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  • About the Free Fire Zone

    Most of you have probably looked at the WFHQ-ACG thread by now.

    http://www.warfarehq.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10826

    One of the issues we have been debating within the higher ranks of the staff is what to do with the FFZ. We added this forum a long time ago as a place for members to blow off steam and so that the dedicated forums did not become overrun with crap. The intent of this forum was to be a place where members could talk about items that don't really fit anywhere else, but are still related to our primary focus.

    Warfare HQ does not want to become known as the place where people come to have flame wars and talk politics. That isn't our focus, wargaming is. This forum has now grown so large that it has eclipsed almost all the other forums in terms of sheer activity. To my mind, and many of the staff agree with this, that is not a good thing.

    We do plan on making some changes to this section of the webpage regardless of whatever happens with the Armchair General merger. We're looking at several different possibilities at the moment. We don't want to appear heavy handed and we don't want to act like big brother either, however, we will not allow our forums to be taken over with political debate.

    At the moment, this forum has two basic recurring themes and almost every post in here is eventually sucked into one or the other:
    • Europeans vs. Americas
    • Liberal vs. Conservative
    We do realize that politics is bound up with the concept of warfare to a large extent, particularly at the strategic level and above, however, we're starting to get pretty far off the mark. None of the staff want to get into the business of heavy duty moderation of the forums on a daily basis, so we are brainstorming alternatives.
    Editor-in-Chief
    GameSquad.com

  • #2
    I appreciate your concerns... and would be totally supportive if you were to drop the FFZ all together.

    I use it (and enjoy it) because it is there and because there are so many juicy targets

    But it is not the reason i come to your site and i would probably come more, not less if it were gone! (Though i would not be able to show my friends some of the cr*p that is written then anymore ).

    Ultimately though it is your forum, your board and your choice. I thank you your efforts and will abide by whatever decision you make!
    Legion's ASL AARs

    Comment


    • #3
      Don, I don't entirely agree with you on the point that politics have no place in a wargaming forum, there are many aspects of politics, for example everything concerning the Iraq issue or US/UN relationships or issues of broader strategic interest, that fit very well into the wargaming niche.
      I do however agree that lately some discussions got out of hand and ended in a pretty unpleasent flame war and I would definitely welcome a little moderation here to stop discussions only meant to stir unrest dead in its tracks.
      That said, I think a place to discuss general political issues should remain at WarfareHQ, I do gather my general informations elsewere but when I want to discuss these and maybe hear somebodies else opinion I go to a place were I know and respect the members. We had some high quality and well informed discussions here at WarfareHQ, the international participants are always a big plus for debats over big-picture politics. My main interest on this forums are the wargames, but there are times were interests shift, for example the month before and after the US invasion of Iraq, were politics were my main focus of interest (and probabbly of most members of WarfareHQ), and without a possibility to discuss these issues here my visits would have certainly decreased. Than there are other times were wargames are my main interest, to summarize, (foreign) politics and a wargaming forum fit pretty well
      "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

      Henry Alfred Kissinger

      Comment


      • #4
        As long as the actual gaming sub-forums are strictly moderated to keep on subject and keep the BS out, then who can complain if this one is shut down?

        Comment


        • #5
          I just had a look down the list of the FFZ, about 30 headings, theres a hell of a lot more stuff than just politics on it, theres only a few politics threads. Is this what you refer to as being crap Don? If so does that mean you want the place to be a little less social and more 'professional'?
          Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

          Comment


          • #6
            I would like to agree to Kraut here.

            The discussions in the FFZ are not that often on military topics, we have special zones for all of them, it is a vital part of the WFHQ community.
            Well, and that's also the reason why it should stay, a commnity is about knowing other persons and so you might want to talk about issues not entirely related to wargaming with the friends you made here.

            I agree that in the last couple of month many threads where quite inflammatory and maybe even just made for this issue, but in general the discussion is quite peaceful. To solve problems associated with such discussions (that is these to deliberately create havoc), e.g. close the thread or so, we have the moderators.

            Just my two cents...
            "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
            which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
            The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
            returned to its home base."

            Comment


            • #7
              ffz

              I personally definitevely left an Europe Universalids forum once they became too strict i.e. : "no thread on 9/11"

              sometimes freedome of expression requires some moderation, hence the job of moderators, but sometimes it is good to be able to express it.

              Internet is one of the last places where freedom of expression exists.. I 'd like to keep it that way.

              Plus I think the threads here are pretty smart and all sides tend to make (most of the time) decent argumentation and thought provoking ideas.
              "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

              Comment


              • #8
                to me all is fine as long as you avoid swearing at others even if you don't agree with, and as long as you don't try to offend people ( i mean such things can happen, but it's different from wanted these to happen). Difference of oppinion is great because it's what it makes our world so rich in a way, we need all kind of oppinions liberal/conservative pro USA/ against USA. Now it's also true there is no need to debate over the same topic in 36 threads, more than likely a liberal will never convince a conservative to change side (and vice versa).
                so let's keep so that don will not delete this place
                looking forward to the new version of toaw

                Comment


                • #9
                  I support Kraut and Mr. Clark posts. I see WHQ as a wargaming club and a club is not only the place to game or talk only about games IMO. A "coffee shop" to relax and talk about everything after you have read the posts concerning your wargame is nice.

                  Believe or not I learn a lot from posts in FFZ. People have very different points of view and this place is as good to know them as any other one. Besides... life without discussions between Cheeta and JL. Betin would not be so funny.
                  Cual lidian bien, sobre dorado arzón
                  Mio Cid Ruy Diaz, el buen lidiador;
                  Minaya Alvar Fáñez, que en Zorita mandó;
                  Martín Antolínez, el burgalés de pro...!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kraut
                    Don, I don't entirely agree with you on the point that politics have no place in a wargaming forum, there are many aspects of politics, for example everything concerning the Iraq issue or US/UN relationships or issues of broader strategic interest, that fit very well into the wargaming niche.
                    That's not what I said. I said:

                    Originally posted by Don Maddox
                    We do realize that politics is bound up with the concept of warfare to a large extent, particularly at the strategic level and above, however, we're starting to get pretty far off the mark.
                    I also understand the analogy to a "coffee shop." I guess what is concerning is is the sheer size of the coffee shop. It's starting to take over the whole block and push out the shops and restaurants!

                    Let's say you are a new visitor to this site, and you don't really know what it's all about or what you might find inside. Which forum are you more likely to click on? That's right, the one that looks the most active because this is where the real action seems to be. This new visitor now goes inside the FFZ and takes a look around. This is not the first impression we want to make, that is why I insist on keeping this forum dead last (at the bottom) of the forum as a whole. It is not our primary focus.

                    In light of the possibility of the merge with Armchair General, we are even more concerned about it. Personally, I believe there is a significant risk that the "coffee shop" will cease to exist and be replaced by flame war central. If our FFZ is combined with the Armchair General FFZ, then the posts will number 60,000+ and growing. In other words, the FFZ will have more posts than the next three largest forums combined.

                    I completely agree with the person who posted earlier that Warfare HQ has an excellent "signal to noise ratio." Many members here don't post that often, but what they do post is reasonably useful and informative. We do not want the FFZ to inadvertently become the defacto center of focus for the forum. I'm not suggesting it's a zero sum game, but members do tend to gravitate to where the action is.

                    Let me say a word about moderation because I believe many people have the wrong concept about it. Some believe that moderation is a form of "negative reinforcement." In other words, follow the rules or your posts may be locked, deleted or whatever. This approach, when I have used it in the past, has almost always been counter-productive in the long run. This usually ends up seriously pissing off at least one person and possibly more. They usually start a new thread denouncing their "unfair" treatment, and it continues to slide downhill until they leave, turn over a new leaf, or others leave. In short, this type of moderation does not work well and tends to drive the best contributors away while inciting the trolls. Exactly the opposite of what you want.

                    In my experience, it's far better to run a forum like this with "positive reinforcement." To do this the staff simply lead by example and encourage an atmosphere of respect and informative posting. The admins usually set the tone for a forum and that is what we strive to do here. Obviously, the larger a forum grows, the more difficult this gets.

                    My point is that active moderation (closing down threads and keeping a tight grip on things) usually only tends to make a forum worse in many cases. If a forum can self-moderate based on the tone the staff attempt to set, then it will inevitably tend to spiral out of control.

                    We're not talking about completely doing away with the FFZ, however, we may take a more active role in reminding everyone what Warfare HQ is truly all about. We're also considering either deleting the older posts from the FFZ from time to time to ensure it doesn't expand to take up the whole site, or we could set the forum so that posts made in the FFZ do not count towards rank. Admittedly, this would only do a little to solve the issue, but it migh be a tactful reminder to people.
                    Editor-in-Chief
                    GameSquad.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm also curious that the Europeans are all over this thread, while the Americans haven't touched it.
                      Editor-in-Chief
                      GameSquad.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Don Maddox
                        I'm also curious that the Europeans are all over this thread, while the Americans haven't touched it.
                        may be because we're more guilty about the ffz

                        i understand your point and agree with, so what about making it private ( like the officer lounge). i think it's a good idea
                        1) you will have less problems because people will know each other more than before
                        2) new members coming won't be able to see the free fire zone so it won't disturb them ( and it will possibly attract more toaw players as it's the second forum i think )
                        and if they are interested by talking to other members about something else than wargamming, they will be able to do this after a bit of time.
                        i know this is not the perfect solution because a number of post is not really an evidence that you know the other members and that you will behave without offending people.
                        Last edited by viridomaros; 30 Aug 04, 10:34.
                        looking forward to the new version of toaw

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by viridomaros
                          so what about making it private ( like the officer lounge). i think it's a good idea.
                          Oh, no. I has been a member for about 9 months but don't write often. Make it private and I will have to wait for about 3 years before posting again in the FFZ.
                          Cual lidian bien, sobre dorado arzón
                          Mio Cid Ruy Diaz, el buen lidiador;
                          Minaya Alvar Fáñez, que en Zorita mandó;
                          Martín Antolínez, el burgalés de pro...!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Go for it, Don. I'm kind of tired of trying to tow the conservative party line here essentially alone. I'm sure many would just rather I don't speak-up when I see the crap posted by many people here, but I feel it's my duty to prevent this forum from becoming another Democratic Underground, where socialists and liberal whackos sit around and stroke each other while not tolerating dissenting views.

                            Look back, Don. How many individuals have posted here publicly dissenting views against the people who continually denigrate, degrade, or disparage the United States, it's policies, it's way of life, and its leaders, often without true insight or facts, and to what end? Most of them are completely ignorant of how life is in this country, yet feel we NEED their wisdom to survive.

                            I can honestly tell you that I receive many pm's from people who support what I say in these forums, yet are hesitant to respond due to the amount of hatred they would possibly receive. I completely understand their point, but I thrive on friction and controversy. I seriously find it hard to let what I perceive as a slam against me or my country go and reply in a polite and positive manner.

                            No matter how you wrap-up a package of crap, it is still a package of crap. I can be very erudite and sneaky in my responses to people, but why should I?

                            I've said it before, and I'll say it again,...if you're scared, say you're scared! Don't make excuses. If you want to talk smack, be ready for it to come right back at you. You don't have any RIGHTS to ANYTHING on a public forum, so don't expect to be treated with kid gloves when you talk about something which you are ill-informed or are doing just to get a barb in.

                            So, in conclusion, the FFZ forum should either be moderated or removed. Personally, either is good for me, but please don't let it become a forum exclusively for the tree-huggers and same-sex marriage proponents. SOMEONE needs to bring a bit of reality, sanity, and good judgement to the party. I'll be around to provide exactly that!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Don Maddox
                              If our FFZ is combined with the Armchair General FFZ, then the posts will number 60,000+ and growing. In other words, the FFZ will have more posts than the next three largest forums combined.
                              And how about renaming it again as current events? Then you could delete old threads (let's say, 2 months without new posts) because they are not current anymore, or lock them and send them to a private zone as viridomaros suggested. This way the current events or ffz would show a small number of posts.

                              Just a suggestion.
                              Cual lidian bien, sobre dorado arzón
                              Mio Cid Ruy Diaz, el buen lidiador;
                              Minaya Alvar Fáñez, que en Zorita mandó;
                              Martín Antolínez, el burgalés de pro...!

                              Comment

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