Author Topic: blockland: the community that killed the game  (Read 85259 times)

Otis was, as far as I remember, the first creep on the site who actively admitted he was into it. Like, no holds barred, we knew for a fact he lusted after little girls cause he talked about it all the time.

He got away with it because there was always plausible deniability that it was a bit and that he was just trolling. But as time went on and he said more and more, even if it was a bit he was eerily committed to it.

Being 14 and not really knowing anything, I always said nothing and just hand-waved it as "silly internet people being silly." To look back on it now, I only wish I had the convictions I do now as an adult then. Sure, it was an era where most of us would have just called me an SJW or whatever, but I dunno man, I'd rather be the brunt end of the joke on some dumb lego forum than let the groomers continue to operate on the site.

What I'm saying is, we should have bullied Bisjac and Otis (and whoever else) off this site for being creepy weirdos who like underage girls and maybe we wouldn't have normalized it so much that closeted creeps like Plastiware wouldn't have felt safe here so that they (and I don't know if Plasti actually did anything to anyone, he probably just had research which is bad enough) and others wouldn't have groomed the oh so many young and impressionable users who of course flocked to a lego forum.

I was always an older member, joined when I was in high school when a lot of you joined when you weren't even in middle school so I feel like I failed some of you who had to endure the grooming of the weirdos (I know I didn't, I'm saying in like a grand sense for not catching it sooner)

Really sit and digest the 4th paragraph.

It's interesting because I feel the same way often - I'm sure many of you older players do too, like a guilt or accountability for the amount of abuse that happened here? I'm not saying we aren't accountable, and a lot of us contributed or were apathetic, but I truly hope none of you ever feel shameful or like the fault falls heavily on you.

I came across that post earlier and it really hurt my heart.

We were obviously all children, but we were also children on an internet who's role in our lives was rapidly expanding into territories unknown, and yes I do give Badspot some sympathy for having to navigate that but the blame ultimately falls on him for the harm this community caused. He encouraged (look at how he talked to customers) people to be richards and tolerated child enthusiasts and groomers, bullying, loveual harassment, misogyny, racism, national socialist imagery (not surprised - just look at his twitter) private investigating etc.

Literally all he cared about was money and the idea of power (over children mind you).

There was never any attempt at hiring moderators or moderation in general outside of the rules which were judged VERY arbitrarily (as were permabans/unbans) and he made little to no effort at keeping out repeat abusers until it became clear that his the same toxicity that he festered in had projected onto his community and made it impossible to sell get into the game and then boom suddenly we get modera- NO wait that never happened, you just had to buy the game to post. I guess if it's the trolls or the gp at least youll know the trolls will keep paying.

He had people who were so passionate about this game churning out content, hell Ephialtes and then ran an entire dedicated server rental service and created an entire client to do what Badspot was too uninspired to do, and he managed to drive them away by being a gigantic starfish.

Badspot created a fairly successful game in a time when there weren't a billion other lego or even building or even online indie games out there, and yet he went nowhere. Why? Because he is not a good or nice person, and that is why his community was known for being not good, for being not nice, and it's why this game died when it did and it's why over a decade later he has 600 followers on twitter. It's why he still mentions almost 20 years later that he "made a game once."

I don't blame any of you for how this forum operated, but Badspot I do blame you for the traumatization of dozens of children.

This forum is, and I don't mean this as a compliment, a monument to what could've been.






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if anyone has the time it would mean a lot if you could email me your story. Just some basic stuff, how long you played, what got you into the game, what your life was like at home, what kept you here, your experiences here good and bad, tell me about yourself and where you are now. Whatever you are comfortable with. Feel free to leave a contact. You can also do it anonymously or with a burner if you want. Maybe I can make something out of this.

My email is coltenBL [a][t] g[mail] [dotcom]
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 09:57:54 PM by Pixel »

yes it is sad, but at least we can still play the game and invite friends to partake in freebuilds/dm's like old times. gotta focus on what positives there are left

yes it is sad, but at least we can still play the game and invite friends to partake in freebuilds/dm's like old times. gotta focus on what positives there are left
the game was never the problem - it's an excellent game, and nostalgia is great yea but there's very limited time left on the life of this forum/game/etc and I just needed to say what I said

don't really have anything to add except agreed

Someone--I don't know who--brought up this whole subject in a post I saw during one of my earlier sporadic logins to this forum, and I haven't really been able to get it out of my head since. This place was essentially a little self-contained Kiwi Farms (ironically, considering who would wind up hosting that site) with a key difference existing in that the vast majority of people here were literal children.

I wasn't even out of elementary school at the time that I made this account, and it's startling to realize just what I was exposed to through here and how much that has likely affected me. It's very sobering to come back and read stories e.g. Bisjac, Plastiware and realize that the rest of the people involved in that were close to the same age I was.

I think some people might make the argument that Badspot wasn't equipped or prepared to deal with moderating a community of children, but I think that even if that is true that he should have recognized that as the situation and he should have dealt with it accordingly. Simply put, if he wasn't prepared or interested in moderating his forum full of children intermingling with creeps and predators then he should have just closed it down back then.

As for Blockland's success, it is pretty remarkable that he managed to get a head start on Roblox and Minecraft by making a game with the same appeal and a passionate community (despite everything) and then let it go to waste. It even got a second chance when it released on Steam; I recall people here being worried about the game stagnating even before the Steam launch, and then that came and the playerbase briefly exploded basically overnight. And then there were no more substantial updates, and then the playerbase trickled down to nothing, and now we're here.

I don't know, maybe Badspot just wasn't interested, but it does seem like a waste of potential.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 03:07:38 AM by Gsterman »

Someone--I don't know who--brought up this whole subject in a post I saw during one of my earlier sporadic logins to this forum, and I haven't really been able to get it out of my head since. This place was essentially a little self-contained Kiwi Farms (ironically, considering who would wind up hosting that site) with a key difference existing in that the vast majority of people here were literal children.

I wasn't even out of elementary school at the time that I made this account, and it's startling to realize just what I was exposed to through here and how much that has likely affected me. It's very sobering to come back and read stories e.g. Bisjac, Plastiware and realize that the rest of the people involved in that were close to the same age I was.

I think some people might make the argument that Badspot wasn't equipped or prepared to deal with moderating a community of children, but I think that even if that is true that he should have recognized that as the situation and he should have dealt with it accordingly. Simply put, if he wasn't prepared or interested in moderating his forum full of children intermingling with creeps and predators then he should have just closed it down back then.

As for Blockland's success, it is pretty remarkable that he managed to get a head start on Roblox and Minecraft by making a game with the same appeal and a passionate community (despite everything) and then let it go to waste. It even got a second chance when it released on Steam; I recall people here being worried about the game stagnating even before the Steam launch, and then that came and the playerbase briefly exploded basically overnight. And then there were no more substantial updates, and then the playerbase trickled down to nothing, and now we're here.

I don't know, maybe Badspot just wasn't interested, but it does seem like a waste of potential.
yeah the game never took off after it went on steam because the community was horrible to new people. I feel like the game tended to attract lonely people who ironically enough pushed away anything new. do you remember how many people used to just ban noobs or purposely make the game unfun for them :/

and omg that whole fear that steam support would (again the irony) destroy the sense of community? self fulfilling prophecy or what lol

I agree if he didn't want to put the work in (updates, moderation, creating a welcoming environment) he should've just shut it down or made it free and gave up.

Also, just to clarify because I predict this reframing into something different - I am not trying to discredit the many positive memories we all have here. I grew up with two abusive and manipulative parents, I had no neighbors to hangout with, my siblings and I were all raised differently and we never knew how to be siblings, and this game was where I had some of my only friends. Yes some of them were absolutely HORRIBLE people, but I also met some amazing ones and made some great memories.

Tails and I used to play Total Annihilation for HOURS and he never got annoyed at how controlling I was! TwenteFreak and me played so many games for so many hours lol - omg the amount of time I sank into Crusader Kings with him is crazy. I used to marry him off to my sister.. and again he never got annoyed at how finnicky I was. Ryuu was so formative to me coming out, even if he didnt know it. Trogtor and I used to talk for ever and ever! I hope he still remembers playing Terraria with me! I remember my parents stopped paying the internet and I used to hang a USB wifi dongle on an extension out my living room window just to get a few bars of my neighbors internet so I could play with him! Barnabas always made me feel included, Hollywood never made me feel like a weirdo, Pablo was a literal angel. I felt a lot less alone here!

So many cool people!!

But this place also was loving terrible.... gosh even in this post most of my good memories were outside of this game because tbh the more blocklanders in one place the worse it was
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 03:54:37 AM by Pixel »


there was an attempt by pie crust to groom me and he also spammed my personal discord with dog research when i was 12; my friend, nix made a thread about it, and literally nothing happened. people defended him in that thread, and he was allowed to continue existing on the forums, ingame and more importantly in the circles where i had met him, while i was made fun of for not knowing what to do in this situation. i brought up this experience in the bcc a few times and was hit with a No Drama, and upon calling him out when he had joined the disc at first i got hit with this;

posted this elsewhere and it pretty much sums up my experience. blockland and these forums were a big part of my social interaction in my earlier years when i was 10-13, since i was abused as a child and i had recently gotten put out of my house when i first started exploring these forums. for a while until i got better friends i had a really forgeted up view of how things worked because my every action had been scrutinized while the worst of the worst could seemingly get away with anything, and i wasn't allowed to criticize them or even be one of their targets (see the pie crust drama linked).
when i wasn't being actively harassed by people now in their mid 20's, i always was intrigued by how feral the drama board made people. rarely was it about anything of real note - you could be an active nuisance and have people argue for you if you were popular enough on the forums - people were after like, minor character flaws. were you a furry teenager? that's worth at least 75 pages. were you trans and didn't like being harassed for it? here's a decent thirty three. were you a child? half an hour comin up.
it's really depressing thinking that no one thought to openly speak out against anything that ever happened here, especially not the adults and more influencial users

posted this elsewhere and it pretty much sums up my experience. blockland and these forums were a big part of my social interaction in my earlier years when i was 10-13, since i was abused as a child and i had recently gotten put out of my house when i first started exploring these forums. for a while until i got better friends i had a really forgeted up view of how things worked because my every action had been scrutinized while the worst of the worst could seemingly get away with anything, and i wasn't allowed to criticize them or even be one of their targets (see the pie crust drama linked).
when i wasn't being actively harassed by people now in their mid 20's, i always was intrigued by how feral the drama board made people. rarely was it about anything of real note - you could be an active nuisance and have people argue for you if you were popular enough on the forums - people were after like, minor character flaws. were you a furry teenager? that's worth at least 75 pages. were you trans and didn't like being harassed for it? here's a decent thirty three. were you a child? half an hour comin up.
it's really depressing thinking that no one thought to openly speak out against anything that ever happened here, especially not the adults and more influencial users
Its crazy how many of us have similar stories. I guess it makes sense - if we were used to being treated better we would have left. Im sorry to hear about all of that that happened to you, Im saddened you werent taken seriously and that I contributed to the problem.

Idk if Im going to get banned for this topic or not, idk, and idk if we are even allowed to share emails on here - but if anyone has the time it would mean a lot if you could email me your story. Just some basic stuff, how long you played, what got you into the game, what your life was like at home, what kept you here, your experiences here good and bad, tell me about yourself and where you are now. Whatever you are comfortable with. Feel free to leave a contact. You can also do it anonymously or with a burner if you want. Maybe I can make something out of this.

My email is coltenBL [a][t] g[mail] [dotcom]
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 04:27:23 AM by Pixel »

Maybe I can make something out of this.
The final episode of Badspot's mailbag in which he has to answer for his actions (and inaction) toward his community and how it's had such a negative effect on them, his game, and people's perception of him if he ever wants to make or be involved in the development of any more games going forward

i've always thought it would be neat if people did a deep dive on what this game to people and uploaded it to youtube or smth

I gotta say I'm kinda surprised the community is still going.

I know there was a time I wouldn't have been. I was pretty Blockland ride or die for a great deal of my childhood.
I was 14 when I first joined v0002, which would have been 2005. Joined the forums in 2006. It was a great game that I saw going places. I made lots of friends, some whom I'm still in contact with to this day.
But I was a significantly different person then. I look back on many of my posts and cringe. The unabashed family values, loveism, racism that I just accepted and perpetuated as part of gamer culture is astounding. While I grew out of those mindsets the community never seemed to change and I gradually grew more distant until I pretty much left around 2014.

I still remember having a blast making maps for people to explore, learning to program and making laser guns, slate edits, and all sorts of content. I loved the freedom this game gave to creating, and all the time I spent goofing off with bad physics in cars or weird dms i still wouldn't trade. But there are serious problems with the community that I see was never addressed.

In the list of frequent names I see tossed around of perpetrators of grooming etc I never see see Ephis name thrown into the list despite knowing personally that he has done this to several users. I have pms from him myself of him that are Not Something A Moderator Of A Kids Game Should Be loving Sending .

It makes me feel absolutely gross to see such figures continue to hold power.

I know people give the other Brickgame stuff but at least they removed the offenders from the dev staff. That community is also much more welcoming to lgtb+ folx and as so many people in my life are queer i couldn't imagine remaining in a game where people hurled gay slurs on such a regular basis as I remember happening.
Not to mention that it is actually being updated vs BL which is essentially just a forum with a building game attached.

I do miss the old days, but they aren't coming back, and really they shouldn't. It is important to grow and part of that is allowing the people you associate with to change if your previous acquaintances aren't those who the person you have grown into would associate with.

this place was always treated as some 4chan-lite ran by some dude who never learned to give any stuff. badspot was always over cynical and it rubbed off onto the lonely children and reject adults who perused this site. got to have power over someone i guess.
if it was just a bunch of teenage spat (as it was most of the time) i wouldn't really care in the long run, but the laissez-faire moderation for anything but explicit research and gore that allowed child enthusiasts and loveual degenerates to run around until enough people got fed up is bullstuff. if badspot didn't want to touch the site outside of maintenance that's fine, but for a time there were tons of people willing to waste their time moderating the forum and i don't understand why he didn't just set up some process to get some proper mods. or just tell the few mods he had to do it for him. he already had people treat him as infallible, doubt the ones who didn't were going to kill his product over forum moderation.

even then after a certain point it was just a self feeding cycle. inactive administration allowing loser adults to feed their own personalities into the younger users who don't have much else, those users defend the adults cause they're the "cool" guys, they grow up and nothing has changed (either in their life or on the forums) to keep them from doing the same thing, process repeats ad-infinitum. being in my 20s now makes me realize that half of the adults active on the forums back in the day were unbelievably pathetic and i hope they're in prison by now.

the most notable moments from this forum come from the worst aspects of it and without them this place would likely be more dead than it already is

love you all tho <3