So as far as contributing to NeoGAF, I think I am done. I'm also pretty sure this thread will soon be locked, thanks to Kritz's cuntacular banner in the OP.
The 28th of October would have marked 10 years since I was a registered member. We're a few days short of a decade, but it's close enough for me. It's been a mixed but ultimately positive experience, even though I'm not as active as I used to be.
I wrote a list of major life events that occured in my decade as a member. It was self-indulgent and boring, so I deleted it.
One thing I will mention from the list is just how important my time as a writer for Vooks.net was, and how that brief stint as a news writer and features editor got me through a very difficult period in my life. If it weren't for GAF, specifically AusGAF, then I wouldn't have taken that path. Having quit a PhD and then dealing with the financial and emotional fallout from that decision would have been very difficult had I not started writing about Nintendo for a couple of years. It kept the brain matter ticking over and gave me a reason to get out of bed each morning. I now have a somewhat succesful career in something very different, but there were skills and experiences that I got from that short period that are very valuable to me.
Vook - you don't post here any more and I've drifted off on a different path, but thanks for the chance mate, I hope you got as much out of me as I got out of the website.
Online discussion can be a beneficial, educational experience. It can also breed toxic behaviour and cultural myopia. I have my opinions on religion, culture, media and politics but I get bored when I just hear my position repeated back to me. I live in a house with religious Liberal party voters who've had very different life experiences to me and we have great respectful discussions, even if we rarely convince each other to shift our point of view. I don't have that experience on GAF. I would have preferred a broader range of perspectives and for there to be less shutting out of contrary opinions. People don't even play devil's advocate any more and a lot of people on OT took all-or-nothing absolute positions. That kind of environment is intellectually unhealthy and boring. Looking at the reasons behind GAF's recent and sudden circumstances, I'm really not surprised at the manner in how the situation has been handled and the subsequent departure of large chunks of the community. ResetERA looks to be a step in the wrong direction.
The AusPoliGAF thread, however, was generally a pretty good resource for news and links. I don't think the culture in there was reflective of the political climate fostered by the OT, but it was a little bit exclusive. I've had an appreciation for posters like legend166 that come from a very different perspective to mine and would have enjoyed more contributions from posters like him.
Apart from the political situation, I found that spending too much time on GAF led to me developing unhealthy consumerist behaviours. I bought way too much crap i I didn't use or play thanks to GAF. I've curbed it now, and I still spend way too much time browsing OzBargain.com.au, but I think that's the worst part of having so much time on GAF.
Old AusGAF was really funny. Alistwairw, Mar_, iamrass, smartarse-mode Fredescu, Rez and others made it very entertaining. Serrels had some good stuff too, when he was around, and I'm sure the recent batch of youngsters are a sharp witty bunch as well. Shout outs also to evlcookie, Jambo, jintor, Planet_JASE, viciouskillersquirrel, Elaugaufein, Yagharek, Rezbit, N0VAMOD. eatchildren, ThoseDeafMutes, ClivePwnded, Hamchan, Kritz, mandiller, Orbi, remz, reptilescorpio, Shaneus etc.... Gazunta you're okay too.
GAF was a really good resource for discovery - books, music, off-beat films, technology. I'm sure I'll find other online resources when researching how to spend my time and money, but I found GAF to be up to date and comprehensive. The OT is gone now, so we lose that wealth of insight which is a real shame.
I don't think I'll post much in the Discord. There are some funny people in there but it's too much like the Steam thread and I'm too old to keep up. I may keep an eye on the Slaent page but the RetroERA thing doesn't look like it's for me. I'll see how things go on gaming side, it might still be a good place to lurk and keep up to date with gaming news but I doubt I'll post.
All the best cunts, and I'm sorry if I wasn't always as funny as I thought I was.
Would it be beyond the pale to mention the new forum? I'm not sure about the etiquette on this.
It looks as if they're sending out invites by using existing informal community structures, which would probably mean I don't get one at all as I'm something of a singleton and mostly hung out on Doctor Who threads and the like.
I can't see GAF staying alive short of a huge influx of genuine new users (hah...) and I'm not sure how resetera will go either. I never really bothered with the more political/moral threads but the actual game threads and the random OT threads were always fun to be part of.
I'm not one of life's Redditors, but I've been spending a few days there. I don't think I could stand it in the long term because every other person I get in discussion with seems to be a MRA or worse, though there are good people there too.
The new site finally went open registration today, and I'm user LL_Decitrig there. I hope it will work out. I've enjoyed talking on NeoGAF for a while, you're good people and didn't deserve this crap. I think a clean break is for the best.