Building the Loc. 187 Charter

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Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  Feverdream on Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:09 pm

After seeing some of the difficult threads occurring across the gaming fora of north Florida, I got to thinking about the SASMU Loc. 187 idea again.

I'm of the camp that believes if there's at least some kind of expectation, some kind of mission statement in writing, that there would be less... "drama" about. But, like all beliefs, it has the distinct possibility of being unfounded, so I wanted to post a list of questions in an effort to get a better idea of what our expectations as a gaming community are.

1. What IS "The Gaming Community"?

Who are we? What is it that we do that makes us a community?

2. What makes for a good gaming community? How do we foster a good gaming community?

I have to confess that one of the reasons I avoided ever playing Warhammer 40k in the past was because I had run into some very unapproachable characters playing the game. They were rude, impatient, and never wanted to truly teach the game. I myself can grow very impatient, but I try to find others that can help out in explaining rules and stuff. After all, I would love to have new people to play against all the time. So, how do we foster a community that is welcoming to new players? How do we avoid the clique mentality that creates an "us vs. them" situation?

3. What is "sportsmanship"? What is "competitiveness"?

Games, by their very nature, are competitions. They have the objective of "winning". Winning the game is the goal, but having fun should be the overarching purpose. How do we play a game that is both fun and competitive? That no matter the result, the two (or more parties) have a good time, and will be ready to gladly face off in the future?

Branden had posted about the "Myth of the WAAC (win at all costs) player". That's something we should look at. I think anyone should be able to field the damn cheesiest army in any game, and still be a good person to play against. One possible way is to offer strategy tips after the game? If you know more, why not impart wisdom to your opponent after beating them? In all theory, and barring bad dice rolls, there is no unbeatable list. So, be cool and suggest ways around beating your "uber-powerful nightmare" of a list. Encourage the players as they're being trounced! And above all, remember "you win some, you lose some, but have fun most of all".

4. How do we handle disputes?

Because we play games, there will always be the temptation to cheat, or to argue a rule to come out ahead. If someone is caught cheating, how do we handle it? We can always ban, but if we're to be a "welcoming" community, is there a way to deal with a cheater that still fosters a good gaming community? Can we honestly rehabilitate someone who consistently cheats? We don't want to have hurt feelings abound, but we also don't want someone's behavior poisoning the well for everyone. People are wearing their emotions on their sleeves, and when confronted, they get very angry and start telling others on how bad Broadswords is, or whatnot. We cannot avoid this, but we can minimize it with fair, just, and consistent means of punitive action. If we ban someone for X-number of days, is that fair for the "crime"? Is it fairly applied to all? Were there appropriate warnings? Reviews of the behavior? Honest verification that something bad had occurred?

Banning someone unfairly, or banning someone, then letting them off for good behavior will make people think that there's no control going on, and bad behavior will never change. We should make sure the punishment fits the "crime", and that we carry out any punitive actions fairly and consistently.

I have many more questions in my mind, but I figure these points would be a good start for hopefully friendly debate, and ultimately lead to a wonderful set of tenets we as gamers can abide by. My goal is to lower the blood-pressures of gamers I play with (and to lower my own - I'm not innocent when it comes to creating drama), and to lower the overall drama that occurs.

Yeah, it's a bit of governmental bureaucracy, but that's why it can all be discussed openly.
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Re: Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  DoktorM on Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:16 pm

I agree that a mission statement may help especially if it has a set of core values. Here might I suggest something like the following: To protect and promote camaradarie, respectfulness, fairness, trust, and fun.

Certainly, games are competitive in nature, but it is a form of competition where nothing really of much value is in jeopardy (and in my experience we often forget this). Thus, though winning is a goal while playing, and it is fun to win, it should obviously take a backseat when that aim begins to threaten camaradarie, respect, fairness, trust, and fun.

So, as a matter of an example, I think that unapologetic acts of character assassination, calling-out, or even simply name-calling that are done in a mean spirit or out-of-anger should obviously be grounds for some sanction. (Who wouldn't?) On the other hand, it might be that we also try to reward those who engage in maintaining play and discourse that are in good character (i.e. friendly, respectful, fair, trustworthy, and fun) with a ranking or avatar symbol (much like some fora do just for levels of participation).

Mitch
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Re: Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  mdigibou on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:13 am

Agreed on all points by Roy. (brandOn... but its ok =P, i dont often pronounce my name correctly... thick tongue etc)

I think that the necesity for one is rather supercilious, HOWEVER, being that I am a large bucket of kerosene for some of this, I will certainly say that it would be much improved if there were some form of Canon that we could point to for new readers.

Something elegantly simple and precise would be preffered? I'm horrid with words, and I hate responsibility =P anyone wanna give it a shot?

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Re: Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  Feverdream on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:34 am

My big idea for all this is to hopefully reduce problems in all parts. The forum ordeal was only tiny part of a potential problem overall.

The idea for all this is, as I said, a mission statement. We can't make anyone follow a set of concrete rules that enforce a way of playing. It's more of a gentle reminder of what it is that we really want. I'm a firm believer in leading by example, and my hope would be that those who actually do follow such ideals will influence other gamers. I don't want it to turn into a "Page 5" deal, where people who are winning are snide and repeat "play like you got a pair", only to be a bad sport if losing.

And again, I really want to avoid cliquish mentality. I am loathe to site an example, but when you have groups where one side is saying "Those guys are unwelcoming", and the other who trot out, "I've never had a problem with them..." that's not exactly addressing the issue.

Anyway, that's some of the ideas.
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Re: Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  mdigibou on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:59 am

I think alot of the problem has to do with people taking themselves too seriously, and getting their feathers ruffled. I'm guilty of it too sometimes, but usually only when something I hold pretty close is being outright humiliated or attacked which was the case previously.

The recent "bannings" are probabaly another issue I would take up, but since Randy is so set on the Ian being "impartial" that it's not worth my effort to argue about it. Simply put, if I get banned for something I didn't deserve I'm just not coming back online. I have plenty of other areas to vent and banter, and I'm not going to be institutionalized into somebody's idea of a web forum because that's the way they want to do it.

One thing that I find that makes the most important section of the gaming community is knowing and understanding each other. Without personal interaction on a regular basis, it's hard to tell exactly what a person is feeling or the way in which they are expressing it.
Notice the problem between everyone here is that they didn't know of the person they were speaking. The guy who came on here challenging me neither knows me or who I am, but I know him but that's an aside. Same goes for Gabe. Ian doesn't know Justin, which is why there is a clear problem there as well.

We need to all sit down together some day, and have a nice little pow-wow, and discuss these kinds of things that will clearly continue to happen simply because people want them to in a sick kind of way. It would go a long way to solving the problem if everyone could just hangout together and put our differences aside and see how these people are and react to different things in day-to-day conversation. If you still don't like them that's fine, but in all seriousness, flame wars and threats are stupid.

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Re: Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  Broadsword Commissar on Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:14 pm

Get it done. I appointed Roy in my stead before and I stand by that now. Roy, take the reigns and get the statement up and running as well as the group. I will oversee things as the store owner and will make suggestions or objections as they apply.

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Randy
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Re: Building the Loc. 187 Charter

Post  skyzanon on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:31 am

Very well put Roy, but lets get a good name for the charter Razz
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