Combatting Foundry Elitism

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Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby MrBenn on Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:13 pm

Share Your Opinion! -- The Map Foundry: Stamp of Approval?

The above thread saw accusations and counter-accusations of foundry elitism flying around GD, because rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that us mapmakers are an elitist and unwelcoming bunch.

The real question therefore, is what can we do to combat this perception? What can we change about ourselves? In what ways are we misunderstood? How can we encourage people to feel welcomed? What are people's expectations when contributing to a map? etc. etc.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby sailorseal on Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:11 pm

Wow I just read through that, you have a way with words...


But really, maybe we could all just stop being elitist? :D

Or try and branch out a little, it seems to me most map makers stick to the foundry and vice versa, people seem to dislike what they do not know. If we branched out a little and maybe lowered the bar on comments then we might bridge the gap a little.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby gimil on Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:53 am

I still don't think elitism is a problem. The people that I class as 'Elite' are definetly the people who I would think are the most welcoming characters.

If their is an 'elitist' problem it should be addressed forum wide. We are no more 'elitist' than some other forums on here...
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby MrBenn on Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:32 am

gimil wrote:I still don't think elitism is a problem. The people that I class as 'Elite' are definetly the people who I would think are the most welcoming characters.

If their is an 'elitist' problem it should be addressed forum wide. We are no more 'elitist' than some other forums on here...

There is a perception gap - some people perceive elitism to be a problem, others don't.

The thought behind this thread is to get some suggestions on how to bridge that gap...
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby e_i_pi on Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:34 am

gimil wrote:I still don't think elitism is a problem. The people that I class as 'Elite' are definetly the people who I would think are the most welcoming characters.

If their is an 'elitist' problem it should be addressed forum wide. We are no more 'elitist' than some other forums on here...

I agree with gimil here. The people who deserve respect are respectful people, the undercurrent of elitism or, more correctly, noob-bashing, comes from a select few whose positive contributions are generally outweighed by their negative ones
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby Industrial Helix on Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:39 am

meh, I haven't really dealt with it too much. I've had some harsh reviews and reviews that i didn't want to hear... but in hindsight its been better because i addressed a problem brought up, no matter how harsh it came over.

Maybe have a new mapmaker feature in the newsletter, so people can read what its like for a new mapmaker to compete with the experienced guys. How they deal with crits. What expectations are, how they were crushed, ect. Could be interesting, that way people who think they're dealing with unfair problems with foundry leaders could see how others have dealt with them.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby TaCktiX on Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:47 am

Industrial Helix wrote:meh, I haven't really dealt with it too much. I've had some harsh reviews and reviews that i didn't want to hear... but in hindsight its been better because i addressed a problem brought up, no matter how harsh it came over.

Maybe have a new mapmaker feature in the newsletter, so people can read what its like for a new mapmaker to compete with the experienced guys. How they deal with crits. What expectations are, how they were crushed, ect. Could be interesting, that way people who think they're dealing with unfair problems with foundry leaders could see how others have dealt with them.


We had an Editorial by Mjinga a long time last year about being a first-timer (it's quite a good read, it's in the 3rd Issue, present in the Newsletter forum). I have not considered it being a regular feature, but it very well could be. Any ideas for a name and focus I'm open to hear.

(And people think I'm elitist, HA!)
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby gimil on Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:25 am

e_i_pi wrote:
gimil wrote:I still don't think elitism is a problem. The people that I class as 'Elite' are definetly the people who I would think are the most welcoming characters.

If their is an 'elitist' problem it should be addressed forum wide. We are no more 'elitist' than some other forums on here...

I agree with gimil here. The people who deserve respect are respectful people, the undercurrent of elitism or, more correctly, noob-bashing, comes from a select few whose positive contributions are generally outweighed by their negative ones


pi has hit the nail on the head. This what I have been trying to say. The problems we have exist, they just arn't cause by the foundry 'elite' but some of the regular 'non-elite'.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby Premier2k on Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:39 am

I do believe there is a certain elitism within the foundry. But I also believe this is for the good of the foundry and for the good of the maps produced.

Let's examine the areas -

Firstly, the mapmakers
I think it is up to the likes of MrBenn, Oaktown, RJBeals, WidowMakers and Qwert (and any others I can't remember at this stage) to point out when a map is 'poorly thought out' or going nowhere. Perhaps this is elitism, perhaps it's not. But overall, this honesty can only improve maps, if the mapmaker can rise above the constructive criticism and go on to produce a high quality map then their job has been done. If not, then you have to ask if they would of had the patience to go through the process in the first place. I do not believe this is elitism, I believe this is experience guiding the new.

Secondly, the posters
99.9% of the posts made by proficient mapmakers I see, are constructive and helpful. I do however, see a few regulars (I'm not naming names) posting comments like: "Crap idea, give up", "Don't waste your time on this", "Go back to playing games", "My 5 year old daughter could do better" and many many more. These are NOT constructive they do nothing but belittle the map-maker. I often sense this could be where some of the elitism is percieved to come from, for example.. Person A walks into the foundry and sees a map, he/she clicks on the link and looks at it, Person A goes to reply and spots a post "Are you blind, this is going nowhere". Does Person A still reply? I doubt it... My bet is he/she leaves the forum, heads back to GD and mentions that it's "rather rude in the foundry" or "I'm not known so I'll just get flamed".....

So what can we do improve this, my honest answer? I don't know......stop posts like "it's crap" or "go away you suck"? That would be a start.

My overall view is that elitism by the senior members is welcome in the foundry and it's what produces great maps, perhaps the rest of the forum need to toughen up?

Just my ramblings....

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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:55 am

gimil wrote:
e_i_pi wrote:
gimil wrote:I still don't think elitism is a problem. The people that I class as 'Elite' are definetly the people who I would think are the most welcoming characters.

If their is an 'elitist' problem it should be addressed forum wide. We are no more 'elitist' than some other forums on here...

I agree with gimil here. The people who deserve respect are respectful people, the undercurrent of elitism or, more correctly, noob-bashing, comes from a select few whose positive contributions are generally outweighed by their negative ones


pi has hit the nail on the head. This what I have been trying to say. The problems we have exist, they just arn't cause by the foundry 'elite' but some of the regular 'non-elite'.


Is qwert considered an elite mapmaker? I would say he is...at least, I LOVE his maps. But he's one example that quickly comes to mind as far as someone who maybe isn't "elitist" (per that definition), but who absolutely isn't particularly "welcoming" when it comes to comments regarding his maps when they come from a "mapmaking unknown", in my experience.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby RjBeals on Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:02 am

The only reason the "elitist" attitude is out there is from a few people who spread it around. A few people who post a lot. If I stumble into some niche forum somewhere on the web, with regular posters, and a specific theme, I wouldn't expect to jump right in and be "one of the guys". It would take some time. It's the same here. A new member is going to have to work at being accepted. Why do some people not see this.. it's pretty basic.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby Kaplowitz on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:36 am

I dont understand how there can such a thing as an elitist group that allows for anyone to join.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby sailorseal on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:54 am

Premier2k wrote:Secondly, the posters
99.9% of the posts made by proficient mapmakers I see, are constructive and helpful. I do however, see a few regulars (I'm not naming names) posting comments like: "Crap idea, give up", "Don't waste your time on this", "Go back to playing games", "My 5 year old daughter could do better" and many many more. These are NOT constructive they do nothing but belittle the map-maker. I often sense this could be where some of the elitism is percieved to come from, for example.. Person A walks into the foundry and sees a map, he/she clicks on the link and looks at it, Person A goes to reply and spots a post "Are you blind, this is going nowhere". Does Person A still reply? I doubt it... My bet is he/she leaves the forum, heads back to GD and mentions that it's "rather rude in the foundry" or "I'm not known so I'll just get flamed".....

This is completely correct. Now most of the new members to the Foundry enter in the Ideas room since it is easiest to post there. Now I feel most of the comments you have mentioned take place their since it is also easiest to comment there without much thought. Thirdly there is no heavy handed modding in there either.
Maybe if we began removing such posters from the community then their feel would disappear.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby mibi on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:59 am

I don't see where the elitism is. A few opinions does not a majority make.

We should just get on with our lives.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby thenobodies80 on Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:55 am

Sorry guys, but really, i spent time on this thread and on the insomnia red one.
But i haven't yet a clear point of view.

Are we all discussing about people that share their skill/experience/knowledge to have better site.
Can we call these people elitist?
No, i don't think that "to share" is a word that goes arm in arm with elitism.
We can call these people special, helpful, maybe stupid - if we think that everything is done in life has to be paid.
since i started to be a FA i know a bit better people that really spent their time doing everything they can to have a better,userfriendly and efficient place.
Are we all discussing about the foundry system?
Why? Doesn't it work?
Yeah, foundry works in a different way, but we can't compare GD and Foundry, to give an example, they are different forums with a different purpose. Or we don't need a GD forum and a foundry one.
I think that 134 quality maps are an adequate answer. With a great love for CC,time, a good idea, graphic skill and a TON of patience everyone can do a map.

Are we talking about how we discuss, give suggestions, critics?
It's a wrong way thought, thinking it as elitism.
In my experience shared with pikkio, i met some people that really criticized our maps. But these critics improved the maps, ever.
Take a dig at somebody is not ever a bad thing, although irritating. Critics has to be ever well accepted if motivated/reasonable...if not, your are not ready to do a map here. Maybe this phrase could be taken as an elitist one.
But mapmakers really know, what means doing a map. It's an hard achievement. It's a waste of time spend months (as mapmaker) on a map that people doesn't want to play or you're not able to do.This has to be the way of doing things if we want that CC will not be another site with a ton of low quality/bad gameplay maps.
So, for example, is a really a bad thing if someone say you that you have to improve your graphic skill? I don't think so, if you don't want to waste your time. But this doesn't mean that you can't do map, but you can't do a map now...improve your skill and come back.

I'm a bit confused reading about people that don't like our way to do things, when i get messages from people who thank me for the help provided to them.
In the same way i'm a bit more confused when i read about people that complain how things work in the ideas subforum.
Foundry isn't only Moderators and Foundry Assistants, foundry is all people that spend time on doing maps, on commenting, on criticizing, etc.
All people that are involved in this process are a part of it, is not a Mods/FAs work, but a community one.
I think that if you don't like something you can always help to improve it and not only complain about.
For example,maybe me and sailorseal aren't really good friends and i'm not a big fan of his way to say things, but i like some helping posts he did in the ideas subforum. He took a part in the process instead to be a part of the problem.Can we call him elitist?
Are all the people that subscribed the reviews elitist?
Are all the people that did some useful guides elitist?
Are all the Mods/FAs that spend their time helping others mapmakers elitist?
Are all the people that give good feedbacks in the foundry elitist?

It's going to be a numerous group of people....and i'm still confused :-k
How large could be an elite?

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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby sully800 on Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:28 pm

I think elitism is a problem, and its one that cannot be solved because it has naturally developed within the foundry.

Let me explain: You all make DAMN good looking maps. RJ, mibi, and WM don't even make maps, they make art. And I single them out, because I think they are the elite mapmakers who don't currently hold foundry positions and are therefore "normal" members.

But why is that a problem? Well its extremely hard for others to live up to the standards of the great maps that have gone before. Most people don't have the graphical skills and never will have the skills, and yet they would still like to participate in a graphical role. They probably realize that their work is not as good, but since they are doing their best they want to be recognized. The foundry has lofty graphical standards though, and many of those maps will never make it through the process. This is discouraging and difficult for the "wannabees" to overcome.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby john9blue on Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:44 pm

"Elitism" can be found within any field of art. Like I've said before (and like Sully just said), it's really hard for a new mapmaker to compete with the experienced ones who have had years of practice on this site alone, not to mention previous graphic art experience.

Elitism is a really bad word to use here, though. I don't think it belongs in the topic title.

If you are talking about disrespect to newcomers, I agree that it should be discouraged. But where do you draw the line between "disrespect" and "criticism"? There have been some new drafts that make me groan, and I just don't have the heart to tell the mapmaker that they don't have a snowball's chance in hell doing this all by themselves. They just can't discern good art from mediocre art. People are always going to take criticism to their art personally. Imagine if Hitler had gotten into that art school. ;-)
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby a.sub on Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:47 pm

well i figure i may as well chuck in my 2 cents

firstly i do believe that elitism exists in the foundry, i mean its common sense for it to occur. you have people that are damn good, and people that are ok, obviously there will be a wall between the two. I mean take for example oaktown's route 66, vs my CC Bank maps. personally i wouldnt say one has better graphics in particular, but i will say that oaktown's map has 99% of its kinks worked out before its even posted.

Why?

Because the elitism in this forum is earned, every member of the foundry that can be labled as elite, and i would include the "artists" too btw, earned such a reputation. Once again going back to the Oaktown VS A.Sub example. if you look at all the things that Oaktown has done (i would list them but CC has a 60,000 character limit) and compare them to mine (which can be summarized with "diddly squat") it can be clearly seen that people expect something great from oaktown naturally. And they are right. thats the thing, when they see Oaktown's name as the OP, they flutter to his map over anyone elses, because its earned. They expact greatness and see greatness. Whereas when they see my name, its my second map attempt (the first being an utter failure and i wouldnt label myself as a forum regular) thus they expect a noob map, drawn on paint, half heartedly while watching a movie on the side because i probably dont give a damn. Are they right? not with me (imo) but with most new peeps they are.

so what the hell am i saying
Elitism exists, but not as the conventional perception of elitism. It is better labeled as a high status earned through hard work and a track record of good quality.

So how can we fix this?

Well first off i would like to say that this problem doesnt need to be fixed necessarily, but slightly slowed down. I mean that the "elite" (we need a better word for it) deserve teh extra attention they get because it allows the foundry to get good maps out faster. BUT if they get too much attention, then the maps of people with creative ideas will die from the lack of attention.

The only idea i could think of is a mentoring program.
imagine Wacc's Society of the the Cooks, but for Map makers.
the school could teach
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby oaktown on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:06 pm

There's no elitism... its just that some of us know everything and the rest of you know nothing. 8-)

;)
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby a.sub on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:18 pm

oaktown wrote:There's no elitism... its just that some of us know everything and the rest of you know nothing. 8-)

;)


if that wasnt true i would deny that
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby ender516 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:49 pm

I think a.sub is right: we need a better word. Being part of an elite (a group set apart by extraordinary skills) is a good thing; being elitist -- looking down on others because one believes one is part of an elite -- is not a good thing, particularly in egalitarian societies such as most CC members hail from. Perhaps the word we want is professional, not in the sense of being paid for one's work, but in the sense of a person prepared for work by extended study or practice. Based on that definition, thesaurus.com gives these words:
Synonyms: adept, artist, artiste, authority, brain*, egghead*, expert, hotshot, old hand*, old pro, old war-horse, phenom, powerhouse, pro, proficient, pundit, shark, specialist, star, superstar, virtuoso, whiz kid*, whiz*, wizard
* = informal/non-formal usage
If we can pick one of those words for our skilled mapmakers we can get away from arguments about whether or not it is good to have elitism or an elite in the Foundry. We could simply say, for example, map wizards are good, but elitism from map wizards is bad.
(Just for contrast: Antonyms: amateur, apprentice, greenhorn, rookie)
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby Woodruff on Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:08 pm

ender516 wrote:I think a.sub is right: we need a better word. Being part of an elite (a group set apart by extraordinary skills) is a good thing; being elitist -- looking down on others because one believes one is part of an elite -- is not a good thing, particularly in egalitarian societies such as most CC members hail from. Perhaps the word we want is professional, not in the sense of being paid for one's work, but in the sense of a person prepared for work by extended study or practice.


I disagree...I don't think ANYONE would complain about the Foundry being professional, after all. I don't believe anyone is complaining at all about some of the mapmakers being ELITE...they absolutely are, and that's a good thing. The complaints are that the Foundry is elitist, which is a far different thing. A term which for me personally brings to mind "The Ivory Tower Syndrome" that occurs from time to time in educational circles. A loss of ability to understand things "outside of your sphere"...which in this case I think would relate to "having forgotten what it's like to be a new mapmaker" (or somesuch).
...I prefer a man who will burn the flag and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby TaCktiX on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:11 pm

Woodruff wrote:I disagree...I don't think ANYONE would complain about the Foundry being professional, after all. I don't believe anyone is complaining at all about some of the mapmakers being ELITE...they absolutely are, and that's a good thing. The complaints are that the Foundry is elitist, which is a far different thing. A term which for me personally brings to mind "The Ivory Tower Syndrome" that occurs from time to time in educational circles. A loss of ability to understand things "outside of your sphere"...which in this case I think would relate to "having forgotten what it's like to be a new mapmaker" (or somesuch).


I still consider myself a new mapmaker, despite over a year's worth of experience with the foundry. My grasp of Photoshop isn't very shnazzy, I'm using most of the same tricks I did with my first quench (which when you look at it, it's very complex at all, graphically). Call it laziness to read Photoshop books and do lots of tutorials and walkthroughs. My commenting is in the exact same boat, I phrase things simply with illustrative language to help newer mapmakers get further along. I rarely comment on experienced mapmakers' topics, except by special request, as I think their reputation is getting them plenty of comments just fine. I'm sorry you've experienced elitism from some members of the Foundry (which is ANYONE who posts here), but I know I'm similar to most of the Foundry (particularly staff), and I'm not elitist.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby mibi on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:27 pm

I'm too much of an old hand for this silly discussion.
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Re: Combatting Foundry Elitism

Postby a.sub on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:49 pm

mibi wrote:I'm too much of an old hand for this silly discussion.

ahh but with 6 maps under your belt you cant go silent!
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