If you’re looking for instant gratification or one stop solutions I’d ask that you come back later when you can give this post a few dedicated moments of your time. While this particular post won’t have any concrete or immediate effects that go along with it I do expect to follow up with more detailed information as things develop and decisions are made.
I remember joining Warrior Nation like it was yesterday, so clearly that part of me thinks that I’m likely just making up whatever I want to remember to keep it so clear and precious… and the other part of me says that it was what it was.
My recruiter, NightShade[R], had stumbled upon my Day of Defeat server and thought that I was a pretty cool wolf and was curious if I was a member of a clan. I’m not entirely sure I knew what a clan could be other than a few characters you put before or after your name to signify that you’re a member of their cool kids club – so naturally, I was sold.
What followed was par for the course: Getting banned three times, once by founder Wakko; plowing a formerly glorious section to the ground after our leadership left; picking fights with admins about completely trivial things; not making any friends; …
Let me interrupt myself… that was par for the course? Yeah, I wasn’t sure I picked the right words either but interwoven in there were many lessons to be learned, many contributions to be made that eventually landed me an admin spot in charge of assisting with special tech projects… and nobody was surprised.
Warrior Nation has always had some kind of motivational banner or another on the site. For the past few years, that’s been the video that started off as auto-playing but was quickly murdered because auto-play is the devil. Back around 2008, Wakko made a little flash banner that showed off some of the ideals that powered the mission statement (You can view it http://warriornation.net/images/links/slogan.swf
if you want, it doesn’t quite play right full screen though).
I thought it was the corniest thing ever, and maybe it still is the corniest thing ever but for the first time in a few years I remembered it not too long ago and was reminded why I think Warrior Nation isn’t just the “WNx” you put before your name – WN represents the desire for any gaming community I want to be a contributor of to have things like respect among members above all else including winning; it represents my desire to let creativity shine in any capacity and to share that with each other in a fun, loving, supporting environment that can help foster skills like leadership, dedication, and discipline – things that make people successful in WN and in life itself.
Many of our current leaders and administrators aren’t people who’ve been trained to do any of this outside of WN, though some are. For the most part we’ve worked together as a team to figure out the skills that each of us have and those that we can share either via teaching or by applying them to get things done.
I decided to make this post in lieu of one that attempts to placate anyone, explain away recent events, or whatever people might expect because I want to remind people (including myself) that these are the ideals that power a community that I want to be a part of and to contribute to.
I attended BlizzCon 2014 and during their opening keynote address their CEO Mike Morhaime got on stage to take a few minutes of everyone’s time to stop celebrating Blizzard and have a serious discussion about the same kinds of things that I want to agree with so much; he spoke about Gamergate without saying it; saying that “a small group of people have been doing really awful things” and “tarnishing our reputation” as gamers calling on all the attendees present to treat each other with kindness and demonstrate to the world that the gaming community rejects harassment.
Warrior Nation should be about representing the best there is in gaming; and that doesn’t necessarily reflect only skill and prowess or proficiency but also endorsing a set of ideals that promote information sharing, a reputation that anyone in our community can be proud to represent, respect for everyone including those not in our community, and being accepting of those things that make people unique – those people often contribute unexpected positive qualities.
I wish I could say with a straight face that there’s nobody in Warrior Nation that I wouldn’t be proud to stand with in a court of honor; but I know that’s not true and it hasn’t been in a non-trivial way for maybe upwards of two years – recent events not exempt: some of the posts that followed have attacked administrators leaders and members, attempted to tarnish the reputation of everyone’s hard work both past and present.
I know that these are isolated events and for the majority of our member base this isn’t an issue and that everyone has the capacity to act with respect and honor for our peers; so I will not tolerate it any longer. I cannot stand by as people in our community are systematically attacked for being anything less than perfect or not aligning with personal expectations. If you are doing nothing but spewing negativity, do not be surprised with a slap on the wrist or removal, it should be expected from an establishment that values these things.
If we want a community where everyone is comfortable posting, visiting, and playing games together, then we need to take a stand as a community to reject those who actively work to spread negativity and ill will and instead focus on positive thinking with a positive attitude that leads to substantiated positive change. Replace comments with no substance other than to demean or intimidate with comments for how to improve, how to do something better, or learn something new.
We’ve been so lucky over the years to have such an excellently diverse set of skills provided by an amazing breadth of members at our fingertips, and I’m proud to be able to continue to draw from that strength and approach problems knowing that if I don’t have the answers that someone nearby does, or if nobody does that we can take the opportunity to try and figure it out as a team.
I want to begin to introduce a culture of communication back into our community starting with the top and working my way down, and starting from the members and working my way back up.
Here’s your first action item: If you’re reading this post; go make a post in your secondary section, it doesn’t need to be anything special – perhaps just introducing yourself if you’ve never done so before or perhaps posting something positive in someone else’s introduction thread.
I’m going to be making myself more available for everyone, especially members, in the coming weeks – getting back into the routine of messaging people randomly on messengers like xfire, and others; reminding everyone that my open door policy applies universally and that I always strive to work towards a solution instead of shrugging them off. If you want to contact me for a one-on-one, regardless of anything, please feel free to send me a PM. I expect a fair number of them, so don’t be discouraged if I don’t reply right away –*I’ll be sure to make sure anything you bring up gets addressed, even if that’s just asking what my favorite color is.
Expect a future post detailing some of the more tangible changes, we’re considering things like merging Dev and GO into a unified department, working on a realistic vBulletin upgrade path that won’t take a ton of time or resources, removing outdated materials on our website, and updating pages that are in need of updates.
If you haven't seen it yet Phoenix has started a discussion you should check out:
Our Problems, Your Solutions - Part 1: Our Problems
I look forward to positive change, and I hope you do too.