Chad Perrin: SOB

3 July 2008

White Wolf Forums flame wars

Filed under: RPG — apotheon @ 12:56

Oh, how the memories come back to me.

Earlier today, I came across an discussion about the history of WW/WoD flame wars. The people in that thread discuss various major flame wars in the history of the official White Wolf forums (primary among other venues). Most of what’s discussed as “ancient history” is stuff that came late in the history of WW/WoD flame wars, from my perspective; I was one of the real old-timers (second wave, frankly, since I came along in ’97, probably a couple years before they gave the chatrooms actual setting names rather than simply calling them things like Vampire Chat Room 1).

As I indicated in my reddit comment on the subject, mine was a name to conjure with in the WW forums for a while. I was one of the most vociferous after the forum software was significantly changed, and part of the crew of forum regulars who talked WW into actually fixing the new forums enough so they were usable again. I was also the guy who went head-to-head with Conrad Hubbard, the new Webslave at WW and the guy in charge of running the forums, ending with being the first person to ever be banned from the WW forums (as well as also being the third). The story behind that is long and sordid, and much detail is lost in the mists of time, though you can get a brief summary of it from my reddit comment if you’re so inclined.

Aside from a short stint as John Galt, I was known as Reverend Renfield on the WW forums. One person had this (paraphrased and summarized from memory — the original was longer and more detailed) to say to me, about me, when I mentioned in passing I was taking classes in formal logic at college:

Nobody can argue against you and expect to come away unscathed. Even the people who agree with you all the time, like me, fear the day we get on your bad side. Now you’re adding formal logic training to that. Stop it. You’re already scary enough.

It was meant in good spirits, of course. The people who suffered my scrutiny surely deserved it — including, notably, Overbear Sunstreak (the name of his twinked-out Gurahl character) and Conrad Hubbard. Probably my most memorable exchange with Old Mother Hubbard involved me making a strong case for how the new “We’ll ban you if you violate the terms of use!” rule was bullshit if there were no posted Terms of Use — culminating in my banning, which was immediately followed by an ex post facto justification by posting a Terms of Use on the site. Yes, really. I was banned for violation of a Term of Use that wasn’t even known until immediately after I was banned.

I haven’t been to the WW forums since . . . oh, probably since early 2002 at the latest, and the last couple times I was there it was just to check out some interesting post someone else suggested I should read. I’m sure things have changed since then.

Thems was the days.

I wonder if Uber ever built that Webpage shrine to my greatness, like he said he would.

(Note: Comments have been disabled on this post, thanks to abnormally high rates of spam comments in moderation.)


  1. Nowhere were the flamewars ever as bad as on my fav usenet group

    Maybe it’s because it was there that I discovered the form flame.

    Nah, I just like a good Internet argument. hehe

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 3 July 2008 @ 03:00

  2. I still twitch when I hear Conrad Hubbard’s name.

    And I was never even on the forums.

    Comment by heather (errantdreams) — 5 July 2008 @ 12:06

  3. Oh, I was relating the basics of this post to my husband for his amusement, and his reply? “Hey, I’ve heard of him.” So you’re still (in)famous for the banning incident, etc., apparently. :)

    Comment by heather (errantdreams) — 5 July 2008 @ 02:18

  4. Yay! Hopefully I’m remembered well by some people — you know, the people who matter.

    I guess I really do need to get one of those t-shirts that say “I’m kind of a big deal on the Internet” now.

    Comment by apotheon — 5 July 2008 @ 07:04

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