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Old 10-08-2020   #521
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I'm not sure many people see Mystic as less than human, but their resentment of him is something he brought on himself. He didn't just make a mistake, his entire attitude and how he treated people for decades is how this all came to be. It's not really a hate bandwagon as much as it is just airing grievances.
Massive amounts of grievances.

Anyone who gets the impression this is a witchhunt should probably take some time to read the whole thread. It's not in our interest to hunt down Mystic's life and make a callout to every community he's in. Since he was removed from this community for being as asshole, it stands to reason that the same attitute would continue to have him removed from other communities and relationships on their own. Hopefully he learns to better himself, but that's no longer our business.

If I have anything positive to say about him, it's that I still really like his levels. As much as they aged...differently from SRB2's current direction, Mystic Realm is still really nostalgic, and Aerial Garden and Prismatic Angel are very fun platforming challenges for me. I don't know what the state of Mystic Realm will be now that both he and Prime are gone, but I'll always regard it fondly.
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Old 10-09-2020   #522
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I agree with you guys that cancel culture is disgusting and causes more problems than it ever solves and that it does dehumanize people for saying something or doing something that upsets somebody, which we all do. Nobody deserves to be labeled something damaging and have their lives destroyed just because they made a passing joke or said something on the internet.

But I think it's extremely unfair to imply that the people in this thread are awful for making it and discussing it. I don't know how anyone could read the entire thread and take that away from it. We're talking about someone that's had 20 years to change their behavior, yet it only got worse. We're talking about a guy that advertised his fetish for porn of young girls IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE TO MINORS. We're talking about children who were bullied and abused and weren't able to identify their trauma for a long time. So no, it's not an example of cancel culture. It's an example of people whose confidence was beaten down during the most formative years of their lives and how they were manipulated into participating in that behavior themselves talking about their experiences with the person and people who did it.

Having a place like this where they can be understood is an important tool in their recovery and trying to take it away from them only justifies the abuse in my opinion.

(Also, not to get personal, but why would someone archive a thread that makes them that disgusted? I don't get it.)

Last edited by Sunderland; 10-09-2020 at 03:07 PM. Reason: added a thought at the end
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Old 10-09-2020   #523
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Mystic sure is human huh! we all are, i presume. and mystic still harassed minors, had a superiority complex and shared nsfw in a community (i literally will not forgive the loli shit ever) with a bunch of Minors for who knows how long. i don't care if mystic is still human, the stuff he did is absolutely unforgivable, its actually Traumatizing, and calling this thread useless and whatever else shows how much you don't care about abuse victims or people getting their deserved punishment for abuse and borderline pedophilia (for clarification: I'm not calling him a pedo, but. HM.)
This guy's a lolicon!? Seriously?? If it's true then nothing else matter, nothing needs to be added, I shall rest on my case.

(Icarus received an infraction for this post: Do not be the peanut gallery. If you don't have anything significant to add to the conversation, you don't need to post every time it's floated.)
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Old 10-10-2020   #524
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(pedophilia tw)



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This guy's a lolicon!? Seriously?? If it's true then nothing else matter, nothing needs to be added, I shall rest on my case.
he seemed to have a fascination with lolis, and im pretty sure he admitted in a screenshot to having a secret nsfw channel for sharing loli stuff.... ? so yeah, honestly, calling him a 'lolicon' seems right. ironic considering he accused someone else of pedophilia, but..... life, right?!
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Old 10-10-2020   #525
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First, responding to Doe's comment in a spoiler because it kind of gets away from the topic at hand, but since it was said here I want to respond:

Spoiler:

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Originally Posted by SeasideDoe View Post
I know back then slopes were an impossibility, and hindsight is 20/20, but I always felt that was an extremely caustic take, considering how modifiable the DOOM engine is. It would only be a matter of time before some madlad coder came in with a big idea for SRB2, and made the impossible possible.[...]

This also puts a lot into perspective, like how fickle's maps for SRB2Kart all feature extensive sloping, every single one of them with physics involved even if it wouldn't necessarily be super useful.
So to be fair on the slope takes, that post was 15 years old, and it wasn't entirely unreasonable to be short-tempered about slopes back then. Now that slopes do exist, it's easy to look at people insisting they wouldn't and take them out of context to sound unreasonable. But at the time, nobody had the knowledge or the motivation to make them happen, while people in the community were constantly demanding to add them. Back when SSN was the only coder and knew the bare basics, being stern and saying they wouldn't happen was the only approach to take. I don't hold those statements against Mystic at all. Context is important.

And please don't try to insinuate malintent from anything I do. I used lots of slopes because it was fun, and I avoided disabling physics everywhere because consistency is good game design. In fact, if I have any negative things to say about slopes, it's that the dev team (and not particularly Mystic!) forced them to release in a patch before I could polish the physics, and that people are going too far with them at the expense of some of SRB2's identity. But that's not something for me to whine about in this topic.


With that out of the way, I want to talk a bit more about my opinions of Mystic, and of the whole admin team in fact. First, lemme say that the people who have been directly hurt by the guy have no need to read what I'm about to write; it'll probably be upsetting and won't apply to you anyway, because y'all have every right to be upset about the guy and talk about how he's mistreated folks. This is directed more toward the people who are coming in just to repeat the "he always rubbed me the wrong way" line of thinking, as well as the people coming in to argue against that group. I'll put this under another spoiler so that the first group can skip over it.

(And to be clear, this will be largely about his general community behavior. There's no defense for encouraging NSFW channels in this community and I will not make any attempt to defend that.)

Spoiler:

I can kind of see where the "cancel culture" claims are coming from, ill-informed as they are. I don't think Mystic is an inherently bad person. Instead, I think he acts as a cautionary tale of what power that goes unchecked for too long does to someone. Let me explain.

He had been the head of the community since at least 2003, possibly earlier. That would've pinned him at 18 at the time. I've been a moderator in other communities at that age, and even with other wiser people above me to keep me in check, I was still insufferable as a result. People in that age group typically just don't have the life experience needed to run a good community, and without anyone to fully keep him in check (since SSN wasn't active in the community), a lot of terrible habits from that period of life were reinforced instead of being corrected.

To make matters worse, the internet of the early-to-mid 2000s was a lot more toxic as a whole than the internet of today. Harassing people off of the internet because you didn't like them was practically encouraged by everyone who was active enough to do anything about it, and that ended up feeding into the horrible feedback loop that encouraged the kind of things Mystic did even harder. Ultimately, by the time the internet got better, he had already had enough reinforcement of his attitude that it couldn't be fixed while he was still in power.

From my experience with the guy, he seemed to get better at running the community, in some small ways, up through the late srb2fun days. (There were absolutely problems that were never addressed, but in particular he tried to cut down on some of the forum peanut-gallery behavior every now and then.)

I think what happened was the official Discord opening exposed the entire IRC crowd to a bunch of people who had already been hurt by his past actions beyond forgiveness, and at that point... I dunno, he probably just stopped caring about running the community? I can kind of see why, at least; no point trying to make things better for people who are gonna hate you anyway. His last mistake at that point was continuing to stick around and voice his disapproval, instead of just leaving and moving on to other things. Which I guess is explained by him having nothing going in his life aside from bullying kids.

I don't want to excuse what he did, by any means. Having shitty behaviors reinforced by shitty circumstances doesn't absolve anyone from having to address their problems and deal with the consequences. My point is just that I think he's capable of changing. (Around places far away from here.) And considering anywhere he goes, he'll have no authority or power, I can see a lot of his behaviors changing quickly.

Why talk this much about him, then? Because I think it's important to take away some lessons about accountability from the whole situation. Don't put absolute power in the hands of one person, or even in a single group of close friends. That's how we get into these kinds of problems with communities.

To be honest, one of the reasons I'm still staying away from this community is because people seem to act like all of the problems are solved now that Mystic is gone. The new leadership still needs to focus on accountability, not just from themselves, but from the community as a whole. I'm concerned that, considering how all of the new leadership comes from the same groups of friends, they might end up only listening to each other on problems, and the community won't solve the biggest problem it used to have, where getting on the admins' good side shielded you from consequences while getting on their bad side earned you poor treatment.


I dunno, it's hard to reconcile my feelings on the matter. I'm still hurt over what happened to me, but I wrote all that out because I don't feel like just talking about one event is a fair representation of my perspective. I was friends with these folks, at least until that happened. That means I was shielded from some of their worst behavior, and that a lot of their less-egregious behavior was glorified to me. I've been having a hard time reconciling the guy I talked and played PTCG with all the time, and all of the terrible things he did to other people even before me. Shit's complicated.

Anyway, one other small remark I want to make:

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Originally Posted by wolfs View Post
Yes, he did. I was a minor at the time and had access to both that subforum and the hidden NSFW IRC channel.
(emphasis mine)

The access to the subforum obviously complicates matters, but I think the bolded descriptor kind of buries the lede that srb2nsfw was never actually restricted from access to anyone, and was even mentioned in the main channel quite frequently. Which makes it way worse, actually (minors had unfettered access to it!!)
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Old 10-10-2020   #526
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Thank you for the extra context Fickle, I really appreciate it, actually.
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Old 10-10-2020   #527
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As someone who was directly hurt by Mystic and read your full post anyway Fickle, I'm not offended or hurt in the slightest. I found your insight as to why he was the way he was to be interesting and potentially even enlightening. It makes me wonder if just maybe, deep down somewhere, he knew that at least some of what he was doing was wrong, but was too prideful to admit it out loud, and too stubborn to change. Based on your description, he comes off to me as the kind of guy to me who would stubbornly keep making the same mistakes over and over because he refuses to admit he ever messed up to begin with. Such a thing can easily snowball into a bigger and bigger problem over time if gone unaddressed. It can cause a lot of self loathing, which then gets taken out on others as a method of coping. He would be unable to apologize, because such a thing would be to admit he made a mistake. This leads to more self loathing, which leads to more lashing out. If he can convince himself he's superior to others with his lashing out, he can feel a little bit better about himself for all the wrong reasons. This over time snowballs into a bigger and bigger problem until suddenly several decades have passed and he's far beyond the point of any apology ever being enough for most of the people he's hurt.

That's all just my own speculation, but if there's even a shard of truth to it, it's actually quite... Tragic. It doesn't justify anything he did in the slightest, but it does make me wish things could have gone a different way.
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Old 10-10-2020   #528
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When I first discovered SRB2 (when I was 10), I decided to check out the MB to see what went on there. I ended up seeing how the old admin team (mainly Mystic) was just straight up brutal/bullying people and so I never made an account out of fear that I might end up in the same position. I was already getting horribly bullied in school (every day for 3 years straight) and I didn't want to experience it here, in this place that was supposed to be a safe space for SRB2 and Sonic fans in general to discuss and share levels, get feedback etc

The Sonic community has always had a younger fanbase so of course the MB is going to attract children or young teenagers, who are probably not well-versed in internet/forum etiquette. Having abusive bullies like Mystic on the staff team is definitely a no-no and his removal was honestly long overdue.

(yeah I eventually made an account when I was older and had less anxiety but I almost never use it)
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Old 10-11-2020   #529
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I was already getting horribly bullied in school (every day for 3 years straight) and I didn't want to experience it here, in this place that was supposed to be a safe space for SRB2 and Sonic fans in general to discuss and share levels, get feedback etc
This stuff makes me so sad to read, every time. People often forget (or worse, don't care) that there's a real person on the other end of every name on the internet, and you can't just go around hurting each other. You never know what someone is going through in life, so even when they're lashing out, the best response is a pacifying one, not one meant to deal damage.

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you had to experience that sort of bullying; I hope you're in a much better spot now in terms of life and mental health!
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Old 10-11-2020   #530
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This stuff makes me so sad to read, every time. People often forget (or worse, don't care) that there's a real person on the other end of every name on the internet, and you can't just go around hurting each other.
I really hope people don't use this argument to defend Mystic or anything. He's certainly a real person, but clearly he blatantly disregarded that important truth.
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Old 10-11-2020   #531
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I really hope people don't use this argument to defend Mystic or anything. He's certainly a real person, but clearly he blatantly disregarded that important truth.
The general consensus here is that Mystic's actions are still unjustified. There have been a few who have differing opinions, but most agree that he was way out of line. Personally, I agree with the consensus, but I also see value in examining exactly what might have been going on in his head, what psychologically led to these behaviors. After all, if the community is to avoid repeating this history, we need not only know what to avoid, but what it is exactly that causes such a thing to happen to begin with. By better understanding Mystic's human side, we can learn from his mistakes and avoid making them ourselves.
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Old 10-11-2020   #532
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I really hope people don't use this argument to defend Mystic or anything. He's certainly a real person, but clearly he blatantly disregarded that important truth.
Not at all. You don't need to disregard someone's humanity to condemn their actions. It is perfectly possible (and, I'd say, ideal in this situation) to recognize that someone's actions were horrible while at the same time recognizing that the person behind those actions is indeed a person.

If anything, it's quite the opposite. As you yourself said, Mystic himself frequently disregarded the people behind the messages he would make fun of. With a few exceptions, people here aren't saying he's a human in order to protect him, they're saying he's a human in order to not be him.
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Old 10-15-2020   #533
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Originally Posted by time gear View Post
This thread exists as an outlet for people to talk about these experiences, get it off their chest.
As it should, and I would never try to take that away from anyone, make no mistake.

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Originally Posted by time gear View Post
Don't forget that [A] the people Mystic did things to are every bit as human as he is. When someone does so many things to so many people, it's a little unrealistic for a thread like this to be filled with [B] sunshine and rainbows.
Nobody is forgetting that [A], and nobody is trying to fill it with that [B].

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Talk like yours makes it out as if the victims of those actions are bad people for using a topic like this to vent out their frustrations built up over actual decades.
What i'm saying does not make it out like that. I don't mean to antagonize you, but please don't put words in my (or their) mouth.

(And I know you weren't directly responding to me in this instance, but the response does still technically involve me since the context was in response to something I said.)

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Originally Posted by toaster View Post
The only reason you should be pointing to that post and saying "this" is if you follow it up with "is absolute nonsense that does not apply in this situation whatsoever". There is a difference between a run-of-the-mill tool who's messed up once or twice catching the ire of Online and a staggeringly long pattern of negliglent-at-best-if-you're-being-obtusely-generous abusive use of administrator authority, and it helps absolutely nobody to try and conflate the two just because you are unfamiliar with it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, this is a bad post that offers the people that have actively been hurt by him or his actions nothing of value whatsoever.
Friend, what part of "not defending Mystic's actions" are you not understanding here?

-----------------------------

I'm only trying to remind people not to let their grief and anger go overboard. It's happened to too many people I know in my own life, and I hate the thought of it happening again. Again, I know this is all probably none of my business whatsoever, but... yeah. That's just how I feel reading all this.


...And just so that i'm absolutely clear, let me be a broken record real quick and
copypasta this from the top of my post, so that it's fresh in your (the reader's) mind:

Quote:
Originally Posted by time gear View Post
This thread exists as an outlet for people to talk about these experiences, get it off their chest.
As it should, and I would never try to take that away from anyone, make no mistake.
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Last edited by Gambit; 10-15-2020 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 10-21-2020   #534
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There was a point brought up earlier I forgot to ask about. Iirc, it was something to the effect of "The old administration team were all close friends who let each other get away with too much and only reassured every decision. But the new team post-restructuring are also tightknit, which risk having the same problems"

Accountability was focused on a lot, especially when wolfy took over, as something to be expected to be upheld from now on. That there will no longer be special treatment among staff to behave any way they want. This seems to be true, with this very thread showing just how open and transparent this community became overnight. And with Super Knuckles being added so quickly, shows that the old stubborn ideas like "Only Sonic gets Super" are made more flexible. So far I'm hopeful going forward, but I can't deny that that point got me thinking, so I would like some clarification and perspective on the current state of STJr. Is there risk of getting stuck in new feedback loops, new special treatment among staff? Not like going back to the old days of bullying and open abuse, but any other scenerio stemming from the close relationships the staff have with each other?

Again, I currently have no suspicions of anything going wrong yet, everyone seems a lot nicer now, and it should only be expected for members of an ongoing project to grow close, if they weren't already friends. But that's just my perspective. I'm curious about others' impressions, especially the one who brought that up to begin with, though I don't remember who it was.
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Old 10-22-2020   #535
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I know I'm late to the discussion but I'm glad Mystic and Rob are gone.


They brought a toxicity to the community that made me leave the game for months. From what I saw, Mystic acted hostile towards constructive criticism and belittled people for not playing the way HE THOUGHT SRB2 was meant to be played. Even the way he handled certain executive decisions brought unnecessary drama and hostility to the fan-base (like the removal of analog mode) because he would attack other people's opinion's as if they were wrong for playing the way they wanted to. Every announcement Rob made about news of the game or server was filled with a condescending attitude and administrative threats. It wasn't fair to the people who loved this game and community and just wanted to have a good time to be belittled like that. That's only the stuff I saw at surface-level, I could only imagine their behavior in private.


Hearing news of their removal is what brought me back to playing this wonderful game. I'm aware that Mystic is partially responsible for the current state of SRB2; but what makes SRB2 special is it's community and all the people that contribute to it. I don't think that toxicity they brought is needed or welcomed here. I know that SRB2 is in good hands.
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Old 10-23-2020   #536
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Originally Posted by U.Flame View Post
BASED BASED snip snip
Honestly I wouldn't worry to much about this, for now at least anyway. Sev is in charge of the Message Board and Wolfs owns the discord, though from their community interactions you honestly wouldn't think they're in any position of authority compared to any of the other STJR staff. This is just personal observation though.
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Old 10-23-2020   #537
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Honestly, the more I read these posts, the more clear it is of what kind of person mystic and rob were. It is horrid that we had put up with them for so long.
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Old 10-23-2020   #538
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Aside from some minor technicalities, in practice the current staff hierarchy is basically flat. I think collectively the team agrees that it's important to keep it this way because it better democratizes workflow and makes the direction of the community not contingent on the outlook of a single person (or a small group of people).

I certainly don't think Rob is a bad person, I just don't think he was fit for the position he was placed in -- that, and the notion of a "top dog" is fundamentally misplaced, considering the type of project and community we want to create.
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Old 10-24-2020   #539
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And with Super Knuckles being added so quickly, shows that the old stubborn ideas like "Only Sonic gets Super" are made more flexible.
The only thing this proves is that the people who made that design decision have been ran out, and the people left made a different decision. This is actually the main thing that's been bugging me about this thread. There's a shocking amount of circular logic postulating that unpopular game design decisions make someone a bad person, and thus that bad people's game design decisions are themselves bad decisions. Mystic's terrible community management doesn't erase the positive contributions he made to the game over the years, just like his game design ability doesn't erase the fact that he mistreated the community for decades and needed to be removed for it! The fact is that strong game designers can be bad people, and bad people can be good game designers; this is something the community needs to acknowledge, lest they risk experiencing this again from the other side of the fence.


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Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
Aside from some minor technicalities, in practice the current staff hierarchy is basically flat. I think collectively the team agrees that it's important to keep it this way because it better democratizes workflow and makes the direction of the community not contingent on the outlook of a single person (or a small group of people).
This is a good ideal to strive for, and I'm glad to hear the team thinks this way! At the same time, the technicalities need to be kept in mind. Even a "flat" hierarchy is going to end up with someone being in charge, at least implicitly: whoever holds the keys, or is looked up to the most. Keeping that flat hierarchy depends as much on that person's willingness to cooperate as it does on the rest of the staff holding them accountable.


For what it's worth, I think the site and forum (the most important parts of the community) are in a good place for this. The real keyholders, Alam and/or Logan, seem to have very little attachment to how the community runs from my perspective, and that leaves the folks actually running things with no real way to take it over. On the other hand, the social media presence seems to basically be in the hands of one person, and (more importantly) the Discord still has to have an owner in charge no matter how the staff hierarchy is sliced, so the people in those roles need to be held to higher scrutiny. (For what it's worth, I have a... less than ideal experience with wolfs, but I can acknowledge that the problems I have with him are localized to me, and that he's been willing to acknowledge them when I bring them up to him. He's probably fine in the role.)


I don't think I disagree with anything you guys are saying. I'm probably just stating obvious things that you guys are already considering, in fact. Just... make sure you guys keep it up, and don't let the community get tunnel visioned on some idea that everything will be automatically fine just because Mystic is gone.
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Old 10-24-2020   #540
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The only thing this proves is that the people who made that design decision have been ran out, and the people left made a different decision. This is actually the main thing that's been bugging me about this thread. There's a shocking amount of circular logic postulating that unpopular game design decisions make someone a bad person, and thus that bad people's game design decisions are themselves bad decisions.
Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that Super being limited to Sonic was bad game design or that it was related to Mystic's community management. More that those decisions used to be so immovable that the recent changes show potentially either a difference in opinion, or a willingness to listen to feedback. Sure, its very likely just a difference in opinion, but I'd like to think its a bit of both. The feedback thread regarding that being unlocked is what gave me the impression they're willing to listen to more than just themselves on these things.
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