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Silverspoon's Sunday Discussion Topic #4: Are we the go-to retro gaming forum?


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Most of us came from Nintendo Age, and Playstation Collecting, but are we the #1 resource for retro gaming knowledge?  We cover many topics such as pricing, variants, release numbers, and upcoming news to name a few, and Im guessing you could google a question about one of those topics and find VGS at the top, but are there still other forums that we are striving to surpass, whether it be by number of active users, quality of active users, or some other variable?

There are a few popular forums still out there like Digitpress, AtariAge, NEOgaf, and quite a few others, but I never felt accepted in any way with any other gaming forums like I did with NintendoAge, and now with VGS.  AtariAge drove me out because I was beneath them for being too young when I was showing off my two copies of Bounty Bob back in the day. 

What do you guys think?  Where do we need to improve in order to be #1 if we are not?

Edited by SilverspoonGaming
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  • The title was changed to Silverspoon's Sunday Discussion Topic #4: Are we the go-to retro gaming forum?

I think AtariAge is and will always be simply because younger people don’t often use forums. I think we’re mostly gen X/millennials and most people our age congregate on popular social media sites. On AA even the Lynx and 5200 forums have posts every. single. day. I truly can’t believe how active AtariAge is.

Forums are cliquey though so where you fit in might not be the only good place. Neo-Geo people probably know a lot, but they’re toxic gatekeepers in my brief experience braving that site. PCEFX from my experience had a negative stance towards inexperienced collectors. AtariAge has old man energy which can be good or bad. VGS itself has a negative stance towards investors and graded games and I see people dumping on them all the time when they join.

Edited by DefaultGen
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It depends. Every different community has a different purpose. I think VGS might be one of the easier public-facing ones, but agree that AtariAge is probably number 1. They are at this point probably the oldest that is still used and venerated. Sadly, many good sites, such as NintendoAge and ASSEMbler, have gone the way of the dodo, due to this or that reason. It's hard to keep a site alive for a long time, as it were.

Different spots are better for different things; I don't think any website is better than PlanetVB for virtual boy, for example. I also don't believe in sticking to one forum or site anymore; Nobody can really be best at every aspect.

I think there are bigger discussion places, but many today are either part of a larger site (ie. Reddit subs) or they are hidden (ie. Discord communities, which I consider to be hidden since as far as I know, there isn't a public-facing directory of all discord servers). even then, however, I don't feel like those are very focused on collecting data, as they rely on other places to do so (hosting on google for example). Also, discords are more like pure discussion/chat to me, focused on quick, short messages. The forum structure is more about longer posts to me, and that's actually something I prefer, as I think short messages aren't all that effective at conveying thoughts and opinions.

Age elitism is universal, and it is online too. I've definitely been in places where people tell you to screw off unless you were born before "arbitrary ending line of greatest people born". Sometimes I give into it as well, to be honest; I feel that people just do that sometimes, even if they don't mean to be nasty, and it just comes out. As I age more, however, I do feel like frequently people have a different way of being at each step of their lives, and that makes a difference. I have also recognized, however, that it's good for people of different ages to interact, as they can learn from each other. It's like someone I know messaged once "I know someone who brags about having been a Harvard grad in the 70's; How long ago did you graduate exactly? Your education is decades out of date."

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Member · Posted

I pretty much strictly come here for questions and discussions because the community is very diverse and knowledgeable on all things game collecting related.  No, VGS isn't perfect but what site could be.

I really hate to see that online forums are slowly disappearing and that as younger generations age into frequent internet use, the idea of a forum feels dated and foreign.  I'm not just being nostalgic for an old way of using the internet, but forums still provide a valuable tool that no other social media platform has yet to provide, and that is keeping old, valuable historical discussions alive and traceable for data collection.

Al modern social media platforms operate under the assumption that for information to be relevant, it needs to be new. True, when you come to  forum, the information is sorted by post date, but forums are easy to search for old questions and content, and "necro-bumps" are as easy as a posting a new, good response to a +6 month old topic that gets peoples attention and the thread can come alive again.

In all modern social sites, this isn't the case.  You can't bump something in Facebook and continue a discussion.  Reddit could easily do this if they changed there model, but if you reply to a post older than a week, only the OP or the commenter you're responding too will see your message.  Reddit even locks old posts after a year or so, so no one can respond to it.  This is what baffles me about Reddit--they could easily replace the "forum", and it's best feature (historical, conversational interaction) but they actively block this.

Once I had half a mind to try to create my own social site similar to Reddit, but the main driving difference was to allow good, long running conversations not get buried with time, where it's valuable and relevant. Alas, I lack ambition and drive/energy to take on such a huge undertaking.

TL;DR: I love this place and I'm not going anywhere.  It's just a shame that innovation in social media has completely ignored the fact that only promoting "new and fresh" content isn't always the best approach to social interaction and data gathering.  But, maybe some day someone will invent a place with that nuanced difference that will catch wind with a younger crowd and keep this type of functionality alive.  I'm not an old curmudgeon who think the old ways are better.  I can evolve.  But having a single repository of data that can be researched and re-invigorated with new discussion just isn't a thing anymore, and that's kind of a sad.

Edited by RH
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Member · Posted

I enjoy this site due to the various flavours in discussions on multi-platforms from a diverse group of gamers and collectors. Feels like I can bank on someone here to answer most queries I might have.

I think this forum is onto a winner due to various reasons (not to suck up, but from genuine perception):

- active admins and mods, who are both knowledgeable and welcoming to newcomers; and generally involved in forum activity. And...haven’t sold their souls to GoCollect! (Not yet anyway!)

- big shout out to @CasualCart; he adds a serious dimension to the forum, not seen in most other gaming forums. Love them pics and humor!

- regular participants who have a wide breadth of knowledge both gaming-wise and world-topics-wise. 

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I assume the biggest places for retro gaming discussion anymore is facebook or some other social media site. I think most online selling outside of ebay has definitely shifted to Facebook marketplace.  I always thought of reddit as a “forum about everything” 

The one thing I do notice though is that when people show up here and if they ask a question, it seems like they did some form of research and just didn’t really find or understand an answer. Where as with reddit there’s alot of people asking questions that can easily be answered in 2secs of googleing or sometimes by literally reading the post two down from theirs. It’s brings flashbacks of dealing with people in retail and customers who are so oblivious to the world around them.  “How much is this?”

“Mam, the price tag is right on the item in your hand 😑

“Sooo how much is it?”

🤬

Sorry, about the side rant. It just annoys the crap outta me.

At the same time it seems like the more casual someone is about a hobby, the more social media focused they are about it. The more serious they get into a hobby the more likely they are to join a specific forum or website

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On 4/5/2021 at 11:03 AM, RH said:

TL;DR: I love this place and I'm not going anywhere.  It's just a shame that innovation in social media has completely ignored the fact that only promoting "new and fresh" content isn't always the best approach to social interaction and data gathering.  But, maybe some day someone will invent a place with that nuanced difference that will catch wind with a younger crowd and keep this type of functionality alive.  I'm not an old curmudgeon who think the old ways are better.  I can evolve.  But having a single repository of data that can be researched and re-invigorated with new discussion just isn't a thing anymore, and that's kind of a sad.

I have a similar problem: Many people seem to shy away from fresh, new, and especially lengthy. Reddit in particular doesn't impress me much. I write something as long as this post on Reddit and I get applauded/lightly mocked for my wall of text. I think people just go on there for a quick dose of entertainment, not to read or to think. I get this opinion further from what seems to be the most popular form of sharing on Reddit; Bragging vanity posts from people who want you to see what new overpriced thing they bought, set up with an instagram attention-whore format and little emotional tagline in pursuit of maximum e-peen points. In saying this, I mean no offense to our collector friends who proudly show off things that they buy, you guys have your forum and that is good. I just dislike how almost every recommended post or thread on reddit seems to be something like "after X years I convinced my SO to let me buy my holy grail and now it's finally arrived. 🙂 Can't wait to play/open/stare at it!" when I am only looking for people discussing topics and not just showboating/begging for attention. I have particular disdain for the karma beggars; My forum days in which I cared far too much about my online post count or account creation date are long, long gone, and I realize now it's just a stupid form of gatekeeping and judging people to look at their post count/karma count/etc. in any way as a judge of their character or insights.

50 minutes ago, twiztor said:

i think NA was, if not THE, then easily one of the top video game forums around. i think VGS is awesome but hasn't built up the long term notoriety yet to take its place in that regard. it would still be in the running.

Agreed; The biggest loss has been the database 😞 Maybe someday...

 

3 hours ago, LeatherRebel5150 said:

At the same time it seems like the more casual someone is about a hobby, the more social media focused they are about it. The more serious they get into a hobby the more likely they are to join a specific forum or website

I was just talking to someone about this earlier today; Places like Reddit, for example, seem to be the "starter zone" for nerds getting into a hobby. I think it's because megasites like Reddit are more obvious to newbies online, sort of like how tons of kids were on sites like GameFAQs back in the day (not that I would know...). Social Media has just replaced the bigger forums for many people, and so our little corners of the world have become more small-scale. Even so, I still assume those social media spots to be for less serious people, and put way more weight into a dedicated site than I do in an aggregator, though that goes back probably to personal biases built by my career as an internet smartass.

I was talking about the showboating I see on Reddit; Maybe the difference is an age-related thing? I'm old enough that I'm starting to put disclaimers on my internet worldviews because I am starting to realize that my time on the net is older than some other users have been alive, but if the majority of what you grow up seeing online is pictures of people or things, then maybe you are more focused on the look than on the content? I mean, I was online when forums had 56k warnings for any thread that had a lot of images; Nowadays images on the net are like grains of sand. Web-enabled cameras capable of instantly uploading countless pictures are everywhere, and people's drive spaces can hold millions of images, to say nothing of web-based hosting. They say a picture's worth a thousand words; In the age of easy picture sharing, maybe some younger people view text sharing as obsolete.

One other aside on that: I really find it funny when people on twitter say "long chainpost incoming" and then it's maybe a few hundred words. I mean, come on people, read a book and get some perspective on what "long" really means! Even a novella is usually in the thousands!

Second aside: Don't be too harsh on the young; The longer I live, the more I see younger me as being stupid, yet my old notes on matters often prove to be as poignant as something I could come up with now. I think it's more just a different place on the mountain and a different set of priorities which inspires judgment of how our juniors use their time (or how our younger selves used their time).

 

4 hours ago, CasualCart said:

Aw thanks dude! Got one for ya right here haha.

-CasualCart

398822872_AtariAgeOffMyLawn.jpg.c91aa071f46123e3d2eb3bb211641ce3.jpg

 

How much for a Wizard of Swag T-Shirt? Assuming it benefits the site too of course. I don't need the angry old man, just the wizard skateboarding on a black t-shirt with "SWAG" made larger/more visible would do.

Edited by koifish
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4 hours ago, LeatherRebel5150 said:

At the same time it seems like the more casual someone is about a hobby, the more social media focused they are about it.

I cringe when I see people's collections on Reddit 90% of the time. They're usually exclusively dank games they scoured ebay or market place for to get $3 off the going price.

I honestly don't even look at social media groups bc the casuals circle jerking the GameCube or Wii U with their collection of dog shit Switch games they paid $100+ for makes me embarassed for them. 

If VGS didn't exist, I would probably be an active AtariAge member just to avoid the casuals showing off their cart only Gameboy collection of Pokemon and Mario games. I just feel like I'm too deep into collecting and the members here make me look like I just got started. I enjoy that feeling of being humbled by giants. 

Sorry, my rant is over too lol 

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