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"Toxic Quake Community" Amnesty And Apology Thread.
Warning: This is a positive resolution / solution thread, not a beef thread. You wanna beef, go elsewhere.

It has come to my attention that there are occasional accusations of the Quake community having some negative social aspects. Indeed in the words of rebb (compiler coder) in 2018:

I have known the Quake community for a very long time as one of the most toxic and narcissistic creative communities.
For a moment in time things appeared to have improved, but it turned out to be little more than naive wishful thinking.

Between all it's newfound glory, hyperdetailed maps and "god mappers" still sits the same deep prideful arrogance and highly toxic nature that has most likely been there since the very beginning.
It is a cold and self-obsessed place.


Strong words (which I personally entirely disagree with as someone who has been in the scene from Day 1, both as a player AND contributor). Unfortunately he doesn't specify what actually happened nor who he is referring to. And it's hard to have sympathy without actually understanding what's going on, and it's hard to make progress from that without having some clarity and openness.

IF there is any such "toxicity" in the Quake scene, then I think it needs to be made explicit what the problems are, who has been "toxic", and whether such behaviour is explicable, redeemable, or even simply a misunderstanding of casual behaviour, as per the wise words of Kinn (sometime mapper):

ok, here it goes - there is a lot of really obvious playful pisstaking in this community which is good.
as a man of this sceptred isle, a man of rosy-cheeked chappery and good-humoured banter, I welcome the very obvious joking around and tomfoolery
but perhaps a lot of people don't "get it" - perhaps it's down to cultural differences, or perhaps some even are "on the spectrum" as it were, and struggle to differentiate a malicious comment from an obvious mickey-take


---

This is not to start arguments or flame wars. This is to CLEAR THOSE UP by explaining what is going on discussing calmly, apologising if needed. There's no point moaning about toxicity and not trying to sort it out, so...
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And I Will Admit To: 
1. Slagging off OneMadGypsy after his meltdown / Quake scene dismissal. No apology as his whole rant was full of direct threats and massive arrogance / narcissism.

2. Taking the piss out of Baker in his notorious "Age Of The No Penis Mapper" thread. And making a map full of cocks. I never knew if he played the map. I thought it was quite decent for a semi-speedmap.

3. Being highly critical of Bloodshots Quake 1.5 mod. This is nothing personal against Bloodshot even if the aesthetic taste in the mod is bewildering, and I have been clearly praising of his great JamX map.

4. Posting and arguing about Spirit's insults to me on his Quaddicted thread. He was directly insulting to me for no reason. No bad blood from my side and no interest in continuing.

5. I've called Sock a drama queen on numerous occasions. Not as many occasions as I've praised his work though.

6. I sometimes subtly take the piss of the "Quake Mapping" discord channel. This might have something to do with not liking heavily censored channels, nor the lack of integration with #terrafusion. But OTOH I know the ruler does good work and have given him credit for that.

If anyone thinks this is toxic in context of my other general communication / contribution, let me know. 
 
I touched upon the subject matter after some complaints of "toxicity" following community people poking fun at someone who clearly suffers mental disorders.

In context that this person had aggressively and rudely ranted at others, here is what I had to say there :

<Don't get me wrong, some metldowns are indeed gut wrenching (for anyone with a touch of empathy) but expecting internet people on forums to not take a slag at such meltdown especially if it contains insulting content - is just out of touch.

People with severe mental illness do need help and not dissing, but among a loose knit group of game/creative enthusiasts is not the place to hope to get it from. its not the function of such a place, it is not a "safe space", its a community of rando people tied by interest in creative activities, no more. You will get unpleasant brush ups with what you perceive to be unpleasant people, one has to deal with such things, it is not elsewise outside the house.
You might through PM get something more, forge a closer friendship with some members of such a community, but this is not going to happen with any community "at large" other than ones focused on being support groups around the subject of mental illness. > 
A Small Thing 
Most of you would have forgotten it but....
I'd like to apologize for saying some stupid juvenile stuff here.I wasn't exactly in the right frame of mind,being 13 and stupid.

I intend to actually release a small mod as an extended apology.It's basically Goofy Quake 2.For Quake 1. 
 
Some jokes have the side effect of making people feel welcome or unwelcome in the community. I'm not sure "toxic" is a productive word to use here, but the community can absolutely be a "boys club".

To take one example that stuck with me, I recently went through this Quake C tutorials by MauveBib (from back in 2008? or earlier?). Between useful information, there are some of these "boys club" jokes that aren't very funny and also make me feel like an outsider. As a result, I'm wary to pass on an otherwise-useful tutorial to friends who might like modding in QC. I don't think the "humor" of these jokes makes up for the way they make people feel unwelcome.

My perspective in the quake community (as a comparatively recent arrival) is probably an odd one. I work as a professional level designer with a background in Unreal Tournament modding. Most of the professional level designers I know also got their start in mod scenes, which were also "boys clubs". As a result, we're kind of a samey lot, making samey games, and it's all a bit creatively-empty and dull. I like working with more diverse teams, which requires more diverse applicants, which I think means making the mod scenes more welcoming spaces so more people can gain those skills in the first place.

I also see a new generation of would-be level-designers learning in Unreal Engine and Unity outside the context of any specific game. They're learning the tools, but not the concepts, so it's not proper level design. When I've been involved with hiring LDs, the applications from game dev university graduates are terribly shallow. With those concerns in mind, I see how Quake and Trenchbroom could serve a new generation of level designers by providing them an environment to learn. I've tried inviting some friends with that hope, but they have bounced off after making a map, if they even get that far. Maybe I'm correct in the "boys club" diagnosis, or maybe it's inherent to Quake and a weakness of its theme and a narrow appeal?

In any case, with things like Quake 1.5 and weirder experiments, I think there's a productive way to say "cool, this isn't for me, but it is still welcome here". Per Baker's thread, I think it can also be useful to say "hey can we get more [x, y, z]", but I don't think it has to be either/or. We can have co-op maps and id1 maps and AD maps all at once without detracting from each other! I think there's also value in highlighting the work of newcomers, and creating mapping events specifically to welcome them and offer feedback. I've brought it up before, but Doom is a comparatively lively and diverse scene, and I think that's worth aiming for. 
Shambler 
I sometimes subtly take the piss of the "Quake Mapping" discord channel. This might have something to do with not liking heavily censored channels, nor the lack of integration with #terrafusion. But OTOH I know the ruler does good work and have given him credit for that.

I've explained both publicly and privately directly to you the reason I keep the Discord SFW. It's a good reason: I like my job. If I administer the site from work I am responsible for its content. End of story. I guess that's not good enough though as I continue to pay for it. Sorry you can't post "cuntflaps" on my Discord.

Partial "blame" for the "split" between #TF and Quake mapping can be placed on otp. Originally, I was just going to have a small channel directly related to Q&A for the videos. I was being lazy about it and he approached me to do a channel. I wasn't really aware at the time, but I guess otp had some beef with Daz who admin'd #tf. In his own words:

2. Daz has revealed himself to be a giant pussy the moment he hosted tf on Discord and made it safe for work.

He encouraged me to create many of the channels that exist now and I did so because I know #tf is not the greatest place to drive people new to the mapping community. <shrug>

I made many attempts to cross-post events and stay in the know over at #tf. But I got tired of seeing personal attacks there, both on me and people I admire. Call me a pussy -- whatever, it bothered me and I left.

I apologize for nothing in regards to the Quake Mapping Discord. Futher, I don't see any apologies in #1 and I don't expect to. Some people love stirring up shit and provoking a response. Mission accomplished.

If I am wrong Shambler, then all I will say is: actions speak louder than words.

But publicly, I will apologize to sock, muk and scampie. Allowing another to influence my actions cost me fellowship with you guys and I do regret it. 
Yeah 
. Some people love stirring up shit and provoking a response.

That is true. If I see any of those people I'll trying to encourage them to read this thread and maybe acknowledge if that's gone awry.

Don't worry I did get your explanation at time, as you know, and respect that - even if I might joke about it. Yes, being able to say "cuntflaps" is fundamental to my lifestyle :)

I don't think anyone is suggesting for any apologies off you of course. Unless you've been secretly "toxic" when no-one's noticed. 
Ffs 
Wrote an epic response to mclong and phone killed it. Arse. 
#5 
I don't think there's any need to assign me some sort of hidden agenda, as I've been very clear about my motivations regarding the Quake Mapping Server - on func or elsewhere.

I wouldn't say Daz running a SFW Discord server had much influence on my suggestion to run a SFW Discord.

I'm happy, however, to see my role in getting the server running acknowledged again - the previous comments which left me out of the equation were a rather unnecessary jab, so it's good to see a retraction of that. 
Continuing... 
My opinion on QM (it's a good place) and the "split" (it's total nonsense) hasn't changed one iota since July 2018: tf and QM can, and should, coexist without trying to integrate.

The fact that QM can be well over 500+ members would rather point to the fact that this so-called "toxicity" is something that stems from here in specific, rather than being inherent to Quake community in its heterogeneous entirety. (Unless we are, in fact, seriously entertaining the notion that jokes such as "I'll eat your face" in a tutorial old enough to be linking to a Gamespy page is a symptom of deep rot.)

Maybe permanently removing the beef thread is something to consider. 
@otp 
There are other jokes that run through the tutorial, and it's an old example, but it also was the tutorial I was referred to for learning QC only a few months ago. Maybe there's a better example of what I mean... I'm trying to say that the "obvious playful pisstaking" referred to in the Kinn quote in the original post isn't always so obvious or harmless. Seeing nonsense like dick jokes on here says to me that this is a boys club, and it makes me cautious to inviting level-design friends here from outside the Quake mod scene. Maybe func isn't the place for the goals I'm describing.

Also yes, the QM discord has shown a tremendous growth of interest! I think much of the community is moving in a positive direction that is more welcoming. 
Okay So Previous Reply To Mcdongalong 
Good points there. There can definitely be a correlation with small, dedicated communities and a feeling of "boys' club" - I've noticed this clearly in other communities.

The perception can be from the outside that such communities are closed and unwelcoming.

The actual reality is that they are definitely NOT, they are open and welcoming (just as this one is, see later).

But the specific nature, in-jokes, small size, focus, etc etc, can give a false impression. It can look a bit impenetrable....until one actually tries, and then one realises that such places are focused on the insiders, rather than being hostile to outsiders. But the outsider must cross that perspective hump, take a chance and go for it, to realise they're as welcome as anyone.

Take....yourself, dumptruck, otp, sock, mfx, fairweather, ionous, khreathor, nait, poorchop, skacky, etc etc whoever.....you're all total noobs, appearing this millenium, or decade, or even year. You were all outsiders once, looking in - now you're all part of it, some quite fundamentally so. You took that step and just became part of it, that's how it works, it's not a closed shop.

So yeah, maybe toxic is too strong a word, although maybe there is still some stuff to air. And maybe it's just perception that's an issue. 
OTP. 
A vote on removing the beef thread would be good. It may indeed be allowing things to get too nasty and personal, rather than defusing and entertaining as the original plan was. 
I Would Say Though. 
Dick jokes are - even if the word is censored - are essential to any balanced and emotionally stable community. 
@shambler 
Well put. Will give this some thought. 
#3 Ijazz 
Something I forgot to add to my screed above was "good for you" for taking responsibility for past behavior.

Goofy mods are always welcome. 
Hmmmm 
To be honest, either a forum is moderated, or it's not. If there's posting rules, and you breach the rules, then blammo, mod should delete post. "It's a fair cop, guv" says the errant poster.

Func is func. As far as I can tell, it doesn't have "rules". The closest thing to posting guidelines appears to be found here: http://www.celephais.net/board/faq.php

and I quote:

About This Site
We are a community of hobbyist and professional level designers who share insights, opinions, rants, and flames.


Pretty self-explanatory. "Go hog wild".

I don't think we need to engage in great big discussions where we try to create "soft rules" or "etiquette" when I'm sure half the people here don't give a damn about them.

I think if this site needs posting rules and this kind of moderation then it should be explicitly written somewhere and the forum should be moderated accordingly. Is that really what func needs after existing just fine for two decades?

For my part, I don't think we need to moderate anything, but we should do some obvious tightening up of the basic site mechanics to remove spam and anon shitposting as much as possible. 
The Root Cause Is Lovecraft 
 
Hmmmmm 
I think it's good to have some level of sensibility respect and not let things get out of hand. Half the people might not give a damn but half the people might and if some people are finding it really bad it might be worth looking at to see how much of a real issue is it. 
 
If one wants to make somewhere like func "not get out of hand" (more than it has been 20 years) to attract / welcome everyone at large it is simple : func will become something entirely else than it is.

Diversity is desired, yes ?

Turning all existing community bases into heavily moderated and controlled "everyone" welcome type of spaces does not, ironically, achieve welcome for "everyone".

To this I welcome the existence of **both** types of community spaces (and more!) and hope this stays so.

This though does not mean the community needs to be split, god no, this is rather a question of the different spaces acknowledging and promoting each other, informing any new comers of what kind of spaces and flavors are around.

On the chat / discord side a real strong approach for this would be instead of integrating places like discord QM into a TF subchannel or vice versa (hey! #tf was first :P) the real beauty would be to have shared/fully mirrored Subchannels such as the News / Releases threads and other meutral "cultural" ones.
Another could be a identical shared read only information channel with a summary of community spaces/resources.

Sadly Discord does not allow this simply :/
Could likely be ugly-hacked up with bots/scripts and the like though. 
Otoh The Duke Community 
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