I'm trying to think back that far... My first game was XVI, and while there was a ton of PM'ing (I didn't IM at all back then, didn't until XIX), the thread was active as well and not a ton of spam. Ditto XVIII, and that game definitely wasn't dictated by MSN or PM as I solo'd that one pretty much (didn't deal with much PM'ing either outside of the occasional Methos chat). The thread probably wasn't as active as other had been though, I don't recall a ton of conversation after the midgame. I got killed first in XVII and XIX (go figure), but from what I remember XIX was done through IM chat's a whole bunch along with PM's. However, what was in the thread was at least almost entirely IC. I do miss the teens (ah, life was much simpler back then, no?), but probably miss the early twenties the most. I think those games had the right blend of RP, in-thread stuff, and IM'ing. Stuff's changed along the way, the games, the hosting, the players, but objectively I can't say if things were better or worse back then compared to now. I just personally preferred it.