Iâ€™ve said it before and Iâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ as a community â€“ we exercise some common sense in this matter.
Iâ€™ve lost count of the times when people have quoted non-existent rules to me. You canâ€™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. â€œYou canâ€™t decline a skirmish, the rules say so.â€ â€œThe organiser of a open thread can decide who participates, the rules say so.â€ â€œYou canâ€™t use a Force Ability unless you have a development thread, the rulesâ€¦â€
Well, you get the idea.
And more recently Iâ€™ve come across the exact opposite, which I find even funnier. â€œI can steal your lightsaber in a thread I created, without your permission, because the rules donâ€™t say I canâ€™t.â€
And do you know what, this latter group are right. There are no rules that say you canâ€™t wait for someone to declare theyâ€™re on an LOA before starting a thread to steal spaceships from them.
But does that make it right?
And recently Iâ€™ve encountered a third set. Ones created for a specific incident and that are applied not in a blanket way â€“ but to penalise individuals. â€œWeâ€™ve decided you canâ€™t do X because youâ€™re in Faction Y.â€ 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 â€˜openâ€™ groups and exclude others? Definitely â€“ Iâ€™ve experienced that personally. And if you dare set up your own group because youâ€™re not â€˜allowedâ€™ to join their group, you get threatened. Go figure! Iâ€™m lucky. I find such people humorous. Their pettiness amuses me. But others I know wonâ€™t take it as lightly. And that bothers me.
But thatâ€™s the problems with Factions I hear you cry. The â€˜ownersâ€™ can do what they want. Except they canâ€™t. Major factions are owned by the members, not the FAs or the FL. Butâ€¦and this is a valid pointâ€¦if the members turn a blind eye, then you have to accept what you get. And if you donâ€™t like it, there is always that â€˜Leave this Factionâ€™ 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 â€“ but if we all do what we can to make this a community we can all enjoy â€“ instead of just thinking about ourselves?
I dare say it wonâ€™t be a backwards step.