Mark and I met. Instead, we started it because we were tired of working for The Man and wanted a place to do our own thing rather than having Gamespot or whomever change our 8s to 7.9s and whatnot.

Also, chet has no say in moderating, as you can tell by the fact that Brad Wardell still posts! :)

I.3: Graphical smiley emoticons – may they burn in hell – are also disabled.

I.4: Please point out that the IRC channel is in no way conducted by, associated with, or condoned by anyone in charge of Quarter to Three. That’s its own thing and I got pretty sick of fielding complaints from people who were kicked out of or not let into their little club. After all, I was busy enough kicking out and not letting people into my own little club.

II.1: I’m currently the sole moderator of the board, although both Mark and Chet have administrative level accounts. This wasn’t a power grab or anything, but it’s just the way it worked out.

II.2: I’ve rarely asked anyone to modify a post. I typically just send an informal ‘Hey, could you not do ‘blah blah blah’ in the future’ as a half-assed way of trying to guilt someone into behaving. I’m sure they see right through my ploy, but 9 times out of 10, they say, ‘Yeah, sure’ and the issue goes away. Unless it’s some disturbing or offensive image, the infraction is almost never changed or deleted. People get banned when their reaction is confrontational, or when the offense continues.

II.4: I suck. I have at least two months of new account emails built up that I need to go through. I blame Lord of the Rings Online, hardware upgrades, and the absolute frickin’ nightmare of what happened behind-the-scenes with CGM. If you’re a forum member and you have a buddy I’ve kept waiting, drop me an email or PM and I’ll switch them right on. Otherwise, I’m slowly working my way through the backlog.

VI.1: You’re totally busted for disingenuous use of first person plural, Mr. McGriddle. Otherwise, great work!

-Tom

Very nicely done, McGriddle!

U-Mac has so much time on his hands, that I literally wonder, sometimes, if he can travel backwards through time. Although there’s a guy who works the nearby Taco Bell that looks exactly like a U-Mac twin, sans glasses; I’d ask if it was his new job except that:

  1. U-mac would rather paper-cut his own neck open with an irradiated “I voted Bush” bumper sticker than work at T.Bell
  2. He cannot both continue to have tons of free time and also be serving me my beef and potato burrito and large diet coke
  3. It’s just too damn far from Davis

FAQ suggestion: the built-in search is broke broke broke. I’d recommend that everytime you mention “searching” in the FAQ, you reference a QT3 technical section wherein the google site:quartertothree.com thing is mentioned. It could also include that posts must contain 5 characters but no more than 10K (or whatever), there is no nested quoting without manual gymnastics, and that the calendar is stuck on 2006. And how everything works and no one has a right to bitch anyway.

No one has ever not been let into our “little club” - there’s no password or vetting, only laptop bots get kickbanned on sight - and the very short list of people who are banned are all people who could not behave in a remotely mature, respectful manner while in there. And when I say “remotely,” I mean remotely. Like, far worse than me on a bad day remotely. Like, Met_K was never banned remotely. Spamming the channel with nonsense after multiple requests to knock it off are ignored, or essentially acting like a legitimate crazy person wouldn’t play very well here, either. In fact, it hasn’t.

Also, very few bans are permanent. I can count on one penis how many people are permanently banned from there. Not surprisingly, he’s banned from here, too.

Tom: I’ll work all that in, particularly the disassociation of the IRC channel. I’m fucking positive we had graphical smileys on the old board, though. I distinctly remember them. And the controversy over them coincided with the move to vBulletin. (PS – I hate smileys too.)

I knew the main site was a more or less independent project for you and Mark, but I had been under the impression that the board’s members were primarily from sissypigs at first. I can rework that early stuff if necessary; I’m a little hazy on what happened before I got here. (In particular, I’ll be sure to add Aszurom.) When did chet get involved?

When was anonymous posting disabled?

I am almost positive that it should be “Gamespot or whoever.”

shift6: I can assure you that I don’t work in Sacramento, but I’ve never had a job I liked, so don’t be so quick to rule something out just because I’d hate it. As for having lots of free time, the trick is to have no life. And not to get involved in huge P&R threads.

I mentioned Google site searching, but I can detail it so that people can learn how from the FAQ.

Albert Woo: As always, your Bananas and Nuts digest has been an invaluable resource. If you’re planning on making a new version any time soon, please remember to add Jose Liz -> MyNameIsWill.

Let’s see, chet got involved, umm, I don’t know. It does seem like he was there from the beginning, but I’m pretty sure he volunteered to help us after c|net bid us adieu, which was literally within a handful of days of us launching. Chet probably remembers better than I do. But the early days were me and Mark without a clue as to what to do – what’s this HTML stuff? – and Aszurom graciously volunteering his help.

Anonymous posting was disable, umm, gosh, again I suck at remembering stuff. Maybe before we transitioned from the blue boards? I think the idea was that allowing multiple anonymous posts per poster caused too much noise.

Bill, thanks for the clarification. I had no idea what was going on over there, and I didn’t really care, but I was irked that people somehow assumed I had some control over it. Besides, I don’t chat online. Unless there’s an MMO wrapped around me. In which case I’ll talk up a storm.

-Tom

Thanks to the gallant assistance of Troy G., I now know that anonymous posting was disabled in April 2003.

Fair enough. I hope you’ll trust me that nobody over there even remotely implies that you do. Also, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people have mistakenly thought they were banned by us, because the server can be shaky and it’ll ban you if you try to re-login too many times as some lame anti-spam measure.

Frickin’ yenta.

I watched over fire’s shoulder once while you guys were chatting. It looked pretty gay and juvenile, particularly since you guys didn’t have avatars that could level up after playing them for hundreds of hours and for which you’d paid monthly subscription fees. So gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

-Tom