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Brain vomit about BZP

JMSOG

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So...In my return to BZP over the last 9-ish months, i've noticed things...thought of things...and i don't think those things belong in any one place on BZP discussion-wise, so i thought I'd vomit it here.

 

So...technologywise...BZP is and has been an incredibly well maintained site. I'm not bashing it. But...Am i wrong, or has not much changed tech-wise since bionicle first went down...? I was really supprised when i returned and found things so...the same...despite 5 years of technological progress.

 

Now, don't get me wrong...it works. it serves it's purpose well. And i get it...it's expensive to upgrade software and hardware on a forum. But...i've seen other forums. there are little things i've seen techwise that are just...better...on those sites.

 

We all love the site...some of us, if not most of us, have been here since G1...that's an extreme dedication to a site that's very rare. I know premier membership exists...but, to help the expensive upgrades that are available now, how many of us would be willing to at least give something? surely there's enough of us that'd be willing to do so to at least allow BZP some minor upgrades...perhaps a raffle, but with more expensive tickets and a WMKK as a prize...

 

Brain vomit #2...with those upgrades, one other change should come...I remember back during G1's time...and this made sense, by the way...content on bzp was compressed to a strict G rating, essentially...then, 2011 came, and I left for 4 years...when I came back, I can best describe it as "that's not 100% true anymore".

 

Not that that's a bad thing either...and it makes sense. the original g1 fans are now, for the most part and at the very minimum, in highschool. Some are even graduated out of college. We're older...more mature...and perhaps we need to acknowledge that.

 

What i mean: there's a lot of themes and topics within Bionicle that we've been prevented from discussing (for reasons that make sense since the site needed to be safe for children). But now that some of us are much older, I think that such a discussion should be allowed...referencing the S&T rules topic as an example...

9. No offensive/inappropriate language or content, and avoid controversial subjects. Note: Occasional comparisons of Bionicle storyline aspects to controversial real-world subjects may be acceptable if they are done very carefully, but are best avoided because they tend to get out of line too, and Bionicle isn't the real world anyways. (But comments about such subjects posted only for their own sakes will be removed; find other sites to discuss them.) Above all, remember this is a family-friendly site.

other possibilities: Gender issues now evident in gen1, religious themes surrounding Matoro...I think you get the idea. Keep in mind: I'm not saying "Free for all"...There's a difference between "mature discussion" and "Immature discussion"...only stuff DIRECTLY RELEVENT TO BIONICLE would be allowed.

 

So...in order for this to be possible, younger fans can't be involved...i think this should be easy, if we upgrade the hardware and software. We'd just have to create a subforum for this discussion, but lock it off to not-logged-in guests, and members under 13 (or some other age, i don't know what's ideal legally or ethically). Obviously, such topics are open to rampant flaming...So, if a member gets particularly problematic, they would be added to a custom list of people "blocked" from the forum, either permanently or temporarily.

 

This could allow other changes as well...Perhaps the word filter, in some cases, would only be shown as filtered to guests and people under a certain age, or those who "opt in".

 

So...word vomit...obviously everything i said has clear downsides, and a very evident other side of the argument exists (hence why i left the whole rule quote above as opposed to only the highlighted section)..just wanted to throw these things out there. thoughts?

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Hmm... Personally I'm more or less fine with my blog. I was only getting issues with comments after I came out publically. Kinda disheartening. =/

 

Still, I don't see much of an issue with me explaining my orientation in simple terms or using my blog to... you know, blog about my personal stuff. Kinda what it's for. XD. Also I've asked staff here if it was okay to talk about stuff in the first place. I got the okay as long as I kept politics out. And I think I honestly get more passionate about anxiety and depression and medical stuff in general.. Though I'm not a professional or an expert, so my advice should be taken with a grain of salt at best.

 

Eh, I wouldn't mind a more mobile-friendly version of the site, but I do not know how any of that works.

 

Still, though, since I was little I've met people with all sorts of different religions, a few different languages, different family situations (I even babysat for a family friend before and had to explain why my birth parents were still together while theirs were not). The concept of family has always been an oddity to me, and I really don't see much of a reason why talking about people who have different beliefs, cultures or home lives should be an issue.

 

Honestly, seeing adults treating each other differently over trivialities has left me more confused and frustrated than anything, and this is coming from a kid who started coming to this site to feel safe since he was twelve.

 

But, uh... between you and me, I've been told I'm pretty weird, so... you know, that's there. ... Wooooo~ -wobbly arms are wobbly-

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Personally, I wish that rule against controversial subjects was actually enforced.

 

Most of the kids hang in Bionicle Discussion these days, or in topics that the adults don't care for. Then the adults show in different topics with a different flavor. Basically, there's a bit of an interest divide between the older members and the younger ones, and the two groups are starting to ignore each other's posts/topics. 

 

For example, consider the recent topic about Kohlii. The adults here yonder mostly ignored it except to rain on the kids' parade, and they were ignored.

 

Then look at the topic about the giant robot's size. The kids mostly ignored it, the adults spent several pages in intense discussion. 

 

I think the groups will coexist okay as the forum ages. They may have different topics that they are interested in, but they aren't in conflict as of right now. And I think that conflicts can be handled as they come up - there's room for everyone here, and more variety means more opportunity for people to learn from each other. 

 

It does have some downsides, but I don't think dividing up the forum will help. It just leads to more divisions and strife. A minor difference exists; let's not paint it with highlighter - let's demphasize it and try to pave it over if we can, and accept it where we can't. Accept the fact that we all want to discuss different things. Yeah?

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Personally, I wish that rule against controversial subjects was actually enforced.

 

The problem is, a rule against controversial subjects leads itself to abuse depending on interpretation. For example, for a while on BZPower, that rule was treated as a reason for gay people to be unable to say they were gay. More recently, it was abused to smother references to evolution, and it took clarification from higher staff to establish that discussion of science is perfectly fine. It just feels like entirely too vague a rule to be adequately and consistently enforced without some kind of clarification of what, exactly, qualifies as controversial.

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Personally, I wish that rule against controversial subjects was actually enforced.

 

The problem is, a rule against controversial subjects leads itself to abuse depending on interpretation. For example, for a while on BZPower, that rule was treated as a reason for gay people to be unable to say they were gay. More recently, it was abused to smother references to evolution, and it took clarification from higher staff to establish that discussion of science is perfectly fine. It just feels like entirely too vague a rule to be adequately and consistently enforced without some kind of clarification of what, exactly, qualifies as controversial.

It's not a good example. I haven't been around for that long and I really tried to ignore that controversy back in the day, but from what I remember of it, it wasn't an out-and-out ban on saying that you were gay, it was a problem because a bunch of people wanted to say that being gay was evil and that they weren't comfortable with that. 

 

Then the gay people yelled right back at them for being intolerant scum that they were. Eventually, the staff cracked down on the people doing religious discussion where they shouldn't have. (And then they finally cracked down on the gay/trans people who were being scum to everyone just because they didn't fully support gay/trans causes in their posts fully.)

 

Mentioning your sexual orientation in your post or your blog shouldn't be a problem. It's when you start insulting people or using it as a discussion point, now we have flames. I draw the line in the sand right there. If I ever have a forum, that will be the rule. 

 

Second, discussing science is fine. The problem is that evolution is a vague term that our society has associated with things that contradict people's religious beliefs. So it does fall under religious discussion.

 

But all of this is just my opinion and personal feeling - hence the word "personally". I define controversy as "subjects that inevitably lead to closed-minded thinking, sides being taken that are polarized and disagree on nearly every point, and insults being slung." Or just anything that leads to flames, nearly all the time.  

 

I don't expect this forum to follow my personal feelings on things. Maybe it shouldn't. I don't know. The controversy is probably this forum's aging pains, but I really don't like all the controversial stuff - I came here to discuss Bionicle, not get involved in controversial debate. 

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Personally, I wish that rule against controversial subjects was actually enforced.

 

Most of the kids hang in Bionicle Discussion these days, or in topics that the adults don't care for. Then the adults show in different topics with a different flavor. Basically, there's a bit of an interest divide between the older members and the younger ones, and the two groups are starting to ignore each other's posts/topics. 

 

For example, consider the recent topic about Kohlii. The adults here yonder mostly ignored it except to rain on the kids' parade, and they were ignored.

 

Then look at the topic about the giant robot's size. The kids mostly ignored it, the adults spent several pages in intense discussion. 

 

I think the groups will coexist okay as the forum ages. They may have different topics that they are interested in, but they aren't in conflict as of right now. And I think that conflicts can be handled as they come up - there's room for everyone here, and more variety means more opportunity for people to learn from each other. 

 

It does have some downsides, but I don't think dividing up the forum will help. It just leads to more divisions and strife. A minor difference exists; let's not paint it with highlighter - let's demphasize it and try to pave it over if we can, and accept it where we can't. Accept the fact that we all want to discuss different things. Yeah?

...I may have not been too clear...my mistake, i wrote this pretty late last night XD

 

I did not mean enforcing a segregation between older fans and younger fans...I meant creating a subforum (or some other solution, I'm not an expert) where topics in bionicle that may not be suitable to younger fans can be discussed. There are always gonna be the topics where either older fans or younger fans ignore each other...But for some of bionicle's more mature topics (like i mentioned, religious themes surrounding Matoro and Vakama, gender issues within the story, etc), we havent yet been allowed to discuss them for the reason that they are not suitable to Bionicle's younger fans. What i was proposing was that an age-locked subforum could exist where those topics, and only those topics, coul be discussed.

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--> insert plug for tth4, which has poltical/religious discussion forum here

 

I did not mean enforcing a segregation between older fans and younger fans...I meant creating a subforum (or some other solution, I'm not an expert) where topics in bionicle that may not be suitable to younger fans can be discussed. There are always gonna be the topics where either older fans or younger fans ignore each other...But for some of bionicle's more mature topics (like i mentioned, religious themes surrounding Matoro and Vakama, gender issues within the story, etc), we havent yet been allowed to discuss them for the reason that they are not suitable to Bionicle's younger fans. What i was proposing was that an age-locked subforum could exist where those topics, and only those topics, could be discussed.

I just have to point out that age verification doesn't work, and that age-locking a subforum won't stop kids lying about their age to get in. 

 

BZPower is NOT for those kinds of discussions. It's intended to be a kid-friendly Bionicle discussion forum site, and it's been proven time and again that we can't handle that sort of discussion. In fact, it feels like most of the flaming is done by adults these days over adult issues that are off-topic for the forum. Having such a forum would only encourage the things that the administration would rather avoid IMO.

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I'm all for equality, but I feel like we need to keep in mind that this is a place for kids and young adults and AFOLs to chill and share common interests over the internet. And, really, there's a lot of potential for that here. One thing I really don't like is the language barrier (where foreign languages are frowned upon). The only reason I'm not bilingual is because English is a complex language to begin with (I've had bilingual family members whose second language is English and they felt it best not to confuse their kids with two languages. Not gonna lie, it's kind of a bummer to learn that exists in your family history, especially since I love exploring other languages as a hobby).

 

Though another issue I have seen on this site before was the parents and their reactions to the rules themselves. A mother once took interest in her son's internet time and saw that this site allowed the discussion of homosexuality, but discouraged discussion of religion. The reasoning was that "You will see homosexuality in the world and it's becoming more prominent" but the parent had the reasoning "You will see religion too!" or something like that. I think this happened during the whole "kissing banners and avatars" fiasco.

 

I was against kissing banners and avatars in general at the time because I honestly just wanted this place to stop fighting.

 

But, uh... guess being queer fixes everything just because it's popular now. Hahaha. Right guys...? Am I right...? Must've imagined all of those years of paranoia and phobias during my adolescence. XP. (Meh, getting over puberty after twenty three years isn't too bad). (Not gonna lie, I'm still kinda miffed about this).

 

What would have helped me then was proper information about gender studies and basic psychology, I think. I didn't learn that until I got a general education after getting an Associate's degree in baking and patisserie. And even then a lot of the younger classmates around my age (and some of the older ones too) were just rejecting information because they got personally offended. I did a report at the time on red wines and tannins. It was a study about mice who were treated for tumors through various means of treatment with a similar suppliment.. My teacher at the time said "You have shown you can understand a college level science paper. Good for you!" and then there were other presentations from other classmates that were... a bit more lack-luster, to put it lightly. At one point, one of the instructors asked us "Who here is interested in running a food establishment one day?" And I was the only one in my age group who meekly put up my hand. The instructor then said that everyone's hand should be up, because if not then we wasted a whole lot of money. I gave a huge sigh of relief because even my own father told me he thought what I was doing was ultimately a mistake.

 

I also put a lot of effort into my presentations and reports, and I brought my hometown and my personal culture into some of the topics despite my anxiety. The presentations were shaky, but it did wonders for my self confidence until seasonal depression kicked in.

 

Now that I'm out of school and my work situation isn't great... Well, I've kinda been missing that. Turns out you can't be cultured without being pretentious. That's what attracted me to My Little Pony with Rarity. Lauren Faust worked on The Power Puff Girls which was an old favorite of mine from childhood (and by the way, I actually heard back from her on DeviantArt once from my comments. XD. That meant the world to me). But then she stepped down from the project and the show started being catered to a different market of fans, and uh... The whole "angry feminist" thing kinda put a wedge in my relationship with one of my first man-crushes from highschool. We ended up cutting ties with each other, and then the fandom itself started getting crazy.

 

This is what it's like being queer when you want some peace and quiet: You can't. You just can't. Even if that is a lie in the big picture; right now it has proven to be very true for me. =\

 

So, uh... I'd personally rather we stick to PG-13 content with some "iffy for 13+" shows being included (like the Big Bang Theory). And that's why I have no issue with Firefly not being included with the LEGO Ideas thing a while back.

 

Not too popular an opinion to take these days, though.

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