As someone said on VPForums, it is NOT a democracy there. So, if we want a democracy for VP and Pinball in general, then it's time to build one. We need a community that's based on mutual respect, not rules made by a tiny few or by one person that owns a site.
Moderation probably isn't needed. The community should shun those that break "rules" of respect, taste or other behavior. Before VP had locks, if someone "stole" someone's table and acted like they made it, this was pointed out and that person was embarassed. Would they even WANT to show their face again? I still believe that MOST of the pinball playing world is a cut above the "typical" beat-em up video game type. I'm talking more intelligence and more appreciation for art, not just violence. I'm not saying Mortal Kombat isn't a fun game. I'm saying unlike some people we know there are BETTER games out there as well. Games like Twilight Zone and Medieval Madness. Pinball may be a dying art, but it'll never be dead as long as we care about it.
VP isn't going anywhere. VP6 can be used indefinitely. The expiration date is easily defeated (either by setting your clock back or by a simple hack). So it doesn't matter if Randy or Black don't visit whatever new forum we might create. They've always done their own thing with VP itself. It is we the community that have decided how to USE VP to make art, whether it be table creation or table REcreation. So there is NO FEAR of a rocked boat, but rather we need to find a NEW boat. An unsinkable boat. One that a small handful of people or even one person can't destroy at a whim. And we need to build this boat now *before* what's left of the community self-destructs under the totalitarian regime of VPForums where unjustified censorship has become the norm these days.
So, what I propose here is we discuss the possibilities of a new forum. Should we use an unmoderated newsgroup? This message board? A new message board? A community sponsored web site? These are thing the community is going to need to decide. This forum will due for now, but it's clearly less structured than VPForums was set up to be. Both VPForums and ShivaSite are both controlled by an indivdual and therefore unaccetpable if what we want to create is a SOLID community that is not easily broken.
MAME has all kinds of support boards and web sites and even though the main forum for Mame is moderated, they have mananged to deal with people over the years without having to BAN them at every turn or even censor their posts. So MUCH information goes through there compared to most message boards, that it's not even around long enough to worry about a few "wankers."
But that's just one example. The overriding concerns for any new community base is that we have a place to discuss VP and pinball in general and a place to release the tables at (storage). These can be structured or these can be left to individuals or shared. Or we could do the newsgroup approach. It's up to you, but something will need to be done or the VP community will fall completely apart save the leeches and ass-kissers, neither of which are very good at building VP tables.