Pouet victim of its own philosophy?
Written by EP
After reading the topic launch by ps, I said to myself: "Wow, pouet will from now on become a serious website according to ps' wishes?" I've then moved to the root of all evil aka "The pouet disclaimer". It has been changed but how can ps now expect sceners and non sceners to follow it after allowing people to freely express themselves for years?
It's like trying to sell DRM music after people have got used to free mp3 for years: you can't withdraw freedom given at any previous time. Especially with the Internet. Now there is pouet with heaps of fun and there will be Bitfellas with a more serious, more oldskool scene oriented content. Let's say there is a hierarchy between the scene's websites, let's say pouet is the kindergarten and Bitfellas is the university, if you see what I mean: you're supposed to be more serious on the second, not on the former. I've written "supposed", the reality is often far from what is 'supposed' to be.
Pouet and its never ending circus is as needed to the scene as other more serious websites: After being banned from pouet, I've asked myself what the use of the BBS is. Back in times, I didn't have a modem and I'd never been to a BBS before I got a copy of Pain and clicked on a link to enter a BBS via Telnet. I've then seen the whole stuff. I've understood that a BBS is an information system and is a bit like a cave, I mean you can meet strange guys there. But strange don't means "lame" or "stupid", it means "not as usual" and originality is really mandatory when you want to be a creative guy.
I get back to pouet and with a creative perspective, I've asked myself what such a dump of words could really mean and what it's good for. I've got to the oneliner and said to me: "Obviously if you don't want to open a thread but just give your 2 cents about something, this is the place to post." It's full of useless stuff today but yesterday it was full of relevant links, well usually it's full of "I wanna be a star" comments or "nobody loves me" catchy sentences. I then enter again pouet's oldskool BBS and there it becomes obvious: this web site is a creative tool. It's just that today with the corporate behavioral conditioning we have we lose what makes us sceners: the childish spirit. You get to pouet to get a big shower, to clean your mind and to meet some truths: yes, this mess is great to subvert our brainwashed corporate brains, it's there to bring back creativity. And it really gives us some information, surrounded by a huge layer of nasty comments, irony, misplaced comments, out of focus and all this crap brings creativity as it unplugs your rational brain while bringing a fruitful imagination.
I love the subversity of pouet and what people do there: they fight basically to show the world what they can bring, at least when they troll the whole thing, other than that it's just plain information decrypted and analysed by non money tight persons and yes, it's really fresh and noticeable in the marketing drown society we deal with. It's fun sometimes, it's annoying at others, but if you stand back you'll realise it's the reality: it's a fight of conceptions, of ideas and an exchange of great insight. There a 20-year-old scener can be confronted with a newbie, a guy who has never launched a compiler can say to a veteran: "You're an old cow and you know nothing." It's a place of exchange and you can learn a lot there, really: I mean you can watch others, get a clue about who is a scener, who is not, get fresh ideas from outsiders, get the result of the meditation of skilled people like the main coders of present and past demos, get a different perspective from graphist, musician,... It's really a young, simple and efficient approach to communication, except for one thing: the search engine doesn't allow complex searchs with Boolean operators and regexp syntax.
Today's and yesterday's pouet's issues are what makes its success: people like to come there and do whatever they want. No website on the net allows this level of freedom of expression and so this is why pouet is popular. Pouet is illegal because some comments, pictures aren't legal but that's part of the fun: it's a place of absolute freedom for the worst and for the best. It lets you appear as what you are: an animal with emotions and power to express.
You can now create a new website called "the scream", hosting it at a country where basically no rules exist about diffamation and website contents and advertise it worldwide, saying: "Go there and do whatever you want, especially what you can't elsewhere" and draw as much of the scum of pouet to this new website. If you're business aware, you can even entertain the users by selling them relevant merchandise using highly intelligent keyword scanning of their post a bit like the ads shown on gmail. You can of course put some general relevant merchandises like inflatable hammer, digital cameras to show the world at "the scream" how stupid / fun you are...
But now if pouet's admin wants to change pouet's reputation it'll be really hard because pouet is addictive and we want our daily "drug" allowance! If you want to change that, it's a matter of dumping the bbs content, the user database, the prod rating and comment database and start registering all users with their CB account or their passport number or any other relevant hard to forge identity sign put in place by states. You can also sell a scener card, something with a small chip inside and some information about the user, he then inserts this card in a reader... He has to carry the reader with him when he wants to login, and then he enters a pin once he wants to, this way you're sure the user is responsible for what his happening because if he has given his card and his pin to somebody else then he has to pay for the consequence.
In case you really want to change the image and the meaning of pouet to let people and especially sceners express themselves about relevant topics and following an etiquette, you've got then to create rules and punish those who don't follow them. If you put in force a totally new ideology and philosophy out there, you'll not let imagination develop as much as it develops now. Pouet is shit but shit is needed: it's where you see the loopholes of a system and what to improve. And this is where the scene's fun and creativity emerge. Sceners enjoy not so serious talk and thus pouet has emerged as a big heap of everything where you can find a big mess of ideas and opinions, that's perfect to stimulate imagination. It's indeed very interesting to see how people there get their share of the talk by getting information from others, get to Google to get info and bring back giving the info deciphered and judged. This is really a knowledge sharing community website. It's messy but this is where creativity remains: chaos is the source of all life, remember that. And the childish attitude is what keeps us all young and open minded.
On another hand don't hesitate to ban some ids for life and some pictures. Why not automatically inactivate ids not used for 3 months? Send an email to the registered non active scener so he has to click on the link inside to get back his account accessibility. This way no inactive account hacking will be possible.
But the real issue out there is that some people at some time aren't very responsible nor rational, like me in the past, so why not making harder to spam by putting in place a reward scheme: if you get some glops you get more rights, if you have no glops you have less rights. For example a newcomer has no glops, he can post 5 times a week. A user who contributes, upload stuffs, then has a glop credits deposit of 100 glops, with this he has the right to post 10 times per week. When he increases his rating to 200, he can post a picture, and on. Once he reaches 1000 he can upload a demo / intro, this way no fake. Of course if he puts something insane online, he get his credits lowered and you can put a "prices list", an insult present in the pouet dictionary will cost 100 glops, a fight 1000 glops, ...
All trolls and flamewars have the same pattern: a troll / flamewar is where the same users post over and over in just a short time, you can easily spot that in the BBS's database with php code and send automatically an email / disable the account for 3 days so minds get cooler while a "stupidity counter" is incremented for future punishment... Let me tell you that somebody who has invested one or two hours to gain the right to post pictures will not jeopardize it by spamming or posting insane comments. You can avoid also double or fake prod uploading by fingerprinting the main exe inside the archive with a md5 checksum and avoid fake by taking into account that real exe demos have usually well known crunched headers.
This way only those with cooperative behaviors will get rights to put a limited mess at pouet. However in this case this will never be pouet again! These rules if automated can bring a "digital justice" to the system and can really save the life and time of ps while making the system more human. But it's I think better than the "if we are stronger and more than the banned, we are better", because this approach is what brings a real mess in the world, see my france comment on my other article for development. Basically pouet is the place to get the ideas, Bitfellas is where to get the technical comment and contacts to create a demo, and other websites are to get more technical tools and recipes to get a demo done, it's the natural order: you get the ideas in the jungle, get to know they are possible to make them real with local friends and then get a few of them to make it true in a small place, usually your own room.
Pouet is no more the property of its creators / admins, by the years it has been taken by users who for some part have found there a place to make virtual hogwachs and I really think it's better to make virtual ones than real ones, pouet is hence a sandbox where you can experiment what you can say and not to say, in a way build up your personality. You learn there to face pertinent comments and truth the good mannered society we all live in has buried leaving us with vain words instead. Pouet is the return of the truth and truth is good for the scene. Life is a joke, and life is a circus at least for the masses and pouet is where the scene aware masses gather, ps and the admins are the guardian of this virtual day-cars center ;)
And no ps, I don't want my account back because I don't need it, I need spare time to write and being banned has saved my sanity.