The MSX Resource Center (most commonly known as MRC) is currently the biggest MSX user community on the Internet. It started when Sander van Nunen in the Netherlands registered the msx.org domain around 1996. Search results for “MSX” or “MSX computers” on Google show the MRC near the top because their domain name matches the search and also because it has been around for so long.
This is unfortunate, because the MRC is a toxic community and it keeps harming the MSX scene.
The latest incident happened just yesterday. What started as a post about Brazilian MSX users taking a stand against piracy ended in a heated discussion when the user foobarry81 attacked the game developer Kralizec. The MRC moderators did nothing to stop this user, resulting in continuous attacks agains Kralizec and several users publicly announcing they were leaving the MRC for good.
In other words, a shitstorm.
Keep reading for the details.
foobarry81’s message was not only off topic, but also a lie intended to defame and provoke Kralizec. At this point, and not a second later, a moderator should have stepped in and kick this idiot out the door.
Instead, the MRC admin Jorrith Schaap (Jorito), and ex-admins Jelle Jelsma (Meits) and Maarten van Strien (wolf_) chose to get some popcorn (literally) and enjoy the circus. They even made their position clear in the thread, which only encouraged the troll and hurt Kralizec’s position. Kralizec were represented in the thread by Armando Pérez (Ramones), their coder.
Another MRC admin (Sander Zuidema, AKA snout) was apparently too scared about asserting any authority, and made a couple of timid attempts to ask people to behave:
Another MRC admin (who has requested to remain anonymous) not only did nothing to stop foobarry81, but instead kept cluelessly feeding the troll, allowing him to throw more attacks against Kralizec:
The result? Several people publicly announced their departure from the MRC forum, including Ramones. Many more were alienated and will probably think twice before trying to express their opinion in this site. On top of that, the MSX Resource Center admins must now remove all the Kralizec games from their downloads database (they were available for free until now) at the request of Ramones.
Well done, MRC admins, well done. You let a troll control your thread for three days and your actions led to even more damage to the MSX scene.
It’s not the first time
This would be just a sad (but annoying) anecdote if it wasn’t for the fact that this kind of thing keeps happening again and again at the MRC.
You may remember that last December I posted here about another big problem with the moderators there. In that case, Andrew Darovich (Arkhan) was insulted by the admins and banned after he pointed out (correctly) that the graphics for Kai’s game were ripped from Metroid Prime. I myself was attacked on that same thread for disagreeing with how Arkhan had been treated. I haven’t been on the MRC since then (and never will).
Around 2005, Patriek Lesparre (GuyveR800) was banned from the MRC after becoming a scapegoat in an internal dispute between other admins. To this day, Zuidema and other admins have been seen insulting and defaming GuyveR800 in the msx.org forums. Albert Beevendorp (BiFi), who was previously an MRC admin, was asked to step down because he was close to GuyveR800. They’re both members of The New Image, and chances are that you’re using their software every day, especially if you have a mass-storage cartridge in your MSX, such as the MegaFlashROM SD+SCC.
The MSX Resource Center garden
The MRC community is like a garden. Anybody with common sense would remove the weeds, kill the pests and fertilize the flowers. However, things don’t work like that in the MSX Resource Center forums.
There, the admins remove some of the flowers, act as pests themselves, and then tell everybody else to respect and live together with the weeds that are killing the community.
Whether they do this on purpose or because they’re clueless is beyond my understanding. What’s clear to me at this point is that the user community at the MRC is not unlike an abandoned plot infested with weeds and garbage.
After a flame war of more than 200 messages they decided to wipe the whole thread (here‘s a huge 990×74358 screenshot of the thread up to the last few hours) and closed the discussion with a pointless “let’s all be friends” post, ironically from Jorito, who had been one of the admins fueling the attacks:
No, you fucking idiot. You were one of the instigators in all this mess. You and your fellow admins are to blame for what has happened.
“Be respectful to each other“? No. Take your political correctness and stick it deep up your ass, where it belongs. While by default everybody deserves to be respected, some behaviors must be stopped the moment they happen. The weeds in the garden must be removed and the pests killed, if your intention is to have a healthy user community. Your inability to understand this shows that you’re not qualified to run an online user community.
As I already said before, in its current state the MSX Resource Center is a cancer in the MSX user community.