Today I did something that I didn’t see myself ever doing: I left FMGamer a website that I’ve been involved with for almost the last five years. I did it very much on the spur of the moment pushed by a feeling of futility. It’s an odd thing to get upset about, but I was very involved in both the actual and the abstract that was FMGamer, and I’m going to sorely miss the place and the people that made it such a wonderful place to spend my time.
I left without giving much reason to those that inhabit the forums, and I don’t want to get involved in explaining myself to them either. However I do believe its important for my own purposes to remind myself why I left and what exactly I left behind. There is always going to be the temptation to go back and to try and match myself against the problems that face it again in the hope that I can triumph over the adversity that it represents. I’ve included below the edited text of my resignation letter to the forum staff, as a warning to myself and as something that I have to remember for my own sake.
Perhaps a little ironically, it is looking currently that my departure will act as a catalyst that might start a slight retrenchment if not a revival of the site, with an attempt to make it better at doing the limited things that it is doing rather the continuing its pretence of being a large sprawling megalith of the FM scene. I’m struck by the irony that perhaps as much as I care for FMGamer, leaving it could be the best thing that I could have done for it, by giving others the necessary prod that made them realise change was needed. If that really is to be the status of my last contribution, albeit indirectly to FMG, I could not be happier.
The main page is clearly dead, and that has always been my real association with FMGamer. I do not see it being bought back, and I do not see any enthusiasm for it being resurrected. While I would love to see it be bought back, I am not capable of doing that by myself, and the presence of even one more person actually dedicated to the main page would have made all the difference I feel. This is to be profoundly regretted, tinged with a certain inescapable certainty. If that is to be definitively the situation then all that is left of FMG is to be found in this forum.
I do not feel able to be involved in the forum on a continuing basis. There are two reasons for this. Firstly I have always been socially and culturally disconnected from the forum, which I believe is rather obvious to all our staff. This has been increasing ever more as I spend long periods away from the forums, post for a few days and then disappear again. The second is that ever since Worley was banned, there have been no threads on the forum, especially in the off topic that I enjoy and look forward to in anticipation. These tend to be threads that are more political/historical/philosophical then the current threads, a genre which seems unlikely to appear again on FMG. I took the unprecedented step last night of reading every thread on the front page of The Pub and also of the FM 07 forums and I was hard pressed to find one thread that I felt interested in contributing to in anything but a cynical manner.
I do not know most of the new members, and have no inclination to do so. I do not believe the standard is what it used to be or that FMG is as fun as it was before in the days before the merger. I see no sign of there being what I would consider a positive change to this in the foreseeable next 12-18 months. This makes me doubly unsuited to be an admin any longer. I no longer have any hope for FMGamer as a site or as a forum.
Other reasons have played their part. Although I am playing FM again, I no longer feel motivated to contribute to an FM site without any reward either in acknowledgement or otherwise, and I don’t feel my contribution which is predominantly behind the scenes is either necessary or appreciated. On a personal level I do not believe in retaining titles that do not match my current effort so am not inclined to join the absenteeism that is in vogue at the moment. I am not doing anything worth an adminship, and so it seems redundant to retain one. As was recently said to me, sentiment, nostalgia and inertia can be powerful things, but I do not believe they are good reasons to retain my official involvement with FMG. I have been involved with the site since late 2002, through brilliant highs and incredible lows, but I have come to accept that those are largely for me a thing of the past.
I want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge my continued indebtedness to MJS and Tom for taking that chance on a unknown who wrote long and overly complex articles that in all likelihood they knew no one would read, and for letting me be involved in a site that has been a wonderful place for so many years to dedicate my free time. I want to thank all the staff for your hard work for no pay and no pension. You have all made my time here far more rewarding then I could have ever anticipated it being.