Why are D&D discussions so angry?




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  1. #1

    Why are D&D discussions so angry?

    Why is it that any time any discussion about D&D comes up which could even remotely somehow be construed as some kind of criticism of D&D as-is, a select few of the forum regulars swoop down with such venomous, vicious spiteful attacks to shut it down?

    I've been on every kind of forum, I currently spend time on historical, technical, and even political forums. On some of these, peoples entire professional reputations can be at stake based on the credibility of say an article they wrote which is under discussion. And yet, while you can always get the odd forum crazy and find a certain amount of intractibility in discussions, no other forum I know of is anywhere near as vicious as an RPG forum. I can honestly say that the RPG forums, especially any D&D forum, are both the most vicious and the most utterly intractable and cynical in terms of peoples positions.

    Anyone who knows these forums knows that unless you are ready for a big fight, to avoid a WIDE swath of subjects, or else face the near certainty that your thread will be hijacked (as mine recently was) into a completely off-topic diatribe of insults and vicious demands to "love it or leave it" until the temperature of the "debate" inevitably gets hot enough that the moderators shut the thread down, which is exactly what the attackers want from the start.

    The net result is a de-facto censorship. This is in many ways a great forum, but there cannot be any rational discussion about anything real about D&D in here in terms of improving it in any way or addressing anything but techincal or balance problems. Anything else will instantly turn into an all-or-nothing debate about D&D.


    Why does a role playing game bring out such intense feelings of hostility? What is it about D&D that makes people to devote hours to willing to insult and ridicule complete strangers? What is the ultimate effect of this self-censorship and passive aggression on the game itself?

    BD
    "I don't know many crack addicts' political views, and it's not because I don't think they have opinions -"

    James Heard

 

  • #2
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    Ah, tell me about fanboys!

    I remember a review I wrote about a rpg book, and that provoked the ire of one of the author's fanboys... ::Rolleyes::
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    Well I'm on the other side of the fence. I do not stand people who are rude when posting on a forum. No matter what side of the argument they're on.

    Forums are not bars or cell phones people! We have the time to write things in our posts and then edit them so that they express what we mean. Therefore, people who are rude when writing do so deliberately, either by being lazy and not re-reading themselves, or searching for a fight. No excuses.

    People who want good, meaningful debates can do so by being respectful, constructive, and argumenting their point of view in a friendly rather than spiteful manner. Maybe some people need to be banned to learn the lesson, but that'd be better to show how smart they are by learning it before it comes to it.

    Cheeky remarks, veiled insults, pretention and so on and so forth are just not excusable for people writing and pretending to be smart. Moderators are perfectly right to act the way they do here, IMO. They are doing an outstanding job on this board, in my opinion.

    I remember a review I wrote about a rpg book, and that provoked the ire of one of the author's fanboys...
    I guess you're talking about your review of Beyond Countless Doorways. See. That kind of remark is typically the kind of cheeky comment that spawns flamewars. You're not demonstrating anything smart by pouring oil on the fire, Turanil.
    Last edited by Odhanan; Tuesday, 6th June, 2006 at 11:45 PM.
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    I just wanted to add that I think there should be a little more Forgotten Realms and Eberron material in Dungeon.

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    It is angry becomes of the medium, the message boards. What people type is read as being rude as many times the words are. The typer rarely seems to realize that their jokes don't translate over this medium, even if the use a smiley. Also, there are plenty of rude people that do drive byes on RPG boards to piss people off. Sometimes it is hard to tell the good posters from the bad.

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    Speaking from the six years I've spent here, let me be the first to say that the way the initial question is posed has a huge impact on the tone of the discussion.

    If the original poster appears to have an agenda or insults people's opinions when posing a question, I can almost guarantee that the thread will go south within half a page. The same question (even a negative one!) asked from a more neutral view does a lot better.

    I think of EN World as a party at Morrus' house. I won't pick a fight with someone when we're both guests, so I won't pick a fight with other posters; I may disagree with someone, but that's as far as it goes. The rules of conduct in polite society still stand, so no matter what I may think of someone personally I can still share the space with them.

    Some people, though, forget that they're a guest in someone else's house. They treat EN World as if everyone else is a guest in their house -- and that way lies madness.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now writing TimeWatch, an investigative time travel game.

  • #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Odhanan
    Cheeky remarks, veiled insults, pretention and so on and so forth are just not excusable for people writing and pretending to be smart. Moderators are perfectly right to act the way they do here, IMO. They are doing an outstanding job on this board, in my opinion.
    I'm not sure what you mean by veiled insults and all that (is that a veiled reference to me somehow?) but I am not faulting the moderators really. The moderators have to shut down debates which get out of hand, because they will just get worse and worse (RPG forums on usenet being an excellent example!!)

    I just think that the system is being manipulated by some of the more aggressive posters. If thats what y'all like here, so be it. I've just noticed the pattern.

    BD
    "I don't know many crack addicts' political views, and it's not because I don't think they have opinions -"

    James Heard

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    Quote Originally Posted by big dummy
    I just think that the system is being manipulated by some of the more aggressive posters. If thats what y'all like here, so be it. I've just noticed the pattern.
    I don't think people like it, but a few posters do enough to make people mad without crossing the line. As long as the agressive posters are allowed to do as they do, it will go on. So, report those posts you feel goes over the line and are rude.

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    Just to be clear, big dummy: I'm not targeting you. I'm just expressing an opinion based on many instances of threads that crashed into some form or another of petty debates and firestorms of insults and "who has the biggest" rather constructive exchanges of opposite points of view. And it is possible.

    Another example is the "debate within the debate within the debate". This kind of arguments somehow nearly always comes down to exchanging definitions of the dictionary and nitpicking about the meaning of this quote or another, that the other poster meant something else 5 posts ago therefore "he's inconsistent" and so on and so forth. That's not constructive either. That's just "wanting to be right", i.e. pride.
    Benoist P.

  • #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Odhanan
    Just to be clear, big dummy: I'm not targeting you. I'm just expressing an opinion based on many instances of threads that crashed into some form or another of petty debates and firestorms of insults and "who has the biggest" rather constructive exchanges of opposite points of view. And it is possible.

    Another example is the "debate within the debate within the debate". This kind of arguments somehow nearly always comes down to exchanging definitions of the dictionary and nitpicking about the meaning of this quote or another, that the other poster meant something else 5 posts ago therefore "he's inconsistent" and so on and so forth. That's not constructive either. That's just "wanting to be right", i.e. pride.
    Ok I recognize all that, it comes up in all forums. But do any of you recognize the trend of even moderately proposed threads being attacked and derailed into fights of this sort because [i]their subject[ /i] is some kind of D&D reform?


    BD
    Last edited by big dummy; Wednesday, 7th June, 2006 at 12:05 AM.
    "I don't know many crack addicts' political views, and it's not because I don't think they have opinions -"

    James Heard

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