NeoGAF

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NeoGAF
NeoGAF logo.png
Type of site
Gaming
Available in English
Owner Tyler Malka
Created by Jim Cordeira
Website neogaf.com/forum/
Alexa rank Negative increase 1,729 (October 2017)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration By admin approval only
Launched 1999; 18 years ago (1999) (as Gaming-Age Forums)
Current status Broken

NeoGAF, formerly known as the Gaming-Age Forums, is an internet forum that discussed video games, founded as an adjunct to Gaming-Age, a video game news website. On April 4, 2006, the GAF changed its name to NeoGAF and became independently hosted and administered.

History[edit]

NeoGAF began as "The Gaming-Age Forums", a forum for gaming website Gaming-Age. As Gaming-Age outgrew its hosting, IGN took over hosting of Gaming-Age's forums. After IGN ceased hosting of GAF in the summer of 2001, GAF moved to ezboard, and the administration of GAF became more estranged from Gaming Age.[2]

As the Gaming-Age staff became gradually more divorced from the day-to-day operation of GAF, problems with the new Gamesquad hosting cropped up. As software bugs in vBulletin 2, the version GAF was using at the time, continued to worsen, the Gamesquad hosting became increasingly more impractical, until the forums' database became corrupted, forcing a move to new hosting in order to change software and salvage what was left of the forums' database. In the spring of 2004, a fundraiser was held to move GAF to new hosting. On June 6, 2004, GAF took its newest form (known as NeoGAF to long-time posters) and moved to new hosting and new software, vBulletin 3.

On April 4, 2006, the forums were relaunched as NeoGAF, the former in-moniker, by its administrators. NeoGAF also features its own front page, an upfront admission that the forum's audience had drifted from that of its birthing news site, but yet mandated a single portal to represent the forum's members.

In an interview with VG247 in 2013, Tyler Malka claimed that he was offered $5 million to sell the website, turning down the offer.[3] One year later he stated in a forum post that the offer doubled, later saying he also turned down the deal.[4]

In 2017, following a sexual harassment scandal involving Tyler Malka, most of its moderation staff resigned, and many users posted "suicide threads" wherein they demand to be banned from the forum. The website went offline soon after.[5][6] Afterwards, Neogaf was restored, suspending the off-topic sections of the board, and announcing that politics would henceforth be a prohibited subject of discussion and that moderation would become anonymous.[7]

Industry response[edit]

Members of the video games industry have been known to be members of the website, such as David Jaffe and Cliff Bleszinski, though both have left the site.[8][9][10]

In 2007, in a thread discussing the resignation of Peter Moore from Microsoft, one user making fun of Microsoft's vice president of global marketing Jeff Bell received a personal message asking them "And your contribution to society is ... what?" The account was later found to be Jeff Bell's.[11] Malka later said he saw a shift on the forums with people in the games industry being more careful of what they post.[12]

In a 2009 thread post on NeoGAF dedicated to the game Scribblenauts, user "Feep" relayed the experience of discovering during E3 that he was able to go back in time with a time machine to collect a dinosaur in order to defeat an army of robot zombies that could not be defeated with regular weapons.[13][14][15] The story, memorialized as "Post 217", led to the games artist Edison Yan creating a desktop wallpaper image of the story, in appreciation of the positive fan response to the game, and the terms "Post Two One Seven", "Feep", and "Neogaf" were included as summonable objects in the game.[16] Scribblenauts' director Jeremiah Slaczka credited the word-of-mouth popularity of "Post 217" for part of the game's success at E3, and noted that he had contacted Feep to gain his permission to include "Feep" (appearing as a robot zombie) within the game.[17]

Describing the development struggles of 2017's Rime, Tequila Works co-founder Raúl Rubio Munárriz said reading the forum's reactions sent him into tears for two days and that if he read them early on in-development, the game would've been cancelled. "Partly because I just don't understand the cruelty, but more importantly because I could see those years over those two days, and I began to understand that maybe people can love something so much that they can hate it."[18]

After referring to the transgender Kotaku writer "Heather" as a man, Doug TenNapel described being derided on the forum as "like being unpopular in North Korea." and said that regardless, "I make my games for everyone."[19][20]

Criticism[edit]

One of the biggest critics of NeoGAF was game designer and former Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack. In June 2008, he issued a challenge to forum users. He asked users to say whether they were for or against the then upcoming Silicon Knights game Too Human. Once the game was released, if the game received negative reception, Dyack would have "Owned by GAF" under his forum name. If positive reception, users who voted against the game would have had "Owned by Too Human."[21] Dyack would later go on the 1UP Yours podcast, explaining his challenge was an experiment to expose the lack of accountability on online forums, adding that NeoGAF would crumble if it doesn't reform itself.[22] He was later permanently banned from the site in August that same year after calling it the worst online forum.[23][24]

Owner Tyler Malka posted a picture of himself shaking hands with Obama in 2016[25] and NeoGAF expressed its official support for the United States Climate Alliance and Paris Agreement in 2017.[26] NeoGAF was criticized for biased moderation and banning political dissidents, and shortly after officially endorsing the Paris agreement, Tyler "Evilore" Malka made a post admitting biased moderation by at least one former member of the moderation staff. Malka stated that the ex-moderator banned hundreds of members without justification. Malka also made the declaration that discussion should be encouraged with different points of view, saying that people on the website have been "driven out, character assassinated, labeled traitor for not sounding angry enough, or for not being entirely on board with ostracizing someone else for the same reasons."[27]

In the media[edit]

In 2007, the website partnered up with The Get-Well Gamers Foundation to launch a donation campaign to bring video games to children in hospitals. NeoGAF raised $5,600 in cash and inventory donations over the October to December period.[28]

An exchange on the forum inspired members to start the development of Dudebro II in 2010. The game is intended to be a satirical take on the machismo found in some modern titles and will feature Jon St. John, the voice of Duke Nukem, as the lead.[29] The last update on the game's development was in 2015.[30]

During the Gamergate controversy of 2014, Slate's David Auerbach claimed NeoGAF "hosts pedophilia discussions on non-age-restricted boards and has a sexist owner."[31] This is not restricted to adults under COPPA in the United States[32] and in fact is protected according to the United States Code,[33] but is restricted in Russia, a site where NeoGAF is available, as one of many "non-traditional sexual relationships" which can only be advocated in an 18+ environment online. In June 2017, a longtime NeoGAF poster and former moderator, Christopher "Amir0x" Goldberg was arrested and charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography.[34][35]

In June 2015, a Reddit sub-community devoted towards mocking NeoGAF became one of five communities shutdown by the site.[36][37] Reddit argued the ban hit groups "that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don’t take action."[38]

Vice News noted the site was one of the largest drivers of traffic to Hillary Clinton's website during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "neogaf.com Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ Oxford, Nadia (April 8, 2010). "The Story of NeoGAF". GamePro. IDG. p. 1. Archived from the original on November 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ Donaldson, Alex (May 17, 2013). "The story of NeoGAF part three: money, money, money". VG247. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  4. ^ Cook, Dave (May 22, 2014). "NeoGAF’s owner turned down $10 million offer for the site". VG247. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ Cade Onder (2017-10-22). "Gaming forum NeoGAF goes up in smoke after sexual harassment allegations against founder". GameZone. Retrieved 2017-10-22. 
  6. ^ Crecente, Brian (October 22, 2017). "Video Game Forum NeoGAF Offline Amid Sexual Assault Allegations Against Owner". Glixel. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  7. ^ http://neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1452075
  8. ^ Donaldson, Alex (May 15, 2013). "The story of NeoGAF part one: humble beginnings". VG247. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  9. ^ David Jaffe [@davidscottjaffe] (April 4, 2017). "it works better if I just lurk. My personality and GAF can be toxic." (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  10. ^ Cliff Bleszinski [@therealcliffyb] (June 18, 2014). "NeoGAF, I'll let you in on a secret. Most of the (hundreds) of developers I know avoid you like the plague and think you're mostly cunts." (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  11. ^ Rea, Jared (July 18, 2007). "Jeff Bell asks message board user: "And your contribution to society is ... what?"". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. 
  12. ^ Donaldson, Alex (May 16, 2013). "The story of NeoGAF part two: scandal and control". VG247. Gamer Network. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  13. ^ McElroy, Griffon (June 5, 2009). "Hands-on: Scribblenauts". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  14. ^ Ashley, Robert (June 11, 2009). "Scribblenauts: How a Nobody Game Became the Talk of This Year's E3". Crispy Gamer. Archived from the original on July 11, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  15. ^ Harold, Charles (June 8, 2009). "A game to help you think creatively". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  16. ^ Fletcher, JC (June 15, 2009). "Celebrate a legendary Scribblenauts moment with this wallpaper". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  17. ^ Broder, Aaron (September 8, 2009). "Q&A: Scribblenauts emerges as breakthrough game for 5th Cell". Tech Flash. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  18. ^ Maxwell, Ben (May 2017). "The Year's Essential Adventure is Finally Here". Edge. United Kingdom: Future plc. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  19. ^ Miles Cheong, Ian (August 4, 2017). "People Are Losing Their Minds Over What A Video Game Creator Said To A Guy Named ‘Heather’". The Daily Caller. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  20. ^ Doug TenNapel [@TenNapel] (August 3, 2017). "It's like being unpopular in North Korea. Still, I make my games for everyone." (Tweet). Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  21. ^ Bennett, Colette (June 25, 2008). "Denis Dyack makes bet with NeoGAF forum users about Too Human". Destructoid. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  22. ^ Kollar, Philip (July 3, 2008). "Dyack on 1UP Yours: Forums Need Reform". 1UP Yours. 1UP.com. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. 
  23. ^ bleahy (August 19, 2008). "NeoGAF Bans 'Too Human' Creator, Denis Dyack". G4tv.com. Archived from the original on August 19, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  24. ^ Garratt, Patrick (August 20, 2008). "Dyack: I posted on NeoGAF because it’s "the worst forum"". VG247. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  25. ^ https://twitter.com/NeoGAF/status/712456742488006656
  26. ^ https://twitter.com/NeoGAF/status/870506309052899330
  27. ^ Leack, Jonathan (June 5, 2017). "NeoGAF Owner Confirms Previously Biased Moderation, Pushes for Greater Diversity of Opinions". Game Revolution. Crave Online. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  28. ^ Jenkins, David (2007-12-21). "NeoGAF Forum Donates $5,600 To Charity". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  29. ^ "'Dudebro II': the incredible journey from internet joke to very real game". Vox Media. The Verge. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  30. ^ http://www.grimoireassemblyforge.com/dudebro2/site/
  31. ^ David Auerbach (2014-10-28). "How to End Gamergate". Slate. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  32. ^ http://legislink.org/us/pl-105-277
  33. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230
  34. ^ Cheong, Ian (2017-06-29). "Male Feminist Arrested For Child Porn". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  35. ^ Tamburro, Paul (2017-06-29). "Former NeoGAF Mod Reportedly Arrested in Child Porn Case". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  36. ^ Griffin, Andrew (2015-06-11). "Reddit bans communities including 'Fat People Hate' as users say anti-harassment policies could be 'beginning of the end'". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  37. ^ Hathaway, Jay (2015-06-10). "Reddit Removes "FatPeopleHate," "CoonTown" Still Cool Though". Gawker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  38. ^ Thielman, Sam (2015-06-10). "Reddit bans five subforums over harassment concerns". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  39. ^ Kulwin, Noah (2016-08-31). "Racist trolls of 8chan are driving traffic to Donald Trump's website". Vice News. Vice Media. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 

External links[edit]