Interview No. 21
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guests are members of The Newgrounds Police Department. I could not interview the entire thread so I've chosen the following four people and they are, Police Captain and Commissioner @TailsPrower, Police Captain and Unit Ops Officer @SpiffyMasta, Police Captain @EmmDubya and Police Lieutenant @Lizzardis. The Newgrounds Police Department.
ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED BENEATH THE _A:_ DUE TO TWO PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED PERSON ANSWERING WILL BE NOTED AS SO.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
Lizzardis: I don't actually remember finding Newgrounds. I remember being pulled onto the site a few times by various games and flash movies that I enjoyed, but that was only from other sites such as AddictingGames and such. I must have joined because I wanted to add some favourites so I could find all the games and movies I liked, again.
TailsPrower: My cousin introduced me to Newgrounds when I was in elementary school so I was brainwashed earlier than most others. Quickly thereafter, I came to appreciate the hilarity of fan made parodies of the shows and games that I knew such as Mario, Pokemon, DBZ, and Powerpuff Girls. I decided to join several years later so I could get the full NG experience and show my support for Newgrounds.
SpiffyMasta: I was probably about 12 or 13 years old when I first stumbled onto Newgrounds. One of my friends showed me the telebubby games and assassin games. I loved killing Britney Spears and then playing her dress-up games. The quality of NG games has changed so much over the years. Basically I kept playing the hentai games for a few years (like most horny 13 year olds do) and then I decided to make an account a few years later. I didn't really go on the forums until 2005. This month marks the 8th year of my account and the rest is history.
EmmDubya: When I originally found the site I must have been only about eight or nine, so from that I assume that it was back in mid 2005 - perhaps not. When I first came to the site it was, to me and the friends that showed me it, simply a 'games site'. None of us had any idea of all the creative genius that goes on behinds the scene, the thriving community or any of the other things that makes it stand out from all of the other Flash websites and portals across the internet. I don't have much recollection of my signup, but I believe it was related to one of my brother's friends recommending a Flash trial to us.
Lizzardis: Unfortunately no. I did not have any activity in that thread seen as I still had not signed up then.
TailsPrower: Oh yes, I was indeed active in the original thread. I stumbled upon it one day while browsing through the C&C section and I thought it was a rather peculiar theme for a crew so I decided to check it out. After discovering that I was qualified, I requested joined on page 5 and was recruited.
SpiffyMasta: I never came into contact with the old NGPD thread. 2005 is when I first started posting, and I was mainly doing so in the Politics forum and a club that was called the Quebec Club where a bunch of fellow French-Canadians and I would just speak french in all the time. It eventually got deleted by Wade when he decided there would be no foreign languages on the website. I lost probably about 500 posts that day. After that club died, my activity on Newgrounds dwindled down until early 2009.
EmmDubya: During the majority of the two and a half year long lifespan of our original thread I hadn't even contemplated joining the site, let alone even heard of the force before. I'm not too well rehearsed on the history of the early NGPD, although back when I was new I heard what others told me and when the rest of the BBS is running slowly I occasionally have a read through it. I love checking up on all of the past members, events and situations that lead to the the NGPD being what it is today.
Q: The new Newgrounds Police Department thread was created on March 22nd, 2008. What changed with the creation of the new thread and what was your rank by this time?
Lizzardis: With the creation of the new thread, everything was much more organized and the blueprints for this new thread were... How should I say it... Much more detailed and more organized than those of the previous thread. Again though, I had not signed up by the time this thread had opened up, so I had no activity in it.
TailsPrower: By that time I was a Lieutenant, I think. The old NGPD was growing stagnant and all of us knew something needed to change. The old thread's OP didn't quite specify our crew's purpose, recruitment procedures, rules, etc., which often led to some confusion. Finally, we agreed that a new thread OP would be our course of action which included all of the above details. So far it's been quite successful and we've been striving to perfect our system ever since.
SpiffyMasta: I think Tails would be most likely the best one to answer that. I think I was a Police Lieutenant at the time.
EmmDubya: Again, I only joined a few months down the line into the new thread but from what I've seen the main difference it had was simply displaying a more up-to-date version of our guidelines in the original post. A problem that seemed to arise again and again in the old thread is that the original post said very little about what we aim to do, our joining criteria or much else - for that matter.
Q: What is the purpose of the Newgrounds Police Department?
Lizzardis: Users all have their own opinions about the purpose of the Police Dept. I can understand why. However, the purpose of the NGPD is to protect the portal from any incoming flashes, may they be Malicious / Stolen / Abusive. We report the flashes to other members for them to flag and / or an admin. Usually being WadeFulp. We are also used as a base for the EGB. When newer members come in, this thread teaches them about how they should behave and moulds them to members acceptable for the EGB by helping with their whistles, posting quality and overall attitude.
TailsPrower: I personally believe that the NGPD's purpose is two fold:
- To serve the portal by protecting it from abusive submissions and spam. We emphasize more on abusive flashes, since those actually breach portal rules.
- Teaching and inspiring members to serve the portal honorably and being the best NG'ers they can be, within a close-knit and supportive community.
SpiffyMasta: To Blam and Protect! That's our motto at least. Mainly we try to keep abusive things off the Portal, we try to catch things that are worthy of a whistle. We also discuss blamming and protecting and we try to teach our members how to be contributing users of Newgrounds both on the forums and voting on flashes. We kind of also serve as a funnel for the EGB, since our members that rank out often end up in the Barracks thread.
EmmDubya: There are many purposes of the force, amongst them are the improvement of all three portals - Flash being the one we spend the most time working in - the BBS and Newgrounds as a whole. As Conor (Insanimation) said, we stand for a perfect Newgrounds and we're taking steps towards that, even if those are baby steps. If during our whole time on the site we helped catch out just a few stolen or otherwise abusive Flashes, our existence would be worth it. In reality, we do catch out a lot of Flashes.
Q: A common complaint in the Audio Portal are the zero-bombers. People who constantly zero-bomb other's works so that their own may rise or just to be complete jerks. Does the Newgrounds Police Department help out with this? If yes what do you do to help? If no then could you please tell us why?
Lizzardis: I would go as far as to say no to this. No the NGPD does not help in situation like this. Why? 2 reasons. 1) We don't have the tools available to actually stop the users from 0 Bombings other users work. Sure we can PM them to stop if asked... But we can't actually do anything to change the offending users mind. 2) We are just regular users who bunch together to do that little bit more to make NG a nicer place, if a user is annoying you... An Admin is the best person to go to because as said before... We don't have the tools to help. Which is a shame really...
I don't think it's really possible for anyone, even the admins, to effectively combat this kind of abuse in the system. However we don't ignore the problem either. The NGPD is completely against mass voting and we try to show people that such actions are unjust no matter what and may invoke the Wrath of Wade.
SpiffyMasta: No, our main focus is the Flash Portal. While there are a few of us that may be interested in the Audio Portal, there really isn't much we can contribute to there. You can't whistle anything and you can't blam or protect things. The Audio moderators are pretty much the only ones that have any control there. While zero bombing is something awful for someone to have done to them, it's not something we can really control. There's zero-bombing in the Flash Portal as well I'm sure, but since there's so much more users voting on things, the effects just aren't felt.
We can often see the effects of mass voting though when crappy spam flashes pass through the portal, and the situation is the same, there isn't much we can do about it as regular users.
EmmDubya: I only recently returned to the force after a good five or six months of absence, although at this stage I do not believe that there's a way for us to fight back against the many zero-bombers out there. Just a while ago I was trying to think of a way to combat it, although seeing as without an application to allow people to know for who voted what on each Flash, something that for the sake of privacy should never be implemented, there's no way to tell who's to blame for all of the vote abuse. All we can do on that situation is to encourage people to vote fairly and without any bias, and we're relatively successful at doing that - bearing in mind that we can't fuck with freewill.
Q: If you could change anything on Newgrounds, what would it be and why?
Lizzardis: To be honest, I don't really think I would want anything changed. It's nice the way it is. Sure, whatever you do... At least SOMEONE is going to moan, but I think that the way NG is changing at the moment as in, it's user base and with the "hopefully" incoming Lit portal and such, that's good enough for me. So no, I don't think I'd change anything.
TailsPrower: I wish they would bring the animated sigs back. Some of them were just plain awesome, including mine ;)
SpiffyMasta: If I could change anything on Newgrounds it would have to be adding Flash Portal Moderators. There's audio mods and art mods that regulate the content, I don't see why there shouldn't be any in the flash portal. I think it would make it much easier and faster to delete abusive flashes and it would probably take a load off Wade. I think he's entertained the idea before but never acted on it.
EmmDubya: The one group of people that really get to me are Flash thieves. It may seem that saving a SWF file to your HDD and putting it up as your own work but it completely undermines what makes Newgrounds stand out from any other site on the internet. The portal is a place not just for people to view high-rated Flashes, but for Flash authors - no matter how experienced, old or anything they are - to submit their animations and games and see that others have enjoyed them. Seeing these independent Flash artists who are proud of their creations having them ripped from their accounts and put up - allowing people who have done nothing but pressing CTRL+S gather in all the credit is disheartening. Luckily, over the years - together with our senior group, the Elite Guard Barracks - we've literally caught out hundreds of stolen Flashes.
Q: SpiffyMasta - When it comes to games it is no secret that you love them. By the date of this interview you are the second member with the most Medal Points on Newgrounds according to this thread. Why do you like getting the medals in flash games and how much time do you usually spend doing so?
SpiffyMasta: Yea, I think flash game son here are a great waste of time. When you have lots of free time like me (I'm a college student) you can do whatever you like. Plus, I'm good at games in general, so it was aesy for me to garner medals. People see my totals though and think how did he get that time to get all those. I've been gathering medals since they first came out, so it's been spread out over a long period of time (almost a year now).
It's funny that you mention this though, because I just decided to take myself off the list, I am making it with Hybrid-Of-Souls now and have decided that I do not want to seem like I am favoring myself in decisions that I make about the list. Also, I want to stop wasting so much time on games. I feel like it's become more of a chore than fun, I think I need to focus on the fun part again.
Q: TailsPrower - You have submitted art to the Art Portal in your spare time. Two pieces by you that are my favorites are TaG, YOU'Re iT... and Assault Gear artwork. Tell me where does your inspiration come from and are you planning more serious future works?
TailsPrower: The idea of our own NGPD armor is actually pretty old and I had already made a (less impressive) combat fatigue from years past. However, after seeing "Jin-Roh" I felt compelled to design an armor based on their prototype. It was a tedious process though, I've gone through a good handful of sketches and eraser shreds to get to this point.
I do plan to pursue the armor in the future at least, God knows when that'll be haha!
Q: What can we expect from The Newgrounds Police Department in the future?
Lizzardis: Well, hopefully there will be no run ins with the moderators again as we saw last year... But the average user, actually wont see anything. We will continue to work hard at spotting flashes which are not supposed to be and reporting them, while still being friendly and helping out in any way we can.
TailsPrower: I'm not gonna sugar coat it, the past year have been our most difficult by far. Ever since we got unlocked, we've slowly been recovering. However, you can count on one thing; me and my boys will be right here guiding new members on how to catch those nasty abuse submissions, and making a difference on Newgrounds - one person at a time.
SpiffyMasta: Hopefully we can get enough active members so that we can hold a collective weight when it comes to being able to catch illegal activities on the portal and being able to flag succesfully. A lot of times, things catch our eye but still get through even if we find them to be stolen or inappropriate content. We hope to be around for a long time, promoting good habits for the forums and the portal!
EmmDubya: I really have no idea, although I just hope that we'll keep on expanding our horizons and adapting to the constantly changing face of Newgrounds. Just in the past week two new recruits have started the apprenticeship stage of joining the club and they both seem like in the future they'll both be able to contribute massively to the club and enjoy their time as members. I'd urge anyone else who want to help Newgrounds out and fits the joining criteria to consider enlisting.
After interviewing four basic members from the Police Department, they just seem like your everyday ordinary Newgrounds members, but a bit more mature than other Newgrounds members. They like to help out others and are possibly the one group of people that could make this site better for everybody. That still remains to be seen though. All I know is if you're a new member to Newgrounds and you don't know where to turn to or what to do in a situation, chances are these guys can help you.