Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five reflects upon five rather bizarre moments in the history of our Forum.
The current NLSC Forum has been around since 2002, and the original boards were active for a few years before that. As with any online community, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs, running gags and memes, highly contentious moments, and other fun times. When you’ve been around a community for a number of years, as I and a few others have been, there are moments where you mutter to yourself that you’re too old for this…stuff. Not only that, but looking at the drama that some people cause, you can’t help thinking that they’re also too old for that…stuff.
However, some moments are just too bizarre not to be enjoyable in a twisted kind of way. In some cases, they become part of the community’s collection of memes, or find themselves enshrined in the Hardwood Classics section of the Forum. It’s often said that everyone is brave behind a keyboard, and adopts a different persona online. Now, there is definitely some truth to that, but I also get the impression that some people are just as difficult in the real world as they are in cyberspace. With that in mind, I feel sorry for the people they interact with on a daily basis! Still, they have given us some amusingly bizarre moments to look back upon, as these examples demonstrate.
1. The College Hoops ’95 Controversy
Modders fading out of our community is inevitable as they grow weary of the hobby, and unfortunately, they sometimes make a fiery exit. RayHoops1 made the College Hoops ’95 mod and some other projects that were quite popular. One day he contacted me and asked if I could delete his account as he wanted to quit the hobby and have a clean break from the community. I obliged, and while we were all sorry to see him go, NBA 2K14 gamers were still able to enjoy his mods. Some time after his departure, member Lady Culture wondered about his whereabouts and mentioned having spoken to him in the past. As it turned out, she opened the floodgates with that post.
RayHoops1’s wife entered the chat, so to speak, and…yikes. Just…yikes. As one Ron Burgundy would put it, it escalated quickly, and really got out of hand fast. Ray also showed up with a new account, posting a message that I’m sure disappointed a lot of people, me included. As I said when I locked the topic, and reiterated to Ray when he contacted me to confirm what was going on, none of that was necessary. It was the most ridiculous overreaction two supposedly grown adults could’ve had to light banter and wondering where a modder whose work they enjoyed had gone. I won’t speculate on people’s lives beyond the Forum, but once again, I will say: yikes. Just…yikes.
2. Ruff Freestyles Out in a Huff
Looking back, the early to mid 2000s were kind of the Wild West here in our Forum. We went back and forth trying to find the right balance as far as keeping things in line, while also letting people have the freedom to shoot the…stuff, without feeling like they were constantly walking on eggshells. To that end, there are some topics that would be shut down much quicker these days, and posts that we wouldn’t tolerate. Times change, people grow older, and we approach matters with more maturity and respect. Maturity doesn’t always come with age – as the saying goes, growing old is mandatory while growing up isn’t – but most of us do grow out of childish behaviour.
With that in mind, I wonder if Ruff Ryder would still see fit to leave the NLSC Forum by taking a few “Parting Shots“. He’s neither the first nor last person to flame out of the community, but to give him his due, his efforts were among the most creative. They also stand as an example of how not to handle frustration, or losing interest in a community. Once again, it was the Wild West and there were incidents that could’ve been handled better, but many people like Ruff who had complaints wouldn’t ever say anything, instead stewing until their frustration finally boiled over and they flamed out in a huff. To do so in rhyme is impressive in its own right, but also rather bizarre.
3. An EA Sports Executive Gets Doxxed
As far as bizarre (and embarrassing) moments in the history of the NLSC Forum are concerned, this one ranks up there. The Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 07 has a reputation as the worst game in the series, but the PC version has a lot of problems of its own. Being that our community has mostly focused on PC releases, that was the controversy around these parts. We wanted to see a patch – and we did eventually get one – and Forum members decided that they needed to put pressure on EA to deliver those fixes. To that end, someone found the home phone number of a high-ranking EA Sports executive, posted it in the Forum, and encouraged people to call them.
Needless to say, it was an unpleasant surprise to wake up to emails from my contacts at EA drawing attention to what had happened. Fortunately the post had been deleted by that point, but I still had to address the matter publicly, and send along a sincere apology to the executive in question. In case anyone is wondering why I’d do that when we had legitimate complaints about the game, that approach is absolutely the wrong way to go about expressing them and petitioning for a patch. Doxxing is not appropriate in the slightest and it reflected badly on us, even though it wasn’t done in an official capacity on behalf of the site. Fortunately, everything was smoothed over.
4. Bizarre Moments of Impatience
Unfortunately, not everyone is patient and understanding when it comes to waiting for mods to be made or requests for help to be answered, especially for older games that most people have moved on from. There are many examples of members getting upset that certain mods are taking a long time to make (or that no one’s interested in making them), or that they haven’t received a reply as soon as they’d like – even to this day – but I’m going to pick a couple from the aforementioned Hardwood Classics section. One only has to look at the profanity and bigotry in such posts to see why these topics serve as great examples of how not to behave here, and how to be shown the door.
Our first example is a former user with the handle Carlloski, who saw fit to create not one but two topics blasting the community and the staff because they were very upset that no one was rushing to create a Ricky Rubio face. Their overreaction would be bizarre enough by itself, but the fact that the post is from 2008 and Rubio didn’t debut until the 2012 season makes it even better in hindsight. In a similar vein, a member who went by a few variations of the handle “Marcelo” threw many a tantrum (such as this one) demanding that we instruct modders to make Euroleague updates, suggesting that we were employing them to do that work. Bizarre rants from bratty individuals.
5. An Unbelievable Starting Five in 2001
Let’s end on a more positive bizarre moment. Shortly after the release of NBA Live 2001, a post in the original Forum by user A.L. declared that they couldn’t believe their starting five. I’ve talked about that post in-depth for Wayback Wednesday, but the short version is that A.L. shared the story of how a fantasy draft and a few trades in NBA Live 2001’s Franchise mode left them with a stacked starting five, also noting that they had placed Kevin Garnett at his “natural position” of point guard. It was this bizarre statement that drew the most attention, overshadowing the topic at hand and derailing what could’ve been an interesting and important discussion about the game.
It’s unfortunate in that regard, especially as A.L. felt affronted and decided to peace out of the boards. On the bright side, the more the thread was derailed, the more fun it was to partake in. It became the thread we checked in on every day, a repository for jokes about the games and real NBA, parodies of the original post, general off-topic conversation…basically anything and everything, except for the fantasy draft and trade logic in NBA Live 2001; or for that matter, the merits of playing Kevin Garnett out of position and the experiment working out rather spectacularly. One bizarre post led to 1000 posts, and a good time for members of the old guard (but sadly not for A.L.).
Long-time Forum members, as well as those who have joined the party more recently, what are some other bizarre moments along these lines that you can recall? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, feel free to take the discussion to the NLSC Forum itself! That’s all for this week, so thanks for checking in, have a great weekend, and please join me again next Friday for another Five.