Punishments in MU*


  • Admin

    I'm splitting a different thread into this one since the issue of how punishments and discipline work in MU* warrants its own discussion.



  • Another conversation worth having, jumping off of this point, would be what kinds of punishments are there? Is banning all we have?


  • Pitcrew

    I do not think its ban or nothing.

    There's always a spectrum of player discipline. Whether that's removal of IC or OOC goodies or leadership positions, a temp ban, a verbal warning, ect. It just depends on the actual situation.

    I just think that when it comes to a high level violation (like we are talking about here), I think most places that had a problem with someone who abused their access to "private" info would let them go. Possibly they would disclose why through the grapevine (including here). People who have been removed for cause in regards for using their access to game information or personal behavior violations from one game are often welcomed to another game immediately or even to the same community over time.



  • @mietze said in Privacy in gaming:

    People who have been removed for cause in regards for using their access to game information or personal behavior violations from one game are often welcomed to another game immediately or even to the same community over time.

    Oh, believe me. I am well aware.


  • Pitcrew

    I think most folks are aware. But that is just kind of how things are. Every once in awhile you will have someone who will wear out their welcome almost universally, sorta, even here--but it isnt very often and if they want to they'll be able to find a place to play at.

    That's why I think concentrating on a truly big picture is futile and exhausting. As staff or as a player really the only think you are ever going to be able to control is what you personally do, so I think if privacy and use of information from non game sources is important, you need to ask staff if they do not have a policy posted or write and amend over time if needed as staff.

    We can have the expectation that these things will never change on any game we play/staff, but honestly I'm not sure that is a useful or even realistic expectation.


  • Admin

    @Tinuviel said in Privacy in gaming:

    Another conversation worth having, jumping off of this point, would be what kinds of punishments are there? Is banning all we have?

    Punishments for what though? Unless I misunderstand the question, most of the offenses I have in mind would need staff to be at least complicit, and who's watching the watchmen?



  • @Arkandel said in Privacy in gaming:

    @Tinuviel said in Privacy in gaming:

    Another conversation worth having, jumping off of this point, would be what kinds of punishments are there? Is banning all we have?

    Punishments for what though? Unless I misunderstand the question, most of the offenses I have in mind would need staff to be at least complicit, and who's watching the watchmen?

    In general, not specifically related to massive violations of privacy. We, as in MSB, seem to jump on banning as the only punishment for every single infraction ever.



  • There is a wide range of options other than banning, and mietze covers them nicely.

    I'd like to see them used more often, really.

    It seems like bans or nothing tends to be all there is in practice lately, which unfortunately seems to lead to encourage the spread of a lot of 'unofficial' action taken in the form of harassment and whisper campaigns.



  • @Tinuviel

    I may be guilty of promoting banning as the bet option. I am still of the opinion that it is. But this is because time spent policing is time lost doing more productive things.


  • Pitcrew

    I only play on one game, but it seems like there are very few bans for the size of the population and a great deal of time spent correcting things alternatively. This is true in any game I've ever staffed really.

    I wonder if the perception of "staff only ban or do nothing" is not more because of the perennial "if I dont see it it doesnt exist" than a reality of "either people just ban people or do nothing." Bans are almost always announced. The other stuff rarely is. Which does tie back to a certain part of privacy (not making every player's disciplinary strikes or problems public on game). Man, I feel like I should be proud of myself for staying OT.



  • @mietze said in Privacy in gaming:

    Bans are almost always announced. The other stuff rarely is. Which does tie back to a certain part of privacy (not making every player's disciplinary strikes or problems public on game). Man, I feel like I should be proud of myself for staying OT.

    This. For instance, I got a lot of flak on a game for "not doing anything" about a particular problem player, when in fact there was a series of escalating counselings/warnings/etc. happening behind the scenes. They just weren't broadcast to the world, nor do I think they should have been. It wasn't until the person was banned that everyone was like: "Yes! Finally she did something!"

    If the problem is bad enough that the person doesn't belong in your community, then you ban them. Otherwise I think rehabilitation is more productive than punitive actions.



  • @mietze said in Privacy in gaming:

    I wonder if the perception of "staff only ban or do nothing" is not more because of the perennial "if I dont see it it doesnt exist" than a reality of "either people just ban people or do nothing."

    Well, those aren't the only options. It's more that people say "ban" when they mean "punish", especially on MSB.

    A problem when it comes to any other kind of punitive measure is exactly as you've stated, bans are announced. We all know that optics are half of everything, so often if one doesn't appear to be doing anything then that's what people will assume.

    So a little more detail in policy files as to exactly what your own options are might help. And communicating with complainants that disciplinary measures are being undertaken. The worst feeling in my experience is complaining about someone/something and then just being left to wonder if your complaint actually mattered. Sure, privacy matters, but it's something that has to be somewhat balanced against appearing effective.


  • Pitcrew

    Ultimately, in an online space, "ban" is the only actual power the admins have--or, well, can ethically employ. Temporarily or permanently removing a member's ability to participate.

    Things like verbal warnings have exactly as much weight as the recipient chooses to give them. "Rehabilitation" even more so.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tinuviel honestly when I hear "ban" I do not think of anything other than removal from the game. I was unaware that many people would say "ban" when what they meant was /any/ punishment in game even if it did not remove that player from the game.



  • @insomniac7809 While I agree with this, in most cases -- barring the really egregious ones -- they're first steps worth trying.

    Most people on games do not intend to be assholes, and are assholes without intending to do so. Cluing them in about behavior they likely don't realize is problematic can stop this unintentional assholery, which is conveniently the most common form.

    It's the dedicated assholes -- those that don't care that they're creating issues with their asshole behavior -- that just need to be shown the damn door with no regrets.

    It isn't often too difficult to tell one group from the other. We tend to pretend it is harder than it actually is. The "I had no idea" excuse? Your decent folk will generally feel bad and want to make right, even if they had no idea their behavior constituted being an asshole. Your dedicated asshole will continue to feign innocence/obfuscate/misdirect/shift blame or argue or try to throw themselves a (usually wildly over the top) pity party, but they won't feel a shred of remorse or regret and they will care even less than that about making right. It is really, really not difficult to distinguish between the two types, and we need to stop pretending otherwise sooner or later.


  • Pitcrew

    @surreality Yeah, I don't disagree with anything above.

    One or more "seriously, knock it off" conversations are perfectly reasonable with people who are generally good actors but are stepping out of line, absolutely. (I also don't, necessarily, share some other posters' reservations about sharing them publicly, or at least being forthright about them. "X behavior is not acceptable, and Y member has been made aware of it" is generally a good look for an admin, in my experience.)

    I also think short-term bans can be useful, both for "we are serious about this" and "take a bit of time off to get your head straight" value.


  • Pitcrew

    Also in some cases a player is a perfectly good player in 90% of circumstances and can simply be made not to do the remaining 10% anymore.

    Like that guy who was a great roleplayer but whenever he ran a PrP it was awful and created staff headaches.So eventually he got told in no uncertain terms that we appreciate him as a player but he wasn't allowed to run PrPs anymore.

    That fixed the problem. Sure we had no code to back this restriction up, but we didn't need any.



  • @DareDaemon said in Privacy in gaming:

    Like that guy who was a great roleplayer but whenever he ran a PrP it was awful and created staff headaches.So eventually he got told in no uncertain terms that we appreciate him as a player but he wasn't allowed to run PrPs anymore.

    Makes sense. Some people can't handle the responsibility of getting some level of perceived power over other players. Some can't handle it in character, some can't handle it out of. Same reason some people need to only be told in character what they know in character while other players happily exchange logs and giggles out of character. Seems a very sensible solution to me.



  • @L-B-Heuschkel said in Privacy in gaming:

    "We are looking into it and trying to handle it, let us know if it happens again" will get you a lot further than radio silence, in terms of player patience.

    Absolutely, but that's targeted to the person making the complaint. There's a HUGE difference between that and public shaming of a bbpost saying "Faraday screwed up and has been warned." If I saw a game doing that for every infraction, it would be a huge red flag to me. But that's just me personally.



  • @faraday said in Privacy in gaming:

    Absolutely, but that's targeted to the person making the complaint. There's a HUGE difference between that and public shaming of a bbpost saying "Faraday screwed up and has been warned." If I saw a game doing that for every infraction, it would be a huge red flag to me. But that's just me personally.

    Agreed. Public naming and shaming would make me pack up and leave very quick. I don't need to know who screwed up where and how. All I need to know as a player is that complaints are addressed and attempted resolved, not the specifics.


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