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Emotional Outlet

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Everything posted by Emotional Outlet

  1. I see a lot of genre specific recommendation threads in here, so I wanted to created a master post so people have something to reference. The Anime Approval thread is good in general, but is not divided in any meaningful way, so hopefully this will be of some use and cut down on the repetition. Please submit your recommendations by genre. There's nothing in the spoilers right now, so just list everything you would reasonably recommend. If you think more genres should be added or some of them should be removed, let me know. Once this list is populated with a bunch of titles, this introduction will be rewritten to be shorter, largely by removing the explanation for its existence. Action Comedy Drama Ecchi Fantasy Harem Historical Horror Mecha Mystery Psychological Romance School Slice of Life Sports
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    Good Versus Evil [Part 2]

    The other thread got giant. We start with 500. Good guys add 2 and are aiming for a goal of 1000. Bad guys subtract two and are aiming for a goal of 0. Resume your eternal struggle. - 2 = 498
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    Kametsu FAQ [Updated 16 May '13]

    Kametsu FAQ === Please check here before posting a new thread. If your question is answered here and you post a thread, your thread will be deleted or moved to the Farplane. This saves time and effort on everyone's part. No one likes answering the same questions over and over again. === Helpful Links Forum Guidelines IRC Tutorial Index What is Spam? Signature Size Limitations The Staff Team Kametsu Facebook Page @Kametsudotcom === Index General Why can't I edit my profile/avatar/signature/posts? How do I change my user title? When will I be able to change my user title? I'm trying to find a thread but none of the links work! I want the staff to do something for me, but the report system says I should only use it for objectionable material and there isn't any objectionable material to be dealt with. If the forum goes down, where can I go for updates? Downloads How many posts do I need to access the downloads? I used to have access to the downloads but now I don't! What is IRC/XDCC? How do I download from that? Posting Why do my posts keep disappearing? Why isn't my post count going up? Why can't I post in certain areas? Why can't I edit my post? BBCode How do you embed Youtube videos? Where did the Youtube code go? My signature keeps getting rejected because the links are too long! What are some of the formatting options available to us? What do any of these buttons do? So what's all the Special BBCode stuff? === If you have any suggestions for additions or changes to this FAQ, please send me a message and I will update it posthaste! (Or if you have the ability to change it yourself, then please go ahead and fix it. Just remember to log the change below.)
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    Currently Listening To... [Part 2]

    Old thread can be found here. Retired for length. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu9_ZQDkr2Q Saints Row the Third, yiss.
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    ^ < V

    Most have played this before. If not, it's really simple. You say something about three people. ^ = The person above you. < = Yourself. V = The next poster. Facts are unnecessary, considering that the third part refers to whomever posts next--regardless of whether what you said about them is true or not. --- ^ There's a global announcement up there. < Not a global announcement. V Is a global announcement.
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    Caption Art

    So, I tried looking for this game and had no luck. If there is one and I'm just a dumb, let me know. === The premise is simple. I post a picture, like so. Someone else then captions it. "Worst singles cruise ever." Then someone else draws a picture based on that caption only. And then someone else captions that image. "A spiky pink monster attacks Oompa Loompas." And so on. They don't have to be terrible drawings done in Paint, but they must be drawn by you. I am just not an artist. (I'm so sorry. Please just play the game.) === "A spiky pink monster attacks Oompa Loompas."
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    Quote Pyramid

    I want to make a quote pyramid, but it's no fun if I just do it by myself. First one to reach character limit wins. Single line of text only.
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    How was your day today?

    Every day when you come home, the first thing you do better be to log into this forum and tell me exactly how your day went. It's a pretty generic question and I feel like people generally do interesting things during the day. Tell us about your work shenanigans, any interesting folk you ran into at the grocery store, or the goofy thing your teacher did today! If you want to discuss something in depth that comes up here, please feel free to start a topic about it, or otherwise continue the conversation elsewhere on the forum! Discussion fodder is always good. For reference, we have venting threads here and here if you had a particularly bad or aggravating day. === Today I tidied up the first half of the YA section, finished weeding out the YA books that don't belong to the branch, and started pulling injured books from the shelves. The media tie-ins (all the books based on like kids shows--MLP, Spongebob, superheros, &c) weren't overflowing, so I didn't do them today. For the the rest of the week, the librarian has like three giant lists of children's books for me to pull. Joy. Today was also my final appointment with my current therapist. I don't know if I'm going to continue treatment at another location, but since it won't necessarily be free this time around, it'll probably be a while yet. I wrote up a cleaning schedule so we can unfuck our apartment, so hopefully having the daily reminder will keep our place from being a tornado of depression and misery. Overall my day was pretty tiring. Not looking forward to dragging my butt out of bed in the morning, haha. So, how was everyone else's day?
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    Kam Stew: EO Plays the Sims

    For those who aren't familiar, I just take pictures of the Sims as they go about their day and make unfunny comments about everything. It's about 80% free will--I'll lead them to specific lots, lock any wants they have, and occasionally direct them to take care of any pressing needs, but otherwise leave them to their own devices and let them build relationships on their own. Or destroy them, as the case may be. My Current Set Up No established relationships Everyone is a young adult Aging is turned off Seasons and lunar cycles are set to their longest lengths === A new day, a new save, a new neighbourhood. This is the perfect time to put together a bunch of random Sims and see what happens. Let's meet our cast. Here we have Bernie and Kajo, representing me and Mink respectively. Our wings are great, respect. This is Poetic, representing... herself. She is the only human and she is not pleased with this. Mister Snips. He is a vampire and represents Dark_Angel13. He is literally dying as I take this picture of him. Dreamcastor, representing herself. She is a witch and also unhappy, probably because she is standing next to a vampire who smells like burning. Eric, standing in for Java. He is a werewolf and that happy expression on his face is just his way of reminding you that he can kill you at a moment's notice. Okay, wow, this sucks. Let's build a house. Perfect. I'm not saying they're poor, or that the chairs are made of crates, or that the rug is literally a tarp. Nor am I saying that we're all sleeping in the cheapest beds with the scratchy wool blankets. Or that I seriously contemplated leaving out the fire alarm for the cash. But I am saying dignity costs money. And this cute mirror only cost one Simoleon! The little floral nightlight is a nice touch, I'm glad I thought of it. No one is capable of normal locomotion. To be fair, Mister Snips is being fried alive, so his super speed is more than warranted at this time. Mister Snips, this is not a good use of your time. "You aren't going to use your fairy magic to cheat, are you?" Meanwhile, Mister Snips works it for the camera while Dreamcastor and Kajo beat each other senseless with pillows. Eric bonds with the Spongeputer. "You're using tiny idols to wage war upon each other?" "This is very racially charged, I can't say I'm impressed." Real life fairies doing real life frolicking. They proceeded to do this for six hours straight. Not to be outdone, Eric taps into his inner wolf. The Sponge stares deep into your soul. Kajo is terrified in Eric's general direction. The Sponge continues to stare, peeling back the layers. Poetic can't shake the feeling that maybe living with a bunch of supernatural folk wasn't the best of ideas. At dinner, Kajo faints and we ignore him. "Where's the salad dressing?" "I'm not saying you're terrifying, but I need to change my pants." "I think the llama mascot is making lewd gestures at you, Poetic." "JESUS." "THIS IS LITERALLY AWFUL." "I GUESS HE LEFT ALREADY." That was horrifying. Let's go to bed now.
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    Your Morning Routine

    Tell me about how you get ready in the morning. Or afternoon/evening, for any swing/mid shift workers among us. A typical day, but you can tell me about days off too. Also tell me about those times you got up at three in the morning on a Sunday because you thought had school and you accidentally ate a bowl of dog food for breakfast. Or when you went to bed at five in the morning and thought you'd be able to get away with taking a one hour nap before going to school only to find that you have slept through the entire day. A+ stories, will listen again. Keep in mind that this is a 13+ forum. === I get up around 0830, but sometimes I snooze until 0840 and sometimes I get up earlier. It depends. I am a capricious creature. I shower in the morning. I also always pee in the morning. I use two face washes. One has tiny rocks in it. The other one has volcanic ash. (I don't know if it helps. Maybe??) I wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner. I use bar soap. Sometimes I use soap from LUSH, but Java is sensitive to strong smells and we don't go to the mall all that often. I stopped using liquid soap because I am too lazy to wash my pouf and people were having heart attacks about how much bacteria grows on shower poufs. After I shower, I put on deodorant. I use the one that comes in liquid form, because the actual rock one gets stuck and it makes me angry. Also it's kind of fragile, so that's another reason to use the liquid one. Sometimes I epilate my armpits. Beauty is pain. I brush my teeth. I put moisturiser on my face (see the link for my face washes). I'm usually in and out of the shower in about ten minutes. Then I get dressed. This may or may not involve me walking out to the living room in a towel--it depends on whether I was motivated enough to put the laundry away. I drink some water because I am thirsty. At this point it's usually about 0900, so I poke around the forum a bit while I dry my hair. I blow dry and use a regular brush. This takes about ten minutes, but it can be longer or shorter depending on whether I stop to post or not. Also sometimes I find myself compelled to clean the litter box. Then I leave the apartment at 0930 and walk to the library! === One time when I was elementary school age, my little brother and I were supposed to go to the bus by ourselves. (My brother is two years younger than me.) We failed to do this and instead ate gargantuan bowls of cereal for breakfast. This predictably took a lot of time because they were very large bowls. My dad came home randomly (I don't remember the full details of this story) and was shocked to see we were still at home eating cereal. We were very late for school. I don't eat a lot of cereal anymore. === Okay, your turn!
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    Smut and the Underaged

    I came across a rather heated debate on Tumblr (all debates are heated on Tumblr). You can find the original post here. Subsequent comments, including my own, can be found in the notes. What caught my eye was this particular rant... Which I was going to link, but it looks like they've deleted all of their posts on the matter. So I guess I will link to my page instead, wherein the rant is quoted. You also get to read what I think, if you want. Basically, if you cannot access Tumblr or do not care to, someone submitted a pet peeve to a blog saying they do not like smut RPers who are underaged. More specifically: However, in the rant that caught my eye, they were very much offended by the notion. I've cut it shorter, but again, you can read the whole thing from my linked page. There is a disconnect, as OP is talking specifically about creating smut with an underaged person, whereas the angry response seems to take it as a dig against all underaged RPers in general. I still don't know that illegally downloading anime is reason enough to say "welp, might as well start porning it up with underaged folk", but I am no expert on Tumblr. Their potentially misplaced rage aside, it has sparked a lot of people speaking out against those who choose not to RP smut with the underaged, apparently riding in on the coattails of the somewhat lengthy tirade. My view of the matter is I do not view those younger than me as being below me, as is the insinuation in the rant. I do not think they are inherently less talented (that would be a filthy lie anyway), inherently less mature, or inherently not worth my time. I will RP with most anyone, though I do so rarely nowadays, and otherwise engage in creative endeavours with anyone regardless of age. It is only when the matter of sex, even if fictional, comes into play that I feel uncomfortable and draw the line. While I cannot recall ever roleplaying smut, even in my misguided youth, it does not seem like something I would have done with someone older than me regardless, as I found the very concept horrifying and skeevy. Now that I am on the other side of the coin, it is still horrifying and skeevy. Some say it is only for play, that it is meant to be a way of safely exploring sex. Others yet will point out horror stories of stalkers and legitimately creepy people who tried to take advantage of them during RP, taking it far beyond what is reasonable or legal. So where do you stand on the matter? When it comes to smut and the underaged, do you think it is okay for a person of age to participate? What are your opinions on people who do participate in smutty RP with underaged folk? Your opinions of the underaged themselves?
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    Abortions?

    I am locking this thread temporarily while I clean up and dole out warnings. I will return with a general warning once I finish. I removed a couple comments that didn't add to the debate. If anyone feels I have missed something egregious, let me know. Keep in mind both the forum rules and the rules in place for this subforum. Also bear in mind that ad hominem and personal attacks are not conducive to debates. Refer to this page regarding logical fallacies. Attacking others and treating them poorly is not a debate. If you have trouble treating your fellow forum members with respect, take a minute or two to calm down. Have a cup of tea. Step out onto the porch. Tell a loved one they look nice today. The thread will still be here when you come back. It also looks like the debate from the Religion thread leaked into this one. While I understand for some people the topics of abortion and religion are intrinsically tied, it would make for a better discussion to keep a slightly narrower focus. Not everyone who wishes to debate about abortion also wishes to have a debate about the relevancy of the Old Testament vice the New Testament, irrespective of either's relevancy to abortion. We are here to discuss things as equals. We're here to exchange ideas and challenge each other on an intellectual level, not sling mud at anyone who disagrees. You may get heated, you may get passionate, but do not forget that you're talking to living, breathing people who deserve respect, whether you agree with each other or not. Keep cool, my friends. I'll re-open the thread in a few hours.
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    Mutual Destruction [Sign Up]

    The constant feeling of being watched. Your stomach sinking every time you turn your back to the mirror. And the ringing in your ears is so loud, you can’t help but feel like it’s hiding something from you. Someone—or something—calls your name and pulls you from sleep. Your throat burns a little, and as you open your eyes, you’re certain you’ve never seen colours like that before. Today you learn you were never the sole occupant of your body. === The Story You are among those who share a body with various supernaturals. Each entity manifests differently, and you learn there are specific types. Species of a different plane of existence? Manifestations of a host’s depths? You aren’t certain, and they don’t seem especially willing to talk about it. All you know is the fragile balance between these entities and their human hosts is in danger. The Entity-Host Relationship Although it would seem most entities share an antagonistic relationship with their hosts, there are those capable of maintaining mutually beneficial arrangements. As entities can only come forward for limited periods, it is in their best interests to care for their hosts. Whether it’s eliminating business rivals or acquiring material wealth, entities can provide for a host well beyond what the host can do for themselves. However, building a tenuously amicable relationship with a host ultimately leaves them at the mercy of the human. More domineering entities may wrest control from the host completely, allowing them dominion over the body. This domination can tear the body apart, ejecting the entity and killing the host. Each time an entity comes forward, it slowly absorbs the host’s energy. If the host isn’t given regular control of the body, they will eventually become little more than a faint voice. Crafty entities are more than capable of assimilating themselves to societies, living ostensibly as a regular human being. (Are you strong enough to maintain control of your body? Perhaps you’ve always wanted someone else to live your life for you.) === The Races The Rueru You don’t comprehend how such large creatures can fit inside of a person. You don’t want to think about it. (Your thought processes pull you in every direction, sudden flashes of violence seizing you at the most inopportune times. Something inside you craves dominance, demanding complete control of your body.) Some are bulky and stout, wingless and bearing club-like tails, with horns thick and numerous. Some are lean and sleek, with wings that seem to stretch for miles and horns that seem more ornamental than functional. Most are twisted creatures that seem endless, filling your field of vision with colours and hues. You hear whispers that only the oldest of rueru are capable of manifesting into comprehensible forms. Destructive and powerful, rueru are less inclined towards psychic attacks. Bitter icy breaths. Impenetrable flames. Roars that tear through your eardrums as the sound demands your full attention. Teeth and claws sharp enough to sever an entity’s energy from its body with a single move. These are their preferred shows of force. When they come forward, they suck all the energy available, rendering human bystanders useless and forcing others to push aside their hosts and come forward. (Perhaps you’ve been affected, afflicted with sudden fatigue, limbs heavy and lungs almost useless.) The Caracomi You know it takes every ounce of your being not to succumb to a caracomi. Lacking the power to overwhelm opponents by strength, caracomi rely upon manipulation. They can change their appearance at will, constantly shifting to adapt to their environment. They take full advantage of deep-seated fears and lusts, extracting this information from samples of their victim’s energy. (Perhaps you’ve looked in the mirror and didn’t recognise the person in front of you. Perhaps you’ve seen the way your reflection smirks at you, the way its eyes twinkle with malice and suspicion.) You aren’t certain if they even have an identity of their own. You aren’t certain it matters. (You would give your body willingly, won’t you? To have your cravings sated, to have your fears destroyed?) The Kopic You are certain these are the creatures of your nightmares. Kopic are towering and spindly creatures, with wide eyes and thin fingers. They can unhinge their jaws, stretching their maws to cavernous and hypnotising dimensions. Stare long enough and you’ll find yourself drawn inside, eager to immerse yourself into the darkness. Upon feeding, their belly swells and they sleep, allowing its human host to reclaim the body and come forward once again. Their hair grows long and fine, and it’s the softest you’ve ever felt. To possess even a single strand of this hair would be divine. Perhaps it may keep you safe from being seduced by their eyes, mark you with their scent and make you an unattractive target. But you’ve seen it. The way the hair—so fine, so soft, just a single strand to keep you safe—snakes around the person and drags them away with unbelievable strength, leading them into that womb-like abyss. The screams eventually fade and they stop struggling. (Perhaps you share a body with a kopic. Perhaps you hear it growling in its sleep while you are forward. Perhaps you find yourself wishing to peel away your skin, wishing to possess but a strand of the hair that emerges from your undeserving skin.) In a cruel twist of fate, kopic are proficient healers. Gain their favour and they will tend to your wounds, physical and psychic. You’re certain it has to do with their hair. (Soft, soft. So soft.) They are pale creatures, almost devoid of colour. You think you can see the faintest hints of blue in their flesh, but drawing near only intoxicates you. Their language sounds crude to your ears, grunts and screeches and whistles. Somehow you can feel the words forming in your ears. It was never your intention to learn about them, but they’re not much interested in your intentions. (Come near, child. I’ll keep you safe, keep you close. Rest your eyes and stay a while.) The Cyiaah You have the feeling there’s more to them than they tell you. Human hosts mostly retain their physical appearance when a cyiaah comes forward—their eyes cloud over to a milky white and large feathered wings emerge from their backs. Sometimes you think there’s something underneath, something else attached to those wings, making the hosts puppets rather than angels. (Perhaps you felt something crawl beneath your skin, stretching into your limbs, reaching into your core and wrapping itself around you. Perhaps you haven’t noticed until now.) They reek of blood, a thick coppery scent that easily overwhelms. They smell of death and murder, betraying their angelic appearances. Each cyiaah has their own colours, with wings covering the gamut of colours, from deepest black to vivid red to blinding white. You can discern no pattern to the colours. Cyiaahs are blind to the material world, instead capable of reading energies and auras. They can track energy trails, though with the overlap and crowding of beings, it had best be a powerful entity they’re tracking or a fresh trail, lest the energy be quickly overwhelmed by noise. They can harness the energies around them and twist it to their needs, allowing them to invade a person’s mind, snaking into their cores. (Have you felt something like worms in your head? Felt the crawling of bugs upon your flesh? Become clearly aware of the flow of blood through your body?) (Like someone else is pulling your strings.) The Osia You believe the osia are dead. Sharing a body with a dead entity is perhaps less favourable than a living one. (Perhaps it’s all in your head.) When it sleeps, its presence is nigh invisible, even to the cyiaah. If a host pays close attention, they can feel it steal a breath or two from them. When it comes forward, the host’s body disintegrates, leaving behind only dust, and slips into the flow of energies. The osia pay no attention to the material world, easily passing through objects and beings alike. Osia prey upon dying and unrealised entities, snatching creatures from hosts before discovery and absorbing others before they die. As a being of pure energy, they are often partnered with—or exploited by—other creatures. They allow others to feed upon them—for a price. As an entity uses an osia, it entwines with the entity’s own energy, eventually becoming inextricably tied to them. The osia take their payment in full as soon as this merger is complete. The power an osia can grant is intoxicating, tempting beyond belief. They whisper syrupy promises, offering tastes of what could be. (Perhaps you’ve heard them whisper in your ear, felt them lead you down self-destructive paths.) It is through the host’s own energy than an osia can continue to exist and avoid being fully consumed. Once a host is nearly depleted, it usurps another creature’s host. (It isn’t as though the host will notice or care.) === Tidbits An entity can take over the bodies of infants through a pregnant host. At this point, the body is likely to become the entity's and the human is relegated to submission in the body, if they survive the takeover. Body sharing is strenuous and there are no guarantees if an entity is ejected from a host (which results in the destruction of the body) that it will be able to find another. Not everyone shares a body. Entities are predators and more than willing to eliminate each other. As such, most tend to keep to themselves or travel in small groups. It is more likely for cyiaah and caracomi to congregate than, say, the rueru or kopic—rueru tend to crave dominance and a kopic's appetite doesn't allow for meal sharing. Most prefer to keep a low profile and avoid the public, though this is largely dependent upon the entity's ability to control its hunger. === The Application Host Name: Host Age: Host Appearance: Host Personality: Host Backstory: Entity: Entity Appearance: Entity Personality: Host-Entity Relationship: === Younger characters are acceptable. === I wanted to be cool and have a sign up story too! This is in the same universe as Reflections. It is a rebuilding of an old project, an attempt to breathe new and more believable life into something that was originally pretty cheesy. Hopefully this is a bit more successful. Should you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If anything is unclear or contradictory, please feel free to point it out, since I am nearly falling asleep as I type this.
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    Mutual Destruction

    Michael stared at the woman in the mirror. He supposed averaging four hours of sleep over the past two weeks wasn't ideal, but hallucinations seemed excessive. She seemed to blink when he did, mimicking his other movements perfectly. Even the number of teeth seemed to match as he ran his tongue over each one. When he reached for the long dark hair that flowed over her shoulders in the reflection and grabbed an unexpected handful of hair, he took in a slow, controlled breath. The reflection smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling and drawing attention to the faint bags that formed beneath. He felt his lips part. “That’s enough for now.” The voice was feminine, static faint beneath the lilting sounds. “Rest your eyes, won’t you?” Michael went to sleep. === Something stank. Corben tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but was met with utmost resistance from his body. He groaned and took a mental step back, focusing his energy into opening his eyes. It was painful, like soap rubbed under his eyelids. His arms wouldn’t cooperate long enough to let him rub the pain out, so he squeezed his eyes shut, forcing out the pooled tears. They tumbled over his cheeks hotly and still his eyes burned. After a few orchestrated blinks, he managed to stabilise his vision long enough to examine his surroundings—or, at least, realise he was staring at the open predawn sky sandwiched between towering grey brick. The smell hadn’t left either. He tried to move again. It felt like he was lying on garbage bags, but he couldn’t get past how much his eyes hurt. Whether the bags were filled with pizza boxes or rotten fruit didn’t make much difference—he needed to get up. Corben grit his teeth and tried to launch his upper body forward. When his back seized with pain instead of lifting, he swore he could crack a tooth. He clumsily groped the bags beneath him, trying to force some feeling into his limbs long enough to figure out what he was lying on. What little he could feel through the plastic was immediately recognisable. Bottles. Broken bottles. Corben laughed.
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    The Kametsu Informer: Issue 8

    Happy Wednesday! Here is the latest issue. Have a great rest of the week~
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    The Kametsu Informer: Issue 8

    I don't think it's just the fact that we're getting older. I had all the time in the world until a few weeks ago to help run this place, and you can see I've been frustrated for much longer than that. Others as well. From my understanding--this is from a year or so ago, maybe two, and definitely before my most recent return--the chatbox was not only a drain on server resources, it leeched away forum activity. Instead of having casual conversations on the forum, it created the illusion that the forum itself was only for serious discussion (and a place for downloaders to post their 15) and that the chatbox was the only real place to have fun and let loose. I don't know how long the chatbox was around this time around, but it seems to have been in effect long enough for it to become an issue in multiple ways, including affecting the atmosphere of the forum. Posts from downloaders do appear to account for a lot of current activity on the forum. I don't have any specific stats at hand to reference, but I do look at the top daily posters and to me it seems rare for anyone to break into double digits for posts unless it's a brand new face wanting downloads. I think with the workload the downloads has created, coupled with the split caused by the IRC, it's made the rest of the forum stagnant. Also I--and I think others may too--tend to balk when newer users suggest we need new staff, because to me it reads as an oblique offering. "Let me be on staff and everything will be okay." Adding new staff won't solve anything until we address some other issues first--what our goal is as a forum, what our purpose is as a forum, and the specifics of how we should handle a broad range of situations. If we bring in new people, they're likely to do their own thing and create a divide between the older style of moderation and the newer style. Without that kind of documentation, without getting everyone on the same page (or at least in the same book), we're just creating problems.
  17. A Youtube channel has been suggested multiple times; it's a fine idea--I don't want to sound like I'm against it, because I'm not! But given the forum's track history with creating content regularly that isn't anime downloads, I suspect that it'll progress thusly: Lots of initial interest. A handful will promise to have a video weekly/every two weeks. Another handful will say they're too busy, but once things are settled in life, they might participate. Interest slowly starts waning as the number of comments and amount of feedback decreases, until eventually it either sputters and dies quietly, or one person sticks to it for as long as possible before admitting that it's a failed attempt and shuts it down themselves. I think with regards to creating content, we first have to decide what our purpose is as a forum and community. If we decide to stick with wearing all of the hats (gaming, RP, art & literature, anime & manga, entertainment, downloads), we should decide our priorities. I think our primary focus should be on updating the main site (Kametsu.com), since it's the face of the forum and it's super duper weird that it's never updated. One of the things we could do is as we update with news and articles on the site's main page, make it so all the comments and discussion of the news happens on the forum. See here on the Starbound site. When you click the comments link on the blog posts, it takes you to the forum. I dunno if it's something we can make happen automatically here (someone might have to do some coding), but it wouldn't be difficult to do manually, to at least post a topic with a link to the blog post. We can branch out from there (and definitely do more forum events), but I think relying on off-site communities like Youtube would just have the same effect as the IRC channel did--it would only further divide our userbase, even if we turned off comments on the videos.
  18. Freedoms? This is a private Internet forum, not a nation-state. It is impossible for any of us, as staff, to infringe upon a person's freedoms in any meaningful way outside of this forum. This is basically Koby's house, not a country. I'm quite certain I've had this discussion with another member before. I can't tell if you aren't familiar with some of the history here on Kametsu, so pardon me if I'm repeating things you already know or are aware of. There was a member most recently evicted from the forum. Regular poster, considered part of the core community. They had settled into the forum while I was absent, so I cannot speak on how they were in the beginning. As I reintegrated myself back into the community (I had been absent an extended period following my enlistment into the Air Force), I found this user was becoming increasingly aggressive towards me and other users. This behaviour was well-known and generally brushed off as "that's just the way they are", even though several others noted that this behaviour was especially aggressive towards me and specific others. After all, this person had been part of the community for so long, there's no way they'd really be a troll, right? Except they eventually admitted outright to trolling the community, to purposely flaming people in the interest of causing trouble. When I brought this up, once again, it was noted that this behaviour was common for them and that they had been spoken to about it, but still it persisted. I collected testimonies and posts to build my case, to show it wasn't simply a gut feeling I had. It wasn't until I laid extremely clear how the situation was affecting me and others that anything was done about it. Before that, another member was removed after what appears to be a long period of deliberation, though I was absent for that and cannot speak on it much more than that. Perhaps I come across as crosser than I intend. I would like to note that I am the author of the current set of rules and I find they're quite lenient. I have no inclinations towards making them any stricter than they are now--what I want is clarity and delineation, which doesn't necessarily mean being more strict. I lurk around a select few subreddits and I always see people complain about how "there's too many rules" and "the mods are nazis". Honestly, the best subreddits I go to have active mods, are routinely cleaned up and kept organised, and are not afraid to enforce the rules. This means that quality content rises to the top, discussions aren't buried by memes, and comment threads aren't minefields of dung and ignorance. Meanwhile, I can't even stomach to scroll through the comments on posts in less moderated subreddits, because the troglodytes appear to enjoy congregating and piling up on each other until they eventually suffocate on their self-satisfied smugness. It's not like I'm calling for a nanny-state. I suspect that we simply do not agree on what is an acceptable level of moderation. I think, as staff, we've been extremely lax on many things and it shows in the community and in the quality of discussions. A large part of this is due to lack of communication and lack of standard operating procedure. As staff, I think we're also frequently attacked for enforcing the rules, and rather than stand our ground, we spend a lot of time justifying and apologising for it, to the point where it's easier to just ignore infractions rather than do anything about it, especially if it's a regular member as opposed to a faceless newbie trying to post their 15. This, of course, leads to situations where trolls are allowed to remain in the community for too long and people get the impression that as long as you're here long enough, you'll get special treatment. Even when the person I spoke of above was finally banned, people thought it was out of line to evict them and that we didn't give them a fair chance.
  19. Emotional Outlet

    Downsizing & Server Upgrades

    Sounds good, yo. I started working full time once again just a few weeks ago, so Java and I are still a little tight in the money department, but I'm still around. I'm not in a secure facility like before, so I'm never too far away and can be reached pretty easily on the Facebooks or text or whatevs. I work 0730-1700, plus/minus for traffic, but it's a regular weekday job, so weekends should always be free for me. Java might be willing to help if he can be pulled away from Defiance or Halo or whatever it is he's playing when I'm working, haha.
  20. I think the discussion topics are pretty broad; we might actually be casting a wider net than we can handle. There's Anime & Manga, Gaming, Entertainment (which I suggested we could merge with Balamb for a time, but that was shut down), Downloads, Art & Literature, Graphics, and RP. The Alexandria Inn (RP) has been on the chopping block more than a few times, but nothing has ever come of it. I suggested merging it with Art & Lit for a time, since that subforum has also been pretty quiet and the two could share activity for a bit so it didn't look quite so dead. That was also shut down. I do think getting rid of the subfora, especially in the Gaming and Anime & Manga areas, has been called for several times. There was a discussion some time ago about replacing game specific subfora with genre subfora, but nothing came of that. (But I do agree that it's something that should be done!) I wonder if the reluctance towards change is meant to act as stability for current members. It hasn't been working, and I think keeping things the same is less stabilising and more boring. It never changes, so you have no reason to check up on it more than a few times--after all, who wants to spend a lot of time looking at stuff that's the same when you could look at new stuff? I love to replay old games, but I do more than replay Chrono Trigger every day, you know? The removal of the chatbox was controversial and I think it's the last major change that occurred on this forum that I can remember. It's easy to look at it and think, "This is why Kametsu is failing, this is why the community is falling apart", but I think there's a lot at play that eventually culminated into this. Trolls were allowed to roam free here for a while, so long as they seemed nice enough about it, which is off-putting. Having the downloads meant an increase of people posting "I like Naruto", which is off-putting. People get the impression that staff doesn't care about them and that we won't step in to defend them, which is off-putting. The IRC channel further split the community and its staff, draining activity and spreading thin the donations the forum gets, which is off-putting. We frequently fail to meet donation goals (I don't know what they are) and have to be reminded to donate through the statuses, which is off-putting. The community for a long while had a very insular feel to it, unwelcoming towards strangers unless they were friends with established members already through other means, which is off-putting. The main website and other sites in the network are dead, which is off-putting. It is definitely annoying and frustrating to have to skim through garbage threads in order to find anything worth talking in. The presence of the downloads seems to have largely masked the fact that discussions have been severely lacking for quite some time--the activity is there, but it's not quality. And really, in a forum with 21k+ members, our daily top posters should be breaking the double digits regularly, especially given the wide range of topics we supposedly cover. Two posts shouldn't be enough to break into that list, but it is. Rules are a necessity in nearly every community. If we didn't have rules, then trolls--blatant and insidious alike--would be allowed to set up shop here. There's already a problem here with regards to pulling the trigger on removing problematic members--slackening the rules wouldn't serve us well in the least. Slackening the rules with regards to spam would just mean making it more difficult for people to have discussions. It might seem overwhelming and smothering, but my interest is in having a safe community where members feel welcome, in having a place people can call their home. A place where people can hop on after work or school and relax. Kametsu hasn't been that place for me in a long while, and I suspect it's the same for a lot of others. I have to gear myself up to actually want to post here, and for a while, I'd hate coming here because I knew I would have to deal with a certain person. It's a huge bummer to feel unsafe and unwanted in a community, and I hardly expect anyone to want to continue to post here given those sorts of reactions. And honestly, most of the rules I want to implement put the onus on the staff rather than the members. Increased communication between staff members, checking in regularly and giving reports on what's happening in the various parts of the forum, coming up with ideas to keep things fresh and how to address issues that have been popping up. As it stands, we don't really talk to each other and we don't address issues until they are brought up to us. We're very reactive as opposed to proactive, and that's frustrating.
  21. If the primary reason we had regular activity was because of negativity, what does that say about the community? Leadership isn't simply choosing between a dictatorship or a committee. Leadership generally requires usage across three different schools of thought--authoritarian (dictatorship/autocracy), democratic (committee), and delegation. I don't think delegation is something often used in this forum, if at all. It's nearly impossible to delegate tasks and roles when they aren't delineated or explained. It is an important skill to have, to know when and how to delegate tasks, because no one person can do everything. Not unless they want to burn themselves out. An effective leader uses all three styles when appropriate. Using any one style exclusively isn't going to be the best. Regardless. Message boards are not obsolete. This forum--Kametsu--is becoming obsolete not because of Internet culture, but because of problems within Kametsu. Something Awful was founded in 1999 and it's still a hugely popular forum. Modthesims is a popular Sims forum that's been going strong since 2004. Quarter to Three has loads of posts. MSPA, Gunnerkrigg, and Sinfest each have their own active forum. Also I'm pretty sure people are still on Usenet. Just because something is old or considered obsolete doesn't mean it doesn't have an audience. The thing about most of these fora is that they've changed with the times. They've done reorgs, facelifts, and even complete rehauls to keep things fresh, relevant, and interesting. Kametsu has gone through changes, but a lot of the ones I can think of are ones that were pressed upon by necessity, a reactive change as opposed to a proactive change. Kametsu lacks direction and purpose. We're being pulled into many directions at once and we don't have the leadership or the manpower to back it up--an RP community, a graphics community, an art & literature community, an anime community, a gaming community, and, on top of all of that, downloads. Who's maintaining all of these communities on Kametsu? Who's responsible for keeping these things alive? It's supposed to be the staff, but here I see we have one dedicated graphics mod, three super mods (one of whom mostly handles the downloads), three co-admins, and one owner. I identified six major components to this forum. Only two of them have staff assigned, either specifically or in spirit--downloads and graphics. Eight people to run six different components in a forum with 21k+ registered members. Eight largely absent people. Even if we didn't have a problem with manpower, there's still the fact that things are stale. Changes are shut down almost immediately. We're dragged down by so much baggage from the past (like the dead sites in the top bar--Shadowhearts.info hasn't been updated since 2010; Kametsu.com has seen one post this year and before that the last post was in January 2012; Grandia Online and Forgotten Memories both generate database errors; and Anime Tokyo redirects back to here), by memories of what once was, that moving forward has been made nigh impossible. I'm not saying "we need more mods". I'm saying we need to downsize and focus. To stop trying to make it like it used to be. It used to be good, but we can do better. We should do better, instead of aiming for "doesn't actively make me hate life". Nor is it a problem of effort--at least not in the sense of "if we try harder, things will be better". The forum needs to see radical change, to see dead weight culled. A sign that people are dedicated to the betterment of the forum, that the lackadaisical attitude that leads people to think the staff doesn't care about its members is a thing of the past starting now. That we aren't going to remain tied to the past and how things used to be and continue to let that keep us paralysed. My inactivity isn't boredom or lack of interest. My inactivity is exasperation and a sense of powerlessness. Long story short: The forum needs radical change if things are meant to be improved--to the point of severing more than a few ties to the past. Small changes aren't going to cut it any more, if they ever did. Another choice is to continue to let it die a slow death. Another yet is to pull the plug entirely.
  22. Emotional Outlet

    help

    It feels like every day I see a post on Tumblr about how people are improperly caring for animals. There was a video/set of GIFs going around of a person rubbing an uromastyx's belly as it flailed its arms around. The reaction--flipping onto its back and flapping its arms at the finger touching it--is apparently one of submission and a plea not to be touched. 'Course, everyone else thought it was just the cutest thing. I've seen similar posts for most every animal, from fish to dogs. Fish especially seem not to be well cared for. I think you ought think on how well you are able to care for this snake. And it's not a slam against you; I wouldn't keep an animal I'm unable to identify on my own, personally, because if I didn't even know what it was, what else don't I know about it? (everything) Have you previous experience with raising snakes?
  23. I have strong inclinations towards doing a total wipe, but limiting it to archiving material from whenever (six months, two years) into a separate database would probably be the least destructive. I also have strong inclinations towards hiding the Farplane entirely if we continue to use it as a trash can rather than a means of archive. We don't delete posts because we are told not to. A while back I actually hard deleted spam rather than dump it into a repository, because there's no use in keeping it around other than to bolster numbers. I am uncertain whether hard deletions cause damage to the database, but I believe it is strictly local policy to retain posts rather than any concern for the database. There are a few policies I would like to enact, especially with regards to the treatment of older threads and keeping things fresh, but it's difficult to get any sort of input or consensus on it. For a period I tried to do monthly staff meetings, to bolster communication, to get things rolling. Few of the staff showed up and eventually I let it go because it was a pointless struggle. I have posted a thread asking for clarification about certain policies and how to enforce certain rules--where the lines are drawn, &c--and have received no response. The biggest hurdle is the majority of the power is in Koby's hands, and it's not in my nature to move ahead with policies without clearance. This also means, unfortunately, that because of this bottleneck, nothing gets done. I suspect that my style--heavy documentation, delineation of limits and policies--isn't one that is very popular, because it does create a lot of work. On the other hand, the heavy workload is mostly in the creation--once policies are set in place, then it's simply a matter of following what is written. This also makes handoffs and change of staff easier, because we are all following the same standards rather than trying to figure out unwritten rules. For example, does anyone know how long we suspend people for spamming? Does anyone know what punishments are doled out for people who repeatedly break signature guidelines? The rules are vague in this regard and only offer a range--from a verbal warning to an IP ban. This isn't really the way things should be run, but, again, it's not like me to just put limits without getting input from others and clearance from the person in charge.
  24. Emotional Outlet

    To the far reaches of interesting conversations..

    I don't think there's anything inherently sexual about underwear. Anyway, nice Ibuki avatar~ Gundam is my favourite, after Komaeda.
  25. Emotional Outlet

    To the far reaches of interesting conversations..

    In theory it's a nice idea, except a lot of people aren't wearing the best-fitting bras and that sort of construction would seem to me to only further complicate such a misunderstood garment. Those who wear bras with larger cups would be SOL, unless there's some way to shrink it before usage. And it seems it wouldn't serve well for daily usage, since having it up against your skin and sweat would degrade whatever filters are in there, but that's just a guess on my part. It's also disappointing that the bra only comes in primarily bra matrix sizes--they don't carry bras with cup sizes larger than D, smaller than B, nor bands smaller than 32. Not to mention you'd have to remove your shirt to put it on, and getting chemicals on your bare skin is the opposite of fun. When we did gas mask drills, we had to get them from carrier to face within seconds. I can't imagine the amount of time it would take to take off your shirt, remove the bra, unhook the cups, and then wrap it around your head. And I guess at some point put your shirt back on? Who knows.
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