Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cliques, Outside Influences, and MFZ

There was a bit of a trainwreck on the MFZ FaceBook page yesterday after someone posted something that was marginally on-topic at best and insulting at worst.  The discussion over its "worthiness" broke down pretty quickly and the post was removed.  We even lost a few members from the FB group over this.  One of the things that's coming out of that kerfuffle is a discussion of what is an applicable inspiration to share with the community.

People have a habit of posting things to the FB group that they consider "on topic" by the dint that they include Lego.  A lot of times these aren't really on topic and would really be better suited to posting their own personal FB feeds.  Just because something is made of Lego doesn't automatically make it relevant to MFZ.  There also seems to be an idea that building techniques for larger scales can be used at the smaller scales that dominate MFZ.

This ties into another issue.  There's always been a bit of backlash on the multiple MFZ social media sites about the different scales people build at for MFZ.  While I've never actually seen a battle report on the Hangar for a minifig scale MFZ game, there is a small section of the MFZ community that likes building at that scale.  They tend to be found in the Flickr group and are vocal on the subReddit.  Also, there is a larger portion of the community that likes building in 4P scale.  I'm a member of the second but not the first.

There's usually some shouting, "That's not in scale!" whenever someone posts a creation that isn't expressly labeled as being 7p scale.  I'm as guilty of this as the next person.  There's some overlap with the Size Creep Argument in this as well.

As much as you, I, or anyone may feel that the minifig scale builders are people from outside the MFZ community looking for hits, +1s, upvotes, etc., we should still give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's not be overly exclusionary, as some other gaming communities may be, and give these people a chance to fall in love with this game the way we have.

And, let's be a little more careful about what gets posted to the FaceBook group.  since there's no "safety valve" over there the focus has to be little tighter on exactly what is relevant.


  1. That sounds reasonable. Though perhaps seeing a battle report in minifig scale would go a long way to proving their sincerity to the game isn't just a sham, not that I'm part of the debate in any way. Minifig scale is impressive but in needs far too many parts in my opinion.

  2. The scale argument is rather irrelevant for me. I have no exclusionary feelings at all on the subject of scale/size of builds although it’s helpful when those that share builds/ideas clearly state if their intended scale is other than 7P (the MFZ:RA default). The rules are easily scalable and there are some very cool things out there both bigger and smaller. And the same goes for non-MFZ Lego builds (or non-Lego for that matter); clarify how you see it as a benefit to the game and the community.

    My concern with the post in question yesterday was with the way the share was communicated and its apparent intent. The comment included with the shared link was “sexy anime bimbo robots” (or something to that effect; I don’t recall the specific words now) and not, “Bionicle mecha with some potentially useful build techniques”. Worse, when the poster was called on his comment, he spiraled it into a sexism conflict at internet-speed immediately bringing into the argument his n=1 “woman who likes this” example. No one wins in that arena. No one. Had the same link been share with a different intent, I suspect many would not have taken offense. (I know that last sentence opens the door to using questionable material for a good purpose and I’m NOT starting a Nazi scientific research debate. I’m just NOT.)

    Lee was very clear as to the intent of the MFZ Fans Facebook Group in his pinned post, ”This group is for sharing photos of and talking about Mobile Frame Zero and related subjects.” If there could be any doubt about how your post/share relates to MFZ, specify. If it doesn’t relate, then it shouldn’t be posted to the group.

  3. I had a huge comment typed out but the Blog page ate it, and I can't be bothered typing it out again. Suffice to say that Wm has it pretty right - it was presented badly, the content wasn't all that useful for being used as inspiration for MFZ-scale builds, and the people who decry the "You can build and play at any scale" never really seem to actually ever BUILD or PLAY anything, so... whatever.

    1. Believe me, I in no way support that FB post that was deleted. It was stupid, sexist, and a waste of electrons. I find the line of thinking, "It's Lego, so it must be relevant to MFZ" annoying and lazy.