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PlanetCrap is a Web discussion forum created by Hendrik Mans, known as Morn. It is ostensibly concerned with discussing computer games, although its content varies almost as much as the Internet itself. Growing out of the Unreal community, it has always remained slightly less reputable than its peers. It has mostly stable group of regular contributors, some of whom have remained there since the site's inception in 1998.
Its origins can be traced back to unreal.org, one of the early Web forums to spring up for the PC game Unreal. Unreal.org's principals were Morn, Max (who now runs Massivebraincase), Jeet (later to become UncleJeet), Sumbry, Darkblade and SteveD. Editorial content was handled mostly by Max and Jeet, with Morn providing Webmastering and other technical expertise, while the other three were involved in a related online radio show entitled UnrealAudio. Unreal.org was shut down on July 19, 1998, and not coincidentally PlanetCrap started in 1998 with most of unreal.org's users switching over.
Given that it was not part of any other larger network and was not being operated for profit, unlike GameSpy or many other competing sites, PlanetCrap was able to develop an outsider's perspective. This came to a head during the time Andy Smith was producing many topics. The subjects of Smith's topics were increasingly regarded as inflammatory, culminating in a thread in which George Broussard made a statement concerning screenshots This cemented PlanetCrap's reputation for vitriol and anarchy. Smith left the site shortly after.
PlanetCrap's content has traditionally centered around computer games. In its early years, it hosted lively discussions between many noted developers, journalists, mod creators and regular users. Among the regular developer posters were: Warren Marshall, Tim Sweeney and Brandon Reinhardt of Epic Games; George Broussard and Scott Miller of 3D Realms; Petri Jarvilehto of Remedy; Derek Smart; JeanPaul LeBreton of Human Head Studios and Irrational Games; Aubrey "Bezzy" Hesselgren of Ludopathic/Amorphous Games (now Splash Damage); Caryn "Hellchick" Law of Raven Software and Katherine Anna Kang of id Software.
Controversy and content
- PlanetCrap has traditionally had several hot-button issues. Anything to do with Unreal was, given its roots, guaranteed to be interesting to readers. Due to the high amount of game industry posters, threads on technical issues were usually well-informed.
- A strong theme of attack of gaming Web sites developed early, with many topics criticizing the gradual commercialization of GameSpy. Many operators of fan sites which had been brought into the GameSpy network used PC to air their grievances. As time went on, however, this antagonism has softened and a good many current and former Game Industry "journalists" have populated the site. A related stream of threads have decried the so-called "Ctrl-C-Ctrl-V" (copy and paste) journalism practiced by sites such as Blues News, Voodoo Extreme and Shacknews.
- Over the past two or three years PlanetCrap's core community has dwindled to just a handful of regular posters, with some semi-regular posters and occasionally a very few random posters. This apparent cliquishness combined with PlanetCrap's traditional tendency towards the snide and sarcastic to give the forum an air of impenetrability to newcomers, and means that very few new posters join the ranks of regulars.
The software Hendrik Mans wrote to run PC is now at version 6.0 and is named "blah". While Mans has fiddled with some format changes over the years, the basic design has mostly stayed the same: 10 topics on the front page submitted either by users or mods which link to discussion threads which are notorious for diverging early and often from the subject matter of the original thread starter. For most of the site's life thread-starting articles had to be approved by mods, but version 6.0 included a voting feature whereby topics could be voted in by getting the majority of an undisclosed number of votes by users.
Mans has developed several other sites which at one point were tied into his own network, such as an online radio station called CrapRadio which has since been discontinued. There is also an IRC channel connected to the site, of which only half of the usual idlers are also regular posters at PC - the channel #planetcrap can be found at irc.mandog.com. The two current moderators of the site, Morn and Gabe Kruger, also partner in a game development venture called Refracted Mandog with several other PlanetCrap denizens. Gabe developed a reader for PC called OpenCrap, following on from an earlier standalone reader called CrapSpy. Jibble has started an indexing service for PC called CrapSifter.
- "Massive Braincase". Massive Braincase. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- Hendrik Mans. "Less gaming = less aggression · PlanetCrap 6.0". Planetcrap.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "DNF Screenshot Controversy". Shacknews.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- Tobacco, Big. "DNF Screenshots Not Banned". Shacknews.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "Why I Love Derek Smart". Gamers With Jobs. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "All Aspects: The Derek Smart AAW Interview". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "Refracted Mandog LLC - Games to Howl About". Mandog.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "opencrap.org". opencrap.org. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "CrapSifter v0.3". Crapsifter.jibble.net. Retrieved 2011-06-13.