Bioware is closing every official game forum. Except for SWTOR! Thank god that Star Wars the Old Republic is safe! Joking aside that’s more than 20 million posts and half a million members. You might have heard of Dennis Cooper who maintained a literary-leaning blog that was deleted without notice by Google. 10 years of content gone with a keyboard click. Game forums where one guy spent a page describing what video game characters sweat must taste like (With accompanying chemical formulas as proof) might not have the same cachet as Dennis Cooper’s work (Part of his shtick was to find obscure posts like that and re-imagine them on his blog) but they deserve to be protected just as vigorously.
Having lived in these worlds it’s a dumb move on the part of EA. An essential part of any MMORPG (Massively multiplayer onlinerole-playing game) are the forums. Business as usual. They’re using the same model that figures in food stamps and other government benefits when the wages for WalMart associates are calculated. Reddit, Twitter and Facebook will cover the slack for EA. Only they didn’t kill the SWTOR forums because….$$$. Sorry Mass Effect and Dragon Age fans you’ve been nickled and dimed to death.
In the South Park episode “Make Love Not Warcraft” the show mocked game executives that are completely out of touch with their game. All too often MBA sharks move in, fire the designers then run the cash cow into the ground. The demise of ATARI during the North American Video Game Crash of 1983 was caused by poor business decisions made by greedy corporate types who didn’t understand gaming. They then portentously declared the video gaming industry to be “non-viable in the long term.” Nintendo Entertainment System proved all that to be utter BS but those guys and gals with the MBA’s seem to have a Teflon coating when it comes to bad decisions.
It can’t cost that much to keep the forums up. Is EA trying to shrink BioWare for reasons we don’t know about? Does anyone care?
There are no Fahrenheit 451 Firemen needed to burn the books anymore. Some flunky that probably looks a lot like Kim Davis decided Dennis Cooper’s “Gay Stuff” violated the TOS (Terms of Service) and hit a button on their keyboard. Some accountant told Rich Uncle Pennybags that EA (Electronic Arts) would save a few pennies by ceasing to maintain the Bioware forums. Did Ray Bradbury predict all this in 1953? Only there are no firemen Ray. Just endless regiments of Kim Davis types gleefully tormenting the little people: Queers, Gamers and anyone else powerless enough to get at. T S Eliot had it right. “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.”