Lately, I've noticed a couple of GDNet users being excessively secretive. Insanely possessive at times. This honestly always surprises me when it comes up, because I consider the indie gaming land (and particularly GameDev) to be an exceptionally open place about trading information about your game and technology. What really surprises me is that these users are being possessive about something that hardly matters: their stories and ideas. Most of the time, these stories or ideas already are stealing from another idea, using either our massive cultural bank of stories (Beowulf and Grendel) or genres (Doom, Final Fantasy). Hell, my game is set in an underground science lab besieged by zombies.
Compare this to the many lively and informal technical discussions you can see on GDNet. I share my technical guts with almost anyone. EDI does too. I'm not trying to get FSF-liberal here, but even those of us who are selling products are open and accessible about it. Is it a function of sheer age, of giving back to the community after so many years of posting frantically to the OpenGL forum asking "WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE WHITE CRACKS IN EVERYTHING?!?!"? The guys from Professor Fizzwizzle were posting some of their marketing research and buy-in numbers for various platforms. How does that help them?
It's just nuts seeing these new users come in here and act violently protective of a simplistic idea, even refusing to post it publicly so potential team members can get excited and join in. I wish I knew why there were such a disparity between the sharing of the super hard, differentiating technical stuff and the bitter protective secrecy of the fluff. I'm willing to chalk it up to inexperience, but we should work harder to drill it into these newbies' heads that the fluff is not the journey. Nor is it bankable. And it certainly isn't worth making enemies over.
There is an enormous culture shock between the self-deprecating, technically brilliant GDNet "journal" squad and the overly-serious, technically-and-physically-immature "ideas are life" crowd. Moderating IOTD has made me somewhat of an unofficial cheerleader for the various great projects that are kicking around here -- I've never been so enthusiastic to post on GDNet -- and I can see a problem brewing. Maybe this is why we have the one-post wonders that slam down their work request and leave when the going gets rough. At the very least, the pro-on-newbie flaming in Help Wanted was more or less culled a few months ago -- that was even more poisonous for producing actually functional newbies. I wish I knew how to fix this culture shock for good.
Anyway, just a bit of a rant for today. I'd like to see what you guys have to think -- why does this culture shock exist? How can we fix it?