What is your favorite unpopular opinion
Alveran.org - One year after the apocalypse
On December 31, 2010, the Alveran.org website finally closed its doors. Alveran was known for a lot, especially for the free and sometimes rude style of discussion in the associated forum. Almost a year after the end of the page, ex-forum hooligan grabs Vibarts Voice in a detailed experience report. He combines memories of the “good old days” with a typology of forum Randalinskis and the experience report of a homeless person. He also ponders a little about the possibility of increasing alveranization of the forum landscape. The whole thing is available with a soundtrack! We wish you a lot of fun reading and a cheerful second Advent.
One year after the apocalypse. A thoroughly subjective but at least interactive review of alveran.org
Hooligan Vibarts Voice (Avatar)
by Vibarts Voice
The roaring and screaming. The smell of blood, sweat, and too much adrenaline. Chaos and sheer anarchy rages around me. The mob yells insults and excitement from the benches. Downstairs, on the smeared sand, the opponents inexorably hit the other side. Death, screams, limbs.
Where have I ended up? At a panel discussion from Khezzara? In the battle pits of Yol-Gurmak? Or is that even a foretaste of the lower hells? None of that, it's a completely normal Saturday morning and I'm sitting with a cup of coffee in the morning sun and clicking my way through ... alveran.org.
Only rarely does an Internet address become part of a personal biography. Most of the web pages are too insignificant and unimportant for that, you don't associate anything with them, you don't take part in them. Other, more important sites, such as Wikipedia and Google, are too anonymous, too general, to be seen as an expression of one's own individuality. And in between ... there is little. For me, Alveran was one of those rare sites that could be understood as a kind of virtual home.
And it was a damn strange home, especially for one of my own choosing. Alveran wasn't being sensible. Alveran wasn't nice. Alveran wasn't always pleasant at all. It was more of a dingy corner of the DSA community on the web. Mostly a bit like the station district of a larger German city on Saturday evening. Sometimes with pleasant sides. Sometimes an RPG favela in a collective cocaine frenzy. It was a hit-the-keyboard. Or to cheer.
What was that? What made Alveran.org a hooligan bar in the otherwise lovely nerd biotope? Was it up to the residents? Well, the mixture of trolls, fanatical prophets of play style and verbal warriors was actually always reason enough to finally hire a social worker. But maybe it was also due to an outrageously tolerant moderation. Or simply because the forum had long had the reputation of being the basin for the DSA basement children. Self-fulfilling prophecy?
And then why “Heimat?” Which crazy person chooses the toughest DSA forum between Kiel and Kitzbühl to develop a virtual Heimatfilm feeling with it? That’s where things get complicated. In a state of anarchy, in the absence of a controlling sovereign, man always shows his worst sides. But - and this but is now important - always his best. Alveran offered a technical freedom of discourse that sometimes broke through the limits of what was bearable. But the freedoms offered - no registration, no sub-forums, no thematic corset - also attracted tons of people. There was always something going on on Alveran. 50 answers to a topic in one hour - no problem! Well, on closer inspection: a lot of people there were absolute mishaps. But not all of them.
One could realize oneself in the anarchic biotope. And always found someone who wanted to take part. You always found some who rejected your own thing quite bluntly - but hey, you had to live with that. And I found ways to act out myself. If the forum itself could offer a home, then the threads were streets, the Nicks residents and certain threads - my home ...
Excursus: About the Alverans - attempt at a classification
Prems Tierleben, Chapter 17: Fauna & Flora of the microcosm "Alveran.org" (could be partially or fully transferable to other platforms of the community ...)
Species A: The Confused Prophet
Tends to fanatical belief in a rare or absurd role-playing religion. Basically sees his forum activity as missionary or as a martyr mission. Tends to hijack threads in order to proclaim his confused dogmas. Typical feature: “What do you mean by nahema, nahema = marysue v. Kiesow, SoD can't tell novels, GURPS is afak only copy with railroading "
Species B: The frickled pig
Would like to prove his wit through crude faecal humor. Encounters generally disgusted faces, but considers this to be a sign of his superiority. Typical feature: Likes to start discussions with titles like: "Poop - a new social talent" or "My Thorwaler sticks his finger in his bottom - what now?"
Species C: The eternal PhD student
At one point or another he studied something that had something to do with history. Hence a vague idea about scientific definitions of historical terminology. Implicitly, he demands one thing above all from a fantasy role-playing game, and that loudly and regularly: Accurate reproduction of historical and earthly circumstances and a good overview of (his) state of research. Characteristics: Extremely outraged excitement over multi-masted cogs on Aventuria's seas or an overly liberal use of the term "republic."
Species D: The would-be PhD student
Dark twin of species C. Likes to watch “Galileo Spezial”, has bought illustrated books about the Middle Ages from Weltbildverlag and likes to play games from the “Total War” series. Profound false half-knowledge about the past, which strengthens its self-image with steely conviction. Characteristics: Participates intensively and page by page in discussions such as "Did historical armaments have 0 disability points?", "Schivone vs. galley?" Or "Samurai vs. Amazon - who wins?"
Species E: The forum clown
Is far too irrelevant. Likes to disguise tough polemics in the soft guise of satire. Nothing and nobody is sacred to him, at least he himself. Believes role-playing a game, not a religious mission. Features: Reads along in a discussion. Then post in the rugby thread. Reads in another discussion. Post in the rugby thread. Reads in another discussion with ...
Species F: The Thread Nazi
He is intolerant. Up to the blood. Compromise is for doomed species. He's right. Anyone who claims otherwise is his enemy. He's right. Alien ideas are to be erased. He's right. A keyboard is not a writing implement, but a weapon. He's right. Traits: He's right. Again and again. Until nobody feels like writing any more.
Species G: The perpetrator-victim
A variety of species F, presumably a mutation. Tends to extremely malicious attacks on fanboys, members of the editorial team, newcomers to role-playing games, rule foxes ... actually on everything. Has the talent to be just so abusive that the moderation just lets him go on. As soon as the smallest counterattack occurs, he roars loudly, cites the anti-discrimination paragraph of the Human Rights Court in The Hague and weeps bitterly over his rape. So it seems slightly schizophrenic. Features: tear gas grenade and a bucket of crocodile tears.
Species H: The sock puppet
Symbiotic life form for each species already categorized here. Able to mimic the host body almost perfectly. Draws their livelihood from frenetic approval of an unpopular opinion posted by the host body. Can suddenly multiply explosively in certain "one against all" discussions. Features: None specific. Suspicious similarities to character heads known in the scene are, however, common.
Species I: The Fundamental Critic
He's merciless, on principle, because he can't find good hair on DSA. To him everything is deplorable and worth changing: the size of the Khom desert, the contours of the continent, the talent system, the composition of the editorial team ... Retconning is for him what the ascent of the blessed is for a believing Christian. Features: Can join the discussion anywhere. Discuss everywhere.
Species J: The fanboy
He is uncritical, on principle, because he thinks everything about DSA is good. He thinks everything is incredibly gnarly: the size of the Khom desert, the contours of the continent, the talent system, the composition of the editorial team ... DSA is to him what the ascent of the blessed is to a believing Christian. Features: Can join the discussion anywhere. Discuss everywhere.
Species K: The cultist
He believes in a theory like a suicide bomber believes in paradise. In his worldview, role-play can only work and make happy through this theory. He likes to use words like “Simjuleischonism” or “Geimism.” Other branches of the sect like to speak of their DSA heroes as “Tänk”, “Saporter” or “Sleier”. He defends his sect against external concerns with a drawn knife. Features: Likes to link to posts on Tanelorn or Blood Swords.
Species L: The power gamer
Shafir's head adorns the fireplace of his hero in his own palazzo on the Silberberg. He likes to start threads like “Playing a Trollzacker Gladiator from Thorwal” or “Darth Vader as a DSA character.” He knows exactly how to generate attack values of 20+ from 110 GP or how to combine spells to level Gareth to the ground close. He doesn't accept that any NPC can do more than his hero. Characteristics: Goes mad if someone says "Powergamer" in one of his discussions.
Of course, all of these prototypical forms of life were highly capable of crossbreeding and happily mutated to themselves. It was by no means unusual to go from opinion nazi to forum clown and back to perennial doctoral student in one day. In forum discussions, identity is a highly constructivist self-imagination. Speaking of constructing: Why was Alveran so great now, even though we have just learned that it mainly consisted of a horde of easily to severely disturbed discussion idiots?
I set up my first little house in the "Big City" Alveran.org rather by accident. My reactions to certain postings and discussion behavior had always tended to be ironic or mocking, presumably because, according to Tucholsky, satire is the only means that can "get over" certain grievances. When I was once again annoyed one fine morning that Aventuria's design was being criticized for the argument of implausibility in real terms, I wrote a new thread in ten minutes in which I criticized the earthly development of the last few years in the same offended tone and required the usual changes. Without further ado, I gave the whole thing the thread name "If the earth had a reaction ..." And then I continued working and didn't look at the forum until that afternoon.
The success knocked me down. What was initially thought of as an unobjective objection, had become a happy anarchic humor festival in the collective going on, in which a lot of people suddenly began to spin out their own ideas on the basic topic “our world is / was totally improbable”. And what could some of them write! And what brilliant ideas they had! I couldn't stop laughing.
From that day on I loved Alveran. A valuable experience: anger becomes text, text becomes fun - it was almost like self-therapy. Just funnier. I had tasted blood. And I was now able to deal with various content-related and formal crap in my favorite forum in a much more relaxed manner. Wait a minute, my friend: Is the Fawela of the role-playing network scene your favorite forum? Yes indeed …
Some time later I decided to repeat the experiment. Take: The madness that rages around us every day in the forum in all its shades; a new thread; some senseless, more camouflaged "rules of the game"; the will to parodistically mess up the forum events. “We're playing Alveran.org rugby.” I clicked on “send” and waited.
EXCURSUS: What was "Alveran.org.-Rugby"?
The rugby was basically an observation and comment thread that was supposed to react humorously to the forum madness that raged around us every day by mercilessly using the weapons of parody or satire. There were some senseless rules that I suggested that started with the concept of the “red ball”. A red ball was basically just a typical controversial DSA topic, which a half-troll wrote in a large and striking way on a red ball, and then threw it at the feet of the drooling violent pack in the forums in order to see a violent brawl. Popular “red balls” were always things like “Khom desert - too small to die of thirst?” Or “Powergamer - serious style of play or pubescent masturbation?” Then the individual factions of role-playing politics competed against each other in satirical disguise on our imagined arena, mostly with comments an absolutely sensational stadium announcer. After about a day, however, the system had become independent, and the rugby posters began to use increasingly freer forms of writing in order to deal with the storm of forums. Fundamental elements such as the "Ulrich Kiesow Memorial Stadium", the ultra-brutal team "Volkssturm Khezzara" or the commenting choir of the "mummified priest emperors" were repeatedly taken up from all sides and further developed. Basically, rugby was a form of collective creative writing in which you spurred each other on and got rid of your frustration with things around us in a fun way. Now you know what "Alveran.org-Rugby" was? Rather not? No wonder.
The first post was a bitter disappointment: "So this post is totally nonsensical and lacks any serious basis for discussion. I ask you to close it and warn the author. "I swallowed, took it like a man and awaited the promised warning. Was it really an ironic contribution? I'm still puzzling today.
Two hours later, the first page was full of red balls. What came next is one of my personal great moments of internet humor. Alveran.org provided the templates, we scored the goals. The rules were (attention, red ball: as in any good round of role-playing games) at some point of secondary importance, only the habit of collecting a special point when linking to this adventure persisted. Soon there was a relatively solid core player's bench on the ball, and - oh wonder - it stayed that way for months. The disinterested Alveraner filthy children did not stop with the post. As well as? Every day there were new curiosities to be read in the most diverse threads. Right at the front in the opposing penalty area were players like Josch, Zwart, Chaogirdja, Edorian von Radoleth, Badoc Ferdok Club, Rorkan, Blitzkriegbob, another weirdo, Secretarius Secundus, * Meister Brau *, the Boronsgraeber, Traumweber, Horus, Scheinelich, Merry , Faizal sal Tuleyman or Kolkja. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone that's important.
The rugby grew. Recurring motifs were developed, the arena, the teams, the vuduzela (Tröööt!), The choir of the mummified priest-emperors ... The Ulrich Kiesow Memorial Stadium was a place of untamed writing creativity. Not everyone always hit the tune and the general level of the thread, but all in all the whole thing was on an astonishingly high level.
Of course, not everyone around us was happy with this sport of rugby. We could certainly be accused of not taking the DSA issue seriously enough or of producing opinions in the guise of humor. But we raved about our own thread and didn't bother anyone who didn't click into it, unless one felt alone that the rugby thread adorned the first page for months as a disruption of the discussion culture. But if you want to please everyone ...
The end came slowly and it was ugly. The Wachholz affair with the following setting on the Alveran news site did not give a good indication, and a little later the operators of Alveran announced the end on December 31, 2010. The lamentation was great, also the accusation was said on the side, but I always understood the decision. What was observed below were all the psychological phases of the apocalypse. Initially, it was continued as if the storm weren't already on the horizon, phase 1: ignorance. Then the knowledge seeps into the consciousness, phase 2 begins: anger and destructiveness. Trolls and Flamers of all countries, unite! Which they did.While outside of rugby the threads broke and the faeces flew, we rugby players tried painstakingly - by making 1000 postings by December 31, 2010 our task - to find a worthy end. We didn't always succeed. In the final phase, the “normal” discussion activity crumbled noticeably, refugees began, the forum grew wild - and in fact a wild pack could continue to grow wild. The actual death was slow and excruciating to watch, until on New Year's Eve 2010 the site slowed down. In the end it was like many long-announced deaths: In the end, you were happy that it was over.
Alveran was dead. We Alveranians were alive. What now? The exodus was approaching and finding a new home is never easy. So we tied our package (our Creative agenda) and started looking. Attracted by an ingenious download archive and well-made DSA web TV, I first tried my luck in the Orkenspalter forum:
Pure culture shock. A whole new world. Which I just couldn't find my way into. If alveran.org was the community's bloodied hooligan bar, I stumbled into a well-ordered, polite chess club. Everyone was nice and offered a pastry. Everything had structure. Everyone was competent, meaningful questions and problems were discussed, to which useful and thoroughly well-informed answers were quickly given, everything kindly looked after by a moderator who kept everything under control with the good but strict hand of a deaconry sister.
I was desperate. Just emerging from the end-of-the-world battles in the Ulrich Kiesow Arena, I felt like a blood-drenched barbarian in the middle of an exclusive institute for higher daughters: completely out of place. The Orkis were nice, but under such a bold forum name I would actually have imagined something other than a somewhat slow, high elf five o'clock tea. I couldn't stay here. I tied my bundle again, shouldered my guns, and moved on. By the way, thank you very much for your brilliant newsletter, which I still read with great pleasure.
There were other places and other arenas on the internet that offered an old Alveran Ultra a somewhat more familiar environment. In the end I got stuck with DSA4.de, where the style corresponded more to my usual virtual living space. Got stuck with numerous other refugees from the deep east of the forum landscape? Sometimes I get the impression that I'm not the only scarred veteran out there with one or two bad habits. Increasingly, the threads become more dogged, the arguments less objective, and the tone of voice rougher. Opinion and taste are almost the same now. They show their ugly scarred faces again, the thread Nazis, the would-be doctoral students, the role-playing sects. Long hidden brass knuckles and sandbags are derusted and dusted. Sometimes it is said again “To them with a roar” and one's own ego swells in the eternal struggle for the sovereignty of interpretation. Say: We're back. And we're not pretty to look at. With divided feelings, I believe I am observing an increasing "Alveranization" of the discussion culture, which on the one hand fills me with a deep horror of returning to the slum, and on the other ... with nostalgic memories of home. Hey, Alveraner: Admit it! You're out there, somehow carrying on. You can literally smell you ...
What about the future? Perhaps the trend is actually going "towards Alveran" and the old boxing gloves with the painted smileys will be used more often again. Perhaps there will be new opportunities to tinker with writing corners in the postal network again, where you can get creative and funny about the obscurities of the role-playing community. But maybe ... and now it's going to be visionary, albeit utopian ... maybe Florian, Andreas, Johannes and Mark do it very, very secretly every December 31st. one year the site will open again for a few hours. Isn't that what? For a hidden New Year's Eve revival, perhaps? So that we can all beat each other really well again! Oh, now the tears of emotion creep into my old eyes ...
Or we all meet up somewhere in Germany to play football. Alveran greetings to all of you out there!
- Vibarts Voice
tl; dr: Alveran.org was on the one hand an imposition, on the other hand great. The author tends towards kitschy nostalgia and rediscovers a transfigured, lost world in current forum culture.
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