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Dans34

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As many of you have noticed, there have been ongoing issues with drama in this community for the past few months. We are currently taking action to bring order back to Obscure Gamers and remind everyone why you joined in the first place. This is where we need your help. We are community driven and want your ideas and suggestions to help mitigate these sort of fall-outs happening in the future. This is your time to stand up and let your voice be a part of the community and materialize into preservation history.
We strive for a drama-free community, but we also understand people get excited about prototypes, unseen material and sometimes it’s hard to control emotions. That excitement is what is needed to continue to drive the scene and we are counting on you!


TL;DR A user was accused of being the banned scammer Jason/Joshua. OG made a statement, the user was attacked, misinformation posted. Then OG itself and me/former staff were accused of scamming/allowing scammers. It was not the case but the other user carried on stirring. Effectively OG got involved in something that didn't concern it.


Just to note , we have also locked the forums registration as well as the discord server

We will review and process all feedback to see how it can fit in the goals of the community and to be sure it translates in a positive manner.
 

Spaceman

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Been around since the start of OG (humble beginnings!), and seen all the good things the community has done in the time since it began as a refuge from the demise of Assembler. Not sure if that kind of perspective will help, but I would like to add my two cents when it matters! I care about OG and our rich community of researchers, experts and fanatics that gather to preserve dead bits and bytes and chew the fat sometimes, and I'd like it to continue going forward.

But with the somehow oddly cyclic drama scenes dogging the community, it has damaged the reputation of the site and our members, and caused some trouble for some of our talented friends here. Not here to continue running this tired gamut of pointing fingers and naming names, just simply chiming in to say that this kind of thing needs to stop. That extends to the folk continuing to dredge these things up and chat about them in the Discord. Let everybody move on, and nip this kind of discussion in the bud and penalise users who continue to stir the pot and divert discussion from things that actually matter. I'm sure I'm not the only one who hates logging on to see what the happenings are over these parts just to see people going off about these ongoing issues of distrust, scamming, and toxic/childish behaviour. Come on, get back to talking about old junk, people!!!

Transparency with the ownership and management of the site is also essential going forward for OG, for similar reasons to above (the damage done to the community and the site due to these issues). Whether this is through electing a board of administrators (so it rests on no lone shoulder), or through finding a new owner to maintain the site, it needs to be something the rest of the community is aware of.

I don't envy the amount of things the staff have to discuss and deal with at the moment, but I respect the amount of time and effort they have put in to keep our little ship afloat! These things take time, and cool heads.

The Terarelease was supposed to be the start of something greater, pushing our community even further, not have us all fall apart and divided, despite being all for the same cause: preservation. Let's get back to it, lads.
 

Dink

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Here's a list of my suggestions:

1. A zero tolerance policy in regards to drama. Drama has been a rampant problem on the discord server for quite a while and I feel like this stance will mitigate it. It should apply to all parties involved to encourage users to handle whatever issues or grievances they have with other users or entities privately. The staff shouldn't have stepped into the private matters that culminated into the fallout that occurred today.

2. Transparency. Many users have voiced their opinions that they don't trust Obscure Gamers. One step that could help reestablish trust with the userbase would be more upfront about moderation decisions as well as many other aspects behind the scenes.

3. Improved moderation. To expand on the first suggestion, the moderation of the discord server needs to be improved. It was out of control for a couple of hours today and action should have been taken much quicker to lock down and bring order back to the server.

4. Acknowledge that not everyone has a good past. People make mistakes, but they should not be forever condemned because of them. It is crucial to consider whether or not the person has both owned up and learned from said mistakes before removing someone from the server and Obscure Gamers as a whole for such a reason. I realize that this suggestion can be a slippery slope, but I feel like this should be done on a case-by-case basis. Obviously not everyone who will be banned or was so in the past deserves a second chance.
 

SuperH

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A user was accused of being the banned scammer Jason/Joshua
Actually at least two users were. The MrPinball64/Joshua persona was a shared infiltration account.

But if I even raise the issue in private with admin and request it be further investigated I get shot down.

As far as many of us are concerned, this place is just AG 2.0 and worse. It should be shut down.
 

deadlegion

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I realise I'm a new member here, but I would like to say that discord and similar things require a lot of extra effort to moderate thoroughly 24/7.
I know a lot of people use discord on sites now, but if you really need and want to have it you should probably have at least one mod at all times.
So you need to source people from different time zones and have it completely covered. It's necessary especially if you've been having issues.
I don't envy anyone having to do that sort of work.
Moderating forums is much easier imo, but you still need to have active staff around at all times.

Final note:
I'm not a returned banned person or an alt account.
I have always used this username on various sites over the years, I won't mention any of them because this isn't the sort of site I should be allowed to (so I'm assuming I'm not allowed to).
Maybe some members here might know me. I do know at least 2 members, but only one really well and he isn't actively posting right now.
 

la-li-lu-le-lo

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What kind of feedback are you looking for? A few things do come to mind. For one, I’m not aware of the incident you’re talking about - which sub-forum was it on? I feel like I miss a lot of things that happen because the site is poorly organized and posts are spread out among lots of different sub-forums. On that note, what does “drama” even mean in this context? It seems like an incredibly vague term that could mean almost anything. I don’t use the Discord group at all.

The main problem I have with the site is that it doesn’t seem very active, either that or it’s related to the aforementioned issue about poor organization. Multiple people have made suggestions about how to better organize the forum, and it seems like nearly all of those were ignored. So if you want a suggestion, maybe you should start by actually following suggestions.

What you said about said about locking registration seems like a bad sign. Have you forgotten that this is exactly what Kevin did in the time leading up to ASSEMbler shutting down? At any rate, this seems like the exact opposite of what the site needs - it needs more new members, not to prevent them from registering. If you want the forum to survive, I think there needs to be an effort to get new people to join - and locking the registration certainly won’t help with that. If you’re not capable of managing the forum without locking registration, then that probably means it’s doomed.
 
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speedyink

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I'm never on the discord enough to see these things happen, but it seems there's an alarming amount of times I pop in there and people are talking about some drama that's happened. I think having more moderation in there seems like a good idea.

I also like the idea of a better organized forum, it is kind of spread way out and hard to navigate at times. I also don't understand the locking of registrations, it seems the problems usually happen on Discord? I may be wrong, again, I'm not on there enough to really see what's going down.
 

SlyCooperReloadCoded

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I'm in many gaming communities, and let me just say that drama is part of the process, no community is drama-free. If anything, it shows growth. I do have some ideas though:

1. Allow everyone access to the Prototopia forums, not just those with an account. A forum all about preservation restricting access to preservation is kinda backwards.

2. Add more themes and allow us to switch between them, this pink and dark blue theme is really hard to look at.

3. Figure out what happened to the AssemblerGames archive and bring it back!

4. Add incentives for both community participation and preservation. Be creative, just don't do something cliche and useless like a smiley face badge or points. Maybe a prestige system? Epic User, Standard User, etc. Something to make private collectors doubt themselves and get rid of their "collector's mentality".
 

Arcadia

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I've never seen any of this drama on the forum, I'm rarely on the discord though so I'm not surprised I missed whatever's going on there. On the contrary, I think the problem as of late has been the lack of posting and interaction. For example, I've posted some topics about news in the retro gaming scene but rarely getting responses, which has made me interact less.

I think locking registration is the wrong way to go, making us slowly shrink like AG did. Even for a short period, it can give people who try to register now think it's gone forever, or just don't bother trying later.
 

deadlegion

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Sites that have discord tend to suffer from lack of forums posts. It's just the way things have gone now unfortunately.
Discord is fine if you like that sort of thing, but if the site actually dies then what is the point?
 

Diablodin

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Yes! Full transparency! Be open and upfront about what's going on. Then it's much easier to understand and to be understood.

As SlyCooper says, and we all know it - drama is inevitable. Especially now that proto/dev has gone a lot more mainstream and there's more money being paid for certain items.
It can come from jealousy, misunderstanding, lack of insight, people talking shit off the site, and sabotage.

I guess everyone needs a Discord now, but honestly, I think it would be smart to distance the OG site from the Discord channel and let people stand by their words and fend for themselves. One less problem and no need to have someone on duty all the time.

Most importantly, if we're thinking long-term, OG has to decide what its purpose should be; a preservation effort or a user community.
OG now and AG before it has suffered similarly by not being able to carry the weight of certain situations under pressure.
In those situations, there had to be made a sacrifice, which has resulted in dropping everything to the ground.
IMO, to avoid this OG has to be predecided on what to prioritize.

Most people are here only for what they're after themselves anyway, so keeping this ship afloat can be ungrateful work.
Therefore I think it's important that those running the site aren't over-worked. Many probably also have a personal life to keep in check, right?
To avoid over-working and confusion, there should be very defined work roles with as few tasks/fields to manage as possible.
Mods can manage the content on the site and users that need to be dealt with immediately. Moving threads, giving remarks, keeping order, and clean up threads if there are disputes.
Secondary admins should manage the site's structure and userbase. They'll talk with mods and do the banning of members that are not obvious bots and can implement features or organize the site.
And personally, I'd have one main admin with the responsibility of running the site and who has access to the most internal info. If anything serious happens regarding the site itself, legal inquiries, or disputes between admins/mods this is all that the main admin should have to worry about.
I also propose that the main admin does NOT get involved with preservation due to the difficulties it can bring.
 

FamilyGuy

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What kind of feedback are you looking for? A few things do come to mind. For one, I’m not aware of the incident you’re talking about - which sub-forum was it on? I feel like I miss a lot of things that happen because the site is poorly organized and posts are spread out among lots of different sub-forums. On that note, what does “drama” even mean in this context? It seems like an incredibly vague term that could mean almost anything. I don’t use the Discord group at all.

The main problem I have with the site is that it doesn’t seem very active, either that or it’s related to the aforementioned issue about poor organization. Multiple people have made suggestions about how to better organize the forum, and it seems like nearly all of those were ignored. So if you want a suggestion, maybe you should start by actually following suggestions.

What you said about said about locking registration seems like a bad sign. Have you forgotten that this is exactly what Kevin did in the time leading up to ASSEMbler shutting down? At any rate, this seems like the exact opposite of what the site needs - it needs more new members, not to prevent them from registering. If you want the forum to survive, I think there needs to be an effort to get new people to join - and locking the registration certainly won’t help with that. If you’re not capable of managing the forum without locking registration, then that probably means it’s doomed.
Same here. Was never aware of any drama. Closing registration does appear like a bad idea to me as well.

Seems like just shutting down the Discord would fix everything. Is OG a Discord server or a forum?

People liked to complain about how Kevin was handling things, this just shows how complex it is to run an online community in the end.

Taking the high road and plainly ignoring baseless bullshit, while properly moderating the forums, would be my 2¢.
 
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