Saturday, 9 February 2013

Critical Miss Forums: Requiem for Bollocks


Since 2006, I've had a habit that's been very important to me, but which few of my real-world friends have been aware of at all. The Critical Miss Forums was an old-fashioned php board where I had a huge amount of fun talking about gaming and related matters with a small, elite group of international bullshitters. There were only just over half a dozen of us who regularly used the site, with the owner, his close friends and a number of other users having given up on it very early on, but we've been a close, comfortable, familiar bunch, and it was great to have it there as a constant and reliable source of mostly-human contact with mostly like-minded gamers. I especially appreciated having a place to openly discuss GMing matters with more experienced GMs, with little chance of my players ever stumbling across it and spoiling my plots.

It's hard to explain it all to outsiders - all the spambots and insults and puns and school janitor lifestyle updates - so I won't really try. But you can get some idea of the people who were drawn to those forums from the fact that it was originally intended to serve as a discussion area for Critical Miss: The Magazine for Dysfunctional Roleplayers, a fantastic read launched way back in 1998, primarily written by the very funny Jonny Nexus, who still does things from time to time (buy his novels). We all eagerly await Critical Miss issue #12, due some time around 2033.

Sadly, on 8 January this year, Jonny informed us that he would no longer be keeping his forums running, and that we had a "a couple of days" before it shut down for good. That couple of days dragged on for weeks, and I was even starting to hope that Mr Nexus had changed his mind and not yet told us. But, on 9 February 2013, the Critical Miss Forums finally did shut down. Now I'm sad.

That last month did at least give us time to set up alternative groups to keep the gang together on Facebook and Google+, and I hope the old members who weren't paying attention over the last few weeks will find this and join us there (just let me know what name you went by in the forums, so I know you're really one of us and let you in). We've already got me (Spatula), SIN, andrewthotep and Herald. (And now also Blah.)

May James Wallis watch over us all.