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What happened to this forum?

Posted at 03:00 on July 22nd, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Student Gumby
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I'm rarely logged in here. The place seems to have become a graveyard with hardly any activity compared to just a few years ago. Have most users migrated to another part of the community or something?
Posted at 05:08 on July 22nd, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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It is as active as people make it. Maybe ask yourself: why are you, as you say, rarely logged in? Why are you not posting? It's not the lack of new topics, is it? Not interested in anything?
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 01:41 on July 23rd, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I've always rarely logged in. That's just me. But even a few years ago, regardless of whether I myself am posting, the forum was always full of activity. Now it's not.

I've never been nearly as active in the collecting or preservation scene for DOS, save for the titles I was interested in. I have very little experience in this aspect of preservation. But I still fully appreciated the output of work that had been done in this site's effort and the resulting preservation of DOS software. I'd often come here to view the forum, see new posts on people's latest purchases or newest additions to the archive, discussing disk backup options or developments, etc.

Me hardly ever posting never had a hand in the forum activity; it's about the community as a whole. It is now all but gone, it seems.
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Edited by contrafan at 01:43 on July 23rd, 2021
Posted at 05:38 on July 23rd, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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That's the dilemma of it. Everyone I ask says the same. "I'm not the one, I'm just a passive reader. Where is everyone else?" Well, everyone else is doing the same: passively waiting for the other people to say something. This website isn't nearly as popular anymore as it was years ago, but there is still a nice four figure number visiting every day. Though nobody interested in games. Yes, I also wonder why they're visiting, then.

Take this thread. You took the time to post twice. Nice. But then, you could have spent the same amount of time posting something nice. Something positive for other people to react to. Or react to something else there is. But no, instead, you focus on the negative.

The downwards spiral started fifteen years ago. That was when we were at our peak. Nobody has managed to stop it since then. For my part, I've lamented it enough. I'll take do what I can and enjoy what I can.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 06:07 on July 23rd, 2021
Posted at 01:03 on July 31st, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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There is no need for the passive aggressive tone. I simply asked a question, and there is nothing negative in my post. I merely made an observation and asked something; I did not intend to be negative.

I would post something positive if I had something really nice to contribute in that regard. If I have nothing new in regards to the DOS scene, there is no reason to post about that, is there?

Given the general state of this place, I doubt there would be much of a reaction at this point.
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Edited by contrafan at 01:03 on July 31st, 2021
Posted at 06:29 on July 31st, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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As in any communication, there is what someone intends and what others perceive. In any direction. It all depends what you call "new". Some people like talking about what classic game they last played. Is that "news"? Not in the classic sense. Can it lead to an interesting discussion nevertheless? Sure, if there are people caring enough to react.

I'm truly sorry if you perceive this as passive aggressive, but like the reverse, I consider this merely an observation which I'm making since years and years. People put the mental bar too high to post. Things become more and more quiet. This makes people stop visiting, making the issue even more severe etc.

I don't know whether at this point, it is too late. My guess is as good as yours. For sure, I can't even say anymore when was the last time any game was actually discussed in this place. Must have been well before your first arrival.

But then, I have also started this forum all these years ago. You know what I learned then? It only takes three or four truly dedicated posters, sharing similar interests and actively exchanging. And then, bam, all of sudden, a number of previously passive readers joined in the conversation.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 07:14 on July 31st, 2021
Posted at 15:53 on July 31st, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Student Gumby
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I know the feeling when it comes to dedicated members of a forum. I created a forum over a decade ago for the Contra series in hopes to revive interest and discussion about it. I thought the fan-base seemed dead only because they were very spread-out and there was no focused community where they can gather. But instead, it played out the same way and it kept coming down to the same few people with actual interest.

I don't know if I mentioned, but something that happened relatively recently which I consider really wonderful for the DOS scene was that a good condition copy of the disk to the game Gryzor was preserved late last year. It wasn't just great to me because, obviously Contra, but I learned that there is a really cool branch of digital preservation effort in Finland. They try to cover all systems, not just computers; so, consoles, handhelds, etc.

I honestly didn't think there would be much, if any, interest if I made a post or thread about it here. Not because the forum had low activity, but just because nobody really cares about Contra. There is no discussion to be had due to lack of interest. But I still wanted to ensure that non-corrupt disk image was preserved, hence why I linked it to update the DOS collection on archive.org (since that had a bad dump of the disk).
Posted at 17:16 on July 31st, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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The combination of Contra and MS-DOS… yes, maybe it's just too small a niche. For sure, that game was much more popular on the NES, wasn't it? But, yes, I know that feeling as well. On my side, I keep shaking my head at all those people fondly remembering butt ugly CGA graphics when all home computers didn't just make all games look better, but usually had way better playability as well.

You did post about the Gryzor image and I did copy it to our collection at archive.org. But, yes, collecting files in order to never, ever use them seems to be one main interest of a number of people these days. Which personally I find weird, but who am I to judge?

The time of web forums in general is quite clearly over in any case, I think. Most people are content in the walled gardens of their anti-social networks, with fleeting information never to be found again a day after it has been posted. The average attention span has drastically decreased, so who still wants to have a long discussion or really get deeply into some game? I'm not complaining, just observing – it's not like I'm much different in this respect myself.

There is no use complaining. We're not going to change the world. Though in spite of all, as long as I'm getting something positive from all of this, what's the harm of keeping it up? ;)
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 17:20 on August 1st, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Student Gumby
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Contra for DOS is indeed a pretty bad version of the game, unfortunately :)

Me, I absolutely appreciate when software collections are digitally archived and are accessible by everyone, because it ensures they do not become lost over time. Physical storage media will not last forever. One thing I'm really not big on, though, are the people who hold onto rare game and just software items, in general, that have never been digitally backed up and have no intention of doing so. While so much as been preserved in the past couple of decades, leagues more has been lost in comparison and the actions and attitudes of these people play a role in that.

Agreed, the age of online forum discussion is quickly and noticeably dwindling. Not just by tripe social media platforms, but chat networks like Discord are all deprecating what had been put in place for much longer than how it has been known as forums. And as fast and swift as conversations flow on these new modes, people's attention span do indeed become stunted as they're comfortable with moving along with this new pace of communication.
Posted at 11:06 on August 2nd, 2021 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by contrafan at 17:20 on August 1st, 2021:
Me, I absolutely appreciate when software collections are digitally archived and are accessible by everyone, because it ensures they do not become lost over time. Physical storage media will not last forever.

Obviously agreed, which was why I started preserving all those years ago :D

But then, what the smarter lecturers in film school keep saying (slight tangent as there are no "game culture studies" university level courses as far as I know): never forget what the reasons were to get into this subject. Don't forget that the reason for it all is the enjoyment of the medium. Preservation is not an end in itself. Study is not an end in itself. Finally, what brought us all into this was the enjoyment of "consumption".

Take this initial part out, and what is left is an empty shell. An activity for no real purpose.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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