"I will ban you if you break the rules, I will ban you if I don't like you, I will ban you if I'm playing Scrabble and I get a triple word score on a word which starts with the same letter as your username. I will ban you just to ban you."
- Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka
Basically, think of it this way: These guys started the "All Your Base" gag.
Now, if you can imagine the sort of person who would find a horribly translated video game funny enough to spend hours Photoshopping it onto things, then you can imagine the average SA Forum goer. These people call themselves "goons". All Your Base was just one of the many, many gags and catchphrases that crop up there daily.
A new poster once posted a thread titled "Ignore this - test" to test his signature. Obviously, something pointless like this is a no-no, and the guy was mocked incessently. Finally, someone Photoshopped "Ignore this - test" onto a black and white photo of the New Mexico atomic bomb tests. The thread degraded in a comedy-fest with people using the phrase in the most humorous way possible
The SA forums are actually full of incredibly funny and creative people (among them several E2 regulars), whose wit and skill with Photoshop can be absolutely hilarious at times. They can also be kind, such as when one goon met a girl at college, only to have her get into a terrible car accident a few weeks later while driving to Florida for the holidays. She was a in a coma for a few weeks, and the goon in question posted an update about it every so often. The outpouring of support was surprising coming from a bunch of sarcastic nerds. Lots of forum regulars sent cards and assorted things like that, and the girl actually claimed that support from the SA goons really kept her in good spirits during her recovery.
The forums' fearless leader is none other than Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka - who is certainly not lacking in comedic skill and incisive wit himself. He seems, these days, to go back and forth between calling the forum regulars total morons (for "invading" other, more stupid, forum sites, pranking a phone service for the deaf, or making PayPal payments to SA with a stolen credit card), and lauding the SA crowd as being one of the coolest and wittiest bunch of people on the internet.
This mostly refers to the main forum, General bullshit. The subforms are cool too. The Games Forum is one of the most intelligent repositories of gamers on the internet (and believe me, most game forums are really lacking in the intelligence department), and Serious Hardware/Software Crap forum is also a pretty decent technical resource. For a while there was even a really awesome "Science and Philosophy" forum, but it is no more, consolidated back into the main forum (curses...)
In order to offset the rather hefty costs to maintaining fast servers to serve the forums, Lowtax has begun charging a one-time signup fee for new accounts, priced at $9.95 per account (which includes a free custom avatar for your account, a service which used to be $5). This is hardly expensive, but it's enough to let anyone who wants to register register, and it keeps out less-than-serious trolls who just want to act like morons. Currently, you cannot read the forums without a valid account. Sometimes the main forum or the games forum is available for public viewing...usually not, though. The main forums URL is http://forums.somethingawful.com.
The following E2 regulars make the occasional appearance on the SA forums (leave me a msg to be included, or to be removed if it's just someone else on SA using your name):