Spacebattles – A message board for geek culture

3 min


spacebattles

SpaceBattles, often called SB, is a message board dedicated to geek culture and creativity. No, it is not the largest community on the Internet. But they have more than 100,000 active members. And that is not something you take lightly.

The SpaceBattles website started in the 1990s, some cite 1996 as the first year. It was originally a guestbook and a place primarily for posting movies of space battles.

History of the Website

As we said before, the fun website started in the 1990s as a place for posting movies of space battles. But as time passed, the forum aspect became more prevalent. One of the major milestones from that era was the 1999 OBS thread. It was an image battle thread created by Cool Guy, who now serves as an administrator on the website.

In 2001, the SB website moved to the vBulletin forum software. And by this point, the forums became the main focus of SpaceBattles. Yes, artistic pursuits still occurred, but they became less significant as time passed.

In May 2012, the website moved to the then-new XenForo forum software, which was being developed by its current maintainer, Kier Darby.

And if you look at it, the website has existed at least since 1998, maybe even earlier. That makes it only a year younger than Google, and because some suggest it existed in 1996, it might be actually older than Google. Sadly, the early days of the forum are shrouded in mystery and lost data.

The website is now more than 20 years old, which as far as forums go, it is not ancient, yet prehistoric. You can think that SpaceBattles is the T-Rex of online forum debates.

How to Use it?

So, what can you use it for? We said the forum is the largest aspect of SpaceBattles. And over time, topics on the forum have moved from simply about space battles, to something more. Nowadays, the Internet community is all about geek culture and creativity.

A few years ago, there were three major sub-forums. Nowadays, there are four. Those are:

  • SpaceBattles General, which is a subforum based around random stuff involving geek culture and video games. You can find a forum about games in general, general discussion forum, tech support forum, and similar
  • SpaceBattles Creative, is the subforum involving creative enterprises undertaken by members of the SpaceBattles community. This subforum includes a fan fiction section, and some less popular art, animation, and original fiction sections
  • SpaceBattles Debates, a forum dedicated to debates, which includes versus debates involving fictitious parties, a section dedicated to actual militaries and equipment, and a forum dedicated to news and real life
  • SpaceBattles RoleyPlaying forum, the fourth, and the latest addition, which is rival to the fiction section. The roleplaying and creative forums didn’t get along in the beginning, but now they are on better terms

Some of the Funniest Categories

 As we said before, SpaceBattles is basically a website dedicated to geek culture. And we know geeks posts quite fun things. Yes, there are rules.

For example, one of the first rules is a ban on politics. It is not allowed to discuss politics in any forums other than “the white hall”, a dedicated subsection just for politics

Speaking of interesting forum debates, most of them involve hypothetical fight debate. Nearly half of the forum is a debate about who would win a certain matchup. There is even a dedicated section for these battles. And it is why the website was founded in the first place.

Fan fiction is another interesting example, with an entire subsection dedicated to it. And there are notable fictions, do not worry.

Here is a fun fact: The website always changes its logo on April Fools Day. The latest ones included a tank with the title GROUNDBATTLES in 2021 and a weird series of emojis that channeled UwU and cutesy stuff in 2022.

There are also a lot of roleplaying games, which are a subforum and a sub-subforum dedicated to different versions of games. Some of them include the BROB forum, which has had adversarial relations with other forums in the past. Play-by-post games are what the role playing games take the form of.

Last, but not least, we have the treasure hunt episodes. There are occasionally in-site treasure hunts in the form of users searching for certain things. For example, pictures of foxes or the Holy Grail. They have to find these things in the posts of specific users within a given time limit. SB website will then reward people with insignia and labels appearing beneath their username.

Think of it as a Bragging Rights Reward.

How to Post?

One of the classic catchphrases of the website forum is “nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure”. Nuke ‘em if you like. So, how can you post on the website?

Do you want to post your story? It might be confusing for beginners and novice users since they cannot fully understand the initial thread and the thread header options.

The main place to post fan fiction is the creative writing subforum. Click on the Post Thread button, and in the new post thread interface, you need to enter information such as thread title (in title area), contents of your work (the big writing area), thread header (what is seen when a new thread/story is posted).

The last part is the confusing one. It consists of a brief text description in the text rectangle area, and index progress, which is a quick way to label the status of the fiction. For example, complete or dropped.

Think of the threadmarks as a chapter/indexing system for posts on online forums. Usually, they are self-named.

If you want to get the best results for your story, post small chapters, between 2,000 and 5,000 words on a regular basis. This will keep your work near the top and on the recently updated front page.

It is a great way to get exposure, but do it on a steady diet. Do not post your entire fan fiction at once.

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