Do you know what I did today? Please don’t answer that. Unless you were my wife who works in the same room as me, answering yes would be creepy as all hell. I would rather not like to know that there are people monitoring what I am doing all the time. I write enough fictional conspiracy theory content that I don’t need to make myself check over my shoulder more often.
This morning I woke up at 7 am and immediately jumped into work. I was about four pages of twenty-three pages of content production when my amazing wife walked into the room and scooted a cup of coffee next to my left hand with a piece of toast with jam. I absent mindedly drank my coffee as all my attention was focused on taking the ideas I chewed over in my sleep and get them out of my head onto paper.
It was around 11 o’clock when I found out that a system update to the core program that runs Home of LARP caused some security issues regarding the forums portion of the page. So, I had to suspend the entire site and start checking all of the plug-ins to see if there was a conflict between an old version and a new version of the software.
Sometime around early afternoon I put up the notice that Home of LARP would be down for a bit while I was talking with some of the app support staff as well as activating my 5-hour backup (just in case something major broke). Around this time, I started hearing dozens of pings from Facebook, and after taking a glance, I turned the messenger off so I could get work done.
Around 3 in the afternoon we determined that the search function of Home of LARP was part of the core code, and I had to edit the index files that referenced the mini-search function by hand. This took about two to three hours which brought me to literally grabbing a hemp protein shake before heading out the door for my CrossFit class between 6:30pm and 8pm.
Do you know what I didn’t do today?
I didn’t monitor everyone’s personal Facebook feeds to be involved in brewing drama.
Neither did most of the people who run your games and gaming groups. While some of your game organizers may have desk jobs during the day that allow some additional Facebook time, but many the people who run your gamer groups either have day jobs, or are looking for a day job, or are so ingrained in game design and running that they spend an incredible amount of time buried in their work.
What does this mean? While the the vast majority of leaders of your social communities and gaming groups care about what is going on in their community, you need to give your leaders some degree of clear communication and reasonable time to look into and address potential situations. Most of us don’t live on Facebook tracking who is saying what at all times. We have shit to do, not enough time to do it in, and some of us actively avoid Facebook because of the volume of communication it shouts at us daily.
And while a game community’s guidelines can’t govern and direct you in your everyday life (unless that is the nature of the group you sign up for) they can allow your game runners the tools to address, approach, and adjudicate situations where an individual may not be acting in a way that is healthy for the people in your community. Your community leader needs to look into the reported situation, sometimes check the community guide when a scenario is splitting hairs, and then talk to the people involved so they can make an informed and well developed action. But as a community member you need to give your community leaders reasonable time to address potential issues that are occurring (and maybe give them enough time to get home from work first too) before lighting everything on fire and running around with arms flailing.
Otherwise easily handled situations start to look like the “she’s a witch” scene from Monty Python and everyone is screaming about what to do.