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  • The History of Tactical Gamer

    I am looking for a description of the founding and early history of TG.

    Any leads?
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

    Didn't [MENTION=1]Apophis[/MENTION] post a short history story up? Or maybe Big C? I will look around but I'm sure I saw one before.

    [unit][squadl][command2]

    KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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    • #3
      Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

      You might be looking for this gem.
      |TG-189th| Unkl
      ArmA 3 Game Officer
      Dean of Tactical Gamer University
      189th Infantry Brigade Member
      SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
      "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

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      • #4
        Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

        Originally posted by Unkl View Post
        You might be looking for this gem.
        Yes -- that is what I had in mind -- thank you.

        Feel free to forward any other details or documents pertinent to the formation and early history of TG.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

          Originally posted by E-Male View Post
          I am looking for a description of the founding and early history of TG.

          Any leads?
          I have a couple. ;)

          The community as it now stands has existed under three different names over the years. But I would say that it's actual date of creation would be July 9th, 2001 although it's roots go back to around ~1996.

          I was the Chief Technology Officer of an Internet development company at the time, and ran the network operations center. I was also an avid gamer and playing Counter-Strike at the time. Prior to this, I was gaming with a number of people I worked with or knew personally under the clan tag [XLII]. Aside from my close circle of friends, I was relatively frustrated with the way the vast majority of gamers approached games like Counter-Strike. It was assumed that the game MUST be played fast and MUST be rinse-and-repeat deathmatch tactics. The actual objectives of the game got lost in the desire to get kills and be at the top of the scoreboard.

          On July 9th I posted in the alt.games.half-life.counterstrike USENET group a bit of a rant about the state of gaming and sought to see if there were others out there that shared my views. I was ready for the hate, as I spent years having people tell me how this or that dictated how people could play any particular games. I did get a number of very positive responses, and as a result created Network 42 Professional Counter-Strike (or PCS). This was the first community built around the gaming model that I was looking for.

          As time went on, we started branching out into other games; Ghost Recon, BF1942, and others. A name-change was in order so we re-branded as Network 42 Tactical Gaming. I still have a couple coffee mugs and a mouse pad with the old Network 42 logo on it. :)

          The name didn't last for very long, as it was apparent that I really needed to establish a new name, and a brand, that explained what we were with as little obscurity as possible, and I ended up with Tactical Gamer. The name and logo were actually created by an old member of the community and has stood since ~2003.

          In the old days, TG was entirely free. Network services were provided by the company I worked for and most of TG's hardware was re-purposed End-Of-Life hardware out of the datacenter. When the .com bubble burst, things started getting hard for us and we closed the datacenter and outsourced all the mission-critical hosting. By this point, I didn't really want to lose the community and everything that had been created, so I took it out on it's own and worked out a model that I thought could both allow it to grow, be largely self-sufficient, and stand the test of time. That's what created the SM model that we use today.

          There's a lot more stuff in our history about why we did, and do, a lot of the things we do; but I'm not sure how much history you want!
          Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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          • #6
            Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

            Thanks all!

            Here is the very early draft of my brief summary of TG's founding. The books appendix will scope up details and the Apophis/Warlab interview.

            Tactical Gamer – A Brief History

            Tactical Gamer (tacticalgamer.com) arose out of an earlier online gaming community called Network 42 Professional Counter Strike which was developed by Paul. Paul keeps his last name secret. He is a an American, born in 1972, and is known to the TG community as Apophis. Apophis gives the following account of why he formed the Network 42 online gaming community

            ‘Way back in the late 90’s I was involved in this start-up of an Internet development company. I was the Chief Technology Officer there where I had to start learning a lot of new technology and I had a hard time just picking up a book and reading about something to learn it. I’ve always learned better when I’ve found a way to apply whatever it is that I wanted to learn so I created this little website as a “playground” for me to just try developing things. I focused around gaming because I was playing games at the time and it seemed like something I was interested in and so it was a good avenue to starting experimentation. From there I started playing a lot of Counter Strike and I was gradually becoming really frustrated because my gaming interests are not in . . . well, I don’t want to play a game, as odd as this sounds, I don’t want to play a game that I can win. I want to play a game that is incredibly challenging and really takes a lot in order to win. You know, I want it to be difficult. My problem playing Counter Strike is that I was involved with a couple people that we worked really well together as a team but the bulk of the players out there were all individual Lone Wolves and not really working together at all. So I posted a rather long rant in a newsgroup called Half Life Counter Strike Newsgroup basically saying, “Look I’m sick of the way things are. Why can’t people actually start working together in cohesive teams? Why can’t we approach this game in a more challenging manner where we’re trying to enhance our skills, work together as a team to accomplish these goals and go up against other people with the same mindset because that’s what’s going to make us better; that’s what’s going to keep the game challenging, it’s what’s going to keep it interesting.’
            Apophis’s motives here are significant as they played a key role in defining the mature gaming environment and distinct cultural values of the TG community. This is an instance of an individual acting to create the kind of online community and gaming environment that he specifically desired. It is readily apparent that the desire was shared by many others. Apophis rebranded Network 42 as Tactical Gamer on 9 July 2001. The servers that run TG are located in Texas and Virginia.

            Perhaps due to the demands of life (a new son), work, and the technical demands of keeping TG’s lights running, by 2011 Apophis had withdrawn from the community to the point where he reflected that ‘I've been out of touch with TG for so long that there’s too much mystery about who I am.’ Apophis is widely admired by the TG community and receives the sort of adulation one comes to expect with regard to a community founder. Respect and admiration that is well deserved in light of the incredible success of TG as a mature family-friendly environment. As an in-game name ‘Apophis’ is well chosen for an individual who went on to acquire an almost mythical god-like status within the virtual realms.

            Given anthropologist Mary Douglas’s observation that it is somewhat of a miracle that communities stay together at all, one of the goals of my study of TG is identifying the structural and cultural mechanisms that have held this virtual community together for such a long time. Apophis’s vision for a particular kind of shared gaming experience and a combination of autocratic control and democratic governance are at the roots of TG’s longevity. By 2010 Apophis reflected that ‘I’m trying to give greater leadership roles in the community.’ The distribution of power through the community leadership ensured that TG members have avenues of agency and gain a sense of membership.

            Apophis is the sole owner of the corporate entity, Tactical Gamer, and its online property, tacticalgamer.com. Membership in TG is free but individuals can pay for Supporting Member status which grants certain in-game and forum privileges. Thus TG can be modeled as a privately-owned virtual space that is funded by community members who also provide the free labour necessary for the ongoing maintenance, technical support, promotion, and community development. The hierarchy of leadership follows typical corporate managerial structure:

            Apophis – Owner
            Asch and Big C – executive management (lieutenants)
            game officers (how many?)
            game admins (how many)
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

              [MENTION=8381]E-Male[/MENTION]

              I never really thought about buying a signed copy of a book before, but if you are able to get this out, I wouldn't mind buying a signed copy.



              Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

              "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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              • #8
                Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                E-Male, why are you specifically naming users in your book?
                Skud


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                • #9
                  Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                  Originally posted by Skud View Post
                  E-Male, why are you specifically naming users in your book?
                  Naming users avatars (in-game nicknames). As this is a public environment and as avatar names are not kept secret I see no issue here.
                  Last edited by E-Male; 02-19-2015, 11:17 PM.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                    We had/have a nice little flow diagram someone made that shows the TG hierarchy and such. I think it's private to the site admin forum section. Maybe that's something you'd want [MENTION=8381]E-Male[/MENTION]? Of course, I'm assuming it's okay with [MENTION=1]Apophis[/MENTION] and the original author (don't remember who that is offhand).
                    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                    Former 9th & 13th

                    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                    TG Primer and Rules

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                    • #11
                      Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                      Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                      Thanks all!

                      Here is the very early draft of my brief summary of TG's founding. The books appendix will scope up details and the Apophis/Warlab interview.

                      Tactical Gamer – A Brief History

                      Tactical Gamer (tacticalgamer.com) arose out of an earlier online gaming community called Network 42 Professional Counter Strike which was developed by Paul. Paul keeps his last name secret. He is a an American, born in 1972, and is known to the TG community as Apophis. Apophis gives the following account of why he formed the Network 42 online gaming community



                      Apophis’s motives here are significant as they played a key role in defining the mature gaming environment and distinct cultural values of the TG community. This is an instance of an individual acting to create the kind of online community and gaming environment that he specifically desired. It is readily apparent that the desire was shared by many others. Apophis rebranded Network 42 as Tactical Gamer on 9 July 2001. The servers that run TG are located in Texas and Virginia.

                      Perhaps due to the demands of life (a new son), work, and the technical demands of keeping TG’s lights running, by 2011 Apophis had withdrawn from the community to the point where he reflected that ‘I've been out of touch with TG for so long that there’s too much mystery about who I am.’ Apophis is widely admired by the TG community and receives the sort of adulation one comes to expect with regard to a community founder. Respect and admiration that is well deserved in light of the incredible success of TG as a mature family-friendly environment. As an in-game name ‘Apophis’ is well chosen for an individual who went on to acquire an almost mythical god-like status within the virtual realms.

                      Given anthropologist Mary Douglas’s observation that it is somewhat of a miracle that communities stay together at all, one of the goals of my study of TG is identifying the structural and cultural mechanisms that have held this virtual community together for such a long time. Apophis’s vision for a particular kind of shared gaming experience and a combination of autocratic control and democratic governance are at the roots of TG’s longevity. By 2010 Apophis reflected that ‘I’m trying to give greater leadership roles in the community.’ The distribution of power through the community leadership ensured that TG members have avenues of agency and gain a sense of membership.

                      Apophis is the sole owner of the corporate entity, Tactical Gamer, and its online property, tacticalgamer.com. Membership in TG is free but individuals can pay for Supporting Member status which grants certain in-game and forum privileges. Thus TG can be modeled as a privately-owned virtual space that is funded by community members who also provide the free labour necessary for the ongoing maintenance, technical support, promotion, and community development. The hierarchy of leadership follows typical corporate managerial structure:

                      Apophis – Owner
                      Asch and Big C – executive management (lieutenants)
                      game officers (how many?)
                      game admins (how many)
                      Big C, Damonte, and Wicks are executive management.
                      I'll have to get a count on the number of active GO's, but I believe it's about 7.
                      Game Admins? A lot. 50-60 perhaps?

                      I've got the day off today, and nothing I try and play seems to be running properly, so I can tally up some #'s once I fully wake up.

                      Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
                      We had/have a nice little flow diagram someone made that shows the TG hierarchy and such. I think it's private to the site admin forum section. Maybe that's something you'd want [MENTION=8381]E-Male[/MENTION]? Of course, I'm assuming it's okay with [MENTION=1]Apophis[/MENTION] and the original author (don't remember who that is offhand).
                      We do have something like that, although it changes so frequently due to the volunteer nature of it all. People get married, have kids, move, get deployed, etc. But I think the overall structure of it would be sound if names were replaced with positions. Another thing I need to hunt down. :)
                      Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                        Thank you again for the helpful information.

                        Individual names are not important (vis a vis outlining the organizational structure).

                        If I have got it right the structure is rather straight forward:

                        Apophis
                        3 Executive Managers
                        7 Game Officers
                        50-60 Game Admins

                        Community Size:

                        120 Supporting Members (peak 400 circa 2007)
                        ??? non-paying members

                        A few words describing the relationship between Apophis--executive managers--game officers would also add clarity.

                        Then there is also various "committees" (technically, groups?) such as content development and . . .

                        As one of the remarkable aspects of TG is its longevity. I am interested in what aspects of the community have attributed to this longevity. The political -- formal organization -- of the community will have played an important role. Aspects of structure that allow for member involvement, create identities and reputation (social capital) and manage conflict resolution are noteworthy. These aspects I will capture though an account of my own experience vis a vis content development group, PS2 admin, and so forth and supplement with interview of others.

                        My study cannot detail everything -- it is of necessity selective -- and in ethnography the unexpected is golden -- the process of studying a community tends to have a significant aspect on the direction and objectives of the study. What you have provided me with thus far is very helpful.

                        I do not have the time to do a comparative study with other gaming communities but will be seeking out TGer's experiences with other gaming communities for anecdotal accounts that will likely prove insightful.

                        Skud raised a question of individual's names being cited within the study. As in-game names and TG member names are already pseudonyms and as the forums are public arenas I do not see issues of privacy here. I will not be citing real identities without consent (Paul? -- I understand that you wish to keep you last name private, I assume the mention of the first name is ok as it is Front Page material). As noted in the draft, where bad behaviour is involved I will be altering the TGers pseudonym.

                        I spend yesterday reorganizing all my collected digital TG material unto a new 1T drive (image below) plus another 300 of edited movies that where uploaded to YouTube between 2011-2014. You will note the absence of material referencing PR, PoE, BF2142. Lost a hard drive a few years ago and the encrypted backup also failed.

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                          I love that you named your network HAL.

                          One thing I find intriguing is the ever evolving nature of the TG community. Games come and go and people come and go but the torch never falls to the ground so to speak. While we have many who have been around for many years there is a steady influx of new members. Many of these evolve into regulars and then admins and even Game Officers and the like. The threads that keeps it all together are the core values Apophis declared upon creation. I think that's rather remarkable. How many times have you heard other players say things like " ya...I was in a clan for a couple of years but it just fell apart. " That doesn't happen here and I think it's a great point of study to understand why (I guess that's why you are writing about it). My own view is that because we are not really game specific (think of all the titles that are current or have been) that we have a leg up on longevity. When BF dies down for instance there's ARMA...or PS 2, or the new upcoming title squad. You get the picture. It's just common sense that a wider net helps keep the community diverse but where do we see this anywhere else. Can we say TG is truly unique like that? I think a claim can be made for that notion. I think of the many offshots we've seen started by former TGers and how many of those have had lasting power like us?

                          Okay okay...I'll re up my membership soon.
                          Last edited by Grunt 70; 02-20-2015, 09:39 AM.
                          sigpic
                          |TG-1st|Grunt
                          ARMA Admin (retired)
                          Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                          • #14
                            Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                            I can't speak for others, but my online handle is directly tied to my real name - so there's where my issue with Privacy comes in. You're free to quote anything I've posted here at TG (since it is in public) but I'd rather have my user name (Skud) not be part of your book.
                            Skud


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                            • #15
                              Re: The History of Tactical Gamer

                              Originally posted by Skud View Post
                              I can't speak for others, but my online handle is directly tied to my real name - so there's where my issue with Privacy comes in. You're free to quote anything I've posted here at TG (since it is in public) but I'd rather have my user name (Skud) not be part of your book.
                              Thank you for the heads up. To further ensure your privacy I will also not directly quote you. A direct quote could be sourced back to the TG forums and your in-game nickname.
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