I have many, many phrases that I trot out on a regular basis. Facts are facts, opinions of facts are just opinions is one. And the other is that we see things not as they are, but as we are.
What am I waffling on about?
You see I do actually read posts around the board. Most of the time I’m too busy posting, but every now and then I just glance at stuff. And often, in my head, things connect. Hence this blog.
I’ll start by defining CHAOS. Or at least start to. It’s:
  • A writing site
  • A role-playing site
  • A community
  • A chat-site
  • A place to share thoughts and opinions
  • A place to read thoughts and opinions
  • A place to debate
  • A place to learn
  • A place to teach
And I’ll stop there. Because I could go on forever. Now imagine the average person’s activity on CHAOS. It would look something like this:
Yes, the gratuitous use of a pie-chart to make what I’m saying sound vaguely scientific. Or at least mathematical.
The point is, no two people’s pie-chart would look the same. We all do different things. We all want different things from CHAOS.
So why do we seem to judge other’s views on what the board is all about? Recently I noticed this in a few ways — and almost fell into the trap myself on one time.
Someone referred to an aspect of the boards as a game. This was challenged. Not for clarification but from a viewpoint that they were wrong to think that way. And if that wasn’t what they meant, that’s how it read. And perception is king :p
I see Invasions as a different way to tell a story. I see only winners. We all advance our characters. Win-win. Regardless of who takes control of a planet, we all have fun. Who wouldn’t participate in Invasions?
I am aware others see them as a game. See them as competitive. See winners and losers. Someone wins the planet, someone loses it.
Who is right? We both are. I think that a lot of OOC poodoo comes from people not seeing the other side of the coin. I for one have been mega-guilty of this in the past. I also accept that two people who see it as a competition will fall out from time to time (but that’s stuff for a different blog).
My near-post that I finally resisted (I rolled ’01’ to do so) was a debate about the Factory. A subject I have way too many opinions about. But I digress. Which I do.
The debate was that items are bad because they cause an imbalance. This went back and forth and someone said that they weren’t bothered by toys. Because a good writer can beat a good toy any day.
Oh how my fingers poised over the keyboard. And I paused and reflected. And rolled those dice of course. For me, I will always lose to a good toy. Because the way I write, I always decide character actions IC. The writer doesn't win a duel, the character does. So it would have been very easy to jump in and say, “NO. YOU’RE WRONG.” Except they’re not. If they enjoy thinking up ways to combat a particularly nasty situation, then who am I to say they can’t? I have absolutely no right. None. Not any. Just because I don’t write/role-play that way, doesn’t make me right. Or them at my expense. We are, quite simply, both right.
So, the next time you read a comment that does not resonate with the way you perceive the board, or how to role-play, or write, or pretty much anything that is not entirely factual, please pause. Allow me the honour of rolling a ’01’ for you. And consider the possibility that you simply have different opinions. That your views are different but that’s quite healthy.
I’m not advocating the lack of debate, but perhaps the more judicious use of absolutes. Because we all know who uses them don’t we? Obi-Wan. I never trusted him.*
*Obi-Wan — if you’re reading this, it’s only a joke. I’d gladly have your babies — just don’t tell Braith, OK? We can put it down to midi-chlorian manipulation or something. It's been done before. I can claim it's canon...