Author Topic: blockland: the community that killed the game  (Read 16132 times)

this thread is super refreshing to see in 2023. it gives me a flash of something i feel like was around a decade ago

i probably won't spend too much time waxing poetic here since i'd rather save my energy for whatever sob story i drop in colten's inbox. but i will say this

i completely agree on the topic of badspot's negligence and the community it fostered. i've been preaching that outside of the forums to other former players for years now. but i'll spend the rest of my life trying to find the words to describe the actual impact that about five (active) years of the forum had on my life. it's crazy to think that it's been equally as long since i removed the forums from my bookmarks bar in 2016 as it's been since i first started playing the demo in 2009. ugh.

i think some of that description i'm looking for i've found in the emotional roulette i go through every time i meet someone random on the internet who later reveals themselves to be a "former blocklander." most of the time you get someone who just played the game. but sometimes you get split between two completely opposite groups of people that were raised on the forums:

  • those that soaked in the toxicity and still bear some kind of allegiance to eric hartman. the people that stayed because they became more like the loudest people already here
  • those that will spend the rest of their lives growing in spite of the parts of the forums they hated the most. the people that stayed because they had nowhere else to go

i definitely won't imply that it's a good thing that the forums were like this; it would've been better if it had just been a normal game that suffered a totally ordinary death. but there are definitely some good people that were born out of the blockland forums. i'm not sure where i would be today without it

this thread is super refreshing to see in 2023. it gives me a flash of something i feel like was around a decade ago

i probably won't spend too much time waxing poetic here since i'd rather save my energy for whatever sob story i drop in colten's inbox. but i will say this

i completely agree on the topic of badspot's negligence and the community it fostered. i've been preaching that outside of the forums to other former players for years now. but i'll spend the rest of my life trying to find the words to describe the actual impact that about five (active) years of the forum had on my life. it's crazy to think that it's been equally as long since i removed the forums from my bookmarks bar in 2016 as it's been since i first started playing the demo in 2009. ugh.

i think some of that description i'm looking for i've found in the emotional roulette i go through every time i meet someone random on the internet who later reveals themselves to be a "former blocklander." most of the time you get someone who just played the game. but sometimes you get split between two completely opposite groups of people that were raised on the forums:

  • those that soaked in the toxicity and still bear some kind of allegiance to eric hartman. the people that stayed because they became more like the loudest people already here
  • those that will spend the rest of their lives growing in spite of the parts of the forums they hated the most. the people that stayed because they had nowhere else to go

i definitely won't imply that it's a good thing that the forums were like this; it would've been better if it had just been a normal game that suffered a totally ordinary death. but there are definitely some good people that were born out of the blockland forums. i'm not sure where i would be today without it
this made me emotional 😭

I frequently run into blocklanders all over the internet, it's honestly sometimes refreshing because most of the people that aren't incredibly forgeted up by this place seem to have grown tremendously from their experience here (for better or for worse)

I don't regret any of the time that I spent in this forum, learning how to speak english, learning how to program, learning the ways of the world and how horrible people can be. I feel like, in a way, it was good that I was smart enough to never get involved in any drama, private investigating, or other illegal stuff I saw going on here regularly. It was good that I could sit at a distance and learn from tons of other peoples mistakes and how forgeted up people can be in an unfiltered way that you can't see in real life most of the time. That's because if I saw this kind of stuff in real life, I would've had a way more forgeted up childhood. Whereas when it was in the computer, it "wasn't really real".

In a sense, this is probably me coping with the fact that was I saw was real and there are an immeasurable amount of people that got hurt from this site/game. The internet in recent years has become so intertwined with real life in a way that it never really was before so stuff like child abuse on the internet happening hits closer to home.

I don't regret spending time here, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it, or want anyone else to see the stuff we used to see here.

I don't think i'll ever understand the kind of neglect Badspot had on this community and how "hands-off" his approach was. But then again, I don't know his personal life or anything about him. There could be an infinite number of reasons why he didn't want to grow the game or create a better community. In a sense, I always wonder what Blockland could've been if things where done differently.


Anyways, this post was just me rambling about my own (more positive than negative) experience with this site. I honestly hope anyone who's suffered any kind of abuse and grooming from this community gets the help they need and can live a happy life free of the emotional scars of this website. People always say "haha its cyberbullying just close your eyes it isnt real" but don't understand how bad some interactions can be on the internet. Especially when you are an already lonely kid with no real life friends (like most of us at the time).


I'll always have a space for this community in my brain, for remembering the good times and the bad. Ya'll have marked me forever.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2023, 10:00:56 AM by Aide33 »

stronghold crusaders !!! 👐
also bro i missed this i played this game on LAN so god damn much

it's disturbing looking back at the legitimately malicious and/or predatory behavior here back at a time when it was all shrugged off and very rarely disciplined. i think back to the many times i raised awareness about a user openly flirting and sharing nude photos/videos with insecure, underage male users nine years ago and being told to ignore it. i even received a two-week ban for telling this known child enthusiast to "shut the forget up" under the guise of "flaming a user." yeouch!! internet boo-boo. it upsets me to retrospectively learn that so many then-impressionable folk hereóboth younger and older than meódealt with being seriously groomed and preyed upon

even though i don't really think about this game/community anymore, i have occasionally come into contact with people i vaguely knew here 10-15 years ago to find they suffer actual trauma from their experiences here and are still distressed by how this website morphed their adolescence into something permanently regrettable or shameful if seen by others. especially given that their footprint is still accessible here. i've always advocated for the purging of this forum, not because of embarrassing posts, but solely for the sake of those who are actively haunted by words, opinions and actions they made as children/teenagers that were influenced and even encouraged by older men who had loveual or deceiving motives (promising friendship, giving affection, steam games, flirting w/ them, BLACKMAIL). from what i've heard recounted by previous users here, it's astounding this sort of behavior marinated in the background here for so long

cortex command
Another thing is that when they abandoned the game, they at least gave the source code to the community. Blockland will forever stay stagnant because there is nothing more that could be done to the base game engine.

maybe badspot was so sour about us lot was because the lego deal fell through and he theorised we were to blame somehow

maybe badspot was so sour about us lot was because the lego deal fell through and he theorised we were to blame somehow
IIRC the Lego deal was back in the v0002 era, when there was like 100 players, I can't imagine him twisting his anger on the community then.

To be fair, the national socialist in Badspots avatar is a guy named Erich Hartmann. It's just a joke with sharing names

To be fair, the national socialist in Badspots avatar is a guy named Erich Hartmann. It's just a joke with sharing names
does that seem like a connection that a normal person would want to draw attention to

Most of my posts back when I was a teenager were on the drama board and it was basically my main anger outlet - the same way that people somehow enjoy browsing social media like Twitter which is just a vortex of ceaseless outrage over nothing, I enjoyed browsing Drama because I liked either watching other people fight, or getting in on these heated debates myself with my underage pea brain.

Nowadays I don't even get angry anymore, I seriously think that my years raging at strangers on this site have permanently purged the emotion from my body. If there's a silver lining to me spending my teenage years being a weapons-grade stupid starfish online, it's definitely that. Ultimately I really do not regret my time here and I met great people in this game whom I still talk to today, but it took me until this thread to realize just how grim the overall atmosphere here was once you turned off the internet filter. Given how unrestricted my internet access was, I really feel like I dodged a bullet not ending up worse than I did, especially after being exposed to a bunch of repulsive stuff back in the day when people were regularly buying keys just to spam forbidden or just downright illegal content.
I feel the exact same way. I was a ragemonster as a kid and young teen but as I got older anger just became something I don't really experience anymore, especially now. I think I only really get pissed when I bump into something like a putz or hit my funny bone really hard on some bullstuff, other than that the most that happens is I'll get mildly annoyed for a few seconds and then get over it.

I have a lot of great memories from this community but it makes me pretty sad looking back on all the nasty stuff that happened here and how much of it I was involved in personally. Numerous permabans, got into arguments on here all the time, etc. So much gross predatory behavior too, I'll never forget Racerboy (known preadtor) begging me to Skype with him with my camera on so he could see me. Dude was a complete freak. I wish the forums/game had some actual moderation beyond Badspot and Rotondo's rare appearance.

does that seem like a connection that a normal person would want to draw attention to
It's pretty edgy but I don't think it goes much further than that. My aunt jokingly calls my dad Dahmer because they share the same first name. Badspot is not normal though regardless I don't think there's any debating that lol


Blockland will forever stay stagnant because there is nothing more that could be done to the base game engine.
Not really. Torque3D came with its source. The biggest hurdle would be modernizing its OpenGL 1.4(?) renderer. The work would be monumental but still possible.

Edit:
  • those that soaked in the toxicity and still bear some kind of allegiance to eric hartman. the people that stayed because they became more like the loudest people already here
  • those that will spend the rest of their lives growing in spite of the parts of the forums they hated the most. the people that stayed because they had nowhere else to go
This definitely resonated with me. I definitely still carry a lot of the toxicity and anti-social behavior I inherited from here when I was a teen, because in all honesty it's very cathartic. It's something I still really need to work on.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 07:25:39 PM by Tyler66 »

I lurk maybe once a month or so, so I've been unaware of this topic to this moment, so I suppose I'll share my unsolicited autobiography.

For context ahead of time, I grew up in a homeschooled conservative Christian household. I've had some serious social disorders going on for my entire life, hence why my parents pulled me out of public school systems during early elementary years.

I played the Blockland demo throughout 2008 (I would've been 12 years old) and my younger brother and I decided to buy the full version probably towards the end of that year (it was during v10 if I recall correctly). We shared a BLID, making sure to change usernames before going online. Within about a year, my parents banned me from playing the game indefinitely because I was giving creepy notes to a girl at our church and my parents were notified. In hindsight, I think I just had a crush on her and did not have the social development to think anything other than being a total edgelord is cool. My early days of Blockland were usually spent freebuilding by myself, or playing City and FamilyRP servers.

In my absence, I had more social issues, including having a horrific incident that probably would've landed any other kid in juvie or extended therapy. In hindsight, I kind of blame my parents for not taking the responsibility of teaching me many of the important hard lessons of growing up and maturing as an individual. It's the classic Christian conservative situation of, "If I hide my child from the world and never have difficult conversations, he will grow up to be the perfectly sane, God-fearing man that I want him to be."

But enough of that.

In 2012, I returned to Blockland again. This time, I signed up on the forums pretty quickly as well, and immediately made a fool of myself and was permanently banned within a couple days for going on obnoxious religious tirades and just overall being as much of a prick as possible. It was at that point that Night Fox/Foxscotch became my sworn mortal enemy for being....*cringe*....an atheist. Growing up feeling like atheists were my sworn enemy bent on ruining my life didn't work well with what little social life I had.

I continued playing Blockland online pretty regularly though. I would get banned from servers on occasion for being a religion freak, but I started to realize that being an insufferable twat to people was really making life suck. After a few years of playing with people from many different backgrounds and beliefs, I began to relax and realize that people don't have to be exactly like me to be my friends. I eventually made this current forum account after some time away from here and really only started getting involved on the forums in any meaningful way just before Steam release if I recall right.

At that point, I just wanted to be popular. I vaguely entertained the idea of trying to become a modder because I love cars, and wanted the freedom of making my own cars instead of spamming the requests board. I knew modders also frequently received quite a bit of popularity. I got started on making car models in SketchUp and Milkshape but realized I was too much of a perfectionist to ever be happy with my creations and never learned how to code either, so the modder idea got scrapped.

It was at this point that I just went all in jumping off the deep end into the cesspool of the "Blockland Social Scene". But overall, I think I came away more positively than negative. I did receive some creepy conduct from Emo Freak/Tenshi at one point, but I didn't bite. I was also an admin for both Tezuni and Zapk, so for a teenager wanting popularity, notoriety, and a button giving me the authority to ban people I didn't like gave me my fix and desire to be with an in-crowd, no matter what certain reputations those servers had.

As far as the forums though, I remained pretty much off the radar or even completely aloof to any of the real problems going on in the moment they were happening. I was a socially delinquent stuffposter and had some serious fun embracing that. Electrk more or less became my role model and I remember feeling so giddy and powerful when our incessant stuffposting got the Age of Time boards archived. The April Fools stuffposting event also holds a fond place in memory.

As I moved closer to adulthood, my maturity was also coming up. I started Blocklander Of The Year and ran that in a rather professional manner free of manipulation and that's what most people remember me from. I realized that being a stuffhead doesn't give the same lasting impression as just being a friendly amicable person.

I believe 2015 was the last year I hosted Blocklander of the Year and I remember it was rough, because I had graduated high school and started my first job in real life behind the scenes and trying to stay on top of Blockland projects (and drama) was very taxing. I actually began forming a social life at work as well and had to learn quickly to be socially acceptable as a frontline worker at a busy restaurant interacting with guests. 2016 was my first girlfriend and getting kicked out of my conservative household for being a rebellious teenager adult man with a social life keeping me out late. Ultimately, that's when my life actually started, and I figured most of the other Blockland users met the same fate.

Today, I've held multiple jobs. I drive semi trucks for a living. I've been married AND divorced. I'm a homeowner. I have some semblance of a social life, but I've lost that desire to "be popular". Coming back here on occasion to view the old shell of a past life is a bittersweet feeling. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing how so many of you were hurt in irreversible ways. This place was honestly a pretty instrumental part in my social development and secretly interacting with the real world under my parents' noses. Somehow I made it out without lasting damage. Seeing so many of these names that we once revered as cool people and how they were preying on us is disgusting.

I don't have close ties with people here anymore. There's a few in my Snapchat and I am in a couple Discord servers with some of the old pals, but I'm still not particularly good with checking up on people or socializing in that way. Know that I've had some fun times with many of you guys and I love seeing some of the old names here. I wish you guys all the best. If the going is getting tough out there, please reach out, whether that means talking to a therapist or even ranting on a listening ear. If you ever needed a sign or a good word today, you matter and everything is going to be okay.

Cheers fellas
unless you are/were a groomer or someone in a position of power who turned a blind eye on a groomer, then please turn yourself in, or you know, don't be an Earth inhabitant anymore

badspot still did the whole 10bux business model better than lowtax, all things considered

Not really. Torque3D came with its source. The biggest hurdle would be modernizing its OpenGL 1.4(?) renderer. The work would be monumental but still possible.

Blockland ISNT TORQUE 3d!!!!

Its TGE 1.3 and not only that, but a heavily modified version of TGE 1.3.

So unless blockland releases source code or we manage to find tge 1.3 and replicate the same modifications the exact way they did it, Its not going anywhere.