Sunday, January 01, 2006

Karma

PKMN.NET has done away with a few things: First, it's scrapped the Nederlands board, which was supposed to be for Dutch-speakers but then became more popular with people that had just used Babelfish; it decided to isolate creations of the members in a board dedicated to Fake Whatever (which previously was a sticky topic designed to handle all of it), in which I have been happily exploiting my ability to draw up some parts of the big Fakédex project as far as the walkthrough goes; and most importantly, it has decided to initiate a trial run of something kept secret by the people at the Simplemachines front desk: karma.

In Proboards and SMF forums, you're supposed to 'exalt' or 'smite' people, increasing or decreasing their karma, depending on popularity. However, the PKMN.NET administration has decided to restrict it to a select few such as the people who donated to help the tsunami victims and people who actually know the ins and outs of the board. To many people, including myself, the concept of karma has still come off as something that has the ability to define groups and make way for more discrimination. Because the karma system is inadvertently being advertised as a way to determine the smart from stupid, it'll make for people going around the forums, polishing their figure, and declaring that they're cool and smart because of the karma figure they have. Then when you do drop the figure, the person changes instantly from glad to mad, demanding answers. And when the karma falls into the negatives, they eventually start to whimper about how 'unloved' they are.

The destructiveness of this system is a calling back to forum teams and cliques. We learned that cliques are formed by people with things in common and that members will have a tendency to shut others out of their lives as a result of joining. Karma levels are bound to set a boundary that is characteristic of the hindrance that separates the enclave that is the clique itself and the people that have the same potential but whose appearances detract from it. It also calls back to the point system inaugurated at the Sky Temple — ranks are set by points that are generated by activity and apparent cooperation with the rules and will to engage in the activities contained in the site. It has even been proved by psychological studies that assigning such statuses and points is destructive to the development of a person, especially a child that the site aims to make a user of.

Because TPL had an SMF forum, it came with an option of enabling karma. The disarray in those forums came primarily from the administrators flaming each other, and the low karma that nearly everyone received — if only the forums were still open today — was testament. So it's no coincidence that I only see high karma these days for the interdependent PKMN.NET admins!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

you need to get out more!

Anonymous said...

Amen Artic Glalie! Most of the people who will get and have got High Karma are people who are friends to the admins, mainly being people who are regulars upon EmpireIRC or their own IRC Channel. Look at the member "Chani". None of his/her posts are constructive, and she's got karma.

Jeroen said...

You may want to read this reply made in response to some accusations similar to yours.