(Sorry I'm late!)
I semi-consider myself one of the members of the "'peripheral' community [who] actually finds the quizbowl community to be insufferable enough that they don't want to be part of the game at all." "Insufferable" might be a strong word for me, although only just barely, and while I still am somewhat involved in the game as a frequent moderator at tournaments in my region, I quit playing when I entered college last fall.
It's difficult for me to dissect the various reasons why I dislike the quizbowl community so much it was one of the more heavily weighted aspects of why I chose to end my playing career, in part because much of it is really personal. I guess to start with one of the more "relevant" ones: I'm a woman, and I do not consider quizbowl a good place for women to be, especially considering some of the intense and ugly conversations that were alluded to earlier in this thread. I've largely dealt with casual microaggressions rather than some of the rather heavy topics in those conversations, but those microaggressions combined with the simple isolation of being one of the few women present in a room full of quizbowlers is enough to make me really, really dislike being a woman in quizbowl. Even if I never faced any misogyny at all (which I do, unfortunately), there's always the feelings of loneliness. I can give examples of said misogyny, of course, but plenty of women in quizbowl have touched on Bad Sexist Things they face already.
Insularity is another problem. I played quizbowl at an international high school in Asia (a circuit that developed mostly independently of American circuits), which already made it difficult to be part of the community—that's pretty much unavoidable, since I'd only see American quizbowlers at HSNCT once a year, and most Asian quizbowlers don't even get to leave Asia. This is not meant to complain about some anti-Asian circuit exclusionism; it's just something worth noting. It was, however, jarring to me when I first started becoming more involved with the (non-Asian, online) quizbowl community because I found American quizbowlers have very, very strong opinions about quizbowl and take it incredibly seriously compared to Asian players, who are far more relaxed (like, "how do I look up my stats? What is naqt.com?" kind of relaxed, although as the circuit expands, people have started to take quizbowl more seriously). While this is hardly limited to only Asian circuit players, it was really hard for me to adjust and try to make friends, since I didn't have the slightest idea who anyone was, why all these inside jokes are funny, etc. I felt like I needed to quickly acquire that knowledge in order to connect with others, and I probably wouldn't bother to learn said knowledge if I didn't feel like I needed it to be included.
Aaron's Rod wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:42 pm
I have in general found quizbowler's conversational skills to be really lacking: Trying to one-up each other with facts, obsessing over minutiae of personal accomplishments/others' failures, completely failing to talk about their personal lives, completely failing to ask about others' personal lives, not explaining their extended in-jokes, not explaining references to stuff that happened before my time in quizbowl. (But why people get alienated from quizbowl is a mystery, right?) I don't mind talking about the tournament the day of, but after the third hour of it it gets kind of old, and certainly I don't need a play-by-play of some game from five years ago.
This summarizes pretty much all my feelings since I've moved to America for college and have actually gotten to meet non-Asian quizbowlers frequently in person. While I've enjoyed my increased exposure to being with quizbowl friends who were once over 10,000 kilometers away (the friends I tend to go out of my way to interact with don't have tons of involvement themselves, and it makes it easier to talk about not quizbowl things), many people I've met are like this and it makes me want to really not be around quizbowlers very much.
I do still enjoy quizbowl enough that I moderate to have some level of involvement with it, but I find playing far too stressful, partly due to my own mental health issues and partly because I'm always worried about the judgment of the community as a whole, not being taken seriously because I'm not good enough, etc. As a moderator, most people don't really care about how good I am as a player or what standing I have in the larger community or even what my name is, and I like it that way. (And no, my school does not have a club. I go to practices at a college with a club nearby, where I prefer to stick to reading to the players there. I do not intend to start a club at my college, now or ever.)
I don't have a conclusion for this or some "do better" spiel, but I hope it provides some insight into why a person would want to stop their involvement in quizbowl.