When Sixth Station opened four years ago this past November, I never imagined that it would turn into one of the most vibrant and exciting forums I’ve seen. My experience with boards mostly involved the creation of RPs, not actually running them, so the future of the site remained hazy from its early days. However, through the hard work and dedication of myself, the various staff members over the years and, of course, the many members who loved and cared for the site, Sixth Station flourished into one of my greatest creations in my RP career.
In late summer of 2010 before Sixth Station existed, I joined a site called Until We Bleed. The administrator, a fine gentleman by the name of Blaine, had created a Hunger Games board which I had the great pleasure of participating. After playing there for a couple of months, I grew to wonder what Panem would be like if the districts could intermingle. One of the greatest flaws I saw with the genre was that everyone was so spread out that RP interaction was limited to the handful of characters who happened to be active in your character’s district. With Blaine’s permission, I borrowed a few of his Hunger Games rules in order to form the basis of what is now Sixth Station.
Sixth Station saw its first members in November of 2010. During the first few months, Saphistication was the savior of the board. She managed to keep things together when I experience a temporary setback that kept me from visiting the site on a routine basis. But once I regained my composure, we went full steam ahead into our very first Hunger Games.
Which was an interesting experience. Most of the rules were my own, and I found out at the last minute just how flawed those rules happened to be. As the Bloodbath of the 97th Hunger Games began, I had to prohibit people from killing other characters (besides the inactive folk) until I had figured out a more reliable and fair system. Our rules in general were sparse, with no real restrictions about finding food and water in the arena. Each in-character Game day was only four out-of-character days. It didn’t matter so much, however, because there were only eight characters that were active during that first Hunger Games and some of them were played by the same handful of members.
Sixth Station kept trucking on. We completed the 98th Hunger Games later that spring, followed by the 99th Hunger Games in the fall. As we progressed, we added on more Hunger Games. In total, we have had thirteen Hunger Games: 97th, 98th, 99th, the 100 series (A, B, C, D, and X), and the 101 series (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall). No one really understood our timeline, however, because we had the 98th and 99th Hunger Games in the same year (year 98), followed by the 100 series in year 99, and the 101 series in year 100. It was one of those things that should have been planned out more carefully, but what’s done is done and you go with the flow.
We have also seen some interesting subplots. Most of them were not successful, but we had fun. The Capitol Games, the Equilibrium Project and the Sector plot managed to see good results. Thinking back, we had some very bizarre subplots, such as the one where we took our excess characters and sent them to an island to die with no hope of survival.
From the beginning, I learned that there is always room for improvement. Each Hunger Games has taught me that I needed to change something else. I constantly updated the system, adding new rules and guidelines and ditching systems that didn’t work out too well, such as the short-lived inventory system. I also, regrettably, found out that if there was a way to get around the rules, someone would figure it out whether intentionally or by accident. Loopholes became my biggest opponent.
But I also learned that I had to be patient. Because I wrote the rules, I understood them. Not everyone did. Minute aspects that I tended to overlook were picked up by others and I was constantly clarifying, adding details, and sorting out minor problems. Never did I imagine that running a Hunger Games RP would be so much work.
And yet so rewarding.
Sixth Station is my pride and joy. We’ve had some rough times, and we have also had opportunities to explore numerous aspects of Panem. Some plots worked. Some didn’t. But we just kept going because we loved where we were and we loved the people we were with, and sometimes that’s all that matters.
One of the greatest things about Sixth Station was the people I met during the past four years. We had many folks come and go, sometimes staying for days and other times for months. Yet the comradery I experienced from our active user base was amazing. I will never forget the time I prepared a huge party for our first birthday and was completely shocked to find that someone had made these ridiculous Gem-related signatures and handed them out to everyone. I was so honored that people took the time to do something for me and I had not expected them at all. Some of the members still wear them to this day. Nor will I forget how much fun we had in the cbox, talking and sharing stupid stories and nonsense. One of my favourite cbox moments was at the beginning of the Bloodbath for the 100th Hunger Games, Part A. As soon as I posted that first Bloodbath post, the cbox, which had been exploding with activity, went completely silent. And, suddenly, within the span of a couple of minutes, several posts popped up. Everyone was having so much fun as we murdered our characters.
Still yet, I have been told several times that Sixth Station is the epitome of a roleplay. I have spoiled people to the point that they experience difficulty finding another RP that has the same relaxed atmosphere and welcoming community. Nothing warms my tiny little heart so much as sincere compliments.
These things are what make a roleplay for me. Anyone can join a site and pass back and forth posts. But the interaction between members, the memories, and the dedication that people have given back to the site have impressed me continuously.
Of course, not everything was perfect. We had some Hunger Games that weren’t quite as good as others (here’s to you, 100.B ) and some plots that didn’t really work out so hot. There were moments of drama and there were squabbles that made me want to mash my head into the keyboard. We had some people leave because they weren’t comfortable with various aspects of the site, which I scrambled to fix but just wasn’t able to get done in time. But that’s life, and we can only understand our past and aim to do better in the future.
Sixth Station has formed me into a better administrator. It has helped me understand the difference between being a fair admin and being a pushover. It has helped me make more fruitful decisions for the sake of the site as a whole. It has helped me communicate with others, listen to my staff and members, and make improvements based upon the feedback provided to me.
I would like thank everyone who has ever been a member of Sixth Station in the past and in the present. If I tried to name you all, I’d certainly forget someone. And I cannot thank enough those who dedicated months and years of their lives to help create this awesome site. Because ultimately, when people tell me that they love the site and are spoiled by it, much of that reflects back on the community who helped make this place strong and allowed folks to call it “home.” I have never met such a group of fun people and intriguing writers. I might have administrated Sixth Station, but it was you who kept it alive all these years. Sixth Station was, to many of us, so much more than just a site. It was our home, our place to escape, our online hangout, our place to go when we needed to keep busy or share a joke.
So a toast to all of those who put their characters through hell and back, killing off even the most beloved of them for the sake of the story. You are all so damned crazy.
Secondly, I would like to thank my staff members: Ali, Callanthas, Chele, Ellie, Fading, Jade, Leon, Lux, Meadowlark, Saphistication, Sonia, Soph.
As an admin, I have many flaws. Sixth Station would have fallen flat on its face several times if it weren’t for the love and care from my fellow staff members. On the various sites I’ve administrated, I have never had more loyal or understanding people by my side than I did here at Sixth Station. You not only supported me in my decisions, but you also gave me constructive feedback to help me make those decisions. You put the site’s needs before your own on so many occasions. It was an honor and a pleasure working with you over the past four years.
Now it is time to look towards the future.
Members – your work is still here. Transfer your characters to wherever you please or allow them to rest where they are. Contact your fellow RPers so that you do not lose them in the times to come. I have provided you links to other Hunger Games sites should you wish to continue RPing in this genre.
Other Hunger Games Staff – I know that you’re watching. You’re clever folk, and this is a chance to absorb members. Please welcome them with respect and understanding. And to you, staff, I give a gift. You are welcome to use aspects of the documentation I have created for Sixth Station in order to form your own sites or enhance the ones you already have created. There are limitations, so please check out this thread
for more information.
Please keep Sixth Station fondly in your memories. Go forward, explore the world, and have fun with what life offers you.
I admit I’ve known for awhile now that Sixth Station was going to close. Not on what date or what hour. But I had been denying it, searching for some way to prolong its life. It was more recently that I came to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong about closing a site you love because it is better to give it is proper end than it is to let it waste away. I accepted its fate, and so I write one last death post.