Ashley

General Switch Discussion

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9 minutes ago, Rob3008 said:

I could understand it in the Wii U days but there's a lot going on with Switch and Nintendo in general that I expected it to be a lot busier...

The likes of YouTube and Twitter have killed off a lot of forums, as have places like Gaf and Era. You know if you start a gaming topic in there then you will at least get replies and be able to have a conversation, no matter how old the game is. Just the other day a topic was started for Panzer Dragoon Saga and that had a fair few replies from people just having the banter about the 20 year old game. The sheer number of members allow for that to happen.

This place is a very old forum in terms of the age of its members, most of which have other obligations to take care of and simply don't have the time or energy for the hobby anymore.

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I see it on the site I'm working on as well. It's Danish so the reach is even less than here but it was once a thriving community and now it's struggling to get 1000 page views in a decent amount of time, even though we do all we can to create substance, news and reviews.

I blame Facebook. The ease of posting a question there just makes forums less attractive but at the expense of good conversation and post history. 

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The Switch is a step in the right direction, there's still a lot of lingering negativity from the previous two consoles though. I get the impression that's a bigger reason for NE getting quieter than rival forums or social media. 

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8 minutes ago, Mandalore said:

The Switch is a step in the right direction, there's still a lot of lingering negativity from the previous two consoles though. I get the impression that's a bigger reason for NE getting quieter than rival forums or social media. 

I dunno, I mean we have people on here that own other consoles but even that side of the message board is pretty dead. Same goes for general discussion.

I do find it a little confusing because there are times when a fair few members are on the boards ( just look at the member list at the bottom ) but nobody seems to be posting, for whatever reason. I kept tabs on this kind of thing one weekend earlier in the year and there was around 2-3 posts over the course of the weekend, despite numerous members visiting the forum.

It's been a cracking year for software, so there really shouldn't have been a shortage of conversation but that simply hasn't been the case on here.

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I've noticed that even multiplatform sites aren't really buzzing with activity. 

The ones that have activity, though, are generally not really interesting because the comments are just oneliners or stupid comments. Nothing to base a conversation on. Thats why I think it's more a general thing than this specific forum.

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This place wasn’t exactly the most pleasant during the Wii U years, that’s probably a big reason. That and social media taking over the world. 

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I think it's just that people have grown up and are busy. Even if you have time to visit the forum, you might not have time in your life to actually do stuff worth discussing. I get about a hour in the evening to play games or watch TV or read a book, and it's hard to keep discussion going when you can't parse that much content.

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Smaller forums are dying off slowly.  N-E is one such forum, and it's down to a few things which include (and not limited to)

  • Social Media
  • Lifestyle

They are the big two i think.  With lifestyle, that can fall with the fact that we've all grown older and life changes for many of us.  More responsibilities meaning less time for the hobbies we love.  bob pointed that out himself.  When we all joined up, most of us probably still lived at home with parents and didn't have a lot of responsibilites outside of making sure you got up, went to school/work etc.  Now many of us have moved into our own places and have responsibilities.  With that comes being more social with work colleagues, meeting new people and getting on with life.  That is unfortunatly the way things are going for many.

Many members don't come on often anymore for the above reason, and a few other reasons which are personal to them.  You can't pursuade them to return, but many do when there is a direct or a big gaming event like E3 or a console reveal for a short while.

Social Media (which includes YouTube here) is much easier to run a discussion about games.  The likes of facebook have thousands, if not millions of gaming-related pages for people to be able to discuss what games to play and all that.  Social media is also partially to blame for many gaming print medias being discontinued.  Outside of some of the big forums about, which are thriving still, a lot of others are dying off.  Many have moved onto social media platforms and members have followed, it is again how life is changing.

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I've always thought of this as a GameCube forum, although of course it was very popular during the Wii too (#WiiToo!) We were all in our teens or twenties, savouring or arguing over rare, high-quality releases such as Metroid Prime or Wind Waker.  There was much more appetite for philosophical discussion, if you like.  Nowadays we're in our thirties or forties, with a plethora of eShop games to play every month, or we're kept playing bigger games via DLC and online play.  We're no longer all focused on the same 1- or 2-week experiences like we used to.

 

Social media is also definitely a big factor.  Small forums (and indeed, personal sites) were huge during the late-90s.  There began to be talk of "Internet 2.0", which sounded confusing at first, but transition to social media was definitely part of it.  There's still room for good forums, of course, but for the moment at least, people see sites like Facebook or Twitter as their "base".

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Having said all that, this place got pretty busy during some of the bigger releases like Zelda, Mario, Splatoon and even some of the bigger eShop titles. Not a huge crowd but plenty of chat.

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Personally I don't own a switch now, I'm still moderately interested but feel like I've missed the boat on it really. Forum wide, members have moved on which makes the appeal of the forum narrower... that makes it less compelling for certain members, so they stop coming regularly, in turn that makes it narrower in appeal, new stuff becomes rarer and it just kinda ticks along.

In terms of increasing members, I think beyond being fatalistic, it is quite possible, but requires more time/effort/money than there is available. I really liked the youtube thing that got started for example, and I'm a bit disappointed that it just fizzled out (although I can understand it  may well have been a lot of effort and not getting the attention hoped for).

But initiatives like that are what would be needed to build things back up (and perhaps could have stopped the decline altogether) Personally I found this site generally awesome in the GC days, even through the bickering that went on there seemed to be unwritten lines that weren't often crossed, moderating generally was good (inevitably there must have been disasters etc, but thats the nature of moderation, no one is perfect) but when I got back having more or less ignored the site during the wii years, there seemed a big change in culture here, a lot less respect for fellow forum users perhaps. Having been absent I'm not going to speculate what exactly changed, but whatever it was probably crept in slowly.

 

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I think the change in culture during the Wii years was simply down to a lot of people not liking the direction Nintendo were going in and in turn picking up other consoles. There were lots of us on here who owned a 360 and we had a cracking online community, playing games like Halo and Gears or War. Good times.

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Maybe. I don't really know obviously because I only have what I can see to go on, but personally I'm a lurker now because I have no switch and don't really feel there is much I can comment on. Also tbh I don't feel N-E is a safe place any more, on a number of occasions I've written out a reply on a topic I find interesting and then find myself proof reading to check if it could offend someone... then realise I can't really be bothered, so I just delete the post. The net result is I don't really feel part of the community any more, so it wouldn't be  too hard to leave this place (and nor would it be noticed by anyone I suspect!) Actually I think I disappeared in the wii era when it started to feel that way. Anyway, I hope the community keeps going and becomes healthier, I guess we'll (some of us anyway) see in due course.

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On 20/10/2018 at 6:01 PM, Pestneb said:

Also tbh I don't feel N-E is a safe place any more, on a number of occasions I've written out a reply on a topic I find interesting and then find myself proof reading to check if it could offend someone... then realise I can't really be bothered, so I just delete the post. The net result is I don't really feel part of the community any more, so it wouldn't be  too hard to leave this place (and nor would it be noticed by anyone I suspect!)

It’s the same for me. Some games I really liked got bashed so much that it wasn’t inviting to join the topic at all because it had became too toxic.

Not to say people can’t have contradicting opinions ofcourse but when you really like a game there’s no fun in reading how others rip it to shreds in a topic. 

Big reason for me to contribute less and look for other places to discuss gaming.

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Maybe. I don't really know obviously because I only have what I can see to go on, but personally I'm a lurker now because I have no switch and don't really feel there is much I can comment on. Also tbh I don't feel N-E is a safe place any more, on a number of occasions I've written out a reply on a topic I find interesting and then find myself proof reading to check if it could offend someone... then realise I can't really be bothered, so I just delete the post. The net result is I don't really feel part of the community any more, so it wouldn't be  too hard to leave this place (and nor would it be noticed by anyone I suspect!) Actually I think I disappeared in the wii era when it started to feel that way. Anyway, I hope the community keeps going and becomes healthier, I guess we'll (some of us anyway) see in due course.
Mate, don't worry about what other people think. Post whatever you want, it'll all be appreciated.
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it just gets exhausting when instead of a post sparking a discussion it just creates a lot of hassle with the same old things get rehashed over and over. but I think the main thing is not having a switch I feel out of the loop. I see mk8 posts, the tournament etc and wish I could be involved in that too, splatoon posts.... botw ones are still interesting but inevitable that game has quietened down a lot because most of us have finished with it for now. Odyssey posts remind how much I want to play the game :D

and also I just have less free time (as is probably the case for many other users)

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It's very interesting to see you guys have this conversation on the popularity of the forum just as I have come back on here for the first time in years. I must say that the difference between the forum now and from when I was in my posting pomp is remarkable. But the kids are interacting differently these days, and forums like these just aren't as common.

A shame because this place was great back in the day, with some really good members as well (I'm sure you're all lovely as well by the way). I don't recognise anyone though. I hope I'm not that old of a poster that no one from my days are left.

Any I've just popped back on to see if anyone wants to co-op dark souls on switch. I'm in the DS thread if you're up for it.

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I also haven't posted on here in years. I haven't used the forum much since the Wii days but do pop back from time to time to see what's going on here. I only bought a Switch a couple of weeks back so have lots of Nintendo goodness to catch up on. It's taken me a while to prioritise getting a Switch over other pulls on my disposable income, but I work away for a couple of days a fortnight and being able to take it with me to play when I'm on my own in my Airbnb was the clincher.

 

I find the decline of the online forum quite depressing. I was a member (and moderator) of a forum for my local area for years through the 00s. This year, I went to the wedding of a friend I made through that forum and this weekend, I'm going to the 60th birthday party of the partner of another friend I made through it. Now everyone on the forum has migrated to a Facebook group and it's just not the same. Conversations are fragmented and people post the same questions over and over again because there's no coherent thread layout and it's hard to search the archive. It's even more full of trolls than the online forum ever was. I was also a member of a forum for guitarists. I went on a weekend away with them one year - they still do an annual trip, but lifestyle changes mean I struggle to service all my hobbies (as some posters above have found too). Traditional forums are great and I find it hard to think of good things to say about the likes of Twitter and Facebook to be honest. However, times change I guess.

 

Maybe now I've got a new Nintendo console I'll post a bit more often :).

 

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Things change, times move on. But what I'm glad to see what hasn't changed is this place is still polite, and good conversations still seem to take place. Most of the rest of your conversation places on the internet seem to be hives of anger and mistrust. Nothing like the community I used to come here for.

I should say as well though that this is my first Ninty console since the Wii, and it really has reignited my enthusiasm for Nintendo, and it's not hard to imagine there are other like me.

It is a bloody brilliant console as well. There are of course Zelda and Mario which were both exceptional, but the switch is so good for the Indies. Already this year I've gone through Hollow Knight, Enter the Gungeon, Banner Saga and more, not to mention the countless hours I've spent on Rocket League.

I'm really hoping they'll be a bit of a community on here for Smash Bros. That smash brothers documentary (which you need to seek out if you haven't seen it) has me chomping at the bit, and it would be great to have some people to play with.

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Who are all these people all of a sudden!? Every time I think "OK, now I know the peeps on N-E", some new blast from the past shows up!

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25 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Who are all these people all of a sudden!? Every time I think "OK, now I know the peeps on N-E", some new blast from the past shows up!

The name's Ryan, one time Mafia game champion and MVP of Epic Thread #2 (ask your parents). Started posting here in the build up to the Resident Evil 4 release, and left in the dying days of the Wii. I also like rainy days and the colour red. Nice to meet you.

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I think the biggest issue is that there's no new generations taking interest in forums. They're a bit of a dated, clunky format in a world that generates most of its user content on phones, which lend themselves to shorter, snappier bites of input.

All the way through the lifetime of this and other forums, people have grown up and moved on from gaming. That's not surprising and shouldn't really be an issue to the "bottom line" of the userbase. Because back then, old members were always replaced by new, bright eyed young players. Every year there'll be a new wave of kids old enough to have their own console etc and then old enough to be on the internet chatting about it.

But a wide variety of those young people want Instagram, Twitter, Discord, Twitch, Youtube levels of contribution, not paragraphs of opinion. Those that want to take their contribution more seriously, will want to make videos because that's where the reach is at.

I've been thinking recently that a Discord channel wouldn't hurt N-E. It's the right balance between chat and forum, and allows lots of channels for lots of "threads" of discussion, whilst offering lots of modern benefits like notifications on a per-channel basis, announcements/moderation, and can tie itself easily into setting up online gaming sessions. I don't want to do anything that could make the forums even less attractive, but I also don't want to miss the boat on a maybe necessary migration while we still have a userbase.

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