alt.games.final-fantasy, or AGFF for short, is a USENET group created in 1994 for the discussion of the Final Fantasy series. Prior to the release of Final Fantasy VII in 1997, the slow pace of new releases in the Final Fantasy series caused discussion of Final Fantasy to slowly become stale, so AGFF eventually became a hot-bed of activity for "off-topic" conversations about any range of subjects. Its highest point of activity was in 1998 when it received over 200,000 posts. It has since declined greatly in usage, but can still be accessed through Google Groups or most news servers.
During the group's heyday of the late nineties, it was occupied by a strong, tightly-knit community of regular posters who often called themselves "regulars", "regs", or "AGFFers". Over time, the off-topic discussion among the Regulars had created a large number of unusual traditions, customs, and practices, sometimes making it difficult for newcomers to fit in. The group was the source of the term FWAK (false wisdom and knowledge), promoted the use of oversized signature blocks of hundreds of lines, and, in "honor" of one of its contributors, often replaced the word "God" with the name "Bob" during conversations. AGFFers often wrote fictional stories based on themselves and the group, amalgamating these ideas with invented internet personas and characters or settings from the Final Fantasy games. Newcomers to the group were referred to as "newbies," and were often looked down upon or ignored by members of the community, making acceptance as a "reg" seem very difficult. The group was also a frequent source of and target for internet trolls, which led to intense flame wars with other newsgroups like alt.games.grand-theft-auto and rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Eventually, due to many old regulars leaving, few new regular posters joining, and more frequent and sometimes targeted trolling (such as "Project Megan"), the rate of posting decreased and the original community of Regulars disappeared. The decline of activity in AGFF also corresponded with the general decrease in newsgroup usage due to the rise in Internet fora and blogs.
Many previous regular posters to alt.games.final-fantasy have now coalesced into different online groups, which still discuss many of the same or similar topics as previously frequented the group.
- alt.games.final-fantasy on Google Groups
- alt.current-events.blizzard-of-93 on Google Groups - a lurking and posting place for a number of old regs.
- TheFurryOne.net - a forum populated by many ex-AGFFers
- AGFF LiveJournal community