I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The best things about this site is the lack of rules. And the worst thing? The lack of rules.
Now I am 100% not advocating we abandon rules – or even contemplate ignoring them. Far from it. Nor am I advocating a raft of new ones. That would be plain dumb.
What I am suggesting is that we accept the strengths and limitations and – as a community – we exercise some common sense in this matter.
I’ve lost count of the times when people have quoted non-existent rules to me. You can’t do this or you have to do that they say. Hearsay creates many of these fictional rules. Invariably it is to justify their position or to get their own way. “You can’t decline a skirmish, the rules say so.” “The organiser of a open thread can decide who participates, the rules say so.” “You can’t use a Force Ability unless you have a development thread, the rules…”
Well, you get the idea.
And more recently I’ve come across the exact opposite, which I find even funnier. “I can steal your lightsaber in a thread I created, without your permission, because the rules don’t say I can’t.”
And do you know what, this latter group are right. There are no rules that say you can’t wait for someone to declare they’re on an LOA before starting a thread to steal spaceships from them.
But does that make it right?
And recently I’ve encountered a third set. Ones created for a specific incident and that are applied not in a blanket way – but to penalise individuals. “We’ve decided you can’t do X because you’re in Faction Y.” The fact that they allow others to do X and be in Factions just like Y seems to be lost on them. The fact that *they* do X and are also in Faction Y is most definitely lost on them.
Is if favouritism? Probably. Is it used to allow people they like to join certain ‘open’ groups and exclude others? Definitely – I’ve experienced that personally. And if you dare set up your own group because you’re not ‘allowed’ to join their group, you get threatened. Go figure! I’m lucky. I find such people humorous. Their pettiness amuses me. But others I know won’t take it as lightly. And that bothers me.
But that’s the problems with Factions I hear you cry. The ‘owners’ can do what they want. Except they can’t. Major factions are owned by the members, not the FAs or the FL. But…and this is a valid point…if the members turn a blind eye, then you have to accept what you get. And if you don’t like it, there is always that ‘Leave this Faction’ button of course.
For me, the freedom from rules comes with a responsibility. To exercise that freedom with common sense. I accept my definition of sensible behaviour is different to the next person – but if we all do what we can to make this a community we can all enjoy – instead of just thinking about ourselves?
I dare say it won’t be a backwards step.