One of the most enthusiastic contributors to the Myst/Uru community in recent years has been janaba1.  During the Obduction Kickstarter campaign she chose to collect the comments posted to the KS site for posterity, saving them in PDF format - no mean feat!


I should really have posted this blog some time ago, but you know how it is...  The time just never seems to be there.

Anyway, Cyan launched a Kickstarter campaign in mid-October to raise funds to produce a new game and now, with few days to go before the campaign ends they've met the base funding goal so the game will happen.  That makes a lot of the fans of Cyan's particular variety of adventure game very happy. It perhaps seemed like an ambitious project, seeking to raise $1.1M dollars in just 30 days using the crowdfunding method, and it's worth noting here that of all the Kickstarter projects, only 0.1% of projects successfully raised sums over $1M.

If you check out the Kickstarter project or Obduction website, you'll find some hilarious moments from Rand in the videos - they're worth watching for that alone!

When someone has their post removed or amended by a moderator it's a pretty common reaction for that person to feel a bit put out by the action.  That's understandable because they've maybe invested a bit if time in what they wrote, but often it's simply the case that the poster hasn't understood what the forums rules are and if they'd had a better grasp of the intent of the rules they'd likely have posted differently.  But why are forum rules misunderstood?

Part of the answer is undoubtedly that the simply haven't been read (see my Read any good EULAs? post for more on that).  But a bigger issue is probably the generality of the way the rules are written, although I suspect that something we need to learn to live with.

I could probably re-phrase that as simply "Read any EULAs?".  In a previous post (Moderating on the MO:UL forums) I mentioned that I didn't believe that many people ever read the MO:UL forum rules, but it's really a much bigger issue than that.  I don't believe most people ever read the license agreements that accompany almost every item of software they install on their PCs (and if I'm honest I'd say that includes me a lot of the time too but I'm reserving the right to be hypocritical).  The dialog box pops up and you think "Yeah, yeah, where's the "Accept" button?".  Now, I knew I wasn't alone in feeling that these things went unread by the majority, but the subject was highlighted in a comedy show I watched on TV last night.

Since Cyan have chosen to take all the forum moderation activities "in-house" I feel a little freer to talk about my experiences as a moderator of those forums.  But don't expect a juicy exposé of the great moderation controversies of the past three years - that's not going to happen. But it's maybe worth talking a little about why moderating a forum run by someone else and particularly a business entity is a whole lot different to moderating a "fan forum" or site run by yourself or your friends.