Don’t Let It Go

This post is going to be somewhat cryptic and bizarre, and I apologize for those of you who end up scratching your heads. I promise, this will be the only one for now.

A little over four years ago, I first stepped into the Bemani community. As with most passionate online communities, it has never been a friendly world. Know-it-alls, shit-talkers, preachers and perverts, gangsters and thugs. Even a few people who just wanted to enjoy their video games.

My love/hate relationship with DDR provided cover as I buried myself in Beatmania IIDX. IIDX, you see, has historically been a game for isolationists. It is not exciting to watch at parties. It does not make you look excessively idiotic. Two-player modes are more of a distraction than an enjoyable mode of play. It is the sort of game that requires heavy concentration and discipline. It begs for the sort of perfection that can only come from someone playing the same song over and over again, much like modern day Japanese [shmups](

While I was playing IIDX for that first year, I began slapping down a small score tool in PHP to provide me with the ability to track my scores from game to game. And somewhere in there, as I closed flamewar threads on [DDRFreak]( and thumbed through the junk on [Bemanistyle](, some thoughts popped into my head.

> What if there was a way to move the community in a positive direction?
> What if all these people could come together and be civilized?
> Is it worth pouring time and energy into something – purely out of my love for a game – in the hopes that people will enjoy it?
> Can this be done without causing more drama?

I took a chance and leapt at the project. I will spare you the cataloging of sacrifices I’ve made for the project, because the truth is, I enjoyed challenging myself with some of the work.

The site has been, to a large extent, a success. It’s popular, the code is not entirely broken, and the community is mostly harmonious. But it’s that “mostly” is what gets to me.

I’ve always said that it’s far more easy to remember the bad times than the good – you’re going to remember stress over pleasure. Happiness doesn’t leave scars. Thus, I know that I’m overreacting to the drama that has arisen in the last few hours. I know that steps I have taken to smother the flames were overly broad.

But when I realize that the amount of time I’m pouring into the site is dominating the time I actually spend playing the game that inspired it by a ratio of at least 4:1, and that a sizable chunk of that time is spent babysitting the community, it’s hard not to have your faith shaken.