Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sky Temple IRC Down

Forever.

Apparently the forums failed to generate any activity while the chat existed, so the licence will not be renewed. Shame.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Verdict: Ash's new voice is better

I'm sure Alyssa will probably have a fit.

Although two weeks have passed since I saw the episode, I should say now that the new person playing Ash Ketchum on the Pokémon television series, Sarah Natochenny (Jamie Peacock was removed after the Mastermind snafu), beats Veronica Taylor. She manages to give Ash the correct boyish voice, which Taylor had for the first few episodes but let devolve into a more squeaky voice as time wore on. (Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Brock, whose new actor Bill Rogers doesn't quite emulate the mature voice Eric Stuart was able to give.)

It's been over two months since the decision to replace 4Kids' actors became final. As I reported before, 4Kids withdrew from the animé following financial woes and had to transfer or lay off members of the original cast due to the contract they had. While the promise was that 4Kids' attempts to Americanise the series would stop, the tradeoff was the removal of the original actors. Thus resulted what was a letter claiming to be from Taylor urging fans to protest the action, resulting in the SOVA snafu that affected the fandom.* Despite the SOVA claims that such a move would be worthwile in spite of the financial detriment, the series, to me, is actually coming along much better. A television series based on the upcoming Diamond and Pearl versions is apparently due in the United States around the time of the games' release, and Pokémon USA are ready to have it transferred.

* I only found out about this letter after I wrote the entry. Not only does it seem odd to me that 4Kids would take her back after writing such a letter, but I have reason to believe that all of the interviews on Pokébeach and perhaps the 'letters' themselves are fake. Taylor likely didn't know of the existence of Bulbagarden, which claimed to have received the letter Taylor supposedly wrote to touch off the hullabaloo, and if she did, I doubt she would turn to people like them for a reprisal rather than consulting an actors' union.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cross Stinger in 'sucks' shocker

d---head no1: cross stinger

and followed by annefranman52 from the supermod of supercheats....he deserves to be called a n00b.not a d---head.

d---head no3: tornado212 another shameless motherf---ing d---heads......edit: not a d---head. but dumbass.

edit: he shouldnt be called a d---head. he should be called a f---er.

demote meand ban me from being a moderator if you dare you son of a bitch cross stinger.......

See what subscribing to details on MSN (my new address is crystalwalrein@hotmail.com; the old one, linked to at the top and bottom of the blog pages, will be used for emails only) gets you? A moderator, whose signature I had previously had to disable after his stand for 'freedom in signatures' — be it the freedom to curse out Chelsea footballers — challenges the notion that sedition alone won't get him demoted, let alone banned, from Super Cheats. But I think I'll use this quote, taken from his account on Windows Live Spaces, to create an entry on how I've been viewed on Super Cheats.

Members of Super Cheats who are currently reading may or may not have disagreed with me on letting Mr King of Games re-enter — after it became clear that he had fabricated the accounts RKO-123, Dr Advice, and Mr Kennedy (they actually weren't JCD, as I had previously reported), David gave him a few hours to recant before banning him permanently. Not even a month ago, he returned under the account KOG and pleaded forgiveness, whereupon I decided first to put it to the vote and, four minutes later, when I had realised it wouldn't go anywhere, immediately bade him re-entry.

A more recent argument — in fact occuring earlier today — was over the standing prohibition of election of moderators who had been banned for clear offences. Shadow GX had previously been banned for a disagreement with Dave and later received two moderator positions, and yesterday Dennis, who had subscribed to the rule, removed her and Lurch5000. However, Rich, who had said that Shadow GX could stay after I probed the possibility of her asking Nintendo_dude for a position, was infuriated and removed the rule altogether, claiming that there remained chances that previously banned members could have reformed enough.* This touched off an argument between all of the moderators and eventually led to questions as to how far I really was able to go as an administrator.

Personally, I'm doing what I can. I respect Rich's opinion and have in fact asked him to approve certain segments of rules I had drafted, but, as with the removal of team objectives, I'm slightly disappointed. Far be it to say anything against myself, as this would prohibit me from attaining a position at PKMN.NET if ever I was considered if that rule were in place there, but this rule had some sense to it. It's extremely difficult to place any trust in anyone liable to spam and flame or proven to have done so and been banned for it, unless it came from a mutual disagreement. For us, it was an incentive for members to stay out of trouble if they wanted any position of authority.

Then again, having written that whole screed, I'm brought back to the moderator system. I'm sure this was what ultimately befell PC's election system back in the day: In a similar vein to what's happening here, a former administrator, Sarah, insulted another administrator's religion on several occasions and ended up out of the fold after, from what I see in the search results, Jake put his foot down with her. Although administrators aren't appointed through this method, it may have signalled the end of such a system if it was in place at that time, or a reason for it being thrown out previously. This is the flaw our current system has: Our community is so large that we find it difficult to survey individual members for potential mod material, so we let them come to us and look at them. We usually give out ten or more spots out this way before Dave prunes them, which still tends to leave us with eight or more. Between these successful applicants and considering the current crowd we have in the Staff Forum, only one or two of them, if the applications are all to videogame boards, will go on to moderate community boards (General Chat, Team and Clans, etc.), three or four will remain on their board but will be known pretty well throughout the fold, and the rest are likely to tire of their position and leave or end up banned. It may seem inaccurate due to what seems to be a variety of people in the Staff Forum, but in reality only about twenty different people end up discussing things regularly behind the curtains as opposed to the full count of moderators, which has consistently floated above 100. Even among these twenty or so, there will be two or three moles who end up being kicked out or otherwise in disfavour. Thus the quote at the top of this entry.

And as long as there are moles, the abilities of super mods and administrators will remain in question, even if they're selected by Rich himself without much input.

* This can be said for Kylie-chan, currently a super moderator on PC. As Dark_Pikachu, she was banned for spamming and flaming but was later brought back on demand of the other members. It probably wasn't even three months afterward when she was promoted.

Update: Due to excessive flaming in the comments area, comments are disabled for this post.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Admins

Again, a good forum rant, something I haven't done in quite some time.

As a moderator on what's arguably the largest and most recognisable American Pokémon forum (which is currently undergoing a domain change as its normal URL was ripped out of their hands by the staff of an absent administrator's site), I have to carry out consequences for infraction of rules set by a collaborate authority, the administrators. The fact that these people have so much power and are usually responsible for bans makes their job probably the most misunderstood in the world.

When you're a member who fears the boss and resents the rules, you can forget the moderators, who merely serve as a police force. No, your enemy is the administrator. And those who have the audacity to demand that they turn over control of the forum know full well that the admins have that happy power. If they fear the principal in their school due to their ability to throw them out of school or refer them to potential employers, they fear administrators. Administrators are basically the top of the heap, cream of the crop. The boss. Führer. Allah. God. Unfortunately, with this power comes a sudden upsurge of hatred and resentment, which I had to absorb as a super moderator on SuperCheats and later as an administrator in larger measure.

I believe the reason for this is how people start to realise, at a very young age, that someone's controlling everything. If you're Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard (which there are now doubts thereof), or Jerry Falwell, you'll say it's God. They also realise that there's a long and bumpy road to that position. However, it culminates in the delusion that, as an administrator, God, principal, President, or whatever, you can wield as much power as you want without reprehension. This delusion sometimes evolves into challenges to the current rules or, for the particularly but not surprisingly crude, spamming up the place in a vain attempt to garner attention. It can even go as far as hacking, which I've been through once. No matter the cost, people crave unlimited power.

Our best defence, though, is the fact that this assumption is far from true. If administrators wielded power without scruple, there would be no forum, as everyone would have left. Even PKMN.NET's administrators, although they'd like people to think otherwise, have limits, although I'm sure the assumption otherwise may have led to the departure of old-timers such as Mewthree, Morkula, and Lightning — and I've confirmed that it's undone Imperial Dragon. As an administrator, you have to manage a lot of things: SQL, HTML, possibly PHP; member inquiries; moderator promotions; affiliation; a main site if applicable; downloads; and, of course, the server and associated costs. The last bit applies most when you're the owner — meaning that you'll have to resort to ads, a hated element of web design. Add the possibility of facing people who want your position so badly they'll create a little chaos to destabilise you and....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006