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Only a Pipe Dream at Best - by Anthadd

Only a Pipe Dream at Best

The title of this article might have you confused, but it's descriptive. The chances of unity betwen the two prime EarthBound sites on the Internet are so slim I'm beginning to think pipe dream is understating the chances. If you'd asked me about the chances of unity a few months ago, I'd have said they were slightly better than the chances of uniting the Canadian right wing parties. And those chances were low; the chances of site reunification were even lower. If you were to ask me now, my answer would be drastically lower than the chances of uniting the Canadian right. And it all has to do with the ideologies of the webmasters of each site.

(Please note that from here on in, I won't name sites or names. But you probably know which site I refer to when I refer to them already, so it wouldn't matter much if I didn't.)

Both sites share a common love of EarthBound. But that's where the similarities end, for the most part. One site is drastically conservative when it comes to EarthBound: it allows only EarthBound discussion on its fora, and only the guestbook -- which has been flamed many times by the attendants of the other site -- can be used for site-related discussion. There is no apparent site-based place for discussion of real-life topics or for other games.

The other site, on the other hand, openly permits discussion of non-EarthBound topics. I doubt that this decision causes the site to suffer in any way; it merely allows other vectors for the denizens of the site to interact on, and EarthBound is still alive . Those vectors are apparently considered inappropriate or unneeded by the head of the first site, whose reasoning I assume is that the site would be best served if the only discussions possible were discussions on the game.

As if that wasn't bad enough, other factors also ensure that the sites will not be reunifed -- if they wanted to be unified -- within the present lifetime of the site. For example, compromise will likely not come easily when the issue of the hosting of other sites is raised. The first site (and please note that my use of 'first' designates the first site I specifically referred to) promotes the use of its own limited bandwidth and webspace for the sites of visitors to the site itself -- and therein lies a grave problem: is it not possible for the site to potentially parcel out webspace to too many people and thereby run out of webspace themselves? What would they do if that happened? Reduce the webspace the hosted sites can use? Regretfully, said site tries its hardest to embody as best they can the EarthBound values of Wisdom, Courage and Friendship. Although this decision would be wise and courageous, it would not be friendly. Would they temporarily let themselves disobey the ideals of EarthBound to save the bandwidth webspace, or would they stick to remaining fully in obeisance to the ideals and possibly have their webspace and bandwidth revoked from going over the limits set by their webspace provider?

Conversely, the other site long ago abandoned the ideal of hosting sites, in the most part, for a more information-ready concept; I suspect they realised that serving as a portal site was not the best thing for the number one EarthBound site on the Internet. Sites are only hosted on that site in only special cases; in all other cases, the members of that site who have sites must resign themselves to being promoted through the links section; site-hosted events are hosted, too. Now, returning from that tangent, this second site abandoned the host-portal idea for an information-ready layout, as I already said. Depending on your view, this may have been more effective for them, as the site was no longer reliant on maps that could take longer to load than a layout that offered the information to navigate.

And the wars between the two sites, like the wars within the Canadian right, are only now at a ceasefire of sorts. It might take only one gross insult or gaffe on the part of either side to rekindle the smouldering troubles that have been going on for months.

There is no easy way to fix this. Peaceful coexistence, I'm sure, is impossible to achieve now; there is too much bad blood between the webmasters. There would have to be the appearance at both sites of people who truly wish for reunification and reconciliation between the two sites; then, these people would have to be placed in the webmaster position, an unlikely happening at best. As I said above, this would not be likely: even though specific staffers at each site might wish for reunification, it is generally the members of the uppermost hierarchy of the site -- and each site has one, no matter how hard one might try to deny it -- who make the decisions for the sites. And since the uppermost hierarchy of the first site appears to hold the uppermost hierarchy of the second site in contempt and the latter hierarchy would rather have nothing to do with the former hierarchy, it appears that unity will not be forthcoming any time soon. If it comes at all.

Other Submissions by Anthadd

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