Metafarion wrote:I hope this isn't too much of a thread resurrection, but I only just found it and I have huge capital T Thoughts on the subject.
It seems like there's a fundamental disagreement on what exactly the purpose of this site is. We have folks who see no problem with the "life" that the site currently has, which to my (by post count only!) somewhat newbie eye is sort of akin to a monastery. The forums are populated by monks and scholars, studying the ancient texts, discussing and finding new meaning in them, writing, analyzing, charting, expanding, theorizing, etc. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE that (seriously, ask me about my thoughts on the SF3 soundtrack if you have a week or two to spare...). I don't think I would have found the site and continued coming back year after year if that element wasn't present. But it also has the tendency to create a somewhat esoteric, and insular community if that's ALL that goes on; not conducive to attracting fresh blood.
Then there's the opposing opinion that the site needs "new life" and this means getting off our porches, casting aside our bitterness about newer games, expanding the roster of covered titles, appealing to the younger crowd, reviewing, previewing, interviewing.... I think I saw someone mention crowdfunding to buy the rights to the series... Because without some new and exciting stuff, how will we bring in new members?
I believe the site has room for both of these things.
This is not a perfect comparison, but consider for a moment, a site like ocremix.org which does not struggle to stay fresh and interesting in spite of its aging source material. They have a thriving community almost ENTIRELY focused on ancient history; no news is being generated on these titles and the current generation of gamers sees them as quaint and old-fashioned. Yes, they cover new games as well, but take a look at the breakdown of content here. Of the 50 most-remixed games, 45 of them are pre-2000, and before you say "that's because they've been around longer doofus," please direct your attention to the 30 most recent remixes of which 2/3 are from the same time period.
I'm not saying we need to emulate them, but they're a good example of a community which makes its own news. SFC does this as well, but you wouldn't know it just arriving on the front page. The community projects are hidden away back in the forums, the and you really have to dig to find the NEW stuff that is happening around here. From the home page alone, the site appears to be nothing more than a vault, perhaps even a mausoleum honoring those long since passed. Of the four front page Features (stretched over 2.5 years, I might add) three of them were the annual beg.
This is not for lack of news! It's for lack of considering the stuff that originates right here in this community to be newsworthy! We don't have to wait for Sega or Camelot or whoever to hand down the next big thing (which probably sucks) so that we can meticulously categorize and archive it. One only needs to peruse the Shining Fanwork forum to see dozens of SFC productions eager to be featured: Games, music, artwork, writing, comics, etc. This is where the "new life" comes from. Without sacrificing our devotion to the "old testament".
I REALLY hope this doesn't come across as an excuse to promote Harmonia Tactics; it's not. At all. I'm invested in the discussion because this is a dichotomy I've had to wrestle with for a long time as an enthusiast (dare I say connoisseur?) of older games, and how to impart the timelessness we know they have. Shining Force is definitely one of the most under-appreciated series' I know of, and it still has a lot to offer us. And we have a lot to offer it.
Excellent post Metafarion. And I agree, there needs to be activity and movement and it needs to be shown on the front page. The thing is that as far as I know, SFC has no active Webmaster except Moogie, and she can only update when she gets the chance. So we would need a dedicated webmaster and team to keep the site not only up to date but also full of life with activites and news throughout the site.
And having some presence on Social Media isnt a bad idea.