Screen Worlds

As the internet’s relevance in our lives increased faster-than-exponentially in the last two decades, many have forgotten the fact that it’s not actually real. All just Screen games and Screen worlds.
How did these social structures develop and what was so appealing about them? More importantly, how were they so sustainable?
These questions are obviously not easily answered, otherwise I would not be writing this essay, so let’s take it bit by bit.

Mailing lists, news groups; forums before forums. The earliest evolution, these were quite focused with very specific topics. Technology, television and film, etc. These were purely sustained by discussion and news (It’s in the name: News groups). Not quite a world of their own yet, but it was certainly a solid foundation for what is to come.

But when they developed further, into more structured sites, that’s when it really started to take off.
With forums, artificial Power Hierarchies were introduced to internet news groups, and immediately it became its own world, its own game. It gave the forums something more than focused topic discussion, it added it a game to it; a game that everyone was participating in - a social RPG.
This made the forums more engaging, more interesting. That is what gave people purpose on the forum when there wasn’t discussion going on, and in turn, created a community

And THAT was the biggest MMORPG on the internet. The most immersive, engaging, and enjoyable experience available online by far. The Forum Screen World. It was one of the greatest achievements in the history of the Internet. Each player had a role to play and a niche to fill; standard users, moderators, and of course, with moderators came people who had to be moderated. No forum was without these three basic roles, and for good reason.
It was just how the game was played - an unspoken rule, and that was what made forums sustainable in times of content drought.

A forum about a certain TV show or video game has Nothing when said show or game were over, and that’s where that “game” came in. It added something to do, something to think about and keep the users (who all had common interests mind you, which is why they’re on the same forum after all) engaged, until the “next thing” came along - whatever it may be. And that is what made the difference between a Forum and a News Group, that is what made the community.
The thing about this game though, is that almost nobody playing it realizes that it’s a game until it’s over. In a way this made it special, especially with how common it was - basically every forum out there played the same game. Unfortunately, this exact thing also resulted in the “collapse” of many forums, but in a way it wasn’t actually a collapse - it’s just that that new “next thing” never came, and the forum just never had anything else. The result of that? People played the game to its end. Not the prettiest ending. This has happened with countless forums in the 2000s/early 2010s era.

But we’re no longer in that era, haven’t been for a long time. These days, forums are nearly wiped out. Internet Discussion has evolved backwards to something More sustainable, although less engaging. Reddits, Discords, we all know what’s popular these days - no need to list them off.
Social interactions on the internet have changed, it’s become much harder these days to play the games of old - as the internet has grown into something so much more intertwined with real life, that the Screen World has become the real world, and people have lost touch with what made the internet so special in the first place.

Nowadays, a community forum just never could really work - especially when one of the fundamental priorities of modern day culture is “Mental Health”, and minimizing negative interactions.

But, unfortunately what most people don’t come to realize, is that a relationship with only positive interactions lasts as long as a relationship with only negative interactions, and the same thing applies to community forums. This is what happens when people with no understanding of sociology get control, when Programmers are in charge of maintaining social systems.
A forum without The Game or a topic of discussion, is a forum without a community; and that’s just nothing.

You can’t make a community forum, out of a blog thread.

I hope you learned something from this essay, but here’s the funny thing about social dynamics, and this really shows the power of human consciousness (A topic for another essay): You can’t actually discuss them.
The moment you bring awareness to a certain social structure, it immediately collapses. One drop poisons the well. It’s a very self explanatory mechanic, but maybe not the most intuitive one.

Alas, it is too late for this place…

1 Like

Bad thread

is huber crazy now too?

sad to see


Jockeying for a favorable position in the NA circle-jerk has always been my primary function.



despite that most of us work real world jobs and have careers so its not too bad for us to be here.

Mopping floors is not a career.

im big boss go look up superintendent, i mop floors and repair a lotta things man.

and i never even EVER paid rent you cant tell me i dont have a career.

Are you in a halfway house or something?

nope im in a nice building that is private owner and private rentals. I manage 3 building complexes.

I’m bless, thank you gods.

That’s a lot of leaky pipes to fix and bath tubs to re-caulk.

What a rewarding “career” that must be.

Stop putting people down it’s dumb and immature


I’m not putting anyone down; there’s just a marked difference between what Pepsi and I qualify as a career.

For me someone with a career is like a district attorney, while for him it’s someone who unclogs toilets.

? Is it not?

Last I checked i make a living and im able to buy what i want. Im sure you may not like the job but i love it and im happy as fuck to work.

Good for you

I’m glad you like your job

1 Like

my career consists of nothing

I don’t have a career I have a job

When ya realize that work is freedom you’ll understand how you cant be mad to go to work.