Friday, February 7, 2014

Forums vs. Blogs Redux

About a year ago I made a post about internet forums where I discussed their “demise” in relation to the upswing in blogs. Part of the problem I cited was the culture of “internet warrior” where somebody gets behind a keyboard and armed with some cute user name posts anonymously. There they say things they would never say to somebody’s face.
I was reminded of this again this week. A GW Store Manager went on to Warseer and offered to answer questions about GW based on his knowledge of current processes and procedures. You can click on Bell of Lost Souls and read a report if you don’t want to frequent Warseer (I personally avoid the place like the plague because of the fore-mentioned internet warriors). Suffice to say it didn’t last long. Almost immediately there was a tirade of abuse rather than using it as an opportunity to discover/confirms some details of shop/policies. Of course the Store Manager couldn’t provide detail on the corporate strategy – other than what he was told – but surely it would be interesting to know what he was told. All too soon it was over and said Manager retreated to the shadows once again.

The thread spawned comment threads on Dakka and TWF and again rather than see it has an opportunity to learn it very quickly descended into more tirades and abuse. What was interesting is the sheer level of hatred people have for the GW company and in some cases the GW games. Sure you can dislike their business practices or play other games but why would you spend such an enormous part of your life – as betrayed by post counts  venting bile on internet forums. It can’t be healthy. Surely at some point you just move on?
Ten years ago I was a regular on WargamerAu. I’d post daily – 40k and tournaments mostly – but at some point my interest in participating waned and I moved on. How sad would it be to still be sitting there white anting and dogpiling every thread….Now I visit Dakka – “News & Rumours” and “Dakka Discussions” – but very really post. However every day there is at least one pissing contest going on. The same with TWF (though to a lesser extent).
Against this we have blogs and I’d hope the content is more reasoned than that on forums. If you have a blog you post your musings and these are identifiable and owned. I’d like to think the posts are more considered and the level of response from the audience reflects that. I insist here at Fields of Blood that posters in Comments identify themselves and I think this does help weed out the internet warriors to a certain extent. I like to thank readers for their ongoing contributions.
And if a GW Store Manager ever wants to answer questions, I’d happily give him a platform here……


  1. its one thing that i like about the Christchurch wargaming forum. most people know everyone else so abuse is limited (though not unheard of) and so discussions can take place in a reasonable fashion.

  2. That GW manager was brave to even venture onto the internet as a, for want of a better word, emissary of GW. As far as i know GW doesn't actually listen to its fans/customers so its no real surprise to me to hear that this guy got mauled online. When you do the kind of things GW does, and then go onto ignore the discontent of you customers at your choices this is the reaction you will get.

    Now i dont like that things went this way, i would have preferred civil discourse and honest debate. But to expect these things on the internet, especially in a situation like this, is to not understand the internet or the people on it.

  3. I for one am not surprised, at least he tried. But from what I had read it wasnt too bad, didnt get even close to the end though.

    It was rude how people treated him, he risked his job to come talk to people and bam he became the sheild for GW hate. He knew when to quit and I think he learnt a lot about the internet fans (or anti fans?) so I doubt this will happen again.

  4. I am a longtime fan of this site and agree with you about forums and the fixation on negativity. It was foolish to attempt to appease those whose real hobby is complaining. There are too many games to play, models to paint, terrain to build etc. to spend that time moaning. Call up Marvel and tell them comics are too expensive and they're releasing movies in the wrong order and that Thor's strength value is too low. See if that works. When did being a fan get confused with majority stock owner?

  5. The thing that never ceases to amaze me are the number of people who not only dislike the company but also dislike the games. I can't understand why you would devote time going onto a site devoted to a game and regularly detail how much you hate it. Really does seem a real life case of ....should get out more.

    The other amusing thing is the number of people who state that they are/have canceled their White Dwarf sub. It got to the point in one of the WD "discussions" I read that I pointed out rather than game record in signature some people should detail WD subs they have canceled.

    Life is too short for the bile and rage. If you don't like the game/product etc move on.....but to be honest 50% of us don't care that you are so wound up and the other 50% are happy that you are :-)

    1. I think the reason why some people do devote a large amount of time for hate is because they played the game for extended periods of time, through formative years in their childhood. Only then to have the game (in the format they love) change. It would be akin to having your dad divorce the mother you love only to marry an evil step mother in her place....
      Freud would probably have a field day....

  6. Fair bit of psychoanalysis can go into this one, yeah. The old yin and yang thing: A bit of hate, even in the greatest love, and vice versa. It is also about about how resistant we all are to change, specifically in those things we hold dear. The reality is that for GW/Warhammer to remain viable as a business it will have to continue to evolve and change... and lets face it - we love the changes: see how eager we are to find out what the latest leak is, the latest army book, and embrace the newest models. It is also an addiction. The most vociferous opponents of any addiction are those who have recently kicked the habit ! Sometimes the reason for kicking the habit is financial, not necessarily choice; and then it really smarts. Not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to continue to afford the hobby. My only gripe is the inequality in what it costs someone in the US or Europe vs NZ/Aus. I agree with you Pete, with regards having the guts to sign your name to what you wish to moan about. It is all to easy to hide behind anonymous vitriol.