Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's move on.
Saw some blogs about rules, saw some blogs about this and that and the other thing. Transparency and fairness and other neat things. Here's the thing, though. We're all human. Know what that means?
We're naturally and inherently, on some level we recognize or not, in it for ourselves.
Our stories, our characters, our threads, our factions, our technology, our NPCs.
It's natural for humans to be a bit selfish. It's what makes us human.
'Cept you, Tefka. We know you're really a robot overlord AI hive mind waiting for the right moment to take over the world and force us to constantly supply you with endless beer and a sea of hostess cakes.
Joking aside, moving on.
We're naturally selfish because we are human. We are human because we are naturally selfish. This is called... wait for it...
Ages ago, it was for food and water and shelter. Now its for shiny toys and starships and planets on an internet roleplay board. We share our things with our friends because despite being naturally selfish, we tend to prefer not to be alone.
Paradoxical, ain't it?
Long and short is this. We eventually realized that as a group, if we set aside most of our selfishness, we form something called a community. A community gives us the nearness of each other that we crave while still allowing us to be a little selfish of our own, personal things. That said, we give up most of our selfishness in order to form this community. Why?
Well, along with being selfish, humans are fairly industrious. We learned that more humans means more things we can do. More achievements we can accomplish. Think the Great Wall was built by one guy with a lot of time on his hands? Nope. Well, unless you count Minecraft but that's a different story.
Took a community. Took a large community.
Same thing here.
The one thing inherent in any community is rules. Why? That's part of setting aside our selfishness. We agree to abide by basic, common rules. Rules like.. Don't kill your neighbor because you want the steaks on his grill. Don't steal Bob's chickens from his house across town because you want a supply of eggs for breakfast. Don't burn down the town hall because it blocks half the sunset that you enjoy watching.
It's a mix of common sense and common courtesy that applies to all communities.
What's a good example of a community, you ask? Well, small scale, your neighborhood. Larger scale, the town or city. Getting bigger? Nations. Biggest? The frigging planet.
Even the board is a community. See where I'm going, here?
The board has a set of rules and regulations. They're pretty basic, really. None of the complex 'thou shalt not' stuff here. Tef didn't walk down from Mount Interwebz with a pair of server blades to grace us with a code of laws and morals.
Its simple. The chief and main rule that exists is Wheaton's Law. Not sure what Wheaton's Law is?
Don't be a Douche.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Are there rules to prevent you from going out and stealing Ayden Cater's personal speeder? Nope. Are there rules saying you have to give notification before you and your Sith buddies go raiding Voracitus' fridge in a skirmish? Nope. Are you required to alert whoever the hell is in charge of the Republic this week that you plan on launching a coup through IC means in a faction thread? Nuh uh.
Not a one requires you to inform the opposite side of jack all. But should you do it like that?
Wheaton's Law: Don't be a Douche.
Is it a douche move to raid Voracitos' refrigerator without giving him a heads up in a skirmish? Yup. Is it being a douche to start up a thread to steal Ayden's speeder and not give him a head's up? You bet. Is it a douche thing to do to coup the Republic leadership in a IC faction thread without at least giving them a quick notification of it? Yes. Yes it is.
Does that mean you shouldn't do those threads? No, those threads are fine. Go wild wit' yo' bad self.
Just don't be a Douche. Let them know. Give them a head's up.
The rules we have in effect are actually really simple. They're kind of like... a channel for the water to flow down. The members and the threads are the water, the rules are the aqueduct they flow on. When the water gets choppy and spills over the edge, the Admins clean it up and see if it was the aqueduct or the water that caused it.
If it's the water, they shrug and move on. Why? Because what are you gonna do? Tell the water to stop flowing? The mess is cleaned up, the members learn a lesson, and all is well with the world.
If it's the aqueduct, they assess it. See if it needs more shoring up. Does it need a higher wall to keep the water in? Maybe the angle is wrong, does it need to be adjusted? If so, they do what is needed. If not, they go back to maybe it was just the water. A fluke. An anomaly.
Rules are added as they are needed. Look at how the board works. When someone breaks something enough that staff feels it needs to be fixed, they do so. Beskar was being spammed by the Mandos, so they put a dev thread requirement on beskar even for Mandos. Factions were spamming invasion threads to blatantly overwhelm their opponents in numbers before they could even respond, so staff put the stampede rule in place.
You rock the boat, you spill the water, and staff looks at it. If a new rule is needed, they add one.
Do we need more rules? Not really. Not unless they become necessary. Do we need less rules? Not really. Not unless they become obsolete.
It's a balancing act that Staff, a group of volunteers I might add, does to keep the board in one peace and not blowing apart.
Those who demand more rules have no heart. Those who demand less rules have no brain. Those who sit in the middle have no compass.
Where do I sit?
I have no idea. Someone stole my chair.
Yeah, this whole thing? My opinion. Not staff's, not Tefka's, not anybody's but myself. Take it as you will. Like it, dislike it, doesn't matter to me.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programme.