Sunday, September 2

OOC: An Apology

The only constant is change, and I have been too slow to adapt. The duties of Steelhead Host widened, and I did my best to keep up. The economics changed, and my goal of keeping my avatars self-sufficient quickly slipped from very easy to very difficult, just as I was expanding my holdings. I said words in frustration that should not have been said. I asked for assistance in venues where I should have avoided such pleas. There were multiple gaffes in arranging sponsorships. All of these compounded were too much for the Management to ignore. As of yesterday, I have been divested of the title of Steelhead Host.

I spoke at length with Miss Kattrynn afterwards, and received the full explanation of why she and her Committee came to their decision. We had differing interpretations of certain events, but I accepted her decision, and she accepted my apology. Now, I apologize to the rest of Steelhead.

This is not the first time my attempts to help my virtual community have gone awry. Nor is this the first time I have accepted punishment for it. I still remember how crushed I felt when the man I called my Brother stripped me of the responsibilities of Sheriff. I walked downstairs, saw the cages griefers set up in the Town Hall, and could only sigh.

This is just as painful, The decision was made by a committee, and I do not know the names of everyone in this committee. But I know they are my fellow Citizens.

Directly and indirectly I have received the "It's Just a Game" speech. I contend it is more than that. This is not Warcraft. SL is a medium of communication like the World Wide Web or the telephone. It is the medium through which I have been blessed with many, many friends. Some of you I know by voice and face, others only in pixel. A couple of you, I know, live close enough to meet at a restaurant if it were ever desired. Some of you live on the opposite coast, or the other side of the planet from me. No matter which timezone you are typing from, you mean as much to me as those friends I grew up with. What I regret the most from my actions is disappointing my friends.

I assume they are reminding me of the Game because they are worried about my mental health. Let me assure you, RL comes first in my life. When an emergency pops up IRL, SL gets put on hold. Let me assure you that just because I use "We" when referring to the actions of the characters I portray that I do not have a dissociative disorder. I have been roleplaying through tabletop games, LARPs and MUDs since middle school, and this is the technique I have found works best for me. If you have something OOC to tell me I will put aside the role I am playing and speak to you OOC.

I have lost my dependable source of in-world income. Will I be upset if I lose parcels as a result? Yes. Will I take out my frustrations on people in-game? I promise you not. Will I go drain the liquor cabinet and try to fly off a bridge? Absolutely not. I can still enjoy SL if I don't have a place to tune the radio stream.

When the position of Steelhead Host comes up for recompete, I will reapply as I have been invited to. In the meantime I will flip through my Rolodex and the Search tab to see who needs a host for the 7-10 timeslot. I will keep RPing the public service roles I enjoy so much. I sincerely hope there will be a way I can contribute to the Steelhead community again by doing what I love best -- entertaining.

Respectfully Yours,

A Player in Steelhead


Fuzzball Ortega said...

Second Life is a place where a musician can get his music heard by people, where an artist can showcase their artwork, where a filmmaker could show their short film. A place where you can meet new friends. It's also a place where you can roleplay.

And they used the "It's Only A Game" line, because that's the same line that you've used in the past, you said it on more than one occasion when you ran the town meetings. In email's to me, you compared it to Street Theater.

You're still a citizen of Steelhead City, regardless on if you wind up losing your parcel due to rent increase. Not like you did anything so bad that you're going to get evicted.

Now, about that part where you said after Steelwolf removed the sheriff title and you walked downstairs, saw the griefer cages and the current sheriff not capable of handling these things? Hmmm? C'mon, let's hear it, whatcha got to say?

emillyorr said...

I think the current Sheriff is quite capable of these things. But be fair--just as he lost his position, in that moment, you had not yet been named.

In email's to me, you compared it to Street Theater.

And oh, how some of us adore street theater...

I will agree with the point that it's just a game, it is just a game. Yes, it's one unlike World of Warcraft, unlike Diablo: Battlenet, unlike any other MUD or MMORPG that exists on the grid.

On the other hand, it's a game played with human hearts and minds. What we do in this game does affect others deeply. And it's harder on the grid to live the life of conscious awareness than it is RL. I say something hurtful to someone RL, they can read my body language, or read my body language after and guess my true intent. In SL? It's very similar to the net at large, simple text that can be easily misinterpreted--but we have the visuals that our brains mislead ourselves with, because we think we are dealing with the body language of another person. It can get confusing indeed.