Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you Population 1 or Population 2?

Over on that great 40k blog, Bell of Lost Souls, Brass Scorpion recently put up an excellent editorial piece: "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". I won't reproduce it here (click on the link above, it's worth the read), but the gist was that on gaming forums, there seems to be two basic populations. Population 1 consists of gamers/hobbyists who post to forums to "support" the hobby, they discuss rules, playing the game, painting their miniatures. They even criticize all aspects of the hobby (including GW itself), but they do so constructively and with decorum. Population 2 consists of gamers/hobbyists who post to forums, as he puts it, "to entertain themselves at the expense of others." They criticize (non-constructively), flame, and appear to have a chip on their shoulders against GW.

Brass Scorpions advocates the position of the Population 1. Personally, I can't see why anyone would disagree with him on this.

I was surprised at the number of comments (186 at last count). Clearly this issue is important to people to have engendered such a vocal response. The responses start out positively, but then, to my dismay, I saw that it devolved into flaming (primarily a small minority). It is irony at its best--Brass Scorpion comes out against flaming, and then is flamed for it. He was called everything from a GW shill for saying he likes their products to a fascist for daring to advocate that we be polite to each other while discussing the hobby we all supposedly love. What is wrong with these people?

It is good to see so many blogs in the blogosphere where the attitude is more positive, the FTW Blogger Group being a good example of this. Blogs can so easily become nothing more than a vehicle for ranting (does this post constitute a rant?), so it is nice to see that a community exists where people talk about the hobby they enjoy in a positive way. I have nothing against constructive criticism, but I just don't see what purpose destructive criticism serves.

Anyway, I didn't read all of the flames--instead, I just skimmed over them (once I identified it as a flame, I moved on). Eventually I got up from the computer and did something more worth my time--I painted some miniatures.