Otohiko wrote:I have a rather different explanation for the cynicism and, conversely, some of the ceremony and pimpage surrounding the VCAs than most people here have suggested.
It's very easy to sneer and point out flaws and lament the inherent unfairness or vanity seen here as a sign of the VCAs degradation. But is it? Or are you simply buying into vanity and unfairness for the sake of pointing out how much better you are than everyone who is not cynical about it?
Why do we have to take this whole thing as a competition, anyway? Put it this way: the .org is a community. A community is not built around events or members all of their own merit - it's built around participation. An event is as good as the community's participation makes it. A member is as good as he/she contributes. The rest is ego-pumping.
So why don't we look at the VCAs as a community-building, rather than competitive event - I mean sure there's aspects in it that are always going to be inherently unobjective and maybe slightly unfair; but why also ignore the fact that the VCAs are a celebration of the hobby, helping to draw people in and promote it. It's good if it's a little shameless and pompous. It helps draw people into it and encourage participation. Things like pimping, prizes, multiple rounds - all help encourage participation, not just in the VCAs but the community as a whole. And this thread begins with some, um, gentle prodding towards not just participation, but productive, meaningful participation. It doesn't mean that we need less participation in general, at all. I don't see how the discussion got here.
Otherwise a lot of cynicism seems to be not really cynicism but elitism. Stripping down the VCA won't turn away the 'elite' who know the rules and want the 'gameplay'. But it does nothing good for the community other than sustain a core of it that doesn't reflect the hobby as it really is anymore.
All I'm trying to say is, relax and stop being so cynical. I think whatever negatives there are to the VCA, they're more than outweighed by the participation it produces. Without it, the community might be more fair, but it's a lot less fun. A lack of fun, and more importantly - a lack of participation is a much, much bigger turnoff to the wider public than any of the "inner circle" tendencies that most seem to be pointing a finger at here. Anything in the community that encourages good participation is a good thing. Let's try to keep that in mind, and let's try to keep that participation productive, otherwise we're just ruining our own hobby here instead of promoting it.
Lenin would be proud of you comrade. But, seriously, If you add the word Award to anything it becomes competitive whether you want it to or not. Even the noble peace prize has competition and pimping behind the scenes.