Smogon: Mandating what happens even on other Pokemon sites
by, 14th June 2012 at 03:09 PM (1173 Views)
I've learned something recently about Bulbapedia: A group of the same few people can troll a thread and kill all possibility of actual discussion or resolution, and then the same group can vote it closed on the grounds of it going nowhere. What a great system.
In case you didn't know, the thread in question began as a place for me to essentially let off steam and perhaps commiserate with others about how I (we) don't think Smogon or any other gaming community should create house rules that the elitist clique within their ranks often pushes on people who aren't even part of their gaming community. I cited a few times that it happened to myself, other people chimed in, and generally all was well.
And then the Smogonners arrived.
I'm not sure if I invented the phrase 'Smo-Gonner', referring to someone who, in nearly any instance, is a lost cause trying to with about Pokemon unless you agree that Smogon is the infallible authority about it, but I like to think I may have contributed to some kind of Urban Dictionary.
I also thought that I made it clear that the thread focused on this select group of d-bags, but apparently many people missed that point, based on the number of people who told me 'not everyone on Smogon is like that', which I already knew - and I reiterate that I know that not everyone on Smogon is like that - my thread was about the ones who more or less fit the description provided by Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Anyway, once these few individuals arrived in my thread, they offered up some 'advice': If you don't like our rules, then you can go and play with someone else. Normally this would seem like advice - maybe even good advice - but somehow, perhaps because of what I'd already said about the attitudes of Smogonners, the fact that they seemed to think that the discussion was over because they had imparted their snobbery, or the 'tone' of their words, it pissed me off. I argued back for a while, and they did as well. Before long, it became apparent that I couldn't say what I thought without two or more of the same people saying, 'that's wrong, and here's why', and then countering anything I said with one of what seemed like about four predetermined responses, all part of Smogon's creed. Whenever I would (IMO) make a good point and try to move the conversation to something else by doing so, they either became selectively illiterate, steadfastly ignored it in favor of parroting the same things they'd said already (while complaining they were repeating themselves), or intentionally misinterpreted what I said to mean something else.
In case anyone cares, the majority of these were concerning the Evasion Clause, which I provided nearly 20 counters for, including raising one's own accuracy; Check here to see the basis for that. Apparently the people who frequented the thread agreed with me, since when I put it to a poll as an attempt to move the conversation on, 11/14 people agreed with my point of view. (One of my 'opponents' said they wouldn't vote because the poll was obviously biased, which may have brought it to 10/15, but that's still 75%, which incidentally is more than enough by Smogon's own standards, requiring only 66%, to vote something into place.)
At one point (probably way later in the thread than I should have) I asked why they couldn't just follow their own advice and go somewhere else if they didn't like what I was saying. Perhaps in response to this (or maybe the poll; whatever it was, I likely won't ever know), they rallied for one final assault, after briefly responding to my argument against Smogon's Sleep Clause (a predictable argument involving Scarfed Smeargle and Spore, which I countered by saying that any Scarfed Fighting-type or Mach Punch could handle easily). They stated that the thread should have died a long time ago, when they said if I didn't like it I should find other people to play with, and that the thread "needed to be put down" because "the discussion is going nowhere, the arguments are circular and repetitive, and nothing new is getting contributed", and that they needed to "move on with their lives". They moved that the thread be closed in the thread, rather than PMing a Mod, which I thought was rather tasteless, as though they were trying to (as usual) have the last word. Well, it worked. They (apparently) forced the mods' hands, and the thread was closed.
My opinion (which is obviously a minority - which I knew before the Smogonners made sure that I did) was apparently so upsetting or dangerous to their way of playing the game that I couldn't speak it. I wonder, did it offend them, somehow, that I don't think Smogon is the best thing since sliced bread, and that it's bans and clauses are heaven-sent, for the good of all? (I didn't think so, unless my cynical tone was harsher than I thought it was.) Was my thread going to somehow radically change the minds of people, and fundamentally change the metagame they seemed to need to champion so fervently? (Of course not; that's ludicrous.) Was my thread a risk to their ways of life, and ergo needed to be silenced for the sake of all Poke-players?? (Apparently, by their standards, the answer was yes.)
I also wonder if they realize that they all pretty much proved me right about that many Smogonners generally act like elitist jerks, and go ballistic on anyone that doesn't adhere to their shallow-minded gameplay style... but I said all of that in the very first post of my thread, and don't need to repeat it here.
In any case: Bravo Bulbapedia, for allowing a group of individuals to exploit you rules in order to censor something they didn't like, and bravo Smogonners, for successfully defending Smogon's ideal of a multiplayer experience containing neither luck nor fun. I guess you can all move on with your lives, now.
And in case any Smogonners read this (since you seem adept at not knowing whether or not I'm being sarcastic) I should tell you that I'm rolling my eyes.
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