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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

Who’s writing the exceptional South Park: Phone Destroyer community posts, and where are they hiding? 12/19/2017

One relatively bright side to the NetRunner community being so small in the mid-’90s, was that you knew who everyone was and where to find them, because the Wizards of the Coast listserv was the only forum in town.

South Park: Phone Destroyer has been downloaded 8 million times, and there’s be a well-rounded and well-spoken writer somewhere in that global haystack.
There are at least four places to discuss SPPD: Ubisoft’s forum, Reddit, Facebook, and Discord.

Two things they share in common: 1) the  notion that cheating is rampant; and 2) the thought that SPPD is a money sink if one wants to compete. In either case, the discussion attracts dozens who reason that these complainants are using reports of cheating and concerns about “freemium isn’t free”as scapegoats for their incompetent play.

The Ubisoft forum — You’d think because it’s their name on the label that they’d be adequately covered at the complaints window, but community lead Steve Stewart cites his illness and his assistant’s overwork for their inactivity, while reporting that he hired another assistant.

The new hire’s in-game introduction has that inane tone that permeates the Internet, because everything is awesome.

Ubisoft did a crappy job defining their set of forum folders. The “general discussion” folder is run over with guild dinks seeking other guild dinks.

The “strategy and deckbuilding” folder is mostly “rate my deck”. What gives with this insecurity, players asking others to judge their build rather than going out to play with the  thing. Then the answers to these rating requests are asserted without context — “swap this for that”, “that card sucks”, “your deck is not as good as mine”, and so on.

If the community leaders at Ubisoft were smarter, they would’ve banished guild dinks and insecure deckbuilders to their own folders.

Reddit — Reddit did the smart thing to put team requests and deckbuild discussion in separate areas. The smartest SPPD players I’ve read are on Reddit. However, the area includes many kiddie (I’m assuming) users who aim to downvote everything into oblivion as an idle amusement.

Facebook — It’s Facebook, where the dumbest people on the Internet congregate. What FB’s “South Park Phone Destroyer” has going for it is navigation that Facebook users can operate.

Discord — I installed it, but it’s not immediately apparent how to use it, and I’m not certain I want to if vocals are equal to writings.

That might be my generation gap showing. Information sharing by audio and video is as prevalent as prose (for most folks my age, Usenet was the original social network. In fact, the busiest online activity I’ve witnessed about South Park: Phone Destroyer was during a Twitch netcast. Ubisoft lead Stewart and a co-worker shared their screen, and talked about games while in progress.

I think that people are willing to watch other people playing games whie live chatting is odd. It’s one of those cultural things that I encountered first in a “South Park” episode (Minecraft was another — thanks, South Park) in which Cartman takes the identity CartmanBrah to critique online multiplayer events.

Like “Freemium isn’t Free”, I’ll have to watch the CartmanBrah episode again.

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