I don't usually talk about the goings on within the fanbase all that much as there's so much unnecessary drama on a daily basis that it's hard to keep track of and the majority is best off ignoring anyway. But this is a bit harder to ignore, as a Trainz Simulator player myself, and one that uses fan-made Thomas & Friends models and routes regularly.
Now, for the most part, the Thomas fanbase is really good. There are some hugely talented people out there that have even gotten the attention of HiT Entertainment to such an extent that there's been a huge fan project that's been uploaded to their official channel over the span of a few weeks, and there's another one planned for Christmas, which will begin as I'm writing this post. There are also some brilliant people who are friendly, generous and I've gained some lasting friendships within it.
Unfortunately, there's another part of the fanbase, in the same way there's another side to every fanbase, who either constantly moan about the series (even when they get what they want from it), make petitions about some of the most pointless things or they are just straight up mean spirited for no other reason than "because they can be" (and yes, I fit into that last category at times, before anyone says anything).
But this latest drama is where the negative part of the fanbase is really reaching its nadir:
Yep, SI3D has been taken down by the site's owner (see here for further details; requires an account for the forums to see it). And you better believe that some fans are treating this like it's a life-or-death situation:
Some are going so far as to stalk and harass the person who caused the situation which, to be frank, is spectacularly pathetic and uncool. And this is coming from a guy who's had his issues with the culprit long before this happened. I blocked him for asking a friend to say he'd died solely so he could get sympathy and he retaliated by making Facebook pages to abuse me behind my back (which I ignore as it's not worth my time).
I don't give two iotas of a crap about what he did, the fact that people are getting this worked up over pixels on a screen is ridiculous. If you have a problem with SI3D being pulled (and rightly so; they make the rules, and it's an easy one to abide by), then maybe you should re-evaluate your social situation rather than put so much value into something as benign as models for a video game!
SI3D were not the first group of people to make 3D models for Trainz - they replaced UK Branch Lines when they took their models down. And I can tell you, right now, that they sure as hell won't be the last. Heck, we have so many people making great Trainz models in SI3D's absence as it is! For example, WildNorWester:
Camscott (requires an SI3D account):
So rather than declaring a witch hunt against someone, whining like a baby for SI3D to reverse their decision or make stupid videos like this:
Why don't you actually keep your noses out, mouths shut, fingers off keyboards and let those involved sort things out?! It's not that bloody difficult! Support those who actually make content rather than bemoan about "lost" content that wasn't even there in the first place.
Fans keep wondering why certain fanbases are targeted by bullies. Apart from the obvious lack of understanding that people are different, things like this don't help our case. Every. single. time there's a small dispute between one or two people, it has to blown out of all proportion just so they can turn one person's mistake into a huge manhunt and constant abuse. It has to stop. Now.