Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Curious Case of Zombiac

Now, I will start by saying that I am not an Amtgard member. I would be, if there were a group around here, and Tim and I are unsure that we want to take on the effort to start one. But I definitely stalk on their forums.

Zombiac is a player who got super excited and started posting tons of stuff to the forums, a fair amount that was admittedly lousy content. He expected everyone to give him praise when he asked for opinions, and flew off the handle when people criticized/trolled him.

Just like all great forums (ArenaJunkies or Elitist Jerks for WOW) he was completely and utterly obliterated. Let this be a lesson to all the kiddies out there. The internet is not just rainbows and butterflies. If you ask for honesty (or even if you don't) people are going to let you have it. I was particularly amused by the brutal deconstruction in this case, so if you consider yourself a connoisseur of that kind of abuse, I definitely suggest you give these a read.

Here are some tips when it comes to forums at LARP.

1. Stay on Topic
You'll want to respond to everything people say, but then the topic will fall apart. If people keep trying to drive it to another topic, kindly ask them to start another to discuss the new topic. Don't try and fight those fires.

2. Don't Feed the Trolls
Many people troll for various reasons. Even I troll when I'm bored. As a general rule of thumb, take a few hours or an entire day to respond to non-constructive criticism. Trolls thrive on constant reasponses, so starve them.

3. Shrug it Off
Your feeglings will be hurt. Text is imperfect at portraying inflection, and besides, people are mean. It takes thick skin to shrug these attacks off, but you have to do it. Sharks smell blood in the water and will go to town on you if you let it get to you.

4. Use the Search Function
Don't be the guy/gal who repeats topics. Watch and make sure this is not already being discussed. However, you also don't want to be the one that brings back a year old topic. Use common sense, if you have it.

5. Don't Take it Personally
If someone doesn't like a particular idea, it's not the same as them not liking you. Again, imperfect portrayal of emotion might make someone's "That doesn't work but nice try" into something that looks like an attack on your character. Don't take anything personally.

These rules work for any forum, not just LARPing ones. But forums are very strong for quick discussions about concepts, so use them.

I wonder if ancient Rome had trolls in their forums...


  1. The LARP forums have never really caught up to the rest of the internet in terms of trolling compared to say AJ or GameRiot. Say something controversial at all towards anyone on a LARP forum and 20 internet white knights will be on there defending their honor.

  2. You're right. And that's a shame, since heavily policed boards usually have some of the best content you can find, especially when you're digging deep into a topic.

    But E-Sam definitely has a classical brutal streak to it. It's quite entertaining.