Hello all, Tac here. October 20, 2010 was my first day on this forum, right before Black Ops and quite near the beginning of my comprehensible life (26 now this month). Sometimes that doesn't seem very crazy to me and then other days it seems simply incredible, I've made as close of connections to people on this forum as my closest IRL friends (and fuck off if you sneer at that like it can't be true). Per usual I feel I've thought about this post a lot as it approached but as I've come to create it, I'm more at a loss for words than expected. Real quick on that point I want to shout out @Ehjookayted for the way he was able to speak to and rally the forum.
I have expressed this many times before but, for me, this CoDz Forum is home because it taught me how to think as a young man. During all the free-flying theory days of BO1, debates on this forum were raucous but the thing that held it together was knowing everyone really just wanted to get as close to the truth of the story as possible, which I sense again in the CoDz community today. With so much of the early story seemingly leaning into real history, which I don't claim is better or worse but just that it's where I have a bias, we kept each other grounded in what we actually saw in-game and then everyone would run wild on the rest. There were great debates over whether maps were out of order for example, or grand ideas on how to incorporate random things we see in a map because so much of the story was untold. Everyone had their ideas and what we now call headcanon, but what the story offered me was a way to debate contested points with a respectful community and learn to reflect on how I thought about facts, even if just in the zombie universe.
But anyway to a point within that, it wasn't just trying to get to the bottom of the story, it was caring about the people in this tightknit community. The site was and is mixed with incredible personalities that help it move forward. Harkening back, having MMX just ruthlessly call someone out for what he believed just couldn't be the case transformed the whole zombies community by the end with his four hour story video, but the forum never collapsed over abrasive personalities it helped move it forward. I am proud to say I was one of the few that stuck with him til the end of his project, debating and arguing almost just for the sake of it.
Dunno where I'm going with this but don't gatekeep how people should interpret events in the story and let people just theory-craft and throw shit against the wall (CoDz is the home of Samantha ffs!) as Treyarch is constantly rewriting this work of art, try to find the best in people (which @anonymous does best here), and be positive.
A negative community will go nowhere.