On drama and disappearances...
March 20, 2008

There has been some discussion about recent site events over the past few month, in particular the disappearance of two key staff members. I feel it appropriate to share my thoughts on the subject, because of course it affects me just like it does the rest of you and I wouldn't want anyone to think otherwise.

First, I should note that despite recent growth, HonestGamers is still a small enough site--particularly in terms of regular users--that losing some of its most valued contributors hurts a lot. I don't see that ever changing, even if we have a million users coming thruogh daily.

Felix did a lot of hard work on the site. He's not the only one who has done so, but a lot of his work was very visible and invaluable. He had a great deal of passion for the site's growth. We often talked about various things, with the site naturally figuring heavily among them. Regardless of the direction his life and interests have taken him, I and many others will miss his presence here a great deal.

I also miss Zigfried's presence, both because he was a fantastic reviewer and because I enjoyed talking with him about the site and the other things we (less frequently) discussed. I considered him a good online friend and it rather stings that he just dropped off both the site and AIM without notifying me. I am relieved at signs that he's still around, though, and respect him enough to believe that he had good reasons until I hear otherwise.

It's important that people have a social life and it's important that they enjoy the site. I don't want people hanging around that hate the site or need a serious break. I don't want people coming here every day by habit and wondering all the time why they bothered to do so (especially since I'm of the mind that most days, there are at least a few reasons the page loads should prove worthwhile). I want people to remember that HonestGamers is about having fun and that's the environment I want to see us maintain.

One reason I am anxious to bring talented staff members on board is so that from top to bottom, everyone involved on the site can enjoy contributing and interacting with one another, rather than coming to view it as a source of drama or work with no reward.

I'm growing rather tired of some of the drama that seems to float around here, honestly, but I consider it a part of the Internet as a whole. It can't ever be entirely avoided on any site. My goal personally is to treat people with respect and to have as much fun as I can. I hope that the rest of you feel the same and that, even if people sometimes bow out for reasons unclear, you'll continue to come to HonestGamers because you're having a good time and because you want to actively contribute to a community where others can do the same.

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

goldenvortex goldenvortex - March 20, 2008 (02:42 PM)
If the drama you're referring to is what happened between me and True during the weekend, then I'll just assure you now that it won't happen again.
pup pup - March 20, 2008 (03:24 PM)
It was about much more than that. Online drama is just petty and useless. Even if you loathe someone, there's not much you can do about it online except start a fight that can't be won. Eventually, one or the other will disappear anyway. It's the way of the internet. A lot have left the site over the years. You can appreciate what they added to the community, but eventually, you just have to accept that it's over.
honestgamer honestgamer - March 20, 2008 (03:30 PM)
I wasn't thinking about that situation when I made my post, goldenvortex, but I can't say it thrilled me. I'm glad to hear it's not something I should look forward to seeing often.

I'd be happy to see more people getting along and making positive contributions just in general. There's some great interaction going on both in the blogs and sometimes on the forums (in addition to reviews), and that's the kind of thing I'd like to see take place more frequently while bickering and drama take a back seat.

I'm not trying to say that everyone has to get along perfectly all the time. That'll never happen. But it seems like most of the excitement around the community these days comes when people are fighting. I think that needs to change.
True True - March 20, 2008 (10:39 PM)
Let me mention first, though you've said that you didn't take into account what I caused between me and Vorty I do believe it played some small part in your recent post. Perhaps more than one of my actions have.

And I hope that you don't take this the wrong way, or think I'm in any shape trying to blast the site or spilling things I've held onto for six months. When I see a post like what you've put up, it says to me that you're asking for an overall view of how things are, and you're looking for opinions. So I'm giving you mine.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't go about things the right way, and I take a lot of things too seriously when it's over the internet. I'm not saying that it derives from here, but it certainly is far worse here than anywhere else.

And I think that it's a good part of what you're talking about.

When I put a blog up about why I left, or how well everyone did in TT, I get little to no response. When I bash Vorty without reason and throw insults, the whole site seems intrested.

And this is said in the most respectful way, but that's just how this site is.

The "Death Match" is without question the dumbest thing this site has ever seen, but in truth it's also the most memorable. And people are still talking about it to this day, even though it was three years ago. They don't mention last year that some mysterious stranger named Suskie got picked over several others and stomped virtually everyone he faced. Most don't remember that some short girl with a talent for photoshop named Mint astonished us by beating Zig in the Alphabetolympics two years ago.

And I'm not saying that's a good thing, or a bad thing. That's just how this site is.

But let me mention this is only what I see, and I could be wrong. I have been on many occasions.

You have a site where the users are constantly waring with each other every month, competing to be the best. And yes it adds to the contribution, and new content and it makes this place exciting, makes it enjoyable to write for none other than the love of the craft. And most can look at it as only competition. You have the adults on the site like Pup, Emp, Genj and even yourself that leave it at a competition and can realize that it's just that and not take it personally. But you've also got the nutcase, sociopaths like me who take pushing themselves a touch too far, who take it personal and we end up spilling drama all over the place.

And I'm not saying the site should change. That we should be some hand-holding, kum bah ya singing, brotherhood type of site.

What I am saying is that with all this site produces which is good, there is bound to be some bad. I don't think you're ever going to avoid that. You can stem it, and cut it off, and erase it, but you have a site filled with very talented, very opinionated staff and users and it may always be an issue. And that may cause a lot of people who don't like it, who can't rise above it--people like me--to seek other options, or other venues that are more gushy and sensitive. But you're also going to get a lot of people who thrive off of it--like Genj, Pup and Vorty--and use it to produce great content. Ones who can turn it off at the end of the day.

I'm not trying to make you feel hopeless, or imply that your site is doomed to be the bashing territory of egoists like me. I'm just trying to put it into perspective because I know better than anyone else where they're coming from, and remind you not to be so hard on yourself, or to think it's personal.

I don't think it ever is.

bloomer bloomer - March 21, 2008 (08:26 PM)
If it's any consolation HG, my involvement in the site has been increasing over the past few months and I had no clue there was any drama at all ;)

I now look at the forums from time to time too, but probably had not looked at the trouble ones? Personally my interest in arguments and competitions is the lowest it's ever been, which is to say pretty much nonexistent, so I've never opened any topics that were about olympics or comps or whatever here. I got my fill and thrills of all of that stuff at gamefaqs back in the early 2000s. Mostly I like to read reviews, write them and have rare non-violent discussion.

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