Would you be willing to divulge the story of your journey to us? What introduced you to RP and ultimately to this site? Just to this site. The road to moderator is probably another story.
If it's too personal, you can forgo an answer (or pm me?). I only asked here because I thought others might be interested too.
It'd also be nice if we can get an answer from the other Mods.
When I was a kid, before we even had internet, my friend (Hyzhenhok) and I would write stories together. We each had our own Lego man and we'd take turns writing chapters in Microsoft Word while the other played Nintendo 64. Our Lego men would roam around a Lego galaxy into fictional worlds like Lava World (the floor is lava) to defeat an antagonist named Shane, who was basically a Chad.
My character's special weapon was the Adult Rifle. By the time I learned it was actually called an Assault Rifle, too much lore was written and I kept them old name.
I don't know how that began. Just cosmic luck, because it was probably one of the most important events in my life, a gateway into writing and eventually other socially destitute hobbies like programming and being a roleplaying forum admin.
I didn't know we were roleplaying at the time. So by the time I found internet roleplaying forums, I was a seasoned veteran.
The bulk of my roleplaying took place on the now-dead http://rpgchat.com/
. And that's where I met someone named Blackfire.
had this annoying issue where the admin, ThornBreed, was never around. Ugh, doesn't he know how to run a free forum? I was 15 and had all the time in the world. I didn't understand how an admin could just neglect a forum like that. I obviously knew things he didn't!
At the time, 2006 or so, roleplaying communities also usually were mired in strict rules and moderation.
So Blackfire, Hyzhenhok, and I created the Guild as a place with no rules nor moderator intervention. And with admins that would always be around.
Well, it took a year of sock puppeting my own accounts to get the Guild to a point where it had a large enough cabal of regulars for me to stop sock puppeting. And that's how I burned out on writing and roleplaying. In fact, I've barely roleplayed since then. I wrote many thousands of posts to make the Guild's first members think they weren't the first members.
Fast forward over a decade and I now understand why ThornBreed was never around. I'm 29 now and every year it gets more and more expensive to devote time to the forum, but I look at it as a charity since roleplaying was so enriching to my youth. Every time someone gets mad that I'm not around, I see my own self 13 years ago. I would've never guessed how much effort it would take to bootstrap a forum, that's for sure. Definitely not something I will ever have energy for again.
Of course, in Dec 2013, the Guild was deleted. And having no job/money, I thought it would be cheaper to build it myself. But I underestimated the effort it would take. Though I finally got the Guild's monthly expenses down to almost $100/mo while it used to cost $400-500/mo when it was on vBulletin. After an incredible amount of work (github.com/danneu/guild
) the Guild is still missing relatively basic features people expect from a forum.
These days I'm always wondering if it makes more sense to continue work on my custom forum software or finally migrate to something like Xenforo. I wish I could peer into a parallel universe where I use Xenforo and see how much money I'm spending and how much happier Guild members are.
Every once in a while I create an alt account and try to roleplay to force myself to use the forum I've built. It helps me experience the forum's sharpest pain-points first hand, like the atrocious editor. But I think I roleplayed enough for two lifetimes back when I first started the Guild and it just doesn't seem to be an interest I can claw back.