Friday, 8 June 2018

Enter at your own risk

Before the World Wide Web really kicked off, you could still exchange information across the internet, just without pictures. One example was the venerable Usenet system, which was a decentralised system of discussion boards, on many many topics. I used to frequent the chess groups quite a lot (as well as a number of other sporting groups). While some groups had moderators, for a lot of others it was a free for all, and the discussions could be quite brutal (I discovered the art of trolling in alt.folklore.urban, back in the day when it meant more than just shouting inflammatory statements).
But once the web became a thing, Usenet kind of died out (I can remember exactly 0 students choosing it as an assignment topic back in 2000 at ANU). So I was a little surprised that there are people who still use it the exchange information (or to just abuse each other). Even if you don't have access to a usenet client (or server) there is still a way to access the chess new groups. Chessbanter seems to be a web interface to the* groups, in all there (past) glory. So if you want to take a trip down memory lane, feel free to click on the link, but be warned, nothing seems to have changed much in 20 years (including a lot of the topics of discussion)

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