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[EDIT: The forum's back, in its Invision style...at least for now. But hey, I'll celebrate that! :) -Daniel Benfield (talk) 01:21, December 16, 2013 (UTC)]

As some of you may know, The Game Show Forum (not to be confused with Game Show Follies, despite the similar names and "GSF" initials) was created in 2003 as a "fresh start" after alt.tv.game-shows (ATGS) became progressively more of a frickin' cesspool. The last big thing that ATGS seems to have done is try to combat the then-recently-debuted Donny Osmond revival of Pyramid, resulting in a "I'm doing it my way." "Yeah, and you're doing it wrong." "Up yours." back-and-forth with the show's producer (who was that guy, again?) somewhat like that between ATGS and the jerks behind Extreme Gong in 1998, only with no "show calls its naysayers humorless virgins who don't do anything of value and won't get laid" to it this time.

Having researched Wheel and other game shows through its archives, the whole "it got worse" aspect is definitely true – more trolls, more flamers, more...assy, really. Matt Ottinger, David Zinkin, and many other members of ATGS formed a mass exodus and left, leaving the site to those who'd much rather make "[Game show host] did [bodily function] during a taping!" and "What game shows would [name]'s corpse host?" posts.

Anyway, as the years progressed the GSF became bigger and better, adding new sections (Audio & Video Clips, then later The Off-Topic Adventure) and refining the forum itself. Around late December 2012/early January 2013, due to some problems with Invision (from what I remember, the GSF was being "grandfathered" under an old system that was being discontinued, and they would've had to pay some obscene amount for some inferior features), it was decided that the GSF should become its own site and simply license the forum software from Invision. Shortly afterward, Ottinger stepped down from being an admin, which led Casey Abell to call the GSF "what's left of what used to be Matt Ottinger's board".

Remember that phrase; it's gonna hurt later.

Sometime afterward, due to the software licensing fees, it was noted/announced that they'd try to move to Simple Machines at some point...which brings me to why I've made this post – last night (December 14), the forum suddenly went down and was replaced by the Simple Machines version...which was completely devoid of both content and users. Various people quickly rejoined and posted in a thread asking about why the forum had suddenly changed, which got up to about a dozen posts before the forum went down again.

And again.

And again.

Every time it went down, visitors got to see the "Index of /" (inner workings) and a "Mic Listening Room" page by Randy West; every time it went up, the forum was again devoid of users and content. And then, around 9:10 PM, the forum went down and hasn't come back up.

That said, earlier today the Index of / was replaced by a message from Chris Clementson (the sole admin after Matt stepped down):

  • The Game Show Forum is down due to technical difficulties. A solution is currently being worked on. [-]Chris

...And here's where I begin the "opinion" part of a blog entry – maybe it would've been better to make sure things would be sorted out and working before you decided to abruptly can an entire forum with little to no warning, Chris. Then again, you never approved any new members since January and, after it was discovered that the "Behind the Scenes" section was rendered inaccessible to moderated members after switching from being hosted by Invision to merely licensing the software, you never responded to members pointing this out or my direct asking of why it was that way...so not 100% surprised.

It doesn't exactly make me feel much better that one of the pages in the Index of / listed the name of Robert Searcy over 300 times (and then only in the first 10% of the page; the other 90% didn't list him at all). For those who don't know (assuming this is the same guy), Searcy was the Technical Support guy at Golden-Road who was pretty good but didn't exactly leave the post on the best terms. Granted, yes, that was nearly six years ago, but...

During all this, I'm wondering whether the forum's rich ten-year history of threads and posts will come back once all is said and done, and whether the member database will also be ported over. I've been a visitor/member of a few forums that were shut down with no way to access that which was lost even if they were restarted, and it's a shame.

I joined the GSF in January 2010 as "Dan88" and didn't exactly gel with the then-current populace, which was mostly my fault and I'll gladly own up to that. Even as time went on, though, there remained a certain few who liked to belittle others pretty often for various meager reasons (and sometimes no reason at all) and only seemed to get worse as the years went on. Now, you may be thinking "Dan, you weren't in the best position with the GSF prior to these up-and-down events. What makes you think this post is going to keep you as a member there?" Well...I really don't.

Believe me, I really don't want to stop visiting or posting there, but at the same time I have some concerns about the currently-nonexistent Game Show Forum that I've hopefully laid out in this blog post. Regardless, here's to hoping the GSF gets back on its feet soon, preferably with its post and user databases intact. :) -Daniel Benfield (talk) 20:24, December 15, 2013 (UTC)

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