In last week’s MTV Developer Pop Quiz, Trey Smith called out on hateful gamers, and stated that he thought that “one of the biggest problems right now is the actions and attitude of some of the gamers out there. You know who they are. If they spent less time spewing ignorant hate on the boards and in online games, and more time rallying behind the great games they love and helping to build a thriving community that welcomes everyone that shows up to play with them – everybody wins. Nothing wrong with a little smack talk here and there, just wish gamers respected each other more.”

I don’t know as to whether Trey Smith has ever heard of Rllmukforum, as that’s a forum that constantly hates upon newcomers, and spews ignorant hate on its boards. And then one has to wonder as to whether the people that help run and maintain that particular community even deserve the opportunity to have themselves be heard and be offered the chance to have an opinion.

Before anyone starts hating on me, let me just give you a brief history lesson: is the remnants of what used to be the Edge forums. When they closed their doors to us in March 2003 we had no where to go; these forums began and have stuck ever since.

Rllmukforum is a community comprised of refugees, outcasts, and misfits who weren’t fit for the likes of Edge magazine – a highly respected media institution that has won numerous awards in the past. The only reason as to why those people managed to find shelter in the form of Edge forums is because Edge is renowned for being an excellent videogames magazine that delivers unique content on a monthly basis.

In other words, it was the content that was the unique selling point, and the principle reason as to why so many forumites congregated at Edge forums. So when one hears about Rllmukforum battling for survival a few months ago, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise that the reason as to why the community isn’t generating new incoming traffic is because those who help run it would rather let the site idly remain as a forum, and not allow it to evolve and sieze the myriad of creative opportunites offered by the web (so as to become a mashup site of sorts), and to allow some of its forumites to become eminent spokesmen within the industry.

Eurogamer hosted its very own Expo this month at London’s Earls Court, and is a stunning example of a website that has gone beyond the boundaries offered by the web, to truly become an international and well respected brand name in its own right. The company has its own website, with its own in-built forum, and regularly draws in huge incoming reader traffic due to its ability to act as a site that not only encourages its user community to submit their own reviews, but also develops content of its own in the form of reviews etc, as well as video and podcast content.

Gamers demand so much more from websites nowadays, and if a site isn’t doing anything to increase its repertoire of services, then it will eventually lose its competitive edge, and flounder in the wake of more hungry competition who are eager to gain a foothold in the marketplace and who want a larger market-share.

If I was a website forum (or business), I’d be thinking as to what it is that distinguishes me from the other 60,000 organisations in existence, who all offer the same service or product, and who all say pretty much the same thing. What am I doing that allows me to remain competitive, and enables me to offer a unique (value-added) proposition?

Every month we see Rllmukforum bleat on (like sheep) about what Games TM and Edge have to say (who all now incidentally happen to have their own forums), but does anyone really care about what Rllmukforum or what any of its members have to say? And even with all that manpower and resources at their disposal, what exactly has Rllmukforum done and achieved so as to become a legitimate gaming authority in its own right?

With some of its more vocal members decrying a lack of desire for Rllmukforum to evolve, and to offer an increased repertoire of services (through exclusive content etc), maybe the site’s selfless act of harbouring refugees has been replaced with a drive to celebrate mediocrity, with egotistical nobodies and lunatics running the asylum after all.

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