Gaming Communities: The Online Sitcom

BY Andrew Miesner / January 10, 2009

Gaming Communities: The Online Sitcom

By Liam “Loki” Belcher

What’s your favorite sitcom? Is it Friends? Perhaps it’s Two and a Half Men? Whatever your favourite is, there’s always a reason sitcoms work – they have a formula. Given there are some truly awful sitcoms out there (namely The Big Bang Theory *dons flame suit*) but that doesn’t mean to say that they don’t still work for some people. The point I’m trying to make is that online communities draw a lot of close resemblances to sitcoms. To move swiftly onto my point (and to get away from saying the word ‘sitcom’ every other word) here’s what I mean.

In every sitcom – there MUST be one liners. Usually they’re memorable in the short term but are too often forgotten about the next day, which is a shame if you ask me. How does this relate to a gaming community? Well every so often someone will say something that is either half way smart or actually co-incides with the actual subject at hand. I live (in my e-life before you trolls jump on my ass) for the days when I go onto gaming forums and people not only stay on topic, but also say something witty that I would later relay to someone in my house that doesn’t care. Only to be met by the least impressed stare of the year award. Ok, you can jump on my ass now.

In many ways, good casting is also the key to a good community. On our coL forums we have the hip young one, Kirsch, that parties all the time and posts hilarious stories but you feel perhaps he’d be far too threatening if he was on all time, cramping my style and wasting time that could be spent on my ego. DAMN YOU, KIRSCH! Next in line for the cast would be the cynic. This would probably be someone more like tgchan. Now, I’m not picking on anyone here, just simply trying to point out a correlation between characters and their mirror personalities. Someone that is likeable but still must be negative about pretty much everything. Mind you, just ask Jake who the grumpiest, whiniest Brit is and you’ll probably see my name appear somewhere near the top.

So as you can see, I’ve clearly gone for two characters on the extreme scale of each other. I love them both just the same though (you know, how your mother loves you just the same as your brother. So I wouldn’t say that I love Kirsch more…*cough*). In any sitcom you’ll always have a storyline. And just like in any sitcom every different show steals an idea from another one. How many shows have you watched where there’s a “flashback” episode? That one where the stars remember back to the 70’s and the crowd rawrs in laughter at their stupid hair or insanely out of fashion clothes? Unfortunately for most moderators, this is what moderating a forum feels like every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hits but after you’ve read the 30th person posting Rick Roll or some form of “OMG HILARIOUS” video, you’ve had enough. This is when I get deeply confused because I also hate it when people simply comment “Old”. You know who you are. (Quartz <3)