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RPGAMES is dead, long live DreamLyrics!

Disclaimer: If you've come here from a search engine looking for porn (and I know a lot of you do, I read my site stats), you've probably come to the wrong place. However, you should stay and read this page first. Because the events chronicled here are partly your fault.

And now the dust has settled

My on-line RPGing career started off on the RPGAMES forum on CompuServe. Established for many years before I joined, it was the home of a great number of superb games, including classics like David Edelstein's truly epic GURPS-based Highlander game HDR, GMBK's GURPS Cyberpunk roller-coaster, HVG, and Maria Whittaker's twisted Cthulhu games IOC and FOC, starring Karl Tolhurst of Ümläüt, and many more. More than just games, the wonderful collection of people made the forum one of the best RPG communities in Cyberspace.

Sadly, it couldn't last

What happened to the RPGAMES forum?

AOL, who now own CompuServe, have clearly decided that they're more interested in banner ad revenue than the interests of their paying customers. The change in the contract terms with their forum operators triggered a major round of forum consolidations.

Still, RPGAMES was one of the busiest forums in terms of message traffic. But even that wasn't enough; for one morning, this message appeared:

#: 2428303 S1/General/Help  (CIS:RPGAMES)
    22-Mar-00  07:24:00
Fm: Nightshift/SYSOP xxxxx.xxx
To: All
Replies: 13   TID: 53088     Par: 0         Chd: 2428313   Sib: 0

Hi all -- As you may know, early next month CompuServe will be opening many of its forums to free web access, which means that anyone with a browser will be able to fully participate in those forums. The Role-Playing Games Forum will not be opened to the web. Rather, on March 31, 2000, RPGAMES will be closing and we'll be moving to the newly consolidated Gamers Forum as well as to a brand new Adult Role-Playing Games Forum.

As CompuServe's officially sponsored forum for all types of gaming, the Gamers Forum will provide all members, including RPG'ers, an exceptional level of support and information as well as community activities. The Adult RPG Forum will offer a venue that's quite similar to the RPGAMES we know and love, but restricted to members who are 18 and older.

We hope you'll join Gamers and/or Adult RPG in April and help us get things off to a rousing start as we create two lively new homes for RPG'ers on CompuServe. In the meantime, the sysops will be available to discuss this transition with GMs and players. We understand that the moves will be disruptive and we'll do our best to ease the way for everyone!

Note: For those of you accessing via webview, the URL for the Gamers Forum is: http://go.compuserve.com/Gamers. Since the Adult RPG Forum is currently under contruction, it doesn't yet have an activated GO address or URL; those will be announced here soon.

    * Nightshift/SYSOP *

Needless to say, the wailing and gnashing of teeth was considerable. We were encouraged to move our games to ADULTRPG, and most games did so.

After a few weeks the Adult Roleplaying forum predictably began attracting the sorts of folks for whom "Fantasy" and "Roleplaying" meant something rather different. Those of us who suspected from the start that ADULTRPG was never going to work were proved right when this message appeared.

#: 16689 S1/*Welcome/Help*  (CIS:ADULTRPG)
    04-May-00  19:08:06
Fm: Nightshift/SYSOP xxxxx.xxx
To: All
Replies: 0    TID: 2132      Par: 0         Chd: 0         Sib: 0

Hi all -- As most of you know, when the Role-Playing Games Forum closed last month, the intent was to expand its Adult RPGs section into this Adult RPG Forum on CompuServe's Adult Channel. At that time, I invited all RPGAMES members aged 18+ to join us here for either adult or non-adult gaming, and encouraged those under 18, as well as those who prefer to play in a non-adult environment, to visit the Play RPGs section in GAMERS. The staff worked hard to relocate existing games, move and modify files, and organize both this forum and the section in GAMERS so that all RPGAMES members would feel welcome in at least one of the new locations.

Unfortunately, since our relocation to the Adult RPG Forum, it's become apparent that a large majority of the membership here is not interested in creating or participating in adult RPGs: very few existing games contain any adult content whatsoever. Of even greater concern is that many of you are distressed by the presence of adult content on the forum homepage and message board, by new members arriving from the Adult Channel, and even by new members' handles. But worst of all is the fact that a comparatively small but persistent group has been openly hostile and offensive in their communications with new forum members.

Obviously, the original plan isn't working at all and we need to make a change for the benefit of everyone concerned. I don't want you to be unhappy here, nor do I want new members to feel unwelcome, nor do I want to burden the staff with the task of moving and responding to complaints. Yes, we hear you loud and clear! <g>

Therefore, this is the new plan: From this point forward, only those games that contain obvious adult (i.e., sexual) themes and content will be located in the Adult RPG Forum. All other games are welcome to move to GAMERS. Only those members who are *thoroughly* comfortable with adult language, adult images, adult themes, adult interests, adult issues, adult behavior, and all facets of online adult role-playing activities should remain in the Adult RPG Forum. All others are welcome and encouraged to participate in GAMERS. This isn't a penalty or an eviction, but simply the most effective method for assuring that your interests, as well as those of other members, are appropriately and adequately served.

All GMs should email me at (address removed - TJH) by Sunday, May 6, with their plans. Please let me know whether you'll be:

a) continuing to GM an adult game here and, if so, which one;

b) moving your non-adult game to GAMERS and, if so, which one; and/or,

c) discontinuing your existing game altogether and, if so, which one.

If I don't hear from you by then, I'll assume that your response is "c": discontinuation of your game. GMs should communicate with their players about this by email only, and not on the message board.

Please note that no messages regarding forum direction, forum policy, forum history, or forum content will remain on the public board, even if appended to a game move. Also note that anyone who insults or derides another forum member, or instructs him/her to leave the forum, will be locked out without further warning.

I apologize to all of you for the disruption this may cause and to the staff for the additional reorganization that will be necessary. Obviously, this wasn't my preferred relocation plan for the closed RPGAMES Forum, but it's clear that my preferred plan has not succeeded and that most of you really would rather not be playing in an adult environment. That's fine and I completely understand your feelings. However, as you can see from the name of the forum, this is in fact an area for adults and their adult role-playing interests.

I hope that those of you who enjoy adult gaming will appreciate our current and upcoming activities and features, and that those of you who prefer non-adult gaming will join us in GAMERS for continued fun and interaction with your friends. Thanks to all for your past, present, and future participation in either venue, and I'm sure I speak for the staff and the membership as a whole when I thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation during the implementation of Plan Deux. <g>

     * Nightshift/SYSOP *

So what happened next?

Predicably all hell broke loose, and many a nasty word was said. People were called nasty names, like 'George'. While some people kept their games on Compuserve's GAMERS forum, and some other moved to the rival GSITE forum, one dedicated group including two former sysops moved heaven and earth and created a new free-standing forum in two weeks flat.

Two years later, Dreamlyrics goes from strength to strength. Beginning with a nucleus of RPGAMES members and games, including my own game KLR, the forum contines to recruit new member and recover old ones from the distant past.

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