Thanks to Universal-Cereal-Bus for the inspiration!
For those who don’t know, I used to be a moderator for the Final Fantasy Subreddt. Ah, good times. But an internal power struggle between the mods caused a rift that leads to several moderators stepping down or booted. Oh, course. And it was nasty. I still have a plethora of screenshots detailing the parties involved, and how they really acted behind the scenes…
What is the culture of Reddit, especially with power hunger mods? I think most people know the answer to that.
However, what is the culture of the Final Fantasy Subreddit? Universal-Cereal-Bus noticed something around the time the big mod debacle happened, from behind the scenes. Some type of evil slowly started creeping in. Was it coincidental? Probably, and in truth, it was always with the sub. But as Universal-Cereal-Bus notices:
I fucking love Final Fantasy. It’s been a massive part of my life. I was 11 when VII came out and my parents bought it for me on a whim because the guy at EB Games (it was called electronics boutique at the time, for those of you who remember) and it was my first ever RPG. I was fucking blown away. Since then i’ve played 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13. I’ve introduced many friends to final fantasy and i love talking about it. Naturally, i was psyched to see that Final Fantasy had its own subreddit and it was actually popular.
That was about two years ago and since then i keep this subreddit open on my computer 100% of the time sorted to “new”. I love this sub. I love talking about Final Fantasy, i love hearing peope’s theories, their thoughts, their feelings, their experiences… i just fucking love Final Fantasy.
So it fucking pains me that of all the subs of fandoms i visit, this one has the worst fucking problem with people downvoting for shitty reasons. It seems like no matter what people’s opinion, someone will downvote them. Sometimes i walk into a thread and pretty much everything is downvoted. Sometimes, people are completely cordial (this is most of the time) and someone who disagrees will downvote them. For fuck’s sake, guys, unless someone is being a dick, why bother? It actively stifles discussion because people just end up getting aggro.
Now, i know what a lot of people are going to say. “This is reddit, this shit happens all the time”. Sure, it does, no doubt about that. But i’m comparing this sub to all the other subs i visit. It’s worse here. Way worse.
I don’t know why it is, but it fucking sucks. I don’t have a solution but i think we should be talking about this. The last thing i want is for this sub to end up a really toxic place where nobody can share their opinions because someone always gets butthurt. I also don’t want new users here to be discouraged from posting because they’re just going to get downvoted. I want this sub to grow and be amazing because Final Fantasy is amazing. I’m sure all of you feel the same way.
The only solution i can think of is to disable the downvote button in the subreddit’s CSS (or whatever) which i’ve seen other subs do. But i don’t particularly want this and i’m sure a lot of the rest of you don’t, either. So what do we do? Is there anything we can do?
I know this will be met with vitriol by a lot of people but i don’t really care. I just wanted to open a discussion so we could talk about it.
Sometimes, bad things happen at the top and trickle down. Of course, it could be only a matter of time until something truly awful happen.
People in this subreddit are great at respecting others. As a moderator, I really liked seeing free exchanges in ideas. The best policy? As RollingStart45 said, “leave positive comments and upvote others who do the same”. I try to live by this rule as much as I can. How else do you suppose we can increase general open-mindedness among others?
This is a challenge most fans have to this day. Perhaps acceptance of other theories? This, I think, is the best course of action. This is why I maintain Final Fantasy Discussion.
Of course, then there’s downvoting. Downvoting only works when abusive comments don’t add to the discussion. But it seems that too often, others use downvoting to hide relevant comments they don’t like.
The more people look into the innovation that went into each game, they’ll realize the game itself isn’t that bad. Then it becomes a much more balanced discussion.
Final Fantasy is a very special series to me. The game is one of the reasons I entered this subreddit. The stories of good vs evil are really amazing, full of heroes doing what’s right. So I thought we’d all learn from that. But it seems we all don’t. Some do, and I treasure talking with this here.
A reminder to those still participating on the Final Fantasy Subreddit. Remember, the series, or the sub, isn’t about you. It’s about US, and the games themselves.
It’s about coming together as fans and enjoying the series together. Asking your fellow fan “hey, remember this” or “did anyone else” is great! Let the nostalgia of this awesome series roll in. As user – Firaga – asked:
If this sub continues to be a place of rabid downvoting, sure it technically doesn’t matter, but do we really want to be a community of toxic assholes who are constantly at each others throats for simple differences of opinion?
Back then, this comment really made me realize why I’m a moderator to this day. It’s one of the reasons I became a moderator. I wanted to keep this awesome fan base safe from those who want to harm it (i.e. trolls). Also, I wanted to make sure others have a place to talk about the series in a respectful, civil manner.
Now, of course, the ones who spoke about harming it are the ones in control. Maybe one of you can be the hero the Final Fantasy Subreddit needs?
I’ve noticed that in the past year, it’s been less of a circle jerk, and more understanding has been happening. I hope they can keep this up in the future, regardless of who’s on the moderator team!