Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A final word on State

It's no great surprise that my post yesterday put a few noses out of joint. This whole thing has spiralled WAY out of proportion purely because two people couldn't agree, or agree to disagree.

I'd like to offer an olive branch and an apology to #state, because the majority of the people there don't deserve the label I branded with them last night. My harshest and most consistent critics (and you know who you are) may spend a lot their time there, but that doesn't give me the right to brand you all with a demon brush.

I have to accept a lot of the blame for the dreadfully undignified manner of my departure, but I hope that people will understand why I reacted in the way I did, and that it's not easy to run a website in the face of constant non-constructive criticism from people who know what they want, but are seemingly unable to put in the effort or take the responsibility upon themselves to achieve it.

The recrimination has been long, hard and bitter, and I'm sure SFE would like to make me the villain of the piece as much as I'd like to make it him. The sad truth of the matter is that we're all at fault - for letting the issue of personality get in the way of what's best for State.

I've stepped aside for several reasons - primarily because I don't want to do it anymore, but also because my ability to inspire and enthuse the forum appears to have waned. It's Forumism in action - the newer and more vigourous personalities step up to take over when the Old Guard comes off Watch. Pat and SFE have ideas on how State should be run, and it's their turn to try and make them into a reality.

I can't hold SFE a grudge (not for long, anyway - much as I found his method of forcing change distasteful) because he believes precisely the same thing I did when I secured the hosting deal for the new server 18 months ago - that His Way is the Best Way for State. I'm sure he will find that now he's been given the responsibility of trying to turn that vision into a reality is a lot harder than you first think. SFE's like me in a way - a strong, eloquent and abrasive personality (with the occasional dash of charm) and he's going to have critics, but I won't be one of them.

Despite the ignominous manner of the termination of my tenure in charge, both he and Pat have my full support and blessing to take State in any direction they want. Like Oskar and Jamie before me, I have no intention of interfering in how State evolves, no matter how much I may have done things differently.

The WikiSite idea floating around the forum at the moment is an interesting one, and appears to have a lot of support - the challenge for Pat and SFE (and the rest of the mods, of course) is maintaining that initial rush of support and enthusiasm beyond the first couple of weeks. If history is anything to go by, the "New Era" Honeymoon period on State is only a short one - make the most of it while you can.

Finally, I'd like to publically thank the people who contacted me last night via MSN, e-mail and forum PM to express their understanding, and their gratitude for what I've done for State in the last 18 months. It's nice to know that the blood, sweat, tears (and money) I've put into State during my time in charge hasn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

I hope now that we can draw a line under this whole unseemly mess and get on with enjoying State for what makes it special - a community of well informed and intelligent games lovers - because the vicious in-fighting of the last few days does nothing but damage that community and prevent people from wanting to join it. And none of us want that. Do we?

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