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Discuss what we all have in common.
9/30/2012 4:40:28 AM

7 years? Damn.

I wouldn't consider myself a major part of this community, nor do I pretend that most of you know who I am. I'm not notably witty, intelligent, or humorous, nor am I a good troll. Still, this day seven years ago, I joined Damn. That's part of middle school, all of high school, and a little bit of collage. That's three starkly different jobs. That's the death of one dog and the appropriation of another. That's more time than I've known one of my best friends for. That's six years since I learned that it was bungie[i].net[/i] and not bungie[i].com.[/i] I could go on, but I think that it's clear that this community has been a small part of my life for roughly a third of my existence. So, feel a bit obligated to do something of a retrospective. It all began on a completely inconspicuous day in school. My classmates and I were at a lunch table in the cafeteria of a high school building (I was actually in middle school at the time, but our district was so small that we put grades 6 - 12 in a single building) in small town Minnesota enjoying our vaguely chicken nugget-esq meals. It was there that my grade's resident denizen of the interntz was describing the wonderful world of internet trolling to me. He mentioned various instances of it that I can't quite remember, but something in our conversation brought up Being a somewhat sheltered child, I thought it was shockingly hilarious that the moderators of the site would reference drinking and -blam!-ity in a condescending tone. The specific example I remember him telling me was on of the mods responding to "You're is shooting blanks!" with something akin to "You're lucky that I am, or you would have too many siblings to count!" Ask Reconnumber54 for details. What's more, he made the flood out to be a magical place of various shenanigans. More specifically, it was a place of shenanigans that I wanted in on. I made an account that night rather than doing homework like the responsible young lad I was. While I liked trolling back then, I wasn't very good at it. I thought it was funny to simply be as immature as possible. Looking back at some of the threads that I participated in, it's like looking at an old picture of myself with a mullet and parachute pants. Ask True Underdog for details. There was one long lasting positive experience that came out of it though. I can't say objectively that my rampant childishness was why, but one CommanderBob sent me a recruitment pm for a group called the Flood Military. It was created as a place for people to hate on Zanzibar (which was the Halo 2 forum was called at the time). I never really felt like I had belonged in another private group before that point, but in spite of having no real hatred for the Zanzibar, or having ever been there for that matter, I fit in. It was more stupidity and childishness at first, but after a few fairly decent stories written and a bunch of role playing shenanigans, it started to take on a life of it's own. I still laugh about the moment that the Zanzibar was renamed and we declared victory! Unfortunately, the group started to whither and die as time went on. For a little while, I didn't do anything but post in a few odd threads in the flood. That's when Halo 3 was announced and scant details started trickling in. Everyone knew that Halo 3 was being made, but it certainly gave us something to talk about. I can't fully remember all of the details, but it was incredibly fun to participate in the Compound intelligence thread. Ask Foman for details. It also gave a small breath of life into the Underground (which is now known as the universe forum), with all sorts of rampant speculation on how Bungie could be linking or connecting various series with the new game. Spoiler alert: they didn't. I should note that it was also around then that I was banned for a week for the first and only time. Ask Pezza for details. Not long after, titles were implemented. I didn't think much of it at the time, but it was hilarious to see some of the rampant speculation and accusations of favoritism the followed. I was given the modest title of heroic member, which I didn't even notice until people started asking me about it. Lulz. It was about this time that my social life was becoming far more lively and I got a job, so I found myself spending far less time on As such, the past four years have been a bit of a blur. Still, since 2008, I admitted to myself the obvious and stopped trying to be a failtroll. Since then, I've simply attempted to be as thoughtful and respectable as possible. I think it was also that time that my older brother joined the site. He never told me, but I was able to figure it out just by looking at his post in the introductions thread. I don't know why, but I felt like mentioning that. Ask i_hate_babies for details. After that, most of what I can remember goes like this: Frankie left. Urk came. Urk took a back seat. Deej came. People rejected Deej. Deej did badass stuff. Everyone loves Deej. Halo: ODST was announced. Halo: ODST was released. Halo: Reach was announced. Halo: Reach was released. I wish I could say more, but I can't. Why? Because was never about the games for me. It's interesting that I should say that, see as Ive been a Bungie fan for about as long as I've liked video games. What originally drew me to Bungie was the deep interconnected lore that had been developing. After Halo 3, I didn't have much faith in their ability to write anything with all of the hidden depths and insight that Myth, Marathon, and the early Halo games had all contained. It was fun, no doubt, but it didn't feel like I knew any more about the universe than after I finished halo 2. Yet I've kept coming back to, and I think I can say why. The website was well designed and the community is diverse. Some might disagree with a few of these, but having the befit of experience, I would say that there are a few things unique to that have kept me coming back. They are: [b]Uniformity[/b]- Believe it or not, the fact that users can't embed pictures or videos is a good thing. The fact that swearwords are censored is a good thing. This isn't because I'm a prude that doesn't swear up a storm all of the time or that I dislike videos and images (ask the Mythic Members for details), it's that the forum it much easier on the eye and at least a bit more intelligible than most I've been to. It goes a long way. I know some people like coups, and I had one at some point or other, but seriously, it hurts to look at most of the time. [b]Simplicity[/b]- I wouldn't call a simple website, but there is a definite air of simplicity in how it is constructed. One thing I've noticed about a number of forums that has kept me from being active on them is that they have a billion odd sub forums. There is one for video games, one for general discussion, one for politics, one for one for lint collecting, ect. On, there is one for stuff related to community, one for stuff related to bungie lore, one for off topic, one for images, one for news, one for classifieds, and one for each of the halo games. All of them serve a very specific purpose that forces users who would otherwise have nothing to do with each other to cohabit the same space. It makes it much less homogenous than it otherwise would (and don't let certain people on the flood tell you otherwise, there is variety.) It makes it notably easier to answer the question "Where do I start?" when first coming to the site and "where do I feel like going?" based on one's mood at any given time. [b]Color Scheme[/b]- Dark blue and dark grey with bright grey text? It's easy on the eyes and it's relaxing. [b]Preexisting lore and inside jokes[/b]- I would dare say that, to an outside observer probably has some of the most impenetrable culture imaginable. Sevens, Pimps at sea, the shaft, Ling-ling, Tijuana Mamas, Blam, the slingshot, Sofish, Weekend warrior, Your mom, Dink, the seven step plan, the cortana letters, Blame Stosh, the webmaster, the disembodied soul, ect. I'm sure most of you know the details a few of those, but how many of you knew all of those without using google? Bungie's foundations as a small company made of collage age young males still has a strong presence here, and it makes the whole thing feel mysterious and informal. [b] An emphasis on private groups [/b]- If we ever play never have I ever on, my first choice would be "been in a private group." My second choice would be "made a private group." My third choice would be "got mad at a group and formed my own group." Private groups are the glue that fill in all of the gaps in the community. It gives a sense of community in the vastness of the public forums. [b] Employee involvement[/b]- This one is huge. I know that not every single Bungie employee has and account on here, but seeing the administrator of this site making jokes about specific users by name in threads that they didn't create goes a long way. Plus, steaks. Gah, I've been rambling on for the last hour or so writing this. I know for certain that I'll want to add something later or say something differently, but that's basically what I can say at the moment. Thanks, all of the members, all of the mods, all of the staff, and all of the trolls, for seven years and hopefully seven more. It's been a blast and you've all been a blast. :) Except for you Elmicker. You're a jerk and nobody likes you or your opinions. >:| :P

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