The forum is back online, our threads and inboxes are just as we left them last week, but it's... a wasteland. Those picking their way through its tattered pages are... testy and scared and angry and sad at what's happened. Threads crucifying Tyler "Evilore" Malka and demanding their information be removed from NeoGAF's servers are cropping up constantly, sometimes several per minute, but I just kind of... observed.
I thought about FigureGAF, who gave me so much support and insight and information when I was first getting in to the hobby (a hobby I've essentially abandoned, barring any more Overwatch Nendoroids...). I thought about the Overwatch crew - TheThinWhiteDuke and Lik and Anne and Blues and Owzers, Veelk and Molli and Ruler, Anti and Nuno, TWrecks and Guts, Exyle and Tera, Nimby and Cappa...
I thought about the Overwatch fan art thread. 130 pages of awesomeness that will likely grow no larger. Check it out - Mary Cagle (Let's Speak English, Sleepless Domain) did an adorabubs Mercy:
Molli posted it last week. She loves the fan art thread.
If I never saw them again, there was so much I'd never learn. Anne's perspective on the high-end scene is second to none. ThinWhiteDuke has been incredibly supportive of my Clip Shows, and it was a huge deal, to me, but the Overwatch thread was almost entirely dead. A few people posted late last night, but most of today there was nothing.
I was so sad, to see it go. It was a bustling city of knowledge and sass and memes and... celebration of this pastime and art that we all love. In case anyone else stopped by the thread, I posted a message. Like a fluttery piece of paper on a column in a war zone.
"I had no idea how much I would miss this thread and this place until it was taken away. I was jonesing for all of you, as soon as it went down, and I just felt sadder about it as time wore on. I was so accustomed to opening GAF on the regular and getting salt in my eyes or hearing about little triumphs and seeing new PotGs that having it just – poof – gone was like… a death. You’re my news feed, my teachers, my friends and the whole of the Internet felt very empty and very inconsequential, in the absence of this thread and these peeps."Hang on I'm gonna' post some more Overwatch fan art just 'cause.
|-Breakfast at Amelie's-|
The story of Tyler "Evilore" Malka and his accuser just gets dumber and meaner as time goes on, and that story, the way Malka ran GAF as a private fiefdom, instantly silencing any discussion of his errors, the way he handled this whole situation (terribly) and the community's passionate reaction to all of the above has cost us this towering metropolis of collected minds. Developers and journalists and fans and artists - a peerless, irreplaceable resource - they're scattering to the wind.
On the one hand, that's good! I'm a bit proud of that collective for so firmly standing with the accuser - against their de facto leader, no less. On the other hand, again, both of the principal actors kinda' come across as stupid assholes, and it seems such a shame to watch the Emerald City crumble over a pair of assholes.
Then one or two people came in to the Overwatch thread and announced that you could send a private message to Anne - unofficial leader of NeoGAF's Overwatch community, and the unquestioned authority on the highest levels of the game - and she (if she recognized you) would invite you to a private Discord server where the rest of the GAF Overwatch community had taken refuge.
I fired off a PM.
She fired back a link.
And it's like... that scene in The Lord of the Rings when Frodo wakes up in an Elven bed and Sam and Pippin and Merri come in and everyone's laughing and hugging in slow motion. With butt memes.
Nobody's happy about what happened, but we are all giddy to have maintained our fellowship, and to be back in each other's company.