So I am a member of a prominent Indie Game Developers page on Facebook. Fellow indies can post about topics related to the development of independent games, and others can comment here and there about the topic. For the most part, it's been very helpful, I always read the posts every morning and when I get off work for anything relevant to the development of indie games. Some of my team would probably notice I cross-post a lot of interesting articles that I find off of this group. Long story short, it was a group that I really felt connected to, and felt by contributing to the success of up and coming indie games made by other small people and small studios.
Until last night.
A post was made from a teenager asking for team members for a game he was working on. He was admittedly a bit naive, in the sense of he was promising unspecified payment for the game to his team members when it was done, without talking or how or when these payments would occur. The guy said he was 15 years of age later in this post, but what I saw in the comments were severely disturbing, even for "this is the internet standards". Grown men and women were bashing this poster, making jokes at his expense, editing this original poster's profile picture with making memes of jokes, and hardly any meaningful comments were given as constructive criticism to this individual.
I did my best to give this original poster the best constructive criticism that he needed to specify the genre and scope of the project and how exactly the team was going to be commissioned. But my advice was drowned out in memes, crude jokes, and harsh feedback that was, in my honest opinion, really uncalled for.
So I am going to be rescinding my membership to this group, effective this post. I considered posting this exact post on the Indie Game Developers Facebook group, but what would that solve? This post would be drowned in the same comments, memes, and brutal jokes that the post of this individual had to bear. Plus, I would not want the admins to bother dealing with people who are leaving anyway, I have the same philosophy with groups that I run. If they were on their way out to begin with, it's already too late.
As I was once a naive 15 year old developing crappy video games, I would see myself forever scarred if this kind of forum existed when I was learning the basics of independent game developing. We should be helping cultivate newer generations into wanting to make games and learning these skills and techniques that we're currently roughing out the edges. Those coming in to learn should have an easier time than we did.
A point can be made that I could apply to be an admin for this group, but I am busy working on my own projects and groups, I would love to given the time, but unfortunately that is not the case.
For all of the useful resources that the group has given me, I will cherish and use going forward with the team. But I cannot be part of a group that will resort to online bullying of its peers.
Thanks for reading.