Members of the sim racing community are no strangers to individuals who are there only to cause destruction. Some rack up thousands of posts convincing others to convert to their title of choice while registering only three hours of virtual track time in 2015, others ruthlessly cross personal boundaries and stalk rival modders in an effort to prevent their work from seeing the light of day. In an extreme case of autism on the official iRacing forums from a couple of years ago, one member was so upset over being wrecked out of an online race, he found out where his opponent was employed and proceeded to notify his boss of the incident. The awkward public service announcements regarding internet safety in the late 1990’s were not merely the brainchild of conservative Christian mothers; they were a genuine glimpse into the future.
From a mental health aspect, the unfortunate reality is that some kids, for one reason or another, are still a recluse in their parents’ basement obsessing over video games on a level validating psychiatric intervention. Occasionally, you’ll run across these people, though they tend to cluster around certain genres more than others.
We here at PRC.net are often subjected to sim racers of this nature. With no financial obligations to push the positive aspects of certain titles on our readers, we are free to criticize each racing sim as we see fit. Our articles routinely trigger the aforementioned manchildren among us, to the point where we’ve written an entire article chronicling each user threatening to sue us during the 2015 calendar year. None of them have followed through, for obvious reasons. It’s simply the product of guys getting far more invested into a game than they ever should be.
While each of our readers can probably name at least one person off the top of their head who is a disgrace to what the sim racing community stands for, one user both myself and Sev have run across in our travels has managed to set the bar impossibly high for all aspiring neckbeards. Throw away all of your previous misconceptions regarding nerd rage, as we’ve seen the undisputed champion in his final form.
A Google inquiry inquiry into the term Spork Juct reveals just under a page of extremely precise results, pointing to a former user of the video game message board Facepunch. In a thread spanning 50 pages dating back to late 2009, many members are seen ridiculing this user with a plethora of Teamspeak recordings now lost in the sands of time. Moderators and long-time members alike share stories of an individual described as an “internet facist“, who would go on lengthy diatribes comparing the intangible administrative politics of the message board to numerous historical governments. Another Google search result points to a Wiki page created specifically for the Facepunch community, where Spork Juct is listed as a a village idiot-like character, kept around only for the entertainment of other users.
4Chan’s virtual auto racing community received a much needed boost in participation with the introduction of the online multiplayer component within the Early Access version of Assetto Corsa. Almost immediately, a rather substantial racing community sprang up on a website typically dedicated for justified online harassment campaigns, and sim racers enjoyed participating in sessions where political correctness was not required. Under the clever alias of SJ, Spork Juct opted not to race with the newly formed community, but instead attempted to convince others they should join him in unrelated multiplayer games. Many users did not understand why someone would join a sim racing community and fail to partake in any online racing, leading to Spork caving in and purchasing Assetto Corsa due to peer pressure.
Unfortunately, Spork’s time with Assetto Corsa proved to be disastaurous. Lacking the driving skill necessary for a hardcore racing simulator, Spork failed to finish many short pickup races, and became vocally frustrated at the difficulty of keeping his car on the racing surface with a standard Xbox 360 controller. Further compounding his driving woes was the hardware in which he was attempting to play Assetto Corsa with. A graphics card not capable of rendering in DirectX 10 resulted in SJ’s vision obscured by blocky trees, an issue he wrongly blamed on developer Kunos Simulazioni. Further inquires revealed Spork’s personal computer had not received any hardware upgrades since 2006.
Instead of running several practice laps in an effort to increase his driving skill, or upgrade his computer with the hardware necessary to run Assetto Corsa, Spork instead had several meltdowns over voice chat, and claimed the community was conspiring to ban him.
These outbursts commonly split the community into two very distinct groups. Some of the older community members believed Spork was simply a misunderstood teen who needed someone to talk to; others such as myself believed showing compassion was ineffective given the frequency of these intergalactic meltdowns, and every effort should be made to distance ourselves from him. As time went on, it was clear the lengthy chats held among Spork and administrators in private did little to rectify SJ’s continuous self-loathing, and those compassionate towards his issues effectively became his babysitters.
When Assetto Corsa’s online component failed to materialize into a useful platform for online league racing, 4Chan migrated back to ISI’s rFactor, first released in 2005. As a way to bring the large community together for a weekly event, users created a twelve week GT3 season using the popular 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series mod by Simtek, and the USFL-like championship regularly saw some of the biggest grids EVER in rFactor. A self-proclaimed expert in hosting online multiplayer lobbies, Spork helped configure the server used for the massive weekly event, but the shortcomings of his 2006-spec PC caused the server to crash during the third race at Road America. A dedicated server was quickly established to support a field size upwards of 40 entries, one that is still in use as of today.
Spork genuinely believed the act of switching to a dedicated server to accomodate large grids was a personal attack against him, and promptly began a campaign for revenge. Painting his Mercedes SLS with a Red Baron livery, Spork purposely entered each 40 minute race with the sole intention of ruining as many people’s races as he could. However, thanks to his inherent lack of driving skill, SJ could not drive fast enough to keep up with the other participants, nor was he precise enough with his inputs to use his car as a battering ram. Because of this, nobody appeared to notice SJ was intentionally wrecking people until the mid-season race at Daytona, and was subsequently banned a race or two later. He was literally too slow and incompetent to drive in a destructive manner, and this gave credibility to the theory that spork was uninterested in racing games to begin with.
A ban from competition was only the beginning. Upon receiving a suspension for reckless driving – something especially difficult in a fun league on 4Chan – SJ bombarded the message boards with accusations that 4Chan had stolen his racing league from him, and that a “shadow government” was plotting to overthrow him from his position as a “ruthless leader.” Many users began posting under the name of Shadow Government to make fun of his lengthy posts, only fueling his schizophrenic delusions.
At the height of this insanity, Spork believed he was capable of managing his own virtual race car community, and started a knock-off of the 4Chan group on a sister imageboard. Spork was forced to change his IP address and hold conversations with himself to make the new forum appear as if there had been a portion of users migrating alongside him, as there was little to no genuine activity. This charade was discovered when posts regarding previous online events hosted by him linked to a very real online leaderboard, where the only entries in each were merely bots with plausible online usernames configured by SJ himself.
Enraged at 4Chan discovering his antics, Spork evaded the IP ban placed on him, and entered another GT3 event near the end of the season Fortunately, admins were able to discover him intentionally wrecking other drivers before the drop of the green flag, and were quick to remove him.
Community members compassionate to Sporks’s periodic nerd rage won out over those who wished to exile him to preserve the sanity of others, and 4chan allowed him to participate in the opening round of the 2015 Stock Car Brasil league during the spring. Making quick work of the backmarkers and leaders in the process of lapping him, no less than five on-track incidents involving SJ were reported, and he was banned within an hour of being allowed back on track. SJ claimed each instance of contact was simply a racing incident, though upon evaluating the race replay it was clear Spork was only participating in an effort to ruin the race for the others.
Retreating to his own personal sanctuary after yet another ban, SJ believed the way to apologize to the community who had given him the boot not once, but twice, was to “archive” as many different rFactor mods as he possibly could. Nobody had requested for him to do this, but alas SJ returned for a third time uploading a massive Formula One mod compilation and admitting he had spent nearly 60 hours on the project. Upon the community being totally uninterested in this sizable download, as well as several users making him aware of numerous different rFactor mod archives, Spork once again lashed out and claimed there was a shadow government conspiracy to oppress him.
Despite repeated requests from others not to return, Spork would appear on a weekly basis to fight with other community members and insist there was a tangible conspiracy to destroy him. Eventually getting twisted in his own arguments against those intentionally pushing his buttons, SJ admitted he didn’t even enjoy racing games to begin with, and was only intent on ruining the events as a way to get even against the elitist sim community. Completely oblivious to the skill and sportsmanship required to play a game such as rFactor online, and blissfully unaware of how others would perceive his lengthy delusional ramblings, SJ is still convinced he is the martyr of a virtual war.
Eighteen months since the crew over at 4chan had been forced to buy a dedicated server for their rFactor events, Spork is still dedicating all of his free time away from studying engineering at Buffalo University to fighting a war with his own wild interpretation of a sim racing community. Transcending what it means to be a neckbeard, Spork Juct has become a WWE-like charicature of the World of Warcraft nerd from South Park. When your mother told you to play outside and cautioned you about the dangers of spending too much time in front of a computer screen, Spork Juct was the vision of your future she had in mind.
With how many characters like Spork pop up within the sim racing community, I’m beginning to believe the legendary high school gang wars of the 70’s and 80’s were actually debates turned violent between Star Wars and Star Trek nerds.