A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like


  • Coder

    Bringing this out of the Fate's Harvest thread out of request of the staff of FH. I've also generalized the thread name because there's a lot we don't like, and we can be constructive about it.

    So let's be at least somewhat constructive. This is probably going to get touchy, so if we find ourselves getting shouty, someone just pipe up to remind them.

    Yes, I'm very much talking to myself here as well.

    @Ghost said in Fate's Harvest BETA Live (Full Open Soon):

    All Witch Hunt wording aside, I think this situation is pretty interesting.

    • A number of players won't even play on games she's on, sort of out of protest to staff
    • If VASpider were to open a game, she'd have to do it incognito or else word would spread and she'd never get the attendance.

    So I've gotta ask constructively, what's the end game, here? Just a bitch session about her, or is there some kind of communal effort to auto-ban and exile her from the hobby altogether?

    My personal goal is to see that she does not find quarter to start her pattern of being nice until something changes then absorbing the fun of others. That is, that people know who she is; they can make their own decisions from there. I pretty much have one long-term rule in this hobby: If people show that they are willing--to change, to apologize, to step back, to help, to be a positive influence, however you want to phrase this--then I'm willing to try to understand and accept them. VASpider is on a list of currently one person who has repeatedly failed this test in ways that have hurt others including those who considered her a friend and those who trusted her to have their back.

    I think that everyone else here except me and @Miss-Demeanor were just venting off steam about Spider in general. I know that others have plenty of right to say something about her, but didn't, and they are quiet heroes. I even tried to keep my vitriol down and understanding high.

    --

    One of the reasons I generalized the thread title is because many of us have felt this way about someone, and addressing it more analytically than passionately may, I hope, allow others to look at their online relationships in general instead of this one specifically. It's easy to talk about people like Custodius and everyone will nod and say how horrible a human being and troll he is, but it's harder to talk about someone who is both nice and selfish, both friendly and self-serving, someone who can be a hell of a lot of fun to be around but only if you're in and/or not threatening their circle. I point at people at the Five Geek Social Fallacies a lot as a primer of warning signs.

    Otherwise, the answer to your question, Ghost, is going to be very personal. (Generalizing a personal opinion, Theno; are you insane? No, just being Theno.) This, at least, is my answer.


  • Coder

    While we may label some threads and discussions about individuals as 'witch hunts', there is some positive usage of such threads to others who are innocent but vested bystanders. It serves as a heads-up to asshattery. It serves as a warning that So-and-So is on That Place, and that can help others:

    • Guard themselves a bit when interacting with them.
    • Identify destructive/negative behavior sooner rather than later.
    • Avoid them altogether, if they so choose.

    Just sitting and bitching about someone isn't constructive, giving examples and semi-factual data is.



  • Abuse thrives in silence.


  • Coder

    @Rook

    Do you have an objection that you want more hard complaint than soft complaint? I'm not sure the purpose of what you just said otherwise. And there were more than a few straight-up examples of Spider's behavior in the other thread, examples in which were called "shit-talking". You can't please everyone.



  • I would like to state for the record that my 'quoted' comment above was not intended to in any way start any sort of actual mob-rule banning effort, nor was it intended to start anything, really.

    Given the high levels of subjectivity and the behavior of some individuals in this hobby, I would also like to state, for the record, that I think that this thread is a bad idea, as like all threads, it will only devolve into Hog Pit levels of mob justice and crazytown bullshit.

    I have nothing that I would like to contribute. The people I have issues with, I will deal with directly if I feel like bridging the gap. If I do not, I give them their room to RP in peace. I see nothing constructive about airing issues that will likely not resolve in any constructive manner by placing them before an audience of trolls and cliques.


  • Pitcrew

    Something I am curious about:

    How long has she been playing Gisa? More to the point - How long was she playing Gisa before the news broke?

    How has she behaved thus far? Someone's indicated she has the uber-enthusiasm thing going and for them it's an irritant. Has she exhibited the known toxic warning signs, and if not, is it still within the time frame that she usually would by now?

    I haven't been on the game, so I couldn't say.


  • Coder

    @Thenomain
    No no. I was posting in the spirit of a more generalized thread, not her specifically. It seems to me that the comment of 'why start a thread like this' is going to come up rather quickly, so I guess I sort of answered that. Dumb?


  • Coder

    @Ghost said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    I would like to state for the record that my 'quoted' comment above was not intended to in any way start any sort of actual mob-rule banning effort, nor was it intended to start anything, really.

    Then my Rhetorical Question sensor is on the fritz, sorry.

    --

    @Rook said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    @Thenomain
    No no. I was posting in the spirit of a more generalized thread, not her specifically. It seems to me that the comment of 'why start a thread like this' is going to come up rather quickly, so I guess I sort of answered that. Dumb?

    Nope, makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.


  • Admin

    @Paris said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    Abuse thrives in silence.

    Abuse thrives on inaction.

    There are plenty of people for whom there have been plenty of complaints, logs, incidents... and none of them satisfy staff 'enough'. They are too circumstantial, the offending player hasn't done anything on that one game yet, or enough apologists are coming up to muddle the waters and make it sound like it's a he-said she-said affair even when it's really not.

    If staff are willing to sit on the fence then they walk away unscathed. There's a long list of games where exactly that has happened - or, worse, where the people who stepped up were left out to dry afterwards and faced the consequences of speaking up as staff looked the other way as hard as they could due to reasons.

    Where there is no will there is no way.



  • That too, yep.



  • @Thenomain said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    @Ghost said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    I would like to state for the record that my 'quoted' comment above was not intended to in any way start any sort of actual mob-rule banning effort, nor was it intended to start anything, really.

    Then my Rhetorical Question sensor is on the fritz, sorry.

    It's all good. If YOU want to start that up? Go right ahead. You're your own person. I just wanted to throw out there for the record that I had no intention of handing out torches and pitchforks.

    I have this habit of typing things that are philosophical in my head, so I should clarify. The purpose behind that comment was to more philosophically ask: "Okay, so you really dislike her, but what's the point in just complaining and avoiding, what's your end game? You either DO something about it, or learn the risk factors and mitigate it."

    (i.e. perhaps the better way of dealing with it in the long term might be to encourage her to roleplay openly with everyone knowing who she is, and then watch for the behaviors. If an open statement is made: We don't like the way you manipulate shit, and players make it clear to staff that they won't stay if she is allowed and if those behaviors persist, then staff will have to choose to ignore so many players' stances or adhere to them. VASpider would then, in theory, get with the program, behave, and life will go on)


  • Creator

    One of my big peeves about games is how staff need players to explicitly break some super well-defined rule in order for something to count as harassment or a big problem. Putting people's emotional well-being behind bureaocratic red tape is something I see as a problem


  • Politics

    @Ghost said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    I have this habit of typing things that are philosophical in my head, so I should clarify. The purpose behind that comment was to more philosophically ask: "Okay, so you really dislike her, but what's the point in just complaining and avoiding, what's your end game? You either DO something about it, or learn the risk factors and mitigate it."

    The only justice we can ever hope for in this hobby is for people to learn their lessons and pass on their wisdom.

    That's what I'm doing here.


  • Pitcrew

    @Cupcake said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    How has she behaved thus far? Someone's indicated she has the uber-enthusiasm thing going and for them it's an irritant. Has she exhibited the known toxic warning signs, and if not, is it still within the time frame that she usually would by now?

    It wasn't just uber enthusiasm... it was a sort of fake enthusiasm/friendliness. To give a specific example: our mutual friend, Byron. He tried to engage her in conversation in the OOC Lounge and she just flat ignored him, to the point that he logged off for the evening.

    It was the steamroll effect. The 'I am HERE I am LOUD I am SUPER FRIENDLY... but I will ignore those I don't like while being super loud and active enough that hopefully no one will notice.'

    And to me that was v. toxic, but I didn't see it affecting anyone beyond myself and the one friend, so I didn't voice anything at the time and then the migraines ramped up and school got super busy, so I was inactive (thus unable to see if it was a one-off incident) until it cropped up in the thread.


  • Coder

    @Ghost

    Also extremely fair. My end-game is noted, and so yes I took your philosophical thoughts and ran with it. Not going to blame anyone for going, "Argh, don't blame me if this goes sour!" I'll take that hit.

    But people also need to know how to identify someone they might not like but still should put up with, or how to deal with people they think may be a problem. Being able to talk it over and have people with perhaps more level-heads say, "Theno stop spazzing out, this isn't a big deal."

    I've had one or two people tell me, "This is how you are, Theno, and this is why people don't take you seriously." (Alternatively: why people don't come to me for help.) I've tried to take it to heart--with varying success, obviously--and knowing how to be your own sensible friend is a pretty potent skill.

    It's also nice to know when you aren't crazy, when someone you've been trying to be the better person with and understanding and so forth is just not worth it.

    This is the "knowing" part, only half the battle, but the other half is going on in some discussion already so I wanted to shine a brief spotlight on the Identify The Root Problem part, because sometimes it's us and sometimes it's not.


  • Admin

    @HelloProject said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    One of my big peeves about games is how staff need players to explicitly break some super well-defined rule in order for something to count as harassment or a big problem. Putting people's emotional well-being behind bureaocratic red tape is something I see as a problem

    That's coming from a good place. As staff I don't want to go after a player simply because I don't like him, or because someone I do like doesn't get along with them, right? So I want to make sure I'm doing the same thing... and MU* being what they are, evidence is in damn short supply.

    It's very often all circumstantial - sure, there's no way Bob and Jane had time to actually roleplay voting you down since Jane only created yesterday and just happened to give Bob exactly the extra Bob he needed. Sure, the whole plan was hashed out on a faction channel OOC and there's a log but there's no way to prove they didn't actually play it out as well. Your potential allies are suddenly getting offers to play and change their mind after you're in a scene with them which is obviously due to OOC +where stalking can do you have a way to prove that?

    I've seen all of those things happen, and reported them at the time. Do I blame staff for not doing anything? Yeeeah but kind of see why they didn't also. To me it was transparent but to them less so.

    Then again there are times when it just becomes gross. The female staffer a friend of mine went to on HM to report Juerg outright telling her (with logs) OOC she could either TS him or he would chase her out of the sphere, who told her she should stop whining and face the consequences of her IC actions? Now, that lady can go fuck herself.



  • @Ghost said in A Constructive Thread About People We Might Not Like:

    (i.e. perhaps the better way of dealing with it in the long term might be to encourage her to roleplay openly with everyone knowing who she is, and then watch for the behaviors. If an open statement is made: We don't like the way you manipulate shit, and players make it clear to staff that they won't stay if she is allowed and if those behaviors persist, then staff will have to choose to ignore so many players' stances or adhere to them.

    She already knows all this. She's been told all this for years. She doesn't care. At some point, treat people like grownups and accept that they are showing you their true face.

    She's not a newbie, she's not naive, and she is not ignorant of any of these things. She has not changed her behavior in over a decade of being told all this. Her most recent post made this pretty clear.

    All you are doing is enabling her. Plenty of people have, that's why she's still around.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ghost Out of curiosity, is there a way people can basically express their experience of a toxic player's cycles and history in a manner that doesn't trip your line of "this is going to turn into a witch-hunt"? I'm asking that non-sarcastically. I think people have described the utility of records like this, which is basically: forearmed is forewarned. If someone has a really long history of acting shitty (and already going through second chances, third chances, fourth, etc.), isn't there value in giving others who haven't come across them yet a heads up? A level of education so that they can at least take a bit of care in their interactions?



  • @Roz Non-sarcastic reply?

    I don't know the answer to that question.

    I believe the behaviors and mob-rule factor of MSB/WORA to be more of an impediment to constructive conflict resolution. I've handled plenty of issues quietly and maturely 1on1, and I'm not entirely sure the best way to handle when people have issues with other players on a larger scale. I do know that there are people who abuse this process by spreading misinformation out of scorn, having been a victim of that sort of thing, myself.

    So I'd hate to see such an open forum used to attack innocent players by claiming they're a witch! and throwing them on the fire to see if they burned. Something about it just seems...really risky and could result in a lot more issues than issues resolved. That's all.



  • The thing to remember here is Spider IS a witch. She's already been tested enough times with the result a clear one.

    If it was somebody with no history of asshattery yet, that's a much different story.


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