Posted tagged ‘guild stuff’

About my Policy Fiddling Hobby, Part 2

December 6, 2010

If you’ve read part 1 properly, then you’re super pumped about guild policy stuff now. Or maybe you’re not but you’re nosy about the inner workings of my guild (I can’t blame you, I’m always nosy about the inner workings of my guild too- I mean I like reading about other guilds).

Note that everything quoted here is still in draft mode and may or may not be accepted by my guild’s leadership. It’s really difficult to self evaluate clarity and concision so maybe all these quotes are crappy after all.

What I’m going to do in this post is talk about parts of the guild policy that I found more challenging to word and give a sample of the end result. None of the topics here will be revolutionary or shocking to guildies, they’re all either descriptions of Conquest’s current reality, or Cataclysm related policies that are consistent with our guild’s functioning. (And to guildies reading this: remember this is a draft form, if you do have comments on anything quoted here, please wait until the final version is posted on the website.)
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About my Policy Fiddling Hobby, Part 1

December 5, 2010

I’ve been swamped with Cataclysm and finals preparations…despite what Kurn may say, for me, Cataclysm preparation has very little to do with in-game stuff and a lot to do with pre-studying for finals so I can actually play the expansion without ruining my GPA. However, like Kurn, I’m a team player and I did contribute to my guild’s Cataclysm preparation by pitching in with policy updates.

That’s right, guild policy update. This post is going to be about guild policy updates.

I know the term policy has a tendency to trigger an irresistible urge to sleep, especially if guild politics aren’t your thing. Just grab some coffee and I promise I won’t be too dry.

As a matter of fact, I think this is such an exciting and fascinating topic that I’ve split it into two parts! The first part (this one!) is about my experience and my attempts to convince you that guild policies aren’t horrible, scary things. The second part will go into specifics with some examples of how I handled the wording. (I freely admit part II exists for the sole purpose of showing off quotes I’m proud of.)

I like knowing what’s expected of me, don’t you?

I volunteered to update our guild policies. I’m not an officer, heck, with my crazy lifestyle, I struggle to keep my raider status. But I’ve disliked my guild’s website since day 1. Rules, details about guild functioning and culture, loot system explanations, etc., were scattered throughout individual threads in several forums, mixed in with regular chitchat threads. Some information about the guild wasn’t available at all.

Had I not heard and read about the workings of Conquest from Matticus (our GM) and Sydera, had this been a random guild website, I wouldn’t have applied. (And I would have missed out.)
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Of Guilds and of Blogging

March 4, 2010

Note: This post is crazy long. That’s what happens when I’m away from my blog for more than a weekend. The words build up and come out all at the same time. I wrote this for myself because I’ve been thinking about the topic quite a bit lately and it’s driving me nuts. I considered splitting the post into two, but it’s too personal to be worth it.

I hate getting into hot blogging trends. Unless it’s an official Shared Topic, the more people talk about something, the more I write about everything but. I’m special, unique snowflake dammit!

I do, however, love thinking about blogging. I also love talking about anything guild-related. I’m somewhat of a closet amateur social anthropologist. Anything that has to do about how people interact with each other, about cultures, about communication, about influence, about social behaviour just gets me giddy. And the young, diverse, strange, ever changing social world of the internet? OMG! Just thinking about it makes me want to jump up and down in excitement.

What can I say? Some people are big into birds, others into sports, I’m a geek for social anthropology. I have no training for it, though, (two level 100 courses I took while on student exchange don’t count) so I kind of fumble around topics in hazy bliss. May real social anthropologists forgive me.

But anyway, I talk a lot about guild stuff on my blog. As a result, I’m constantly worrying about crossing the line. It’s important to me to show respect towards my guildies and to have respect for the work the officers put into the guild. I don’t want to censor myself, yet it’s not my place to criticize others, or be the cause of hurt feelings.

So, to make myself happy, I’m going to jump onto the bandwagon and bring up the very topic that’s been discussed on bit on Twitter, and posted about by Cassandri, Tam, Larísa, Anea, Pugnacious Priest as well as my own guild master, Matticus. Besides, I’ve been very good lately and put my schoolwork before my blogging for FOUR (4) WHOLE DAYS! (OMG IT WAS SO HARD TO DO! Blogging is such a drug.) I totally deserve a self indulgent post.

Inserting a cut here for your scrolling ease (sorry feedreader people) (more…)

Topic to Ponder: Sexism or…

January 12, 2010

Yes, once again I’m stuck in an airport. After staying up all night getting ready for the flight, I arrived at the airport, only to find out my flight’s been canceled. In the past 6 hours, I’ve done some achievements I’d been putting off in WoW (until servers went down for maintenance), ate some overpriced airport food and read several chapters of the book I’ve been trying to get through since this summer. Now I’m just staring into space and letting my sleep deprived mind run wild.

Since writing my posts on the Treatment of Women in WoW (Part 1 and Part 2), I’ve been particularly attentive to gender issues in the game. I’m noticing behaviors I hadn’t remarked before, I’m more conscious of my own behavior as a female player and I’m remembering various issues from the past.

In pharmacy school, they constantly remind us to “treat the patient, not the test results.” It basically means that while test results will give you some general information on your patient, they don’t show you the whole picture. And in some occasions, the test results might even be mistaken. In every day (and WoW) life, I’m a huge proponent of “look at the person, not their gender.” It’s the same principle.

However, some time back, in my old guild, I encountered a situation where I couldn’t do that. The situation can be summed up to one line:

15 year old girl looking for guild.

The decision to decline her application was unanimous.

It had nothing to do with her application itself. It had nothing to do with her character or her estimated playing skill. It had nothing to do with her personality and potential for “drama”.

It had everything to do with us not wanting her exposed to flirting or obscenities from men older than her father and anything that may entail. While the /g environment was pretty mild, fact remained that it could get pretty mature (or immature, depending on how you look at it) at any time. We didn’t want to be responsible for exposing a teenage girl to that. Oh, bad behavior coming from her peers would be one thing, but from us, it was a different story. I was also personally concerned about what her parents would feel if they read /g over her shoulder. It wouldn’t take much to land us in trouble with them.

Furthermore, there’s no control over what goes on in whispers. We liked to believe that all our guildies were good people and not perverts, but really, you never know. The last thing we wanted was to read in the paper that she’d run away to meet up with some weirdo she’d met in our guild.

It’s an unfortunate reality. We had to turn her down based on her gender. Yes, it was the combination of her age and her gender, but it was nonetheless her gender that forced us to turn her down. You just can’t consider a teenage girl applicant the same way you would a teenage boy applicant. The implications are just too different.

Even in day to day life, I don’t treat teenage girls the same way I treat teenage boys. With teenage guys, I’m very laid back and I’ll typically speak to them at their level. I’m very tolerant, and if I do have to call them to order, I’ll do it with humour or I’ll use intentional ignoring. With teenage girls, though, I hold myself to higher standards, as if I’m trying to set an example. I might even bring my mommy side if needed.

When I sit and think about it, I get sad. It’s awful and it’s sexist. Gender shouldn’t be the determining factor as to which opportunities are available to us, even in a silly video game. Yet even with my love of problem solving, I don’t see a solution.

Of The Treatment of Women in WoW, part 2

December 31, 2009

Welcome to part 2 of a topic I’m sharing with Anea from Oh look, it’s an alt! (She doesn’t have her take up yet, but I’m sure she will soon!). This is a direct continuation from part 1, so I would recommend reading that first if you haven’t already.


OMG It’s a GIRL!

Ah, the joys of speaking on vent for the first time in a PuG. Most of the time, my delicate, sultry feminine voice (for the record, I talk off key so my voice is actually horrid) doesn’t cause too much of a commotion. Every now and again, though, it happens. “OMG WE HAVE A GIRL IN THE RAID!!! SQUEEEEEEEEE

I can’t help but feel a wave of pity whenever that happens. You have to wonder what kind of sheltered lives some people have. But if it makes them giddy and happy to have a woman in the chatroom, I’m not going to burst their bubble. I roll my eyes, smile and ask if everyone is ready to start the fight.

Women are cute and cuddly – every man should own one.

To be honest, I don’t really notice sexist jokes. Mainly because I’m far too busy making sexist jokes against men. But because I know this bothers a lot of female gamers, here’s how I handle it.

If I want to call a group to order, I have two lines to choose from.
1- Now children, less chatting, more killing.
2- (In a mockingly annoyed tone) You’re such boys.

Otherwise,

Why do all men like smart women?
Opposites attract.

When would you want a man’s company?
When he owns it.

What are my four favorite animals?
A mink in my closet, a Jaguar in my garage, a tiger in my bedroom,
and a Jackass to pay for it all.

Why did God create man?
Because a vibrator can’t mow the lawn.

I strongly suggest any woman who spends a lot of time in testosterone-filled environments have a list of sexist jokes on hand.

The “Aww You’re So Cute” Card

I like to think I’m pretty tolerant. I’m as much of a bra-burning feminist as the next female WoW player, but I can understand that boys will be boys. I get over stuff easily and can take most blows with humour. But there’s one thing that just gets under my skin.

Me: Well, I think XYZ about this topic.
Male WoW Person: You’re so adorable.

This is different from flirting. Flirting is flattering. This is an insult. The message here is “your role is not to give your opinion on this intelligent topic, your role is to be cute”.

On the rare chance that it is a huge turn on to hear a woman’s opinion on a topic (back to sheltered lives, I guess), there’s still a time and a place for everything. Right now we’re discussing this topic. If you want to gush about the sexiness of women who get involved in discussions, you’re welcome to do so after we’re finished.

In my experience, this doesn’t occur very often, and it’s generally very, um, simple, men who play the “aww you’re so cute card”. My guess is that they, themselves, have nothing to offer to the conversation and are just looking to draw attention to something else. It still bothers me, though. I like conversations.

Of course, now my guildies are going to read this and will say “awww you’re so cute” everytime I say something. =/

I’m going to go easy on you because you’re a girl

Well Intended Guildie: Does our language offend you?
Me: No.

Me: But I’m kind of offended that you think I’m offended.
Well Intended Guildie: Oh…sorry…really?
Me: (laughing) You dummy.

The woes of being a modern woman.

On one hand, I’m always delighted when someone takes into consideration the fact that I might not have the same sense of humour, the same ways of communicating or the same tolerance to teasing as the guys.

On the other, I’m not exactly a porcelain doll either and I like when people can just be themselves. I enjoy being considered one of the gang and I get very annoyed when I realize someone is walking on eggshells to avoid offending me. Plus, as hard as I try to be classy, I have the dirtiest sense of humour in the world. Being deprived of dirty jokes is a tragedy to me.

And if I’m confused on how I expect to be treated as a woman, I can’t imagine how confusing it must be for those around me!

I’m not going to deny the fact that “locker room talk” often conjures flashbacks of being in the sixth grade, sitting in the back of a schoolbus and thinking that the boys around me are so stupid. I’m also going to say that I empathize with women who don’t like the use of certain words (“rape” is the typical example). While I’m extremely lucky those words don’t evoke anything to me, I can definitely see why there’s nothing funny about them.

At the same time, I appreciate that sometimes guys need to be guys. And I have to admit that I secretly laugh at things I shouldn’t.

Of Sexism and Harassment

I’ve seen many complaints on message boards from women saying they weren’t treated as equals in their guilds. I’ve seen women (well, generally younger girls) get badly mistreated in trade chat. I’m not going to pretend it never happens. Obviously it does. There are ways to avoid sexism though.

Pick your battles. Your average trade chat jerk is the male version of the girl who posts pictures of her boobs all over the internet. Same for the dumbass pug guy. They’re not flamboyant misogynists, they just want a reaction. The more you react, the more they’ll do it. Unless you enjoy arguing with them, they need to be ignored. If you can’t tune them out, leave trade or find a new PuG. Yes, there are situations in life where you shouldn’t give in. You know, like when your job or safety are in question. But this isn’t a battle worth fighting.

Choose your guild carefully. If you play a lot, these are the people you’ll be spending a lot of your evenings with. It’s worth going the extra mile to get an idea of how they view female players before you join. Do they have female officers? How do male and female members interact on the forums? Don’t buy crap about “stuff being worse elsewhere”. There are a lot of excellent, open minded guilds out there.

Don’t automatically assume it’s because you’re a woman. I remember the first few times I tried to raid lead. It was awful. I had ZERO authority. It would have been so easy to assume that they wouldn’t listen to me because I was woman. Instead, I prepared better for my raids. I pushed the group harder. I spoke more confidently. Magically, everything fell into place.

In the end, WoW is a social game. It’s a game, it should be fun. It’s also social and subjected to the same issues you would get in the offline world, with the addition of anonymity allowing people to get away with just about anything. As a woman in WoW, my power over how I’m treated lies in setting my boundaries and finding fellow players who can respect them. It’s not the place to try to change mentalities. Should us women be trying to change mentalities? Yes! But in the offline world. Volunteer at a woman’s shelter, educate yourselves about social issues, heck educate yourselves about everything, read, be strong and positive role models to young girls, do what you love with your lives, take care of yourselves. We have enough to battles to fight in the real world to waste our time arguing with people in WoW.

It’s that, um, yeah, you know : Bringing up (and keeping up) a delicate topic

October 29, 2009

I like to read guild management blogs (because as my guildies put it, I’m a weirdo) and I see a lot of “these are things you have to confront guildies about” guides. However, I don’t recall ever seeing advice that went beyond: “you need to address these issues for the good of the guild, it’ll be hard but you need to do it”.

As I’ve already pointed out, I’m a weirdo. I enjoy talking to people about delicate topics such as performance improvement or mild disciplinary issues (you know, the type that don’t warrant a /gkick, but need to be addressed with more than a “stop that”). Maybe its because I don’t view it as “being a jerk” or maybe its because these kinds of conversations create somewhat of a bond between myself and the person I’m speaking with. Regardless, I see too many people around me struggle with bringing up and discussing delicate subjects. So here’s one easy way to do it:
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Life After Leadership: a Control Freak’s Nightmare

October 19, 2009

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a control freak. Ok, more than just a bit. Maybe two bits. Or three. It’s one of those things that I accept as part of my personality and heritage. My mother was a control freak, her mother was a control freak, her mother was kind of a control freak but it was ok because she was a single mom in WWII times and I bet her mother before that was a control freak too. To those who don’t know me well, I come across as organized so it’s rarely a problem. When is it a problem? When I decide to let go and not take charge.

A couple of posts back, I talked about my decision to resign as an officer in my guild. The current state of affairs is irrelevant and I’m sure no one cares anyway. Nor do I even know the current state of affairs because I managed to get through a few days without begging for news. You have to understand, not begging for news is a big deal for me. I’m very excited about my progress in that respect.

So at first I kind of felt bad for just walking out on everyone. Then I was relieved. Then I was immensely sad for about a day. Then things went back to normal, or almost.

Old habits die hard.
Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T MOVE MORE THAN FIVE THINGS FROM ONE BANK TAB TO ANOTHER?!?! ALL THOSE ORE STACKS ARE IN THE WRONG TAB AND THERE ARE MORE THAN FIVE!!!! SOMEBODY CLEAN THE FRIGGIN BANK BEFORE MY EYES BLEED. (Note that this ended up being taken literally by a hacker and my bank griefs were solved for a few days)

I don’t care what you say, no one does things as well as I do.
Me: THATS NOT HOW YOU POST A TEN MAN RAID! YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG! NO ONE WILL SIGN UP, NO ONE!
10 man raid person: There are signups.
Me: THEY DIDN’T SIGN UP PROPERLY DAMMIT

You can’t take the bossy out of Miss Bossypally.
Random person X: Random person Y isn’t flasked/gemmed/enchanted/typing legibly
Me: I’ll fix that.
….
Me: Crap.

And I need to know the what, when, how, where, how much of everything.
Me: Why didn’t random person W get slotted and random person Z did?
Wise raid leader: *gives reasonable explanation*
Me: Yes but….
Wise raid leader: *gives more perfectly reasonable explanation*
Me: How about random person V?
Wise raid leader: Did you hear divine sacrifice is getting changed in 3.3?
Me: *falls for it every time*

One thing is going wonderfully: not setting pally buff assignments. I thought it would be the hardest habit to rid myself of since I claimed and jealously defended the “official buff person” title nearly two years ago. Boy, was I wrong. I can’t begin to describe the satisfaction I feel when someone complains about pally buffs. I just happily alt-tab out, purring “not my problem”.

What is excruciatingly difficult is being confronted to the very thing that causes a person to become a control freak: the fear of not being needed, of not mattering. While it is no laughing matter, sometimes it is expressed in strange ways.
Me: OMG HOW DARE YOU DO THE DAILY WITHOUT ME.
Daily people: You were on a non-guild alt when we started.
Me: YOU COULD HAVE ASKED ANYWAY!
Daily people: We did ask you when you were on your main half an hour ago and you said no.
Me: WELL MAYBE I CHANGED MY MIND!
Daily people: We’ll run it with you afterwards on our alts.
Me: NO, I DONT WANT TO DO IT AFTERWARDS! I HATE YOU ALL!!!!

I’ll be terribly heartbroken, but not surprised if I log in one day to discover that my 80s are no longer guilded.

Signed, your guild’s spoiled brat

July 14, 2009

This is going to be an unusual follow up to my positivity post…. Sometimes I wish my guildmates weren’t so mature. Yes, yes, not a thing you hear every day! See, I’m a big baby and I’m embarassed about it. In real life, nobody notices cause there are always louder, crankier babies around. But in my guild? It’s like I log on and I have about 24 daddies (and 3 mommies) to take care of me. So in hopes of poking fun at myself, or finding fellow spoiled brats who might relate, here are some situations that automatically turn me into a 3 year old stomping her foot:

- Not getting slotted for a raid
– Not getting slotted for a raid that I actually organised (although the fact that it even happens makes you wonder!)
– People asking for buffs while I’m still running back (OMG PATIENCE PEOPLE!)
– Not being assigned to tank X (unless I’m healing, when I’m healing I’m not interested in tanking X, just thought I should clarify)
– Someone asking for a heal (like I’m TOTALLY not watching your health bar)
– Not getting an immediate response to a question
– When something I say in chat is overlooked
– Being forgotten when summons are tossed out
– Being made fun of when trying to explain a fight for the first time

Oddly enough, loot issues (which seems to be a predominant culprit when it comes to hissy fits) rarely phase me. But for everyting else, heaven forbid the world doesn’t revolve around me!

I don’t know about other spoiled brats, but I’m thankful that people around me in game ignore my little spats or gently tease me about them. I suppose it could be insulting, but I find it reassuring when one of the guys says “you’re cute when you’re angry”. I see it as “Yes, we both know you’re getting upset about something you shouldn’t, but I’ll still talk to you after you calm down.” After raid where I’ve been more fragile than usual, say after a rough day at work (my job is pretty intense!) or during finals week, I always cringe. Did my childishness annoy everyone? Will I log on to find I’ve been demoted? What if they gkick me? It’s so comforting to log on and have everyone act like nothing happened.

When it comes down to it, I do wish I wasn’t the only big baby in the guild, but at the same time, I guess I’m kind of grateful that my guildmates are mature enough to let my storms pass through and are ready to play again when I am.


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