So here's the story about me and talkhaus just because I want to throw it out there. If you have no idea what talkhaus is, it's just a forum for popular(?) youtubuer raocow. I don't particularly think it's a story that needs to be told, nor is it very interesting, but I've got nothing better to do at the moment than write all this out, so here we are.
I suppose it really all started before the talkhaus even existed, when Let's Plays were invented by slowbeef on SomethingAwful and nobody ever thought to play a game on the internet beforehand. Personally, I watched a lot of Let's Plays and despite how much I may have liked them at the time, I couldn't give you many names of who they were now. Also, the people might not even exist anymore. Of course, being a huge fan of Mario, the Mario romhack threads got my interest. The first one I remember was Super Demo World played by Vegastar. It was a neat hack and it opened my eyes to the whole world of SMW hacking. I also remember there was one guy (can't remember his name) who made Super Mario Intrigue which was neat. Of course, raocow was there and he played a lot of different hacks and I played them, too. Do I even remember those hacks now? Uhhh
Eventually raocow moved on from the SomethingAwful forums. I don't remember why. I think maybe the whole thing was getting stale. I know he tried a couple different things before just starting over on youtube. I watched him there. I think I even DMed him once and I got namedropped in a video. I like it when people namedrop me in a video. One time Paste (of talkhaus fame) was playing Zelda 1 and he said "Aquementable" when he was fighting Aquementas and I forever remember that, too. Eventually, talkhaus got made after some time after being on youtube. I don't remember when. History was my worst subject and I can never remember dates so you'll probably see some discrepancies like that if you actually look up any of the stuff I talk about. The point is I joined talkhaus I wanna say around 3 days after its conception and I'm not really sure why. Honestly, it was probably the Mario romhack thing still. I didn't post on many forums and I want to say I barely did on SA but I just looked and I have a postcount of 416 so I'm not sure where all those came from. I do remember my first post was in a thread that was basically AMA about Roombas.
So yeah, I'm on talkhaus. I think I liked it because it was relatively new and nobody knew each other yet. I really have little recollection of anything interesting, but I know an IRC channel existed and, again, not really sure why I joined it because I hated IRC as a program then and I hate it now but when talkhaus was made I didn't have a job so you know. I barely remember the early IRC crew, though I don't think it really changed much. SayAnything must have been pretty frequent on there because he was a talkhaus mod (no idea his connection to raocow) and he recommended me for modship, too. I think a lot of the early picks for raocow's mods (again, no clue about their connection to him) didn't work out, I believe a lot of them left really quick so I probably became one just because it was an opportune moment that fell into my lap. That's also how I gained control of the IRC channel, the guy that made it didn't log in for 30 something days so he lost ownership and as I'd already said I hated IRC so people decided I should have it.
Here's the thing I want to mention before really going on. I'm not friends with raocow. I mean, we get along well enough. I always respected what he's done and I don't think he's ever gotten pissy at me - at least not in a way that I could ever tell. I've never really chatted with the guy though. We've had some back and forth in the secret mod forums and I might have sent him a real PM or two, but we've never had a real conversation or hung out or became skype buddies or whatever. I talked to TLs4, the guy who originally owned raocow.com, way more in the short time he was around than I have in my entire "career" with raocow. I'm not against it, but I just never felt the need to bug the guy and he to me. I will say I don't think raocow knows how to run the forums so I could have probably burned them down completely and I'd still have been there. Funny that.
Anyway, TLs4 was pretty flaky - I think he had some job running security software or something like that at an important-ish place that I don't wanna mention for privacy's sake, and SayAnything eventually went crazy and deleted himself from the forums. I remember him getting pretty trolly and what I don't remember, but did read recently in the secret mod forums, is that I got kinda mad at him and so did the IRC group. I remember him being a cool guy, though. I played Resident Evil 5 with him and yes, I would consider him having been a friend since we actually did friend things and did more than just coexist running a forum.
I know later limepie20 became a mod. He sort of fell into it too like I had. I talked to him a lot, he was my buddy, and since he was running a lot of ASMT and we gave him mod powers for that forum I suggested they just make him a global mod and everyone was like "eh, okay." Sometime after he was mod TLs4 finally noticed I didn't have admin powers and gave them to me even though SayAnything had them. There was some backend stuff that needed done and he kept saying "do it then" even though I couldn't.
I don't remember why jesuiscontent was a mod but he was cool. Maybe that was after my time? I don't even know, I told you I was bad at dates. I just wanted to mention him.
The point of that is, I felt like I was pretty much running the show most of the time. I had to look over IRC and look over the forums. I spent a lot of my time in both. Again, I had no job, so I was fine with it. It gave me something to do. I thought I was happy. I do know there were several members who irked me. BlackDS was a problem, sure. I think we moreso got mad at him reregistering a lot. Alex, of course, was my nemesis. Funny thing was, I was ready to become friends with him after we talked it out one night, but the very next day he basically went "fuck off" to me and that's when I blocked him on all of my accounts. There was also that one guy whose name I honestly can't remember that absolutely despised me, but he left talkhaus after running some writing(?) contest and I felt since he left before I snapped that I won. I never wanted to ban people just cause I hated them, though. Big permabans like that usually had some thread in the mod forum, and I think alex was really the only one I banned anyway and he would just whine to raocow or tls4 and get unbanned anyway. I want to say limepie banned him once or twice too but I gave up on it after he came back for the 50th time or whatever. This is a bad paragraph because the first sentence has little to do with the rest.
I wanted to do fun things with talkhaus, though. I read pretty much every post for a while and I knew a lot of the members from their postings. Most of the friends came from the internet IRC chat, but there were a few decent forumgoers I made friends with, too. Make a Good Level contest spawned from this, and I took over TLs4's 2nd MATH contest (Most Awesomely Terrible Hack) after he vanished cause I wanted those levels to still get played. There was always the odd forum game, too, like Mafia specifically but another one that always jumps out in my head is some game where you were a part of a person's personality and you got points if you made them do specific things. I don't think even then I knew how to play, but I signed up and one of my two goals I picked was "vehicular manslaughter" partly as a joke, but I was going to play it for real as best as I could.
The IRC became a bit too cliquey though. I know we'd made fun of people on the forums there. Some people definitely deserved the minor ridicule we gave them for some of the weird shit they posted (usually whenever anything NSFW was brought up) but there were also just normal people that it was decided the group didn't like, too. I specifically remember wareng/bokobono/whatever his name was being part of this but I don't think he was the only one. It was definitely a clique, if you ever find an old forum mafia game you'll probably find the entire IRC crew playing it and barely anyone else. It was really kind of toxic, and I know the people in the IRC even went to a different channel in the the server we were hosted on (or however IRC works) and pissed off the people who owned the server and got us booted off. I mean I was there too and all I did was watch so it probably didn't help anything. In hindsight I either should have spoken up and tried to calm things down since technically I was the channel owner, or just left and let everyone destroy theirselves.
Rena came to the rescue when that happened though, and also when talkhaus vanished too. She became the new tls4 and new IRC channel and she really did a lot for talkhaus. More than I ever did sitting on my ass suggesting we ban more people from talkhaus for being assholes.
Though in hindsight if I thought I could get away with banning all the jerks and not have them get unbanned after complaining to someone else I probably would have did it.
And then a bunch of stuff happened and I went crazy
Everything came to a head and a lot of people were mad at me, at how talkhaus was being run, at a lot of things. We'd gotten a lot of people complaining about it, but I don't think anyone really knew what to do. There were suggestions to add new mods (wasn't against it but didn't see the point), to get more members (cool idea but how?), and probably some other stuff that I could make a snarky response to. People were mad and I really don't remember quite why. I know personally I was a dick. If anyone hated me, it was fair. We did do a lot of bannings and stuff and may have taken it too far in some places. I think there were a lot of areas we could have cooled off on and a couple others we should have put our foot down to. We were trying to run it a bit too much like SomethingAwful and that just didn't work out so well for a smaller forum like talkhaus. Looking back, I think we probably should have let most of the little shit fly and pruned out some of the more toxic people so they didn't really taint the community as much as we did. I feel like I'd failed in that part. The talkhaus wasn't fun anymore.
Despite not really enjoying myself with talkhaus anymore, I still read every post. I still logged in all the time. At this point I had an actual day job but on my breaks I would go outside and check talkhaus on my phone. I really did want the place to be fun and everyone happy to be there. It just wasn't working out. People were upset, rightly so, and nothing was being done about it. I think part of me hoped that the people complaining would just go away, or someone would post something fun and everyone would be happy again. It was kind of foolish, but I was getting pretty desperate.
I don't remember the order of these next two events, they could have even happened simultaneously, but they're a big part of why I originally left. I do know they happened near the end since I was working when both occured.
During the point where everyone was making posts complaining about the forums, someone made a thread to thank the mods. Suddenly I felt like everything wasn't hopeless again. There WERE people out there who did see that we were trying and maybe we just sucked. There were several people coming in and saying nice things (though I don't dare look up the thread.) I felt happy again even if it was only when I was reading that thread. Then someone came in and decided, even though we had a bunch of other threads complaining, to say we weren't good mods in there. To the best of my recollection it was a relatively new person, too. I was floored. I legitimately wanted to cry because someone on the internet had said a bad thing about me. I looked into it, because there was no way this person would just come in and say we were bad for no reason, right? There was a talkhaus splinter forum. A bunch of names I recognized. They had a post on there saying that they should go into the thread and say we were bad, and also in that thread was this guy. I don't remember their name. I'm sorry, you were probably a good person. I probably deserved the shit I got. What tipped me over the edge was one of the names in the thread. InsaneIntentions. He was someone I'd actually talked to. I'd considered him a friend. Yet, here he was in this thread, going along with everyone else saying they should say we suck. I though him being a friend he could have just said something to me directly. Nope, he went to his secret forum and handed someone the dagger to stab into my back. Maybe I deserved to have been stabbed, but not in the back. When I confronted him about it he said it was "the other mods." There weren't other mods. It was like me and limepie and limepie was definitely more likeable than me. I was furious. I was done. I'm still mad about the situation years later.
Do I still hold a grudge? I don't know. I had to see his twitter pop up as "suggested" to me for ages, so I was constantly reminded of this. If he wanted to say hi to me now, though, I'd probably say hi back. I'm not extending that olive branch
The other thing that happened, which was probably before that, was me thinking I had depression. Or maybe I actaully was depressed. It could have been Seasonal Affective Disorder. I never really found out. I was trying to run the talkhaus hearthstone tournament and I don't remember what happened exactly, but I just felt really depressed one day. It was a real life issue but even in real life I wasn't getting any help. I told my mom I thought I was depressed, she just asked me what she was doing wrong. Not very helpful, I thought, though my Mom means well. I told my Dad. He said I wasn't depressed. He must have felt bad about it because about a half hour later he called and apologized, but it didn't help. I just wanted to lay down all day and rot, but I had this fucking tournament to take care of. I didn't want to just cancel the whole thing because I was feeling bad. I'd posted in the thread apologizing because of depression and I think I posted in the twitter thread saying I was, too. Nobody seemed to notice or care. Nobody even said anything like "that sucks" to me to acknowledge it. I probably deserved it. I definitely think I do now. There was one person who reached out to me though. It was Kapus. Just being able to talk to someone really did help me out, and I'll always be thankful to Kapus for that. I think they also said I wasn't despressed, but in a munch nicer way. Of course, there were a few real friends I was able to talk to, as well, but yeah. Eventually I did see a doctor and we did a "wait and see" approach and eventually I got better. I didn't actually take anything, but I think I needed the mental lift rather than chemical.
Just in case you're curious, I did get the same feelings again every once in a while, yes, usually during winter. Things got better and I even did change jobs so I think that along with eventually abandoning talkhaus, I cut out all the bad in my life and it was time to be me again.
But yeah, those two events sort of drove in that I wasn't exactly liked, and I wasn't happy being there. I realized I was basically just hanging out with people half my age that didn't act very mature and I didn't want to be part of that anymore. Rena rudely but jokingly told me one day to go away, so I did. I know it was a joke, but I remember that because I'm PRETTY SURE I got a messgae from her one day asking if I left because of her. No. Not really. I just took the only escape my brain saw at the time and I left. I looked back. A lot. Talkhaus was a big part of my life, it was all I did pretty much for several years. It's not something I'm going to forget, for better or worse, and I don't think it's something I should. It was fun. Then it was awful. Then it stayed awful. I don't think coming back to talkhaus even to shitpost is good for my mental health. I should probably stay away from it forever, but I'm sure I'll keep coming back.
Would I do it all over again, though?
And just cause some people have contacted me about this after, if you feel like you were part of any problems with this, you probably weren't. If you were, I honestly don't remember many specifics, just generals. Either way, there's no grudges. I appreciate everyone who's said something about this and I do like talking about it if anyone wants to chat about it. You know where to find me.