On how to deal with toxic indie and fan creators/contributors.

Finding a supportive and welcoming community that you can be a part of as an alternative to the toxic community you find yourself is the best strategy. You do need to take the steps to start identifying a new group to socialize with, and that‘s scary and hard! This will positively impact your mental health, your world view, and your relationships. Feel free to Mare Kondo your relationships and social communities. It’s OK to have outgrown a community even though you still enjoy or are interested in aspects of it.

Letting go of of the parts of your life that are not working for who you want to be is a skill. Like any skill, you can practice and improve this!

can we sticky this thread, not just for the conversation but as a preventative measure/reminder?

I think I feel the same as

@"tapevulture"#p106587

I obviously would rather people not be assholes, but sometimes people are and I guess they're free to do so - idk maybe even get into a 2000s style flame war with them. I'm not anti-argument actually. It's honestly a little refreshing to see people argue online about mostly inconsequential stuff.

That said, I also get that sometimes it's hard to immediately separate ideology from general demeanour. People want to feel justified in disliking someone or something. Sometimes people just do shitty things without it being actively harmful or hateful. Sometimes (often) it's a nasty mix of the two.

I hate to sound like a cliche or reductive, but in most forum/discord settings the answer really is "touch grass". People are way more likely to get nasty if they're isolated, or if they're convinced they don't need anybody else. Obviously it's not a viable solution if your work is also your discord though

@“marurun”#p106561 ah, I am not in all the threads, and maybe I‘m also comparing it to what happened in the LAST place which was much worse. But you’re right that some of the main people in the scene are abrasive at best. I haven't seen them being more harmful than annoying but I probably missed it! How about I keep more of an eye out and get more involved when people are being weird?

@"gsk"#70 well opinions will vary on this (we've talked about it here before) but paprium is the best looking game on the genesis in the last 18 years, just a really impressive use of the platform and technology, the way sound and tempo is bent in real time is neat, and the beat em up mechanics are second maybe to streets of rage 3. I've seen that you don't feel that way about it but I buy every modern genesis release and for me, only xenocrisis comes close to being of a similar level of quality. I don't know what screwing over of people they've done but I do know they're basically homophobic and misogynistic "for fun" because that's "how it was in the 90s." So there's no true apologizing I can do there, though I did send him a series of letters about how he could improve (which he did not like). this is one of those cases where I don't think he's empowered to truly hurt anyone with his 500-unit sales or whatever so I play the games in silence. There's no excuse! that's just where I've landed on it so I can continue to see the state of the art of genesis games. Meanwhile, I wouldn't allow him to post on this forum.

(also, if you wanna know what the graphical innovations are etc I can DM you about it so as to not waste air on it)

@“exodus”#p106618 Oh, I‘m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply Paul‘s place had a major toxicity problem. Just that I’m constantly aware of what happened at the last place and so I‘m always on a bit heightened guard. And I’m always wary in case prickliness turns to something more.

@“marurun”#p106622 yeah, I getcha!! I do see things like… spiking almost in a bad direction and then calming down, but let me know if you need backup!

It can definitely be tough to engage with toxicity in communities. Sometimes the whole community is just built on a foundation of that stuff (like, I don‘t know what it’s like now but I know the NeoGeo forum was really not worth visiting last I checked) and even if you‘re interested in the thing that forum is ostensibly about, you are better off not having the information at all than trying to be a part of that community. It’s very unlikely that you won't find it somewhere else anyway.

However, all communities have some people with attitudes and, honestly, I don't know what their situation is but maybe sometimes this is like an outlet for them or provides them some measure of feeling in control or lashing out at a world that has been unfair to them (heck, I have been posting on forums since I was about 11 years old - I'm sure I would cringe if I could look back on some of the stuff I was posting then). Whether they are justified in that is a different discussion, but as long as people aren't actively spreading hate or misinformation I try to just engage with them in good faith - be polite, answer their questions and pretty much just ignore the rudeness altogether. I feel like if a whole community behaves that way, people who are there to cause trouble get bored and give up, whereas others will gradually soften their approach if no-one else is really being rude or mean and they decide to stick around.

Several years ago I ended my partial stake in a DIY venue. There was basically one member of the collective who was actively trying to gain power and I assume take control of the venue. When they called me out for an unrelated FB comment I had made to someone I was like, “oh this person I have never spoken to in person is e-stalking me and doesn’t know how much money I have invested in this space. And as no one has put a stop to similar behavior recently. Very well then.“ I ended my involvement that day and never looked back. Proud of myself for that. Anyways it was nice to get my thousands out of a place that closed less than a year later.

But yeah. If the majority of a group is going to let bad behavior slide you have no obligation to stay. I hate to sound like a parent but those people aren’t your friends anyways. Its all just an illusion of community. Shit people can’t wait to drag you into their codependent misery.

I wrote this partially as a reply to a now hidden post, and that post was still visible in my quotation, so I've removed it. @Syzygy, I can just remove this preamble as well, I suppose? I dunno.

If rejj has an issue with how things are it's not on them to individually change what a gaggle of goofballs (first person plural inclusive) are up to. And it's worth considering whether or not they're just the only one who felt they could express it openly.

I would like to know more about what rejj (intentionally not tagging them) believes to be the issue. I wasn't a goon but I hung around with a lot of ex-goons, so, I'm really only vaguely aware of what they meant by that. But, if the forum is becoming inhospitable to someone who has been around here for a long time, surely we can and should figure something out.

Also this is exceptionally bad form but I am leaving for work, so, I just want to say that I‘m not trying to come after @Hyper-Guts-Shooter or throw shade on anyone, I’m just concerned about the possibility of us being cliquey and weird about it if it's annoying rejj.

One more thing while I‘m only still just at risk of being late for work rather than definitely going to be late for work (dw it’s not a big deal, nobody‘s fault but my own, I’m choosing to do this) I don‘t think rejj is being a stick in the mud and I hope questioning of what they believe to be the issue doesn’t come off like an interrogation. I genuinely want to know to see if we can minimize annoyance. Also gonna tag @Syzygy because I can‘t flag my own post and don’t think anything flaggable has necessarily occurred.

I was late for work but I‘m Ojibwe, it’s my cultural privilege to be fashionably late.

... I'm still at work now so can't get _into it_ into it but I'll just put it out there that I care a lot about this community and I think very highly of everyone I've interacted with, without exception (shit, even people I've had clashes with or annoyed without knowing, I harbor no ill will).

@"Syzygy"#279 alluded to the fact we've spoken privately about this, I'll also mildly allude to that conversation to say that I hope we can all get along and maintain a respectful and hospitable social environment for everyone who feels they get value out of being here, and that that takes work that we, collectively speaking, might need to take more seriously.

I also want to hand it to @“Syzygy”#279 for jumping into action when he did - I know it was at like 11 am PT, I can‘t imagine it was too convenient of a time to have to do a bunch of mod actions. I also think it’s probably a tough position to be in to balance the people who are here for the social hangout vibes with the people who are here to get the latest MiSTer news or selling their old games, so mad respect.

~~I did want to address something, again with slight fear of taking _this_ thread more off topic... and that is an apology to @"yeso"#385 - the OP to the two threads that kicked everything off. I wasn't alone in interpreting the renaming of the thread and creation of a second thread as a tongue-in-cheek signal you were in on the joke, but wasn't really clear until the last name change of the thread and seeing @"rejj"#455 's comment that at some point our collective hive mind overstepped the line. I think it is important to respect the OP particularly in social threads like that. Based on the sticky it also sounds like there was some preexisting baggage with that thread that _I_ certainly wasn't aware of and I assume most others didn't know about either.~~

~~I think having a thread for jokes and wackiness - with the promise that it's self-contained - is a good idea (tbh that thread gave me some of the biggest laughs I've had in a long time), and I think we should also do some community service like @"Gaagaagiins"#429 said and make an effort to not be cliquey or to try to pick up on when others are not feeling the vibes.~~

edit: The longer this thread goes on, the less I understand what was going on, so I'm staying out of this....

I won‘t be disingenuous here, I am definitely an agent of chaos but this isn’t out of any malicious intent. It does take at least two sides and push and pull to rile things up like that but I think most people knew it was intentional and it was good that it ended when it did. Stagnation is bad and absolute order is boring, but joke night really is just a night, a little dopamine rush can't just last forever.

Wasn't trying to be mean to rejj I was just saying that the other threads were not being infected or nothing, it was all under control in the end and discussion of good old videogames continues unabated.

I think Syzygy is definitely right to step in whenever he feels like things are getting beyond his control; we have to remember that this is a pretty large forum to only have essentially two moderators, with most of the day-to-day stuff falling on the shoulders of one.

I kind of got lost at a certain point with all this stuff. I don't look at this thread so I didn't see any of what happened here, and even though I'm quite an active user, I couldn't quite figure out what was going on with the "delete the disinfo thread" thread either. I sympathize with what Syzygy did because I generally have a hard time telling when yeso is being serious or not, and I don't know if anyone was really sure what to make of that second thread, and then both threads were kinda evolving in lock-step in a way that was quite hard to follow. I still can't tell if anyone was genuinely upset regarding the deodorant discussion, or whether it was all performative, or what. Was yeso mad because the rules regarding corrections were being broken, or for some other thing? Just confusing.

This forum is a silly website; I tried to summarize some of these events to my wife today and she called it a "funny circus place," and one of the great parts of this funny circus place is that it's also home to many heartfelt and meaningful discussions. I personally don't feel that the former gets in the way of the latter. Our wackiest posters are also the most thoughtful.

So yeah, I think the main thing here was things getting a little too meta on the main page with multiple threads, discussions/arguments where people weren't sure if their interlocutors were totally serious or not, and overall just a little bit too much havoc for a small forum where there are a lot of semi-active users who pop in and out. It's fun for those who are here every hour of every day, but it doesn't take long for things to totally derail.

>

@“wickedcestus”#p107945 “funny circus place”

this should be an euphemism for when stuff gets a little out of hand here.

jokes aside i agree with the sentiment most people here are expressing and i'm glad this didn't escalate any further

@“Syzygy”#p107961 I‘m not worried :slight_smile: you’re doing a great job.

This all started because I made a too-serious post in a silly thread so I'm worried about causing more trouble by doing it again here.

If you think about it my post in the disinfo thread about another of my eccentric lifestyle choices was the forum sweat that got fermented into forum BO. Maybe deoderant is necessary after all.

I made a suggestion before the thread was hidden that maybe tagging threads like it should be more strictly kept to "fine it's the axe," and then maybe we could also get a user toggle to hide axe threads if that's easier than implementing subforums. I had the idea like last week that hiding threads could be a good function to have. It was my own response to threads like the Elden Ring thread where the reason would be for me to avoid spoilers. I didn't mention it because it felt too reddit-adjacent but maybe I'm wrong and it could be useful.

I thought the joke thread had run its course and people were just starting to do open mic there. Had hoped to indicate this ironically and that people would get the hint bc I don't want to give anyone a hard time. For newer posters, just FYI the crowd assembled here is in part because we get tired of the usual internet practices

What I would hate to happen would be something like Rejj indicated, where there's a high volume of questionably funny posting which crowds out both the more thoughtful (by our standards) conversation we have and also drives away new people or discourages less vocal forum users from posting more often

I got sleepy bedtime star last night but rest assured I will not let this post be to bed, as I do not think this overarching issue is a snore.