I deleted some games--setting the record straight

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I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by JSH357 »

Hello (no, I'm not making games again, sorry)

Recently I was looking back at some of my old games and I decided to remove several of them from the game list. (OHR House, Thanksgiving Quest, and others) Somebody reached out to me and asked me why I had done this and so I'm here to set the record straight on it. I'm not running from the past I'm not trying to erase OHR history or whatever (a blip in history at best). I feel like I'm justified in my reasons for removing these games, I would like it to be respected, and let me explain why.

A preface: I'm not trying to garner sympathy. I said, did and even made things that might have been harmful and I have zero problem owning up to that. When I was in Middle School I almost immediately became a victim of verbal bullying by a group of individuals who I went to school with. Frequently, they would use homophobic insults and other forms of aggressive language on me. I was a scrawny guy, I wore worn out clothes, and I don't have a masculine voice. I was very hurt by their words at the time (once I understood what they were saying about me) but also didn't know what to do about it. At one point I actually reported one of these people to the school principal, and do you know what was said in response? That I needed to suck it up, and that it was normal for boys to talk this way. To young people in the current year, this might sound shocking, but that's how casually society treated bullying and homophobia in the early 00s and it was worse before. Even though I felt hurt, I began thinking something was wrong with me, and eventually, I started using that language at times too. You might think I should have realized doing this was wrong because I knew how it felt to be a target. Sadly, this is not always how our brains work. A desire to fit in tends to overpower a desire for justice. I grew into thinking that using this language was a normal things guys did with each other and should be perceived as harmless.

I was wrong, and if you think it's harmless you are probably wrong too.

So yeah, several of my games ended up having harmful language and themes because this stuff was just normal to me. I thought it was funny. Maybe it even was at the time. With 20 years of hindsight, I realize that the potential for harm outweighs whatever appeal that humor had for people back then. I removed these games because I believe that not hurting someone in the future is better than entertaining someone in the past. I also work a public job and have kids now, so I can't pretend that's not part of this, but I consider it minor in comparison. If it's any consolation, I teach my kids to avoid talking about people this way. It's the best I can do to make up for the past.

If you have nostalgic feelings about these games, I'm glad they brought you joy and I hope the memories of them are enough to satisfy whatever you get out of them. Happy to chat with anyone who wants to. Apologies for any past bad vibes.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
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Re: I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by Spoonweaver »

Well I'd love to say that there was no explanation needed, but I can't speak for everyone.
It was all a long time ago, and you're doing different stuff now.
So if you remove 1 game or all of them, it's your call.
As far as upholding OHR history, honestly, I've never seen the point of that.
What someone makes with the OHR is their property and only theirs.
Posting on the same forum as someone doesn't give you partial ownership on all the games on it and doesn't make us all a family or something.
If anyone actually wanted a copy of every ohr game, they've had the chance to download them and store them locally.
Any sort of public archive where the creators have little to no say in the hosting of files, imo, has no business existing.
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Re: I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by The Wobbler »

Much respect, it's hard to admit things like this. It's pretty painful looking back at what most of us found funny in the early 2000's, not just here but society as whole.
Spoonweaver wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:15 pm Any sort of public archive where the creators have little to no say in the hosting of files, imo, has no business existing.
This is something that really bothers me about Archive.org, which has its place in archiving content of academic value but also keeps a ton of stuff that really shouldn't be preserved. There was a copy of my blog up there from when I was in high school, years and years after I'd deleted it, and that felt like a real invasion of privacy.

They'll delist your content if you reach out to them but it's a long process.
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Re: I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by Bob the Hamster »

Thank you for sharing, JSH, and I support your decision.

And it is nice to hear from you :)
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Re: I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by kylekrack »

As someone who wasn't around for that part of ohr "history", I appreciate the explanation. It certainly doesn't go without saying for those of us who don't have a context for it. This perspective is really valuable, though. Wobbler is right, it's really hard to admit things like that, but it's really motivating to hear someone else do it. I certainly won't judge anyone for things they did/said in middle school. Good lord, 12 year olds are all little bastards in their own special ways. I can't speak for anyone else, but hearing you own up to regrettable things you said and did makes it easier to forgive myself for similar mistakes. Thanks.
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Re: I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by TMC »

Thanks for the explanation, that's moving and enlightening and also useful to have. People mostly remove their games because they don't want to be associated with them, rather than arguing the games themselves shouldn't be seen by the public.

When someone asks me for a copy of a game that's no longer available (which has happened a number of times) I need to decide what to do. In your case it sounds like you wouldn't have a problem with me providing it if I also inform them you don't want it public. In other cases where someone wants to completely erase a game from history I would be less forthcoming. As you may know I'm working on a website with a central collated list of OHR games, reviews and articles, and need to keep track of which games were intentionally removed by the authors versus ones that disappeared simply because the original host went down, and decide what to do about that. I don't want to take away control of their game listings from anyone. I could have multiple tiers of removal, such as having an entry for a game but no download links, not linking games to their authors, requiring a login to view (so only community members, not search engines can find it) or complete removal.
The Wobbler wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:17 pmThey'll delist your content if you reach out to them but it's a long process.
If you still own the domain name where the content was published you can remove it yourself by editing your robots.txt to block those pages. Last I heard, the current robots.txt file is checked before serving archived content.
The Internet Wayback Machine is incredibly useful and it can only work as well as it does by being opt out rather than opt in.
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Re: I deleted some games--setting the record straight

Post by Mogri »

Thanks for stopping by.

I do have fond memories of several of those games, but I also strongly suspect that those memories would be much less fond if I ever revisited those games. I'm happy to see that we've grown, both as individuals and as a community, and I doubt there's anyone here who would begrudge your decision.

I'd love to hear what you've been up to.
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