Perhaps I've just gotten so old that I get nostalgic and say "They don't make them like they used to do anymore!" about everything, but it feels we had better topics before.
The GI&D forum has been my little pet since before I was in high school... so that's what, 7-8 years? And its been decreasing in quality it seems. The first year was me just seeing what type of discussion the forum could facilitate, and then I began to have a very clear image of what the forums should have been, and trying to nudge it in that direction. Sadly, just moderating isn't enough-- to get it there, we need members who actually participate in the topics and try to steer topics in the right
The vision for the forum is totally different from what it is now, and that's pretty sad. I was thinking it could be used for topics like this:
1. Topics about general game design theory/concepts: I wrote a topic about talking about how multiplayer games often try to level the playing field between more inexperienced players and pros (like the blue shell in Mario Kart), and I was trying to facilitate a discussion on what worked, what didn't, and talking about the merits of having a system to level the playing field.
2. Topics about asking for specific feedback on a game concept/story: Let's say for instance, I have a unique game mechanic (let's say, a fighting system for an RPG), but there's an issue with the mechanics or something. You try to describe it, and ask for ways to fix it up.
Sadly, the forum has been used consistently for "Hey, here's my game idea, my story.... do you like it? is it good?" It doesn't facilitate discussion!