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irbrian

Pondering the Inter-Forum Disease

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As a relative newbie to this forum (and to game programming in general), I have two comments.

The first is, I have noticed a great deal of sarcasm and negativity. As a newbie, this tends to scare me away. Books and websites frequently praise "gamedev.net" and its community. But I don''t think that praise could be very recent, because this place just isn''t very friendly at all.

Secondly, looking through old topics for answers to questions can be very daunting for a newbie. When half of the terms I am scrolling through are unfamiliar and the other half don''t seem to relate to my question, I''m probably only going to skim, at best, the current topics, before posting my own question. Really, for people new to game programming and to this forum, its not so easy to "Go look through old posts to the answer to my FAQ (By the way: There''s no way for a newbie to really know his question is frequently asked)."

It takes a lot of courage to ask a question that a newbie might fear as being perceived as stupid. Cut them some slack.

-Gauvir_Mucca

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quote:
Original post by Gauvir_Mucca
There''s no way for a newbie to really know his question is frequently asked

*cough*. Searching for "direct x vs opengl" in the For Beginners forum returned quite a few pages. It''s been pointed out the Google indexes the forum as well so searching using site:gamedev.net will probably return even better results (searching Google without site:gamedev.net will probably return good results as well).

quote:

It takes a lot of courage to ask a question that a newbie might fear as being perceived as stupid. Cut them some slack.


Newbie questions aren''t bad. Newbie questions that are asked by posters that show no initiative to do a little research on their own are bad. One way to avoid looking like you have no initiative is to briefly explain what you''ve tried or what you''ve searched for because then, while answering the question, a poster could also point out a better debugging method or a better way to search.

quote:

But I don''t think that praise could be very recent, because this place just isn''t very friendly at all.


As far as I can remember, the attitude on GDnet has been the same as it was when I first came here. When I first came here I had it in my head that I knew what I was doing and I insisted on that and a mod corrected me (with a little bit more force than ''corrected'' connotes). This is good because I didn''t really know what I was doing and with the attidude I came with gently explaining that I was wrong wouldn''t have (and didn''t) change my mind. Sometimes a strong kick in the butt is necessary.


Thanks Salsa!Colin Jeanne | Invader''s Realm
"I forgot I had the Scroll Lock key until a few weeks ago when some asshole program used it. It even used it right" - Conner McCloud

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quote:
Original post by BlabberBoy
a while back the topic of netiquette was brought up, and how a person should sit back and observe a community first before posting, and learn the general behavior of the people...

if new users did that now, does it not seem likely that we''d be getting even more flame posts?


That logic doesn''t track. It doesn''t even come close to tracking. I''ll attribute this to a lack of understanding on the defintion of the word netiquette on your part.

Furthermore, and this relates to your post as a whole, you seem to have a distorted view of the forums. Yes, newbies do get flamed for posting ill-researched questions. However, if you bothered to examine the last twenty or so threads in the For Beginers forum right now, you''ll see none of that. Therefore your belief that a newbie who lurked for a while would get indoctrinated into some bizarre culture of hatred is not well founded. The only example of flaming I can find in that set of twenty threads involves an individual (not the original poster) pretending to have skills that he obviously lacks.
quote:

Also, on the topic of politely answering questions by referring to another post or just answering it, and screaming at and flaming the original posters... if a kid, say 5 years old, came up to you and asked "Why is the grass green?", would you scream "LOOK IT UP RETARD!!!! THAT''S BEEN ANSWERED MILLIONS OF TIMES ALREADY!!!!!!!" and hit the kid in the face with an encyclopedia? or would you be a bit more civil and either try to answer it as truthfully and simply as you could, or just that that''s the way things are?


That is an oversimplified analogy. Also, trying to associate pointing someone to a search engine with child abuse is a shameful use of hyperbole. In any case, there''s a minimum competency level necessary to post in these forums, which you would not expect a five year old to achieve. First you have to find the forums, which implies a certain level of skill with computers and the internet. Second, you have to register, which incidently acts a low level intelligence test with the email confirmation system currently in place.

Basically, just by being able to start a new thread on the forums, you''ve demonstrated that you have the skills necessary to work a search engine. Using it and failing to find a relevant topic is fine. But if I pop the thread title into google and get the answer to the question in the first hit, I''ll feel no remorse about unloading on the poster.

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quote:
Original post by BlabberBoy
"LOOK IT UP RETARD!!!! THAT''S BEEN ANSWERED MILLIONS OF TIMES ALREADY!!!!!!!"..."USE THE SEARCH YOU STUPID MORON!!!!!!"

If you can find a single example of anything near this sort of abuse that goes unmoderated for more than about 5 minutes, feel free to point it out.


"Sneftel is correct, if rather vulgar." --Flarelocke

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I guess I just get annoyed anytime I see what I perceive to be an extreme lack of professionalism. This almost certainly comes from my years in Customer Service and tech support fields, where you have to be polite and professional under the most extreme circumstances (i.e. helping a user understand the difference between the mouse and the keyboard -- for the 7th time in 5 minutes. That is a real-life example taken from my own experience, and one not so atypical as you might think).

It''s not fair of me to assume that everyone else should follow this standard. However, there is a reason that customer service professionals are expected to maintain this level of professionalism. The successful corporation (usually) understands that their customers are their existence, and that maintaining a professional attitude in their one-on-one dealings with the customer is critical to building and keeping their business.

Although GameDev.Net does not charge their patrons for the service, there is a valuable service being provided, and GameDev patrons are most definitely customers. Without its customers, GameDev would cease to exist.

While I find the abuse and condescension of ordinary veteran users (those not associated with gamedev) repulsive, I find it absolutely inexcusable when Moderators take this attitude toward their patrons. They are the face of GameDev, are quite frankly, ARE giving it a bad name. Its something I''ve heard discusses even outside the forums.... the GameDev Forums are earning a reputation for bad attitudes.

If the GameDev staff doesn''t care how their moderators treat their patrons, then they don''t care about their patrons, and GameDev is destined to fall.

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quote:
Original post by irbrian
If the GameDev staff doesn''t care how their moderators treat their patrons

Is someone implying that that''s the case? Every time I''ve had a complaint about moderator abuse, I''ve taken action. In the five years the site''s been around, I''ve only had to do that a handful of times. So either it''s not happening as much as people are implying, or it''s happening and people aren''t letting me know about it. The reason we have moderators is the staff can''t read every single thread, so if people don''t make us aware of problems with moderators, we have no way of knowing about it.

In addition, Kevin, Mike, and I communicate with the moderators as a whole on an ongoing basis. We''ve gradually evolved a set of standards for how we expect the moderators to behave, which will soon be formalized into a written document.

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quote:
Original post by Myopic Rhino
quote:
Original post by irbrian
If the GameDev staff doesn't care how their moderators treat their patrons

Is someone implying that that's the case? Every time I've had a complaint about moderator abuse, I've taken action. In the five years the site's been around, I've only had to do that a handful of times. So either it's not happening as much as people are implying, or it's happening and people aren't letting me know about it.

I certainly don't believe it to be the case. Admittedly, I have wondered in the past if the acceptable standard for moderators couldn't be raised a notch or two. But I imagine your last statement, about people not reporting issues they encounter, does come into play on occasion.

Regardless of their own behavior though, it would be nice if the moderators themselves could actively encourage professionalism and general courtesy on the part of all posters.

Edit: Note my use of the word "encourage," not "enforce." The best way to encourage someone to act a certain way is by example, and usually by being the extreme example. Of course gentle reproach and constructive criticism are always effecive tools.

[edited by - irbrian on April 14, 2004 12:55:39 PM]

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If I may be blunt, I get the feeling that this thread just boils down to a desire to vent. There''s no specific issue or specific moderator, so why do you keep dredging it up? If you have something to say, say it. If you don''t, let the thread die.

And allow me to corroborate Dave''s statements. A member recently complained to him about my attitude (we''re grown-ups, so Dave forwarded the message to me along with his comments) and he and I negotiated some minor changes in how, exactly, I prosecute certain issues.

I find this "undirected indictment" of GameDev tiresome and counterproductive.

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quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
I find this "undirected indictment" of GameDev tiresome and counterproductive.
Just how direct need I be before you get the hint, Sir?

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