Archiving The Escapist

As you know, The Escapist can go down at any moment without notice, having no official staff apart from Yahtzee and some streamers. It'd be a shame if so many years of content just disappeared, and services like Archive.org, while powerful, usually don't cover everything pedantically.

So, there is an archival initiative created by Meekee7, which some of you may know as the editor of the Zero Punctuation Wiki. The goal is to grab as many articles, videos, etc. as possible, and when the time comes (not while The Escapist itself is still running), publish an archive of the stored data.

So, if anyone is interested in helping out, there's a Discord channel made specifically for this project: https://discord.gg/debjNJx

EDIT: Hopefully fixed link: https://discord.gg/gybrxnY

You can chime in in this thread as well, I guess, though the bulk of the communication will be on Discord (as Meekee7 no longer has access to his Escapist account and can't create a new one).

BTW, the mods are okay with this.

Are you kidding? The site will never die! All these doomsayers have been saying the same thing since 2010! R-right guys ;-;?

More OT:

While I have nothing of value to add, I just want to say that you are doing great work, and I wish everyone for the best in their endevors.

Also, as a matter of interest, why is someone quite new to the Escapist (March 2017) so attached to its survival? I'm not intending to dismiss your legitimacy, I'm just curious.

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:

Also, as a matter of interest, why is someone quite new to the Escapist (March 2017) so attached to its survival? I'm not intending to dismiss your legitimacy, I'm just curious.

I've been following ZP, then stopped by for news for quite a while before I even registered here. Besides, I'm generally the type who favours archival and preservation, especially in gaming.

Is there a way to recover old user group chats? The group chats I care about only go back like 2 years.

Um, what? What's this now? What are you archiving? ZP videos? The ones that are posted on like a dozen separate Youtube channels?

I have all the episodes of There Will Be Brawl on an external hard drive somewhere if you need them. They're not the highest quality, but they're there.

Marik2:
Is there a way to recover old user group chats? The group chats I care about only go back like 2 years.

They erase after 375 posts or so. Sad but true: Most of the old User Group discussions are forever lost.

Moments like this make me miss VHS tapes and such: Cloud records are only good so long as the Cloud is supported in the sky.

*old man grumbles at changing times*

Basement Cat:

Marik2:
Is there a way to recover old user group chats? The group chats I care about only go back like 2 years.

They erase after 375 posts or so. Sad but true: Most of the old User Group discussions are forever lost.

Moments like this make me miss VHS tapes and such: Cloud records are only good so long as the Cloud is supported in the sky.

*old man grumbles at changing times*

That sucks. I had good conversations in the past, that I want to archive.

It's probably pretty easy to archive most of the content through the RSS feeds.
I downloaded all the Zero Punctuation episodes in an afternoon that way. You need a premium account, though.

I don't really care too much about the articles or the videos. It's the forums that I'm interested in and there isn't a great way to archive that which I'm aware of. Heck, there isn't even a great way to browse old threads while the site is still running!

Drathnoxis:
It's probably pretty easy to archive most of the content through the RSS feeds.
I downloaded all the Zero Punctuation episodes in an afternoon that way. You need a premium account, though.

I don't really care too much about the articles or the videos. It's the forums that I'm interested in and there isn't a great way to archive that which I'm aware of. Heck, there isn't even a great way to browse old threads while the site is still running!

Can you archive MovieBob's stuff? Fuck him if you don't care for him but we need to archive it all.

I love some of his shit. Even when I disagree with him.

What about the Wayback Machine?

DarklordKyo:
What about the Wayback Machine?

Like I said, it usually isn't pedantic.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about this except get as good of a web crawler as you can and use the computer with the fastest connection to save everything. Even then though, you're completely limited to the speed the server host gives you, which I'm sure isn't much at all. And this site's massive in how many threads it has.

Arnoxthe1:
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about this except get as good of a web crawler as you can and use the computer with the fastest connection to save everything. Even then though, you're completely limited to the speed the server host gives you, which I'm sure isn't much at all. And this site's massive in how many threads it has.

You could split the task down by subdomain, have one client hit /forums and so on, that might help.

On another note though I'm not sure what the utility would be. So you archive the site, OK, but that doesn't actually give you the right to re-upload the contents when the site goes down, those videos still belong to Defy as does the site's design.

Honestly at this stage I'd just let it all go when it closes down, it has some historical interest but having tried I honestly don't think most of what was produced around early to mid gaming culture has any relevance these days anyway, the rewatch value is minimal and the media doesn't belong to you so maybe it should just be allowed to fade.

Drathnoxis:
It's probably pretty easy to archive most of the content through the RSS feeds.
I downloaded all the Zero Punctuation episodes in an afternoon that way. You need a premium account, though.

I don't really care too much about the articles or the videos. It's the forums that I'm interested in and there isn't a great way to archive that which I'm aware of. Heck, there isn't even a great way to browse old threads while the site is still running!

Did you know? That although a forum index only shows up to 20 pages for you to click, you can actually just edit the number in the address bar and get further page numbers?

Example: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/index/706-Wild-West?page=57

However, the forum index is apparently coded to only show posts up to a year old, anything older than that is cut off.

However^2, older topics can still be accessed by further tweaking the address bars of topics, for example;

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.945049-Do-horror-games-actually-scare-you

This links to a thread called "Do horror games actually scare you?" by Silentpony, posted on the 5th of December 2016.

Did you also know that the "9." and the "-Do-horror-games-actually-scare-you" are actually just random fluff and don't effect the url all that much?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/914235235235235.945049-Suck-It

Links to the exact same page, mainly because the thread id, "945049", is the only number that seems to count.

Did you also know that the Escapist, gurl.com and warcry.com share a bit too much of their data back stage?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.944012-Do-horror-games-actually-scare-you

The thread id in this link will, for example, redirect you to a thread on gurl.com, http://my.gurl.com/forums/read/557.944012-I-just-know-theres-something-else-wrong-with-me

Incidentally, this is one of the earliest topics I bothered finding;
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.61-Welcome-to-the-Lounge

You could probably find a lot of old threads like this, but threads that have been deleted will route you to a 404 page and some threads will have you winding up on gurl.com or warcry.com.

One could probably easily write a bot that crawls over all these thread ids and finds valid ids.

( After reading one of your older posts about archiving the forums I had once thought about adding an archive function to my add-on, automatically archiving every forum page visited by any user with the option enabled, but then I did a little number crunching and figured that it would most likely quickly start eating away at my server's database so I decided against it. )

bluegate:

Drathnoxis:
It's probably pretty easy to archive most of the content through the RSS feeds.
I downloaded all the Zero Punctuation episodes in an afternoon that way. You need a premium account, though.

I don't really care too much about the articles or the videos. It's the forums that I'm interested in and there isn't a great way to archive that which I'm aware of. Heck, there isn't even a great way to browse old threads while the site is still running!

Did you know? That although a forum index only shows up to 20 pages for you to click, you can actually just edit the number in the address bar and get further page numbers?

Example: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/index/706-Wild-West?page=57

However, the forum index is apparently coded to only show posts up to a year old, anything older than that is cut off.

However^2, older topics can still be accessed by further tweaking the address bars of topics, for example;

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.945049-Do-horror-games-actually-scare-you

This links to a thread called "Do horror games actually scare you?" by Silentpony, posted on the 5th of December 2016.

Did you also know that the "9." and the "-Do-horror-games-actually-scare-you" are actually just random fluff and don't effect the url all that much?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/914235235235235.945049-Suck-It

Links to the exact same page, mainly because the thread id, "945049", is the only number that seems to count.

Did you also know that the Escapist, gurl.com and warcry.com share a bit too much of their data back stage?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.944012-Do-horror-games-actually-scare-you

The thread id in this link will, for example, redirect you to a thread on gurl.com, http://my.gurl.com/forums/read/557.944012-I-just-know-theres-something-else-wrong-with-me

Incidentally, this is one of the earliest topics I bothered finding;
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.61-Welcome-to-the-Lounge

You could probably find a lot of old threads like this, but threads that have been deleted will route you to a 404 page and some threads will have you winding up on gurl.com or warcry.com.

One could probably easily write a bot that crawls over all these thread ids and finds valid ids.

( After reading one of your older posts about archiving the forums I had once thought about adding an archive function to my add-on, automatically archiving every forum page visited by any user with the option enabled, but then I did a little number crunching and figured that it would most likely quickly start eating away at my server's database so I decided against it. )

No I didn't know any of that. Good Stuff! =D

I was just going to the forum indexes on wayback machine to browse old threads.

I think that probably was the first ever post, because the lounge was basically the proto-forums from what I understand. I think it was basically the site's comment section to start.

Basement Cat:

Drathnoxis:
It's probably pretty easy to archive most of the content through the RSS feeds.
I downloaded all the Zero Punctuation episodes in an afternoon that way. You need a premium account, though.

I don't really care too much about the articles or the videos. It's the forums that I'm interested in and there isn't a great way to archive that which I'm aware of. Heck, there isn't even a great way to browse old threads while the site is still running!

Can you archive MovieBob's stuff? Fuck him if you don't care for him but we need to archive it all.

I love some of his shit. Even when I disagree with him.

I could download it yeah, but I don't have the upload speed to put it anywhere anybody else could see it, nor do I have the space on my hard drive. You could get it yourself though. I used gPodder because it was the only podcast aggregator that I found that had a setting to append the upload date in front of the file name.

You might not be able to watch videos on the Escapist after doing it for a while though. After I downloaded every ZP episode I would just get an old Escapist ad featuring Unskippable and other content creators when I would try to watch a video on the site for like 2 months. I was still able to download the videos through RSS so it didn't really matter all that much.

Plokite_Wolf:
As you know, The Escapist can go down at any moment without notice, having no official staff apart from Yahtzee and some streamers.

Holy shit, is that the state of things?
I was wondering why the front page hadn't been updated to show the most recent videos.
Seems like the escapist has slowly become more and more of a ghost town between each time I come back to visit. What a downer. This place carries so much nostalgia for me.
It seems like the site is a sinking shell of its former self, held afloat only by Yahtzee who inexplicably does not leave. Is he bound by contract to stay?
Has Yahtzee made any comments on the current state of affairs?

Also, does anyone have a rough timeline of what happened?
From what I gather, there were some economic troubles, then the escapist was bought by a corporate machine which couldn't give two shits about quality content and community management. Then came the decline into mass-produced listicles as per every boilerplate web-zine and their mom...

 

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