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 Moderators, Fear and other Subjects.
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Lea.wolfsfeld
 Saturday, October 11 2014 @ 10:08 PM UTC (Read 11325 times)  
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I'm opening this thread in response to a recurring subject.

Mod Fear.

I'm around often enough and spend my fair share of time thumbing through the logs in banter to play catch up. I've seen the odd case of a mod muting someone who was being a dick after being told multiple times to stop. And usually nothing more than that. So I'm rather confused to where all this fear is coming from if its things like this.

But I doubt its the muting of the occasional idiot that started this mess. Its the muting or the banning of a player who is known and liked to some degree.

This is where things get messy. Personal feelings get involved and you can't help but sympathize with a friend. We've all been there but at the end of the day you have to remember they must have done something to earn it.

They got themselves into trouble. They were likely warned before hand (unless it was really bad) before they got muted. As for banning, you must have either seriously fucked up or lied about your age and are too young to be here to earn a ban. And yes, I have been muted before but it was for something I shouldn't have been talking about and I was rightly stopped by the mods. Yes I was annoyed but I really did mess up and honestly? I was lucky to just be muted for day when most other places would have kicked me from the community for good for the smallest infraction.

Another thing is banter. Oh banter, the sweet yet problem child of the island.

The biggest ongoing problem with banter when it comes to getting people muted is talking about offensive subjects. You know the ones; Religion, Politics, Sexual Orientation and so on. These subjects are touchy in real life and they are no less potentially offensive on the island. When a mod says to stop, no matter how heated the conversation is, you stop. Not because a mod says so, but because you're running the risk of offending someone.

The moderator's job is not to chase each person down for being naughty, its their job to try and maintain the peace.

I've said my part now.


 
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Ebenezer
 Saturday, October 11 2014 @ 10:46 PM UTC  
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Thank you, Lea, for starting this thread.

Before the discussion continues, I just want to invite people to Distract me on the Island with any concerns or stories or anything, if they want to do that instead of communicating publicly. CMJ already offered up his email, so I thought I should do the same. If someone chooses to contact me privately, I will keep that communication private.

If I have done something that upset someone, I'd like to be able to correct that. If some other mod has done something, I'd love to know that too, so I can help give that other mod some advice!


 
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Genevieve
 Saturday, October 11 2014 @ 11:25 PM UTC  
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Ebenezer has just said this but I wanted to say this too, since we are separate people.

Please do feel free to email me whenever!!!

I have my personal email address in my bio with the same sentiment. (That's amuseinacage@gmail.com by the way. That's my email im not kidding I love emails)

I really really would love to be there for anyone who wishes to speak to me about anythinng not just moderator stuff or island stuff. Just stuff man.

I like talking to people! I am not always able to be online, but I always answer emails.

Distractions, even!

It makes me sad to think that anyone would be scared of the mods, we are all players in this game too, y'know? We didn't descend from on high in a wreath of flame and holy light.

I crawled up from down below covered in Skronk Smile

But honestly we were all players once, I'd very much like to know where I can improve if I need improvement, and I want to make it known that's totally okay!


 
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Matthew
 Sunday, October 12 2014 @ 01:02 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Genevieve

We didn't descend from on high in a wreath of flame and holy light.



what

I want my money back

what kind of establishment are you jokers running here


Just to weigh in: not a mod, but I know a lot of them personally, and I can tell you that mod fear is a bit silly because they are all some of the most wonderful, kind people I've met, and you couldn't approach a better person with questions and problems. They are on your side!


 
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Lea.wolfsfeld
 Sunday, October 12 2014 @ 03:42 AM UTC  
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I suppose I should add a little something to this thread, as it was just proven in banter.

The Mods are not against emoting. At all. The warning is primarily there to deter serious RP that was a problem before. Yes, I think most of agree that it needs to be changed to something less....obtrusive?

But less about that. Feel free to wave and smile at and yes, even hug your friends. Just don't go over the top. Keep things public friendly. Its how I see it anyway.


 
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Grey
 Friday, October 24 2014 @ 06:53 PM UTC  
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Hi, most of you know me as Arken Feyl.

First of all. It amuses me, just a little, how few posts there are on the thread about fear of the moderators.

Secondly I would like to throw myself out here as a person a lot of people know and often seem as a brazen and... Silly? Probably silly, as well as I do very much hope, a nice person. (not a mod by the way, just been about for ages)

The reason I'm posting here is to get the ball rolling of the actual fear of mods bit and why

I'm Arken, and until just over half a year ago, I had a fear of the island's moderators, however I have to add, this is not because of them being the moderators, for some time here, I have actually had a bit of a phobia towards almost anyone I saw as a veteran, sure I'm cautious over what I do and say at times for fear of reprisal. Thankfully I can mostly say I'm over the phobia of interacting with certain longer standing members of the island, and I think most people who fear the mods would also get over their fear if they knew them better, it's easy to fear some unknown overlord that could ban you in the blink of an eye, but it's hard to fear Ebeneezer once you get to know him, unless you have a phobia of accountants or cat lovers.


 
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Temper
 Monday, October 27 2014 @ 03:31 PM UTC  
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Since this is a Thing(?), I do have to wonder- how many people who have this mod fear have ever been moderated? I only ask because I got myself moderated (by which I mean pulled aside to a private setting for an actual conversation with the mods, not just a "please steer the opposite direction," in Banter {banter wasn't around}) for being a punk a long, long time and the part of it that stands out most to me still is how nice the moderators were to me about the whole ordeal. There was never some glorious thunderclap from above, or any sort of witch hunt. It was a small, private conversation where the moderators explained to me why what I had done had gotten them involved, while simultaneously encouraging me to keep writing.

Everything else I might have to say has been said already, as far as my tired brain can figure.


 
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Hairy Mary
 Thursday, October 30 2014 @ 11:30 PM UTC  
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Is it really fear we're talking about, or more awe? While us mods are, of course, totally awesome (though not at all awful), it might get a little exaggerated sometimes.

Sometimes, to the more shy newcomer, the Island social make-up can look something like this.

Admin
Faster than a speeding express train.
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound.
Walks on water.
Dictates policy to God.

Mods
Can keep up with a speeding steam train.
Leaps shortish buildings in a single bound.
Can walk on an indoor swimming pool.
Gets to talk with God every other Thursday afternoon.

Very veteran veterans (50+ DKs)
Can drive a train.
Can leap garden sheds with a run up and a following wind.
Strong swimmer.
Good public speaker.

Still veteran, but not quite so much this time. (5+DKs)
Can catch a train.
Can leap over dolls houses.
Can stay afloat with armbands.
Can hold a reasonable conversation at parties.

Rookie
Says "Look at the choo choo train!"
Trips up on doorsteps.
Plays in puddles.
Burbles incoherently to self.


I remember, long long ago when I first arrived on the Island, and I was a little nervous of those that had been here before me. To some extent this is no bad thing. If you arrive in a new place, you want to fit in with it. And to do that you first have to find out what the standards are. But it can be over done sometimes. You can imagine my perplexity when I realised after being here for a few months that I was that player who could actually catch trains. A wee bit irrational? Maybe. But if you're expecting people to be rational, then you're going to spend a lot of time being disappointed.

It's not everyone, and it's not the Island per se, something similar would go for any such site.

Is that what we're talking about? Or is there something else going on do people think?


 
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endarr
 Wednesday, November 05 2014 @ 10:40 PM UTC  
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I will say that when I first started out, I disliked the mods. Not like, any particular mods in general, just the idea of them... And this was mostly due to my experiences with them not being entirely pleasant. Not that they were bad experiences, just things that really stuck out to me and needled at me. And this was mostly because I was getting told off for things that I would see others doing to much greater degree without consequence. Or, at least, it seemed like it was without consequence. So I thought they had something against me in particular. Which, of course, they didn't. (I was young and stupid, what can I say?)

However, as time has gone on, and especially since we've had a bunch of these forum-y things to help air things out, I've learned more about the system and all that and gotten to know most of the mods as people rather than a big, daunting position of power. And that's the thing that people fear, I think. The sort of faceless overseer. A title without a person behind it. And not everyone reads the forums, or the FAQ (even though they should...) so, unless they're around all the time, they only get glimpses of the mods as real people. Hell, most people have trouble thinking of anyone behind a screen as a real person (which links back to the discussion of other topics xD).

I guess the only real way to assuage the fear would be to find a way to help people get to know their mods? Maybe like a sort of weekly "Know Your Mods" message or something. I dunno.


What do you get when a dragon sneezes? Out of the way.
 
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Docenspiel
 Friday, November 07 2014 @ 12:29 AM UTC  
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Quote by: endarr

However, as time has gone on, and especially since we've had a bunch of these forum-y things to help air things out, I've learned more about the system and all that and gotten to know most of the mods as people rather than a big, daunting position of power. And that's the thing that people fear, I think. The sort of faceless overseer. A title without a person behind it. And not everyone reads the forums, or the FAQ (even though they should...) so, unless they're around all the time, they only get glimpses of the mods as real people. Hell, most people have trouble thinking of anyone behind a screen as a real person (which links back to the discussion of other topics xD).

I guess the only real way to assuage the fear would be to find a way to help people get to know their mods? Maybe like a sort of weekly "Know Your Mods" message or something. I dunno.


I could see that back when Sessine and Z were the only two mods (well, and the ever-elusive Epaphus, who only appears if you say his name three times), but now I find that hard to believe. With Eben, Omega, Quinn and Carlynne, the odds of you not meeting them in Banter before having a small aside with them as mods has to be vanishingly small. But making the mod list more prominent wouldn't hurt; "who's in charge" shouldn't be something you have to ask.

And I think having more MoTDs from the mods about things they've been noticing would be a good thing. "Hey guys, a couple people have told us yada yada so if you could tone down yada yada it'd be great" will solve more problems than suddenly have something change. And maybe draw attention to a forum discussion.

Epaphus Epaphus Epaphus


For rent: one skull, in serious need of dusting.
 
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Tinkerbinker
 Saturday, November 08 2014 @ 10:08 AM UTC  
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So - I'm a little late to the discussion, but I'd like to pop in a message that anyone can send me a distraction or e-mail! (I have distractions connected to my e-mail, so I'll get it either way.)

About anything, really! Related to this, or just a "Hi, hello, I'd like to talk to someone."
I'll reply as quick as soon as I've logged in. Which is usually between classes, or in the evening after work/classes. I'm open for pretty much any discussion. (And I adore distractions muchly. Feel free to send an in-character message, too, if you'd like!)

I'm also always free for mod questions - asking if something is alright is wonderful, and you're not going to get in trouble for it.

It makes me sad, honestly, that people have a fear of moderators. When I joined the Island, the first thing I noticed about the moderators was that they were lovely.
Anytime that I saw someone in banter or story doing something not-terribly-wonderful, they were polite and moved the topic away. I think that's still the impression new players get, on seeing moderators.

(I suppose I could try to be in banter more, and stay for longer periods, between classes? I'd like for everyone to be comfortable with me, and all of the other moderators!)




 
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Jock
 Tuesday, November 11 2014 @ 11:11 AM UTC  
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If I may assume. I believe some of the mod fear (especially if it exists in more veteran players) could be attributed to the
kinda recent addition of new mods. Not saying you guys are scary or abusive! As shown in this post you guys very much want to not be and are open to questions. Just trying to throw out a probable cause.


 
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Mango
 Wednesday, December 03 2014 @ 08:19 PM UTC  
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Time to throw a bunch of words here! Going to be totally honest, I don't typically read forum topics unless their titles make me go 'Ooo!' or someone goes 'Hey did you see this post? I liked this post' in this case, both happened so I came for a reluctant peek. I was so afraid this would be filled with a ton of fear and conflict that I was super hesitant to poke my head in here. I think I know everyone that's posted so far and I'd just like to say that I'm really proud of the player population here (mods included). Takes two to tango and honestly, when I have to butt in and talk to people, they respond so reasonably that it makes it easy for me to respond in kind. :3 I'm glad to see that I can actually relate to players who don't really know how mod whatevers work because we're concerned about how you feel about us just as you are concerned how we feel about you. When I hopped into the mod clown car I was super concerned with being treated differently because I have few extra buttons on my screen but I've been pleasantly surprised that things haven't changed much for me. I came to this game for fun, and I intend to keep having fun here, all of my actions as a moderator are in efforts to keep this game fun for myself (<--selfish) and others. (Also my distracts box is open to everyone, and it's better than Eben's, mine probably has a comfortable couch and Eben's is literally stuffed with calculators. Weird, weird Eben.)

Abridged version: I LOVE ALL OF YOU, EVEN WHEN EITHER OF US IS A BUTTHOLE TEMPORARILY. ALL CAPS.


 
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Kolojang
 Thursday, December 04 2014 @ 07:43 AM UTC  
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Hello! I thought I would add my two cents on the subject, since I could identify myself as someone who suffer from "mod fear". And since the thread is mostly populated by mods, I guess a lot of "us" will flee it like the plague. So I'm taking one for the team. When I first got on the Island, I was highly intimidated by veterans, and mostly by the moderators, because they are basically uber-veterans. I've somewhat warmed up to people, but still avoid most interactions with moderators when I can. It's to the points where I get sad when someone I like rping with gets promoted, because I know it means I won't be comfortable interacting with them anymore.

Not that I don't like the people, or even that I don't like the ideas of having moderators. If anything, I think most of them are doing a splendid job, are quite friendly, and that moderators are a must on any internet community that doesn't want to devolve into barbarism.

I think that for me, and for a lot of Islanders who have mod fear, the problem stems from social anxiety. I don't consider myself handicapped by it like some people are, but in social gathering, even more so when I don't know the people, I tend to grow quiet and just watch, trying to catch on social cues that are acceptable in this particular group. The problem with the Island for a lot of people with anxiety like that is that the rules are so open to interpretation. There has been countless discussions on the subject, some more heated than others. When you're not comfortable in a social setting, it' reassuring to have a very precise set of rules. Sure, most faux-pas will only get you a nice warning, and most people will respond with a polite apology, but behind the scene, it's like someone drained the blood from your entire boy through a straw. And the worrying starts. Do they hate me now? Does this other thing I wanted to do falls under the same rule? Are they talking about me in distractions? It's all very silly, sure, but when you have social anxiety, you just can't help it. And since different mods have different view of the rules, you sometime do something with one only to have another one warn you to tone it down the next day. So instead of going through an emotional rollercoaster, I rather just avoid any situation which might cause this.

A second reason I think why people are anxious around mod, is that, from our point of view anyway, the first rule is much more often brought up than the "Don't take things too serious" rule. For a lot of us, a moderation experience is us having fun with friends, only to have a mod poke us in a distraction, saying that someone took offense to whatever we were doing. This someone most likely someone not even involved in the scene. Now, I concede that we don't know everything that's going on, and I don't think the mod should advertise when it happens (no "someone complained but I told them to suck it", that would be a very bad idea), but it still feels like most mods consider that being offended by something means that the thing was offensive to start with.

Now, I don't offer any solutions to this, because there isn't any easy one. But I thought I'd share my point of view on the subject, and I suspect other people have feelings similar to mine.


 
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, December 04 2014 @ 06:25 PM UTC  
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Thank you, Kolojang. You've given me something to think about, and I will most certainly be thinking about it. The other mods will be, too, because we're all very serious about always trying to do a better job.

I don't know what we can do to allay the social anxiety component of Mod Fear. Explain ourselves more, maybe?

I do understand what you're talking about. I felt the same way when I first joined -- and, mind you, back then the Island had only existed for a few months. There weren't any moderators. The only Official Authority was CMJ, who seemed remote and terrifying! I know now that was an optical illusion; he was just busy. Except for occasional flying visits to Banter he's still too busy working to interact a whole lot with players. Banter didn't even exist then; I knew far less about him than players do now. Also, nobody was really a veteran, though players who had been around only a few weeks looked like Scary Veterans to me! and any Island-specific social norms were still in the very early stages of coalescing out of the nameless void.

So I didn't say anything at all for a while, then joined a clan (SPOON) and gradually ventured to roleplay a bit in the safety of clan hall. There was a clan Scheme which was technically not cheating -- we thought, a bit nervously -- and while participating in that, I got to know some of those awe-inspiring senior players. Much later, after I knew them better, I confessed to a couple of them how intimidating I'd found their high standard of story-writing. Their reaction was dismay! Oh no, they said, we didn't... we weren't... we... How could you be scared of me, when I was so scared myself?

Unknown = Scary. That's a basic rule of human nature.


Like most aspects of human nature, social anxiety is a continuum. Almost everyone feels it sometimes. The effects of modest amounts are (on balance) positive. People who do wait to get the feel of a place for a while before joining in tend to be far nicer to be around than those who don't, so that's a good thing, yes? They know the social norms because they took the time to pay attention and learn them. But anxiety that spoils the ability to have fun, or makes a player uncomfortable with someone they'd previously enjoyed rp with... yeah. Not good at all.

Information helps, I hope. For one thing, Rule Two. It is mainly about the emotional trap of identifying so closely with a character that it leads the player to start acting like the character out of Story; combine that with the fact that we allow ERP, and you can see where this could lead to bad things. This does come up more often than you'd think (if you've avoided that trap yourself), but you'll hardly ever see us dealing with Rule Two issues in public, because they're intrinsically rather private.

Rule Two never ever means, "If what other players are roleplaying or saying in Banter is bothering you, it's you who's being too sensitive. Hey, suck it up. You're just taking it too seriously. Laugh it off, go play something else." We can't go that route. We have many very different players on the Island. It is not possible to predict what's going to bother someone, or why, or how intensely. That's just the reality of a multi-player game. People are different. People are always going to be different.

That being the case, how are we going to establish a rule that'll treat all our players with respect?

If you and your friends are having some entirely innocent fun together and someone comes out and says it's bothering them, we want you to reply, "Oh, sorry!" and then either do something else, or move your fun to a place where the person won't be bothered any more. No harm, no foul, it's just being courteous and respecting another player's feelings. You didn't know until they said something, and probably you couldn't be expected to know. No frowny faces involved. Indeed, if you do that we will be smiling happily, and I guess we should remember more often to write a distraction to thank you for doing a good thing.

What if the person who's bothered doesn't tell you, but instead asks a mod for help?

Well, why would they do that instead of saying something to you? One reason might be... social anxiety. They're scared of you because to them you're a veteran! You seem to know everyone and be on the inside of the Island's innermost social circle. And... I know: as you read this, you're going, wait, what, how could they be scared of me? (Which gives you a small taste of what mods feel like when they hear about Mod Fear!)

So anyway, what do we do when we get a request like that? We always try to acknowledge that the player's feelings are valid. They're the ultimate authority on how they feel; we can't tell them not to be bothered by something that bothers them. Do we act on it? Not always. It's a judgement call. Sometimes it's water under the bridge, too late to be worth doing anything. Sometimes we just quietly delete a line or two several pages back or make a note that if this sort of thing keeps on happening maybe we ought to say something. Or... sometimes, we feel a word to the other player is needed.

Do we always get it right? Nope. Sometimes we don't. If it's not perfect, please make allowances. We're trying!


 
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Trowa
 Thursday, December 04 2014 @ 06:34 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Kolojang

I think that for me, and for a lot of Islanders who have mod fear, the problem stems from social anxiety.


That's a good point, and I was trying to think of a way to say this, but you've written it out perfectly. I agree with all of your points. I'm not "handicapped" with social anxiety either, but I do seem to have a bit of it. My confidence can come and go, so some days I'm out-going and extroverted, saying 'hi' and offering help in Banter, but other days I'm insular and quiet, worrying to myself about what other people are thinking behind the screen. I can't really explain why, I just... do. I even know that most of my worrying is unjustified, and it's not fair to my mod-friends when I have these thoughts about how they're going to interpret anything I do.

(And then Sessine came in and posted while I was writing this, explaining the concept quite nicely!)

Quote by: Kolojang

And since different mods have different view of the rules, you sometime do something with one only to have another one warn you to tone it down the next day.


I experienced this first-hand a few years ago: getting a thumbs-up from one mod, and then receiving a warning from another mod later. I'm willing to admit that it was probably my fault, that maybe I took something I thought was okay into uncomfortable territory for someone else, but it was still a surprising experience for me. I'm not going to call out the mods, either, because as I said, this issue is years old and resolved.

I'd also like to think with all the mods mentioning that warnings are normally the first actions taken, they all have an agreed-upon protocol of what exactly constitutes a 'warning' -- I just haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, not even the Mod Policy wiki page. For example, some have mentioned Distractions, others have mentioned Banter, and both of these methods may be the protocol depending on the severity of the warning. But, it comes back to that anxiety of not knowing what to expect, especially when mods have so many tools at their disposal. I think I'd probably feel better to a degree if I knew that when a mod takes action, they do their best to make sure the affected player(s) understands why, because that seems to be a source of confusion in some of the other threads.


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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Mango
 Thursday, December 04 2014 @ 06:54 PM UTC  
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Hi Kolo! I'm super glad you popped in here despite your totally valid point that once a thousand mods showed up in this forum (we can't help ourselves qq), it became difficult for those with anxiety to chime in. I'm massively sad to hear you'd be uncomfortable playing with me now T T but I'll try to set it aside to hit a few key points and save my moping for later. Initially what stood out to me was dis:

but it still feels like most mods consider that being offended by something means that the thing was offensive to start with.


You mentioned social anxiety and such, which I agree plays a huge role in moderation and the player base, this right here^ we do not hold the opinions we're enforcing as our own opinions. We are not personally offended when others are offended, it sometimes coincides, but it is not inherently part of moderation. For those with social anxiety, having direct conflict by telling the person themselves that their scene was offensive to them isn't very comfortable, so one of the options available to them is going through mods as a faceless entity. We give them a voice they did not have, passed the message along, and generally just ask (if it was a reasonable enough request) that it be complied to accommodate a friendly setting. This situation applies heavily to Global Banter as well, which is where we spend most of our time as well, you guys are pretty great about Story but Banter is where the real people with real feelings live.

On broad rules, it's difficult, super difficult, and I know it's tempting to want to have a rigid 50 rules to abide by and you're 100% okay, but please think about forum settings where this has been done, or forums in which bots are used for moderation. It is a necessary headache to try and decide what is appropriate for the site and others around you. We can tell when you were caught off guard by stuff ,and we can tell when you meant no harm in the situation, we just wanna nudge like we are obligated to and move on.

And the worrying starts. Do they hate me now? Does this other thing I wanted to do falls under the same rule? Are they talking about me in distractions?


Wanted to let you know you're not alone in this, definitely. And on a personal note, if I don't like someone, it's for their awful personality (imo) and not for deeds they've done on the island. We don't hate you, especially so if it is super uncommon for us to have to say anything to you concerning moderation stuff. Just wanted to let you know, I have been moderated before and I totally panicked because 'OHMYGOD, EBENEZER SAW ME BE BAD' and Ebenezer sent me a finger waggle, and I was totally terrified I had ended up on five lists somewhere written in red ink and Ebenezer was going to follow me around shaking his head in disappointment at everything I wrote forever after that. I contacted him a few months after to be like 'I AM SO SORRY AGAIN' and he literally did not remember the incident from months ago, in addition to just not holding grudges for human mistakes (they will happen, you will be angry one day, get online and bark bark bark in Banter, or send a moody distract or post a picture of boobies and forget a NSFW tag three times (which is polite, some people hit up Banter at work >> bad, bad people(parenthesisception))) but we get it, shit happens, and most of us also have terrible terrible memories.

If you're unsure on something rule-wise, and you want to skirt away from the mods, which is fine (although I will be really insanely sad about it, no pressure), please feel free to poke a friend into doing it for you, they can ask and we can answer them through a third party that we don't even need to know is a third party. We want to help you have fun here, if that's what you need to do to make that happen, please please do so.

I...I think I covered what I wanted to... >__> probably. WORDS.

EDIT: holy crap, two people responded in the time I was writing this, feel so slow.


 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Thursday, December 04 2014 @ 08:05 PM UTC  


Jumping in to add a reply to this, since Kolojang brought up such awesome points:

In my experience, handling a "Rule 1" petition isn't a matter of fixing the problem for one player, it's fixing the problem for both. We don't share with the "offender" the conversation we've had with the complaining player, but most often the goal is, before we even contact you, to smooth things over with them. Try to share an alternate point of view, where you're just having fun, making jokes, and not trying to hurt anyone. We want you, as the "offender," to be more aware of other people's feelings, but we also want the person who was offended to feel more comfortable around you and other players who like similar things. It's not a situation where we just shut down the offensive subject, but one where we also try to help the offended player see it as less offensive.



Also, I offer this to my fellow socially-anxious players: as a mod, I'm just afraid of you as you are of me. When I have to talk to someone, I fret and rewrite my messages just as much as I imagine some of you fret and rewrite your replies. Social anxiety is a difficult barrier to break through, but maybe you guys can take some comfort in the thought that most of your mods are just as nervous and socially awkward as you are.



Edit for ALSO also: If anyone has any questions, or fears, or concerns, and you don't want to make it an "official" thing, I am totally open to having off-the-record chats with you. My email is toaster . brigade @ gmail . com .Nobody will get told on, nobody will get punished, nuffin'. I'm pretty sure all of us are up for that, but I just wanted to offer, specifically.


 
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quinn
 Saturday, December 06 2014 @ 03:56 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Escemfer

Also, I offer this to my fellow socially-anxious players: as a mod, I'm just afraid of you as you are of me. When I have to talk to someone, I fret and rewrite my messages just as much as I imagine some of you fret and rewrite your replies.



Everyone else has responded wonderfully to this, but I just have to say that this is so true. I swear I rewrite things 4-5 times, run them by another mod who knows the situation... I can't speak for all the rest of this group, but I definitely want to make sure I'm clear, concise, not speaking down to someone and that anyone I have to talk to know what's going on. (Like Esc said, fixing the problem on both ends, rather than just one side and shooting down the other.)


 
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Denealus
 Tuesday, December 23 2014 @ 03:58 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Mango

Hi Kolo! I'm super glad you popped in here despite your totally valid point that once a thousand mods showed up in this forum (we can't help ourselves qq), it became difficult for those with anxiety to chime in. I'm massively sad to hear you'd be uncomfortable playing with me now T T but I'll try to set it aside to hit a few key points and save my moping for later. Initially what stood out to me was dis:



Seconding this, and I have to say I'm so glad at the both of you. I'd been away from the forums for a while but really...I couldn't really figure out how to explain something irrational that I couldn't just put together. (And I'm a frickin' therapist. You think I'd be good at this stuff.

I went from kind of a weird place. From wondering about all my friends (I think "super veteran" status covers it well) getting bumped up and there was just this weird thing I couldn't put my finger on. To the point where I flipped out at a joke (no names mentioned but those involved may know). And it was just me wondering what was wrong with me for reacting so poorly.

And really on top of the fact that I've got so much on my plate, I think "social anxiety" is a good way about it. Faking a lot more confidence than you actually feel get leads to this naggling voice wondering if you're secretly offending somebody and they're too polite to say it. Or that you're coming across awfully or missing the point. And then getting something that "confirms" of that just gets catastrophizing and makes you wonder if you've stepped on anyone's toes. If there's secretly more judging going on. Paranoia because we can't read each other's mind happens all the time.

So Kolo, thank you for putting a name on it. But I think I also appreciate Mango for putting up her own story about being super awkward and nervous about being pulled aside by Ebenezer. I think the fact that, as a moderator, you experienced this too helps a lot with the understanding that sometimes fear is irrational. And something that people can't really put a finger on. It goes away over time with persistence and reassurance that things aren't going to actually change (or change for the better) but the initial weight of "Things = different" can be pretty unsettling. I think this thread also gives me a different perspective as a...god, I don't even know what to call myself. Adopted Vet? Psuedovet? I don't even feel like I'm a vet. XD

But I think Vets could learn a lot from thoughts about mod fear too. People with experience, good flow in writing, can be intimidating to write with or to know where you fit in the scene of things. Not all of us were there at once. It's probably going to make me a little more thoughtful in my own approach towards newer players who are struggling to fit in too.


 
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