Apology to Darinelle


  • Pitcrew

    @Darinelle I owe you a massive apology for my post the other day. I took anger and venting and let it get under my skin and instead of directing it back at the source I chose the worst possible path which was to vomit it forth on someone entirely undeserving of such things.

    What could have been constructive communication and bridging collaboration was instead tainted and made toxic by my own words.

    You most certainly did not deserve that.

    I am sorry.


  • Pitcrew

    @biggles - So here's the long answer I was going to write first:

    It's hard to be in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't, and also damned if you compromise" scenario.

    I could eschew live-GMing entirely, which is one of the main reasons I became a GM in the first place. It goes against the grain for me to respond to so many things with an @action response, even though they can be beautiful and poignant and amazing - even though sometimes scenes aren't really needed. But I try to live-GM as much as I can because I find it beautiful and fun and collaborative. Despite my sometimes crankypants attitude on MSB, I really enjoy the time I spend GMing for people.

    I could just GM for, say - half the people in a crisis who take actions. But then how does one choose? There are people I could GM for every single night. There are others I don't want to GM for even twice a year. But if I pick - do I just pick the people I really like, and leave the others (or the unknowns) out? That's a quick path to cries of GM favoritism, cliques, and the sort of really toxic environment I watched tear Firan apart.

    I could GM for everyone, one at a time and either it would take a month where I did nothing in my spare time but GM, or it would take six months. I am sick, I've always been sick, and I need my gym time and my fighter practices and my art to help keep my health (mental and physical) from confining me to a bed (as used to be the case). So the first won't work. But we also don't want to spend 6 months on a single piece of a metaplot arc either.

    I could GM for everyone, but then sometimes I miss things, and sometimes I don't respond as quickly as I would if I were single-scening.

    So I choose the last, while we bring more storytellers on board. It's a slow process, and a careful one. To tell metaplot stories means you have to have a great deal more information than players have about the metaplot and things that go bump in the night. One scene I'm passing off for example involves unicorns. To an average player, unicorns are beautiful magical creatures that need to be protected for... reasons. To the storyteller, she has to know things like - why are unicorns invisible during the day? What are the things around their horns? How do they function? What's the purpose of attacking the unicorns in the first place? What's the overall aim here? WHY is this happening? Also, what is being sent? What are its powers? From a mechanical standpoint, how is combat run? What level of risk is acceptable?

    I'll probably spend more time working through all this than it would take to run the scene - and when you're looking at 35+ scenes to schedule, that's a daunting thing. More than that though, it IS important to bring more storytellers on if we can find ones that fit the rigorous criteria KQ mentioned earlier, because live GMing is fun and it really adds a lot (in my opinion) to a MUSH. Not just in actions - but also when NPCs can walk the grid and engage with players, show up at the occasional event, bring a bit of magic in here and there. It's fun and immersive and that's one of the things we all really enjoy, but it's hard to do that when there are a bunch of actions outstanding and such.

    So that's the long answer - there aren't any good answers but there are less-bad answers. I'm not afraid to tell people no. I do it all the time. But in this case I chose the path where the most people could get something special and fun. And these are highly risky actions. Three PCs (and lots of NPCs) have died so far in this crisis. If people are risking actual character death, I try to make sure they have a scene where they can at least have choices and get a good story out of it.

    At the end of the day, I'm sorry to hear your friends would rather bitch about it to you than actually talk to me and say something like "hey, I feel like you're not really present here - should we just reschedule?" I'm not sure what night it was that it happened - I'm not sure if it was the night before you posted what you did, or any night in the past two weeks - I've been doing lots of scenes in those times, some singular, others not. Some of them have been linked scenes, and those I've really enjoyed though - where people are close enough to hear what's going on with the other scene in snippets, and I can weave things so that what happens in one scene affects the other, and vice versa.

    So now I'm left wondering - is it one of those that made people mad? Are they not enjoying that weaving of a coherent story together, those plot hooks that give them people to talk to about what happened and what will happen? Or is this one of the single-setting ones that was lackluster? There were a couple where I was just feeling uninspired for it not from being overworked, but the chemistry of the people involved was off, and people were going in multiple directions at once - was it one of those?

    And who are you? You won't say. Are you the person I suspect you are, who I've spent plenty of time writing story for, who I've worked with on NPCs, and responded to actions, and talked down from ledges? I hope not. Who are your friends? I don't know that either, only that they were so unhappy they just paged their friends about how much the GM event sucked.

    So. That's my thought process. It's a glib response to say "better to not have actions at all than to have my friends page me all upset because they are having a shitty time." It's equally glib to say "hire more staff!" Unless you know the details of what we do and how we do it and why, that's not a helpful solution either.

    So here we are. I didn't deserve it but it's what was said. I'll be a long time forgetting, because it's particularly hurtful when you're giving of yourself to try to do nice things for other people and the response is "well, but no one really likes it they're just telling you that they do, and I'm here to tell you that you're doing a shitty job and hurting more than you're helping." Kicks in the face like that take a while to heal.

    I hope your friends read this and find a little compassion in their hearts for me. If they're really that upset they can always page me and we'll work through it and if I missed something we can certainly talk about how to incorporate that moving forward or a way to make things right. I'm sorrier than I can tell you that they had a miserable time.

    So - apology accepted. It doesn't really fix anything, but I appreciate the apology.


  • Pitcrew

    @biggles You're still on my shit list.



  • While I'm always glad to see a genuine apology where one is required... is this what we can expect now? When one offends a group, certainly a public apology is warranted, but if one person requires the apology do we really need to see it in public? Sure, public contrition is fine and dandy but when does it go beyond that and into "look at me, proving just how sorry I am for real guys"?



  • @tinuviel On the other hand, when you insult someone publicly, why should you get to apologize in private? I'm not super impressed by the public theater either but I don't have a better solution.



  • @saosmash It's Chapter 4 in The Art of Apology. Offend publicly, apologize privately.



  • @saosmash I think a private apology comes first. If the person being apologised to accepts it, then they can say so in the same thread that caused the offence. Then it becomes less about the 'contriteness' of the apologiser and more about the feelings of the apologisee.



  • @skew Sounds DUMB.


  • Pitcrew

    @tinuviel I mean, I didn't require anything and he and I haven't spoken in private.

    I think if he'd sent me this apology in private I'd have told him to fuck right the hell off. But he could have put it in the thread - he did, in fact, put an apology in the thread. I suspect the public backlash was such that he felt a separate topic was warranted.

    Attacking someone directly and publicly does require a public apology. At least in my (admittedly old-fashioned) opinion. It didn't need a thread of its own though.


  • Pitcrew

    @saosmash said in Apology to Darinelle:

    @tinuviel On the other hand, when you insult someone publicly, why should you get to apologize in private? I'm not super impressed by the public theater either but I don't have a better solution.

    i mean, you could not run your mouth like an asshole while thinking "take this constructively" at the top would change the intended read in some way. That's a solution.



  • @Darinelle If one apologises simply from public backlash and not an actual desire to apologise, then it's hardly worth the keys it was typed on.

    Though I wasn't specifically referring to this exact apology. I feel that far too many public apologies reek of "see I'm not a bad person" rather than "I am actually sorry for this thing I did." Especially some of the ones we've seen from certain fan favourites of the board, where it comes out "I'm sorry you got hurt from what I did but here's why what I did is okay and you're just sensitive."

    ETA:

    @kanye-qwest said in Apology to Darinelle:

    i mean, you could not run your mouth like an asshole while thinking "take this constructively" at the top would change the intended read in some way. That's a solution.

    To be fair, it did change the intended read. From "I am an asshole" to "I am an asshole with a socio-linguistics problem."



  • @kanye-qwest I also think "don't take it on yourself to publicly white knight for people who don't put on their big girl pants" would be a good lesson to take from this whole deal.


  • Pitcrew

    @saosmash Goddamn this. It feels really shitty to be informed by a 'friend' that someone has been talking shit about you. Most of them try to couch it in the whole 'I just want to work things out between you.'

    No. You want to stir the pot. If someone has an issue with me or the way I do things, I expect them to come to me about it if this is truly important to them and it wasn't just a moment of venting out of frustration. If it is serious enough to need a resolution, they need to come to me themselves. If it's not, then I don't need to hear about every time I irritate someone and they needed a moment to bitch.


  • Pitcrew

    @stabeest said in Apology to Darinelle:

    @saosmash Goddamn this. It feels really shitty to be informed by a 'friend' that someone has been talking shit about you. Most of them try to couch it in the whole 'I just want to work things out between you.'

    No. You want to stir the pot. If someone has an issue with me or the way I do things, I expect them to come to me about it if this is truly important to them and it wasn't just a moment of venting out of frustration. If it is serious enough to need a resolution, they need to come to me themselves. If it's not, then I don't need to hear about every time I irritate someone and they needed a moment to bitch.

    I knew someone who would constantly bitch about someone else to me. It was all the time. Every day. Eventually I told them if they didn't stop and go hash it out with the other person I was just going to stop talking to them.

    It didn't stop.

    We don't talk anymore.


  • Admin

    @saosmash said in Apology to Darinelle:

    @tinuviel On the other hand, when you insult someone publicly, why should you get to apologize in private? I'm not super impressed by the public theater either but I don't have a better solution.

    The obvious solution is to not repeatedly do a thing that is worthy of an apology.

    If it's an one-time deal it probably doesn't warrant a public one.

    If it's repeated then the apology itself ought to be the least of a person's concerns.


  • Pitcrew

    It does warrant a public apology.

    The thread did more than just insult Puffin. It created the illusion of a conflict ridden environment where a generality of "people" are upset. In reality I bet it's only one or two.

    But that illusion that it's some silent mass of people can really mess with someone's head and affect future endeavors to the detriment of the majority of players who don't, and never have, felt that way. And by taking the criticisms public instead of having the guts to deal with it one-on-one, in private, now some players might wonder that while they're having fun, is the person next to them having fun or are they one of "the ones"?

    Honesty I see no reason to have put Puffin on blast in the first place unless you were hoping to get tons o' upvotes or some sort of validation from the community. "Going public" is brave when it speaks to unfightable corruption and power, but is cowardice when it's done to avoid private confrontation and I just saw it as an effort to try and create the very "upsets" you claim already existed with "people" so you might see the change you, and you alone, hope for.

    So a public apology is warranted to address the bigger issue of having wove a hostile climate by hiding the identity of accusers and being general and non-specific in claims. In the end, what was done wasn't just "make Puffin feel bad", and the impassioned responses from people who aren't Puffin proves that.

    That being said: I have never been in a GM scene with Puffin, but I have gotten off screen action responses. They have always been creative, detailed and always provided me material to work with. Even when a I was brand new and didn't put in any expectations or much detail in terms of what my character was trying to do or why. I am sure it was frustrating to work with such scant detail and a pretty awful grasp of story from a newbie at that time and yet I always got something awesome. I think it's clear enough how much effort she really does put in to telling a story and trying to make sure everyone has a great time and so other players will take offense at anything threatening that.



  • I only really skimmed your post, but some minor points:

    @deathbird said in Apology to Darinelle:

    now some players might wonder that while they're having fun, is the person next to them having fun

    That's hardly a bad thing. People should be concerned as to whether what they're doing is fun for everyone involved. They should also be concerned as to whether the level of their workload is impacting people.

    @deathbird said in Apology to Darinelle:

    but is cowardice when it's done to avoid private confrontation

    That right there is plain wrong as a generalisation. There are plenty of reasons to state something publicly rather than in a 'one-on-one' that have nothing to do with cowardice. To assume otherwise is, at best, disingenuous.


  • Pitcrew

    Or sometimes, it can be very much a poor judgement of when to post a vent on a message board instead of just keeping it to yourself and letting it cool awhile.

    I cannot tell you how many people I've seen hurt by statements on the MUSH venting thread and others because the person could not even wait for 24 hours to post their vent. Sometimes like right after someone said the thing/did the minor thing that really wasn't super bad but just a peeve, and then it turns into a much bigger hurt than it needed to be.

    Maybe the comments would have been received if there could have been more detail, privately, abut any specific concerns AND ALSO if it wasn't done less than 36 hours after a marathon of many many many days of single/back/simultaneous scenes. And maybe if people waited to post their peeve about something that was just triggered by something that happened for a little while so it wasn't super obvious to the person involved, it would save that too.

    Timing is important. Not that anyone is perfect in the regard.


  • Pitcrew

    At this rate we will need an apology section in this forum.



  • @sunnyj said in Apology to Darinelle:

    At this rate we will need an apology section in this forum.

    I’m sorry you feel that way.


Log in to reply