Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Best Online Community EVER!

Giant in the Playground, frequently called GitP when I write about it, remains the greatest community ever. Even if we've come away a bit jaded after the recent hoax, the responses I saw in the thread to discuss it have been...Well, amazing.

When Rich Burlew posted the confirmation that the whole thing was a hoax, the thread remained so everyone could vent their feelings about it. I was amazed by how many people who, amongst all the other things they might've said, included, "I'm glad no one committed suicide." Yet I, who carries the credit of being one of the nicest people there, made a post here entitled. "He be BETTER be dead!" My thinking behind that title was not only the pain I'd been caused, but all of the others who wept when they thought this really good person had ended his life. One girl in particular, who had endured a great deal of pain during the Ilev fiasco, shed many tears over the situation, and all I could think was, Dear Lord, not again. She's so sweet, and yet crap like this keeps seeping into her life.

She didn't need it. None of us did. And yet the reactions, when we thought it was real, all demonstrated what kind of wonderful people exist on that site. It's not merely a collection of friends on the internet; it's more like a family that has formed in cyberspace.

In fact, I went to the hoax thread and vented my rage at what Zen had done to "my people." No longer restrained by forum rules, and I must warn you of inappropriate language to come, I quoted Rober De Niro's Capone, "I want you to get this fuck where he breathes. I want this Nancy-boy Eliot Ness DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON HIS ASHES!" MY rant went on to my desire to see criminal charges made against him, was well as a lawsuit that would see every penny he earned going to every person who shed a single tear for his feigned suicide. I ended said post with a statement that I filled in with asterisks to cover the words and leave it ambiguous. It read: And Zen...if you're reading this, you need not be so well. In fact, you can shove a rod of ***** up your **** and ***** it. But for any who might be curious, and there's more language here, what I said toward the end, and with a thick New York accent behind it, mind you, was, In fact, you can shove a rod of glass up your dick and break it. Because at the moment I was writing it, I wanted him to feel pain beyond measure.

The thing is that I had actually written several things that never got posted. I would type the words, count how many forum rules I was breaking with each statement, and then delete them. My rage was that out of control, and what I DID post was the best I could muster and not get myself banned from GitP.

This is why I keep my anger on a short leash, and why I feel I'm lucky to have learned to think before I fly off the handle. I can say things that I know for a fact that I'll deeply regret. As much as I can help people to feel better, I can also use my words to cause great harm. Because I spent so many years being beaten over the head with negativity, I try not to let it get away from me. Thus, Becky has been told that when I get TRULY angry, I'll probably become quiet and separate myself from the source of my ire. If I don't, someone is going to get hurt, perhaps irreparably, by the things I'll say.

The result of my post were a couple of private messages. One advised me not to let the situation affect me so greatly. (Too late.) The other was a suggestion that I go back and edit my post, since the moderators might be breathing down my neck over it. I rushed back, reviewed the post, and decided that I hadn't broken any forum rules. I may have come close, but I don't believe I crossed any lines. Then I posted again, stating that I'd gotten most of my anger out, and that I was on the path to recovery.

But I'd still like to know WHY Zen did this. He was on the path to making some really good friends. He was well-liked. And then, quite out of the blue, he went and pulled this stunt. Was life too boring for him? Does he actually feed his ego with the negative emotions from others? Is he somehow proud of what he did? And because I still desperately cling to hope that maybe this was a greater crime, and that the real Zen is out there and wondering what happened...Was he away, and someone watching his home hopped on the computer to portray this cruel hoax? Did he have a psychological disorder that is the underlying cause of this drama? Or, from a more jaded perspective, was this cruelty planned from the moment he joined the forums back in June?

Other things I'd like to know...Well, they also exist on the "Wish I knew, but probably won't" list. You see, I only saw the beginning of the whole, "That's not him; it's me" posting. I saw ScionOfBlades show he was confused, and tried to clear it up in conversations. Was there more? What did the moderators do then to discover the truth? Were the Australian authorities involved? Is so, were any laws broken? Are charges being pressed? Someone with an official title said they can't reveal all of their methods because it would removed the tools they used to unveil the culprit. Still, curiosity burns within, (If anyone would like to tell me in my "comments," I vow that said comment will never be published. I just wanna know.)

Thinking from a less-than-pure perspective, why the heck did he sabotage himself the way he did? He had us lapping up his tragic story. Why did he then pose as the mysterious stranger, RaptorRider, and make the claim that he wasn't...ummm...himself? Was he testing us as a community to see if we would still care about Zen's death? Was he looking to see how stupid we were? Didn't he KNOW not to mess with a bunch of gamer geeks who also have computer know-how?

He could have been like me...a guy who can literally state that he has friends all around the globe. We was apparently getting on rather well with many people, including my friend Arguskos. (I'll capitalize your name if I like! =P ) Now he's lost us for good, and nothing can ever change that. And it really is his loss.

Whatever the case may be, GitP remains the very best community I've ever encountered on the web. It's filled with some of the most loving, caring people on the planet. Doubly so, as my sweet, beautiful Becky recently joined. Yes, some were skeptical when my brother was deathly ill, but I provided a phone number to be called to prove that he was, in fact, in a critical care ward and in critical condition. (He may still be a jerk, but I'm glad he's alive.) The hundreds of dollars mustered so I could fly to TN on short notice to see him was amazing, and will never be forgotten. Nor will the other acts of kindness that they've committed for so many others besides little old me.

I'm just upset that this incident will cause grief in the future. Someone is bound to come along at one point and declare a member of the community has passed, to which many will reply, "Oh yeah? Prove it!"


Valiant Turtle said...

Since it seems he was/is writing a book I'm guessing that he was actually attempting a PR stunt for that. The book was never mentioned until Rider mentioned it. My guess is the trolling was secondary.

Rob Meadows said...

A PR stunt that actually hurts people and leaves an entire community suspicious...? What a great idea. I'll have to remember that when I try to publish my own work...


His trolling may have been secondary in his head, but it was primary in the minds of GitP. Our hearts went out to the friends and family of a guy who technically didn't exist. If this was PR, which stands for "public relations," then he's just established an EXTREMELY bad relationship with the public.

He's gone. It's done. I have better things to occupy my mind than that emotionally abusive jerk.

kristiinaelisabeth said...

When I ran a web design forum a few years back, there was a 14 year old girl on it. She posted in the personal discussion and problems section explaining her abusive relationship with her parents, her being bullied in school, her having a boyfriend that sexually harasses her.
Then one day she posted, only saying "i can't take this anymore" and we didnt hear from her for months. We had no idea where she lived, her real name etc. because it wasn't allowed for people under 18. We assumed she'd killed herself because she often talked about it.

A few months later we get a new girl, this time 15, with similar problems and style. Suspicious, we tracked this down to a 24 year old man with a talent for pretending to be a 14/15 year old suicidal girl. It's just plain disrespectful to people with real issues, not to mention disgusting.