Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.


  • Admin

    @Lithium said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    Theme is theme.

    If you don't like the theme, don't play on a game.

    To add to that, not all people will ever like a game's theme. That's okay, it's why different games exist instead of just one game that fits all players! So it's a huge fallacy trying to 'fix' a MU* by attempting to change what it's supposed to be unless staff is in explicit agreement with such a shift.

    Note that's not to say say MU* always have the theme their staff intends for them to do; it's not terribly uncommon for the playerbase, especially under the guidance of popular, active players to take things in a different direction than intended over time. Sometimes that's okay (Vampire@HM turned out a whole lot better than its rotating cast of staff could have ever managed) and sometimes it becomes Mage@TR until nuking from orbit seems to be the only real option left.

    I still feel that playing a character that breaks theme is a cardinal sin, theme should be enforced, it's part of why I as a whole dislike open chargen unless the theme can absorb all sorts of ideas.

    I don't know it's a sin but there should be consequences. We see it outside games, too, with very satisfying results; consider Eddard Stark for instance, an honorable straight arrow of a man who entered a cutthroat political environment and stood out like a sore thumb - in a different 'theme' he'd have been the hero of the tale, but in that one he lost his head.

    Problems begin either when players refuse to acknowledge let alone accept their own IC consequences or when everyone else, staff included, fail to ensure there are some.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @Lithium said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    Theme is theme.

    If you don't like the theme, don't play on a game.

    To add to that, not all people will ever like a game's theme. That's okay, it's why different games exist instead of just one game that fits all players!

    There's something really satisfying about telling this to a problem player (or potential player) who clearly wants the game to be something different than it is. "Well, this is what it is, but good luck finding the game you want!"


  • Coder

    @surreality said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    That's different from saying 'they shouldn't allow that to happen because it corrupts the purity of the setting by skewing it too far into unrealistic territory', however.

    I think the difference is that people tend to gravitate towards historical games because they like that period of history. So anything that dramatically changes the 'feel' of the historical period for them is potentially a Big Deal. We all have our hot buttons.

    Contrast that with a supernatural game where, yeah, it's a bit goofy that your small town in Maine has all these supers, but it's not like a lot of people were drawn to your game because "Oh, hey, small town in Maine! Sign me up!"


  • Coder

    @Roz said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    "Well, this is what it is, but good luck finding the game you want!"

    This is exactly why a problem player will stick around. To many, it's better to suffer through the things you disagree with and actually get to play, than to sit on the sidelines. The idea that you must agree 100% with a game to play there is dangerous, that you can't be critical is poisonous. You can demand respect, but you get the respect that you give. All game culture is shaped by how staff acts, no matter what they say they want, no matter what's written down in a news file or on a wiki.

    Throwing someone's dissatisfaction in their face is not good behavior.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @Roz said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    "Well, this is what it is, but good luck finding the game you want!"

    This is exactly why a problem player will stick around. To many, it's better to suffer through the things you disagree with and actually get to play, than to sit on the sidelines. The idea that you must agree 100% with a game to play there is dangerous, that you can't be critical is poisonous. You can demand respect, but you get the respect that you give. All game culture is shaped by how staff acts, no matter what they say they want, no matter what's written down in a news file or on a wiki.

    Throwing someone's dissatisfaction in their face is not good behavior.

    Okay, you're taking my super glib remark pretty literally. This is a distillation of a number of serious problem players I have dealt with who make series of super unthematic demands while being toxic to the game and then try to get their way by yelling "Well if you don't give it to me I'll leave!" It's very empowering in moments like that to be able to say, "Okay, you can leave if you want."

    Or guests who clearly want a game that's totally different than what you've set up and you've been working with them for literal months off and on trying to get them on the same page and finally telling them that we're probably just not the game for them.

    Like, maybe give a little benefit of the doubt here and don't jump to the conclusion that what I'm talking about is showing every player who criticizes my games the door?


  • Pitcrew

    My advice would just don't play as a concept you feel passionate about when you know it isn't going to be well received by the theme. When you do you're setting yourself up to lose. I've lost count of the numbers of time I've been denounced as being the worst person ever (I probably am but for other reasons) for antagonizing a character with unthemetic beliefs their player also happened to coincidentally share.

    Trust me. You'll have much more fun being discriminated against for reasons you don't relate to on a personal level.


  • Pitcrew

    @roz Honestly I'm happy to say that pretty early in the discussion, if the topic is one I know we aren't going to budge on. Like hey, your opinion is noted, but this is just not going to change. So you can either disapprove of it quietly and keep playing, or you can elect not to play, but I don't have time to rehash arguments on a daily (or even weekly) basis.

    Kind of too busy making RP and story for people who are enjoying themselves.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    Throwing someone's dissatisfaction in their face is not good behavior.

    It's also not good behavior to step into someone's house and begin to criticize their décor.


  • Admin

    @Roz said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    Like, maybe give a little benefit of the doubt here and don't jump to the conclusion that what I'm talking about is showing every player who criticizes my games the door?

    It's true we MU*ers are a trigger-happy little community, aren't we? Giving the benefit of a doubt either way doesn't seem to be what we do best. Perspective staffers are polishing the banhammer around here for every slight, players (myself included) often post about how we'd leave the moment we perceive whatever rubs us in a particularly bad way... sometimes, just going by forums such as this, you'd think we can barely tolerate each other at all, and only do it begrudgingly when it'd be too much trouble to part ways.

    The truth is probably - as usual - somewhere in the middle. I've never seen a game ran exactly the way I'd want it but I've been quite happy with several, at least for a while. And there are staff members out there who run games I've no desire of playing but who I have enormous respect for.

    We just take ourselves a bit too seriously sometimes, you know?


  • Coder

    @Roz

    Yes, but your super glib remark was offered very straightforwardly. I'm not angry or upset, but I felt it could use clarification. That's all it was.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    Throwing someone's dissatisfaction in their face is not good behavior.

    It's also not good behavior to step into someone's house and begin to criticize their décor.

    Double post! (Because tablet.)

    I feel that This is a bad comparison. It's like starting a club and not allowing your members to criticize the decor.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain You didn't ask for clarification, though? You assumed that by "problem player...who clearly wants the game to be something different than it is" I apparently meant "anyone who criticizes the game." As opposed to...a problem player (AKA a player who has caused problems) who cannot reconcile what the game is with what they want it to be. Which is your assumption to make, but it was incorrect, and it's disingenuous to say that your response was one that was asking for clarification.


  • Coder

    @Roz

    Did I? Or did I offer a situation where telling off someone seen as a "problem player" was not a good idea, because it was a jerk thing to do?

    Which is what I did.

    You clarified what you meant.

    I don't see the problem.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @Ganymede said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    Throwing someone's dissatisfaction in their face is not good behavior.

    It's also not good behavior to step into someone's house and begin to criticize their décor.

    Double post! (Because tablet.)

    I feel that This is a bad comparison. It's like starting a club and not allowing your members to criticize the decor.

    It's a good comparison! Sorry, I felt your statement could use some clarification.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    I feel that This is a bad comparison. It's like starting a club and not allowing your members to criticize the decor.

    A club depends on its members for its continued existence. This is not necessarily the case for a game, which can continue to operate even with a small, select population of folks who enjoy the theme, the setting, and the rules.

    It's usually a good idea to be warm and inviting, and not flip the fuck out on people that criticize your drapery; however, when people are screaming at the top of their lungs after you've asked them to keep the noise to a dull roar, I wouldn't begrudge the game owner to forcibly remove the rabble.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    I feel that This is a bad comparison. It's like starting a club and not allowing your members to criticize the decor.

    A club depends on its members for its continued existence. This is not necessarily the case for a game, which can continue to operate even with a small, select population of folks who enjoy the theme, the setting, and the rules.

    So what you're saying is that a club depends upon its members for its continued existence. What neither of us are saying is that a game or a club needs to bend over backwards to accommodate people who are unwanted.

    What I am saying, and what you and @Roz are arguing with me about, is that there is a limit after which the "problem player" is staff for being negative toward any criticism. This has never been black and white and you know that as well as I do.

    Just as you know that some people take constructive criticism as problem behavior, poisoning their own well. While we're all patting ourselves on the back for standing up to mean people, while we've all seen innocent people be labeled "mean people" and treated like shit because staff don't have a good judgement when to stop.

    It's usually a good idea to be warm and inviting, and not flip the fuck out on people that criticize your drapery; however, when people are screaming at the top of their lungs after you've asked them to keep the noise to a dull roar, I wouldn't begrudge the game owner to forcibly remove the rabble.

    If that is the situation, absolutely. People who are disrupting the game need dealt with, on a sliding scale. "Criticizing the drapes" as a comparison doesn't work. You may have poured blood, sweat, and tears into building a game, but the minute you advertise the opening it's no longer your home.

    --

    @Kanye-Qwest

    You know you can push my buttons to the point where you and I derail this thread right into spamsville. Either live and let live like you're proud of saying, or continue to show that you pull out the double-standards and smugness only when it fits your troll nature. Neither you nor I think we're wrong, so we can very easily do this. I'm asking you not to, and trying not to myself because these people don't deserve it, but it's now your move.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    If that is the situation, absolutely. People who are disrupting the game need dealt with, on a sliding scale. "Criticizing the drapes" as a comparison doesn't work. You may have poured blood, sweat, and tears into building a game, but the minute you advertise the opening it's no longer your home.

    This is where I disagree with your analogy with the club.

    In my opinion, as anecdotal as it is, there is no difference here. Club or home, it is still your property and you (the game owner) have the duty, responsibility, and privilege of setting the rules for staying therein.

    If you want to be a raging cunt about what behavior triggers the ol' Monty-Burns-Boot-To-The-Butt, that's your prerogative. Places like this exist to mock, ridicule, and criticize that behavior. To-wit: Kushiel's Debut's apparent positions.

    We don't disagree that dealing with people is a sliding scale, and that we ought to be judicious about it. My point with the drapery is that there is trivial criticism and PHB criticism, and the swath of degrees in between; to this point, we seem to agree. My point with the club analogy is as above; to this point, I don't know if we are in agreement or not, but we generally agree more than we do not.



  • There is a noticeable difference between recognizing that a player is complaining that your game isn't what they want and suggesting they not let the door hit their ass on the way out ... and reacting badly to any criticism. Whether it's drapes or bitching about your open floor plan doesn't really matter. Some things are worth taking critique about and some things are somebody who is not going to be happy with your game period so why court them?


  • Admin

    For me the issue is simple... it's just a series of easy questions that determines the outcome.

    1. Is the game worth it? If not, leave.

    2. If it is, make my mind known about things I think are important and could be improved. Does staff agree? If so, yay! Help them out any way I can.

    3. If things I consider important aren't ones staff thinks as problems (or won't fix for any reason) then is that a dealbreaker? If so, leave.

    4. If I've made my mind known, staff won't fix what hurts my sensibilities and I decided to stay regardless then I need to shut the fuck up and enjoy what's left of the game. That's not (just) for the MU*'s benefit but primarily for my own - if I keep being peeved I won't enjoy playing, so what's the point?

    It's not that complicated as long as we don't take things personally. If a player isn't satisfied with your game it doesn't mean you suck; if they decide/mention they are about to leave your game it doesn't mean it sucks. Likewise if staff won't take your suggestions it doesn't mean much either.



  • @Kanye-Qwest said in Sensitive cultural/political/religious aspects of game themes.:

    @roz Honestly I'm happy to say that pretty early in the discussion, if the topic is one I know we aren't going to budge on. Like hey, your opinion is noted, but this is just not going to change.

    At least in terms of this thread, there's no intention of selling any viewpoint or whatever else. I'm interested in what changes (if any) and choices were made, and why. That's really it.