Fairly recently I learned about how, in a community I frequent and enjoy the content that’s created, there’s a level of haves and have nots being created. Specifically, with one of the major players in the content creators community who I’ve seen talked about like he’s a god of some kind.
However, I find how he’s acted whenever questioned, or whenever the rest of the community want the ability to also create and enjoy the content that he helps create (specifically with aid towards 3D models and him porting them out of the game and to be ready for SFM and Garry’s Mod, not something others could also do with the tools that are out there), he tries to shut down anything he dislikes, acting like a toddler throwing his toys out of his pram.
I’m going to say this right at the end of this foreword, but I have no gripe with him personally, and this is not a personal attack, hence the lack of names. This is purely a criticism of his actions regarding the creative freedoms of others, and also why his actions are bad for the community overall.
Part 1: My hat in all this.
I have a really simple reason I care about this. I love the community, the content they create, and want to see it flourish, no matter how bad or good it might be. We were all trash at what we’re not good at, and I don’t want to be turning away someone who could be the top tier poster. I personally have only created 1 and a half things for this community, know I’m not gonna be the best at it, but love seeing the content others create.
Part 2: Closed environments, and why they’re bad.
Long ago, in the year of 2013 a game was released. It had bad UI, and was missing core features. That game, was Payday 2.
Not long after release, the community started creating mods for it. In order to do this, it used a Lua “hook” injector. In short, the Lua Hook would intercept the code (in the programming language Lua, portuguese for Moon) and allow custom code to be ran.
One of the first Major mods for Payday 2 was called HoxHud. It quickly gained traction, as the Hud was far better and more informative than the default hud. It also had an anti-cheat system built into it as well. However, it was also closed source, and in order for it to even activate you were required to join their steam group. The playerbase accepted this, as it was the only real player in the Hud game, and making mods for it was fairly hard and painstaking to do, so it’s fine, right?
Well, as soon as other players put their hat into the ring, modders wanted a better way to inject code into the game, and create a easier and more streamlined way to mod. And so, in order to fulfill that demand, James Wilko, the creator of Goonmod, another mod for payday 2 using the older Lua Hook started work on the code injector still used 2 or 3 years later. That injector became known as BLT, the Better Lua Injector (and also a great sandwich.)
BLT gained traction fast, for being open source, well documented, filled with advanced features such as a ability to automatically update mods, as well as the ability to easily change mod settings in game as well. However, Hoxhud stuck fast to the old injector. It was, however, incompatible with BLT, due to something I’m not sure of but if I had to guess because of trying to intercept code that was already getting intercepted and then trying to inject code that was then gonna be injected in a different way. Hoxhud was still a HUGE player in the hud game, however more and more high quality mods were getting released for BLT, and in order for those that wanted to use hoxhud still, it would require a new version of BLT.
And thus, BLT:CSE (or Better Lua Injector: Club Sandwich Edition) was released. it was a stripped down version of BLT, but it made Hoxhud run, and that’s what mattered. Of course, since CSE could also be used to run other BLT mods without issue, the community could enjoy the best of both worlds there, albeit with the modders having to make sacrifices. Needless to say, no major mods came out that NEEDED CSE, and the hud game started to kick up with some really powerful competitors to Hoxhud.
As more and more great mods, huds and gameplay tweaks came out, and with hoxhud’s major selling points getting dwarfed by other mods and huds, Hoxhud fell from being one of the most used huds in the game, to just another hud with not that many benefits to using, and more downsides. At the point of writing, HoxHud is still kicking about, but as a shadow of itself caused by their wanting of being in their own little environment. The creator of BLT got a job with Overkill software, the developers of Payday 2, while the creators of one of the first officially supported mods fell into obscurity.
That’s the tale of Hoxhud, a closed source mod where their own greed caused their downfall. It stops content creators to enjoy the tools the rest of the community made to aid each other, and even in the somewhat big community of Payday 2, who’s subreddit currently has 42,000+ active members, can cause what used to be considered one of the best mods in the game to one of the HUDs you’re now recommended to avoid for other options.
Now, you might be wanting to know how does this even apply to Neptunia? The current major split is caused by the equivalent of hoxhud, trying to keep all the tools to themselves and only sharing them if you’re willing to play ball by their rules, and your creative urges be damned.
Part 3: Why your trash is my treasure.
The latest act of throwing the toys out of the pram comes from the idea of Personas based in the Hyperdimension Neptunia lore. Basically the HDN Expanded Universe, like the Star Wars, Star Trek, or any other EUs. The god from up on high recently came down his perch in the heavens to say he had enough, it was driving out “outsiders and people within thw(sic)
community…”. The reason it was driving outsiders out? Because people looked down upon it, like sonic fursonas. And why does it make it bad for those inside the community? Because followers happened to be following the creators content because they happened to partake in a specific shtick, and because humans can be entitled fuckwits, and because nothing now is new, this is causing an apparent burnout.
Another reason he used it because some of the people with Neptunia Personas were acting like entitled fuckwits themselves. If you’re sad you’re not in poster this, or video that, grow up. You don’t have any right to force someone to add you into something, like they don’t have the right to force you to stop creating what you love.
Then, after that gripe, he states they he doesn’t want you to not have fun. I can believe that, however saying “I’m also not saying you shouldn’t have fun.” and then 3 sentences later saying,“You can’t always look towards a safe space [in regard to the discord server] for happiness” is hypocritical.
I like myself some good quality trash. If a persona is done well, then it’s almost always a bonus to the entire Fanon EU. even if it’s cringeworthy and filled with cheese, it’s still great overall for a good laugh, and with the right guidance could raise a trash tier story to the next big thing.
For example, look at the success of Twilight, and the originally EU 50 shades of gray. Twilight is filled with cringe, it’s laughably cheesy, but it’s still loved. 50 shades of gray was a originally wrote as part of the Twilight Extended Universe, however it caught on quickly for kinky motherfuckers, and itself got big in it’s own right. Or even Rogue One being part of the star Wars EU. or any of the Star Trek EU adventures.
Trash is good, it allows fans to express their love for a subject with other fans of that subject. It allows communities to bounce back ideas between each other, and relaxes the “rules” of the normal Canon to give creative freedom a head start.
Part 4: Soft censorship and Thought Policing
This section will be small, but it seems important, at least to me with this topic.
Soft censorship is the act of forcing a content creator to self-censor their own content. By stating that you believe there’s a reasonable chunk of fans that are driven away from the canon because of what fans do with the Fanon, you’re suggesting that the work produced will not aid the community as a whole, and you wouldn’t want that now, would you?
This is NOT ok. Creative expression is never “bad”, and forcing that expression to be in only the things you like is an attack on the ability to create as you so please. If you hate something, downvote it and move on. If I was to say, for example, You’re not allowed to create fan based content in a subject you love, like for me it’d be “NO MORE PAYCHECK GANG FOR PAYDAY 2” or even Nepugia (or Nepgya), then you’d not like it at all. Why should one it be “one rule for me, another for thee”. That’s not a way to run and help foster a community, with each individual able to think individually and openly dissent against the public opinion. that’s a way to help foster a cult, where wrongthink will get you sharp glares and an overall hostility of “We don’t like you or your content”.
Open Trash is good, forcing your own brand of trash is bad, and the only OTP that matters the most is Blert.
[Edit: This entire debacle has more or less quelled down in the particular fan group i was focusing on, however this can happen in any fan group, and so the points are still mostly valid.]