As I mentioned in the very first post of Rhoades to Madness, I have run an internet forum called The Halls of Hysteria for the last eight years. And as I also mentioned, The Halls is coming to an end. Well, rather, it did.
I officially announced it a couple of weeks ago and, on March 16th, The Halls was shuttered for good.
I hadn’t even posted there in more than six months, and have been only tangentially involved for the last two or three years. I had lost my passion for it sometime in there and it just took me this long to realize it. And, like most things in life, it’s only now that it’s gone that I truly miss it.
The Halls was never a big forum. Even in our heyday, we were barely 30 members strong, but we were a tight-knit and wacky crew that had hung together through a few big community migrations and shake-ups. For a couple of very golden years, commenting was fast-paced, hectic, and most often completely absurd. It wasn’t just anywhere that a Norse god could not only get into a fight with a Magic 8 Ball, but also lose. There weren’t many other internet forums doing crossover events that climaxed with a Penguin Army vs. Chao Swarm battle and the day was only saved by a guy named Stove crashing a starship into a multi-dimensional being. Hell, we even had fishing tournaments. (Of course, a lot of the time you ended up getting chased by bees or mauled by some hideous creature.)
We were fortunate enough to have a creative, witty bunch that were up for anything and did something that most internet forums forget to try: We had fun.
However, it seems the era of the forum is coming to an end. Facebook and Twitter and blogs are how we use the internet now, how we tease our friends and bitch about Hollywood raping our childhood. I’m adapting. I see the value in these things. They are incredible tools that can reach a seemingly unlimited audience, which is something The Halls could never achieve.
But the sense of community lacks. The ability to tell a (ridiculous) story with multiple people involved is crippled. It seems like the easier it has become to say things, the harder it has become to actually do so. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to get 10 bloggers together and have them weave together an epic yarn that involved a supervillainous George Lucas, a massive TIE Fighter vs. Colonial Viper throwdown, a race of blue-skinned nymphomaniacs, and a planet-destroying cannon powered by Chuck Norris’s awesome.
And that’s depressing.
So here’s me pouring out a root beer for the old Halls of Hysteria. We’ll not see her kind again.