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This place is getting deserted, and we have to do something about it

Forums - Website Topics - This place is getting deserted, and we have to do something about it

Flashback from '07 "Don't mind the shirt, it just matches the color of my eyes" (hope I remembered that correctly). Anyone remember what that's from ?? :D

Anyho, yeah I do experience technical problems a lot too and I'm sure that doesn't help. I was wondering though, if digital distribution (and probably the big game companies tomfuckery too) was having an impact on the NPD and this site, which I guess it really is. Do we know what the outcome/fix is going to be for this?

Additionally, to the discussion of the mod/ban concerns (which from my viewpoint has been an ever-present thing here [NOTABLE to THE DISCUSSSION, so I deem the posts here valid, but think it is still a "secondary issue".]) I always wondered why, at the end of the day, Fanboy-ism was banned from the beginning/early days. I agree that it CAN thwart meaningful discussion at times; but that is honestly the reason we all wanted to engage in the first place. {This is why there are the NINTENDO, SONY, and Microsoft discussion Tabs/areas. At the end of the day we really just wanted to bash the "other side" (without a ban) and we used make a big production about who was changing sides and what-not. (I jumped from Nintendo to Xbox and now I went to the Dark Side) It's fun. We have these game opinions and our culture is to type-scream those opinions to others, especially the ones who don't wanna hear it. Ha ha ah.
The point is, I feel the whole mod/user war undercurrent was just a cat and mouse game because we had this rule of argue, but don't REALLY argue, that's not nice, and people wanted to get really clever about breaking the rule in indirect ways. The mods eventually had to come in and start banning people who really were abusive to the rules, and they would just come back later with new names and the beat went on...
It was a lot of fun though...
(thoughts?)



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mZuzek said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

I guess you think OTB is irrelevant then?

I don't, but... hmm, let's not go there. But I did think he had been around for longer. I never said there are no relevant users from this period, only that there are few, and if anything, it kinda shows here - with you and Bofferbrauer turning up, from late 2016/early 2017, and now OTBWY who is from mid 2017... and so far, no 2018 or 2019 users mentioned at all. It's easy to see that there's been a decline in new users.

I would have mentioned QuickRick, but he fell of a cliff already...

Also, how could you forget about Marth?



alternine said:
There's a plethora of reasons why the site is getting stale and old but I would probably be banned for telling it like it is. I guess that's part of it though. This site is too heavy on the enforcing. I know if I was new and saw what you can and can't say on VGC I wouldn't wanna sign up either. I'd imagine a lot of current users feel the same way which explains the dip. Just my opinion of course.



Well we are nearing the end of the current console generation which is typically a slower time, hardware has been maximized, sales are slowing for hardware but software still selling very well. Once the new hardware is released, and it becomes important again weekly sales I think this site will pick up.



CommandoII said:
Additionally, to the discussion of the mod/ban concerns (which from my viewpoint has been an ever-present thing here [NOTABLE to THE DISCUSSSION, so I deem the posts here valid, but think it is still a "secondary issue".]) I always wondered why, at the end of the day, Fanboy-ism was banned from the beginning/early days. I agree that it CAN thwart meaningful discussion at times; but that is honestly the reason we all wanted to engage in the first place. {This is why there are the NINTENDO, SONY, and Microsoft discussion Tabs/areas. At the end of the day we really just wanted to bash the "other side" (without a ban) and we used make a big production about who was changing sides and what-not. (I jumped from Nintendo to Xbox and now I went to the Dark Side) It's fun. We have these game opinions and our culture is to type-scream those opinions to others, especially the ones who don't wanna hear it. Ha ha ah.
The point is, I feel the whole mod/user war undercurrent was just a cat and mouse game because we had this rule of argue, but don't REALLY argue, that's not nice, and people wanted to get really clever about breaking the rule in indirect ways. The mods eventually had to come in and start banning people who really were abusive to the rules, and they would just come back later with new names and the beat went on...
It was a lot of fun though...
(thoughts?)

Yeah, I'm a little bit torn on the whole mod situation showing up here in this thread. We can dismiss them and pretend it's a non-issue all we want, but there has been a number of people coming here to express their distaste for the situation and ignoring that is ignoring a real thing that's going on. I can't speak for them, because I haven't been moderated in years (though a mod did approach me via PM recently), but I do sometimes feel almost... privileged. Like for some reason it doesn't really matter what I say, as long as I'm not being blatantly offensive I can get away with things other users don't seem to. Maybe that's just me, though.

I know the mods are likely to dismiss these concerns as just moaning from toxic members, and they may or may not be right, but I think there's a certain stubborness, maybe even arrogance, about the team at the moment. They're not really wrong to do what they do, after all the place does have rules. I've always been thankful to the work the mods put in on VGC, because it's what kept the place full of sensible and constructive people, but maybe now, with the reduced activity around and fewer new users, it could be the time to start reviewing those concepts and try to take a more lenient approach to moderations. It's clear that many members have been scared away by the nature of bans here, and funny enough, looking back at some of our oldest users still around, many of them haven't always had the most enviable behavior.

Maybe we could introduce new ways of moderation? Something that drives people to be more constructive and less toxic, without driving them away? For example, say instead of there being warnings and bans, there's something in between, like a half-ban or something, where the person isn't allowed to do certain actions for a while but can still come around and discuss the matters of their moderation or whatever.

Bofferbrauer2 said:
mZuzek said:

I don't, but... hmm, let's not go there. But I did think he had been around for longer. I never said there are no relevant users from this period, only that there are few, and if anything, it kinda shows here - with you and Bofferbrauer turning up, from late 2016/early 2017, and now OTBWY who is from mid 2017... and so far, no 2018 or 2019 users mentioned at all. It's easy to see that there's been a decline in new users.

I would have mentioned QuickRick, but he fell of a cliff already...

Also, how could you forget about Marth?

I didn't, I actually thought he'd been around longer. Like, much longer. Still early 2017, though. And no, quickrick doesn't count.



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I would say some of it has to do with the fact this site has redirecting issues. It also comes up as unsafe with mobile. As I'm typing this there's a red triangle warning logo on the address bar.

Other than that, even though I can't speak much on the number reporting, it doesn't seem to be the issue.

Its funny because back when game sites were political, the forums were full of trolling and bias but it seemed like it served as the glue for the community. I'm not saying I prefer a hostile environment but maybe(?) that has something to do with it?



Insert Coin. Press START. You Died. Continue?

Darwinianevolution said:
To be fair, activity here is very dependant on the amount of news the gaming industry offers, and right now, everything is very still waiting for the next generation of consoles.

This. Once we start getting concrete news about next gen, as well as the first few months of sales, traffic should escalate. Right now, there's not much going on. PS4 and Switch are doing great and XBO is just okay. It's been like this for 2 years, now, so not too much to talk about sales-wise.

d21lewis said: 
No. Let them leave. I've been waiting 12 years to finally have this place all to myself so I can jerk off. 

Soon...

Jesus fucking Christ. I'm glad I finished drinking my soda before I read this, lol.

dgboweniii said: 

I got banned, questioned these idiot mods, and got permabanned....  this will happen again now.  The mods killed the site, and should have stayed in their lane.

Well, this was an unwise post.



thismeintiel said:
d21lewis said: 
No. Let them leave. I've been waiting 12 years to finally have this place all to myself so I can jerk off. 

Soon...

Jesus fucking Christ. I'm glad I finished drinking my soda before I read this, lol.

Now you made me wish I had soda right now.



Yeah, that's what I've noticed too. I doubt things would be better if we still had the weekly software chartz tho, barely anyone entered the threads made for them when they still were a thing.



CommandoII said:
Flashback from '07 "Don't mind the shirt, it just matches the color of my eyes" (hope I remembered that correctly). Anyone remember what that's from ?? :D

(...)

It's from TheSource's signature and refers to his profile picture of himself wearing a shirt with the word 'Wii' written on it. It was tongue in cheek and alluded to accusations of Nintendo bias in his sales analyses.

On topic:

There are a few important things to note.

1. IIRC, the notable decline started around August 2017 according to Alexa.com traffic numbers for VGC. While it has been mentioned by a few people in this thread that a new console generation will bring in more activity due to things being shaken up, Switch is already happening and has ended the streak of PS4 domination in the weekly hardware charts a long time ago. In 2018 the PS4 was merely winning, now in 2019 Switch is on top. But none of that has generated more traffic.

2. Apparently the site's stability/functionality on mobile devices is still very questionable. On the same note, what happened concurrently to the beginning of the decline was a lot of work on this website that repeatedly led to the site being inaccessible for several hours and at times even longer. Those days are a thing of a past, but how the site runs on mobile devices is something that needs to be looked into and worked on. People aren't going to visit a site regularly when it is a pain to browse the site in question.

3.1. Problematic users create traffic via controversy, so the traffic itself can be interpreted as something positive for the site. However, the negative side is very hard to quantify, because you can't count what isn't visible. Allowing controversy of ridiculous levels usually has the side effect that people who could contribute something of value refrain from posting, because their posts would get buried by the controversial drivel.

3.2. A contributing factor that has not been mentioned yet is that there are a few Discord servers where dozens of VGC users are members. While that isn't a problem at all when the users in question are active on VGC and in Discord, there's a good amount of users who have used Discord to replace VGC. They more or less actively avoid most, if not all, of VGC for what they want to talk about. Partly because the people they want to talk to are also on Discord, partly because of 3.1.

3.3. Of course the direction of moderation matters in this bigger point. When it goes in a direction where, for example, people heavily utilize the official VGC Discord server to say what they think about quickrick because they know that they would be moderated on VGC for merely stating how it is, then something's going wrong. That's the kind of situation where a mod team can drive users off the site. Another example, a more general one, is the direction that there's virtually no limit to how stupid someone's posts can be, so people can behave deliberately obtuse to troll, because a giant exploit is just lying there and waiting for them to be used; meanwhile, there's a bigger risk to get moderated for calling out such behavior. That creates an environment where people who could contribute something of value ask themselves why they should even bother, and subsequently either become inactive or never become an active member in the first place when they are lurkers.

4. Sales numbers going missing is also important. The decision to stop with the software tracking was reasonably explained and I agree that it is fine for two reasons. For one, the rising digital share of software sales lessens the importance of physical software tracking by default, and two, the software estimates have been consistently doubted by an evergrowing part of the community. However, what has been done with the hardware tracking is not good. I have yet to find a place on this site where I can select weekly lists of hardware numbers, like it was done until the end of 2018 where I can select any week of my choice from a dropdown menu. Likewise, I haven't come across any place where I can view cumulative hardware sales for the year of 2019. The "Hardware by Date" tool is just about the only place where hardware numbers from recent months can be browsed, but there should be more than that.

...

While most of the above points are things that can be worked on, I doubt that the best case scenario goes beyond stabilizing at about the current level of activity. Many of the heavily discussed topics from a good decade ago won't generate much traffic anymore. For example, it has widely settled in on all sides that AAA third party support is not dependent on sales and processing power, because those publishers' behavior over the years has made it clear enough what they'll do. A decade ago there was fear/hope that good Nintendo hardware sales can change where games are going, but nowadays virtually everybody knows which way the wind blows and that that isn't going to change.

Another big example is PlayStation vs. Xbox sales where it has also been clearly established that Xbox is not a brand for global success, so you'll have a hard time finding any Xbox fans who believe that Microsoft can win a console generation. About the only major things that are left are which sales records either Sony or Nintendo can break, or who wins in the USA because the historically high occurence of multiconsole ownership makes things interesting, but otherwise most controversy must be created artificially by making up some arbitrary rules.

Since VGC was and is a site that is built on sales, it's about business, and business is stale once it's understood. Wii succeeding against all odds shook things up in the forum landscape, but Switch succeeding against all odds isn't that special anymore, because Nintendo has done it before. That's the big stuff that this site's staff can't do anything about, so going forward it will be first and foremost about making this website a good place for the people who are still here, because getting VGC back to its previous peak or close to it would be a very unrealistic goal to have.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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