I’ve been watching this thread and the other one (yes, that one) from afar for the past couple of days. I’ve seen a lot of people (many of whom I really like and count as friends) struggling with trying to understand why and how things blew up. There’s a bigger contextual framework at play here, which finally was brought to light and after that things were a touch better. A touch. Sometimes, even when we’re pretty sure we understand why what we did had the effect that it did, trying to explain your good intentions just makes it worse, even though you really did have good intentions and just didn’t know the larger picture. Sometimes it’s better to move on. And yet that thread kept going. And the argument has kept going. And it’s an old argument. One I addressed in the rules of IntroComp years ago, because it is so not a new argument.
But enough of rehashing the IF is Dead thread.
I made a statement off-forum today that some of you may have read. I said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen intfic or its predecessor as a safe space for rational conversation.” First of all, it was a bit over-harsh and I misspoke slightly. I meant to say, “I’ve rarely ever seen intfic or its predecessor as a safe space for rational conversation.” I wanted to clarify this, because it’s a vague enough statement that some might think I was painting with a broader (or thinner) brush than was intended.
Simply put: this place often devolves into unnecessary drama. Fights over interpreters or platforms or OS-specific games or design approaches or why you shouldn’t homebuild or why people who create things for free are somehow obligated to do things as if you’re their paying customer, or, or, or… it (just feels as if it) is rarely about the love of games. The craft, the playing, the appreciation, the thoughtful critique for the sake of improving our work. How can I know that when I’m so rarely here? Because I hear my friends complain about it. I hear them getting frustrated. Sometimes I see them really stressed out about interactions here. Sometimes bordering on physical queasiness. I simply don’t have the bandwidth to self-administer that sort of stress.
That’s the reason I dip into the place once or twice a year, when I need to, to let you all know that IntroComp is happening. And why I’m not around the rest of the time.
If a CoC would make the place better, I might be more inclined to visit. That might be the case for a lot of people. The Choice of Games forum rules of engagement appear quite solid. Thanks, Dan, for weighing in and sharing those as a model so that this group need not invent the wheel.
Merk, I think it would be a shame for you to fully step away. I get you not wanting to be a moderator/admin; I do that in other realms and it’s difficult and not always fun and somewhat draining (though it can be rewarding as well). It does require having a really solid finger on the pulse of what’s happening. But this place is a lot better than its predecessor, and if you walk away it might fall apart. Please consider at least continuing to be the tech brain and solicit the assistance of others for moderating. Hopefully a CoC will allow for the community to do a better job of self-moderation, once it has a clear set of rules — though I think having some thoughtful, inclusive moderators will still be necessary.