Author Topic: An apology  (Read 9787 times)

Offline Fierce Deity

  • Powerful Wizard
  • ******
  • Posts: 1506
  • Gender: Male
Re: An apology
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2011, 07:50:34 PM »
And now to add an old school M. Night Shyamalan twist...they're actually the same person!  Perceval and DMD, rather.

Dun, dun, DUNNNNN!!!!  :o

That's interesting, and now everything makes more sense. But regardless, I agree with Damar's post. For a lot of the average members, we were seeing a troll that we could see just about anywhere. So it was not personal. It's personal for the team, but the team would like to see Perceval change his actions. It'll all come together in time, if everyone is willing to let bygones be bygones, but in the mean time, an apology (especially one that was based on a confusing twist) is kind of useless. I for one was not offended by DMD's remarks, though I do recall responding to his posts. I felt more annoyed than offended. It's a typical troll action, but it leaves a lot to be desired from the team, and little to be cared for by anybody else. Truthfully, it took me awhile to get on the same page as everybody else, but it still doesn't change anything. If Perceval wants to redeem himself, an apology might have been undermining the bigger picture.
Freudian Slip - "When you say one thing, but mean your mother."

Offline KatieHal

  • Designer, Public Relations Director
  • Administrator
  • Phoenix Groupie
  • *****
  • Posts: 6561
  • Gender: Female
  • Snark Advocate
    • Phoenix Online Studios
Re: An apology
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2011, 08:06:42 PM »
FWIW, he wasn't banned under the DMD username, he asked us to delete the account.

(Bans are usually permanent, so they are few and far between, and cover IPs as well as emails and usernames, so someone who has been banned would not be able to register again without going throw some serious hoops to pull it off.)

Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!

Offline oberonqa

  • Great Oracle
  • *****
  • Posts: 631
  • Gender: Male
  • Go now and claim your destiny....
Re: An apology
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2011, 12:03:22 AM »
Everyone should be able to express their opinions without fear of reprisal.  That is part of the fun of being a part of a community.  However, when you use your opinion as a blunt object to beat others up because they don't have the same opinion, that I have a problem with.

As for what defines a person as part of a community, I briefly touched on it in my original post, but allow me to elaborate on that.  There are two types of membership in a forum community, as far as I am concerned:

1)  Individuals that not only express their points of view, but become valued members of the community for which he/she is taking part, either by providing objective and constructive criticism/feedback in a discussion, providing support for the community (in other words, answering questions, welcoming new members, sharing knowledge/wisdom, etc), and generally being a likeable person (we all have our good days and bad days, but there should be a defined curve where you have more good days than bad days)

2)  Individuals that express their points of view and are not respectful of the community.  Such individuals do nothing to contribute to the community as a whole and generally cause more harm than good (be it through bullish behavior, inflammatory comments, disrespecting others, etc).  These individuals are often referred to as "forum trolls".

I think it's obvious what category I think Percival falls under.  If Percival is truly apologetic, then he will change and said change will not be illustrated by mere words, but of action.  Actions speak louder than words and at this point, I can't say that this apology is anything more than empty words, hence why I rejected said apology.  Let his actions speak for him and if those actions tell of a person who has changed and no longer displays the traits of a common forum troll, then I will be the first to welcome him as a valued member of this community. 

Let me be clear when I say that no one should be afraid to speak their opinions.  However, having an opinion does not give you or anyone else the right to be a forum troll and such behavior should not be tolerated... ever.

I see the distinguished categories, but I also think there are shades of grey. Like if a common forum troll learns to adapt to the community and take part in events, then they have jumped the gap. But what would stop this person from having the same feelings and opinions towards the same topics. He could be more jolly about it, but the criticism itself wouldn't change. Also, he could just as easily jump back towards being an angry troll. And for clarification, I'm not talking about Perceval. This is an assessment of how I see people in general. We all have our own personal lives, and as Perceval had pointed out, things change in our lives.

Now, what we portray ourselves to be over the internet is fairly limited, but I still find it unfair to categorize people. That's why I'd rather straddle the lines between troll and fanboy myself. I understand the difference between a forum troll and a forum member, but if you guys had to pick only one of the two categories for me, what would it be? I post from time to time, and am willing to have discussions on baseless topics, but I also try not to get in the way of anybody else. I would personally consider myself neither of them.

So for Perceval to apologize, would be a step in the right direction, but you feel actions speak louder than words. I will use two other examples. Lambonius was pretty vocal about how he felt about the project, for whatever his periodical sarcasm was worth. He however posts from time to time in the same manner that I myself would. He seems to remain somewhat tame over his criticism however. Then, there was ReturnofDMD. He was relentless and couldn't stop talking smack. Even though he was probably fully aware that everybody had acknowledged his slander (unless he suffers from a short-term memory loss disorder), he continued to bash the game, the team, and the project. It wasn't long till he bit off more than he could chew, and then was banned indefinitely (at least from the looks of things). I consider DMD and Lambonius to be on two different levels, but I'm still not going to throw Lambonius in with the group that DMD was in, because Lambonius has self-control.  ;)

By my own definition of a forum troll (as stated previously), a forum troll is a person who does nothing to contribute to the community and is generally destructive.  Let me give you a scenario post:

Post 1:

I hate this game... it's a complete and total piece of garbage and the people who made it should be taken out and beaten to within an inch of their life.  Furthermore, anyone who can honestly say they like this piece of junk game are nothing more than blind sheep, unable to think for themselves and more than happy to graze in the pasture of ignorance because that's what they've been led to do.

Post 2:

I don't care for this game.  In my opinion, the game's story is overly melodramatic and not fitting with the established canonical games in the series.  I also found that the voice-acting, especially that of the narrator, to be overly long and oft-times obnoxious in it's delivery.

What is the difference between these two posts?  Both clearly demonstrate that the person who wrote them doesn't exactly have warm and fuzzy feelings about the game in question.  The difference between the two posts is the first post is from a forum troll.  Post 1 does nothing in the way of providing constructive feedback or criticism for the game in question.  Furthermore, post 1 intentionally goes out of it's way to be insulting in a pseudo-intellectual manner.  Anyone who reads post 1 is going to be insulted and will get angry, which often leads to a flame war... which is the life-blood of a forum troll.  The second post, however, says basically the same thing that post 1 says, only it does so without bringing insults into the mix.  Post 2 states that he/she doesn't like the game, and then proceeds to give very pointed reasons for why the game in question is not liked.

I believe that the vast majority of people in any given forum community fall into the category of being valued members of the community.  Even something as simple as welcoming new members to a community with a warm smile and a friendly welcome can go a long way towards making new people feel welcome.  However, there is always going to be a small percentage of people that are not content with simply being a part of the majority.  Such individuals, for any number of reasons, go out of their way to degrade others and incite derogatory posts.  Even the most civil of discussions can be brought to it's knees by a single forum troll that is hellbent on fomenting chaos.

I do agree that there might be a grey area when it comes to community and individuals like Lambonius and DMD would fall into that grey area.  Lambonius is outspoken in his general disapproval of TSL, but he does so in a manner that is respectful of his peers, which by my definition makes him a valued member of the community.  DMD, despite being very likable, was also outspoken, but did so in a way which was not very respectful of his peers, which would make him a forum troll by my definition.  However, I want to go on the record and state that despite his disdain for TSL and all things associated with it, I found his technical expertise very helpful when Episode 1 released during my brief stint as Forum Admin of this community.  He may not have liked the game, but he did like the community and the assorted people that make up that community... he just didn't do a very good job of expressing that.

Here's another example which I imagine my former colleagues will get a kick out of.  For the longest time, I found Baggins to be quite pompous and full of himself.  There were days when I was Forum Admin that I would check the forums and literally want to throw my keyboard at my TV after reading some of Baggin's posts.  I kid you not... there were days that if I felt that if I had to read one more reference from the KQ Companion about how TSL took a different path than canon, I was going to rip Baggins a new one five ways from Sunday.  However, I never did.  And why is that?  Well, I'll tell you.  Despite my chagrin, I knew that Baggins was simply doing what he could to be a helpful member of the community using his vast knowledge of the KQ universe.  I am grateful for Baggins because he helps the team stay the course and make them think about their creative decisions.  I am also grateful because through Baggins, I came to appreciate the value of constructive criticism and how it can be used to improve things.

As I have stated before in this thread, you don't have to like TSL to be a valued member of the community.  I feel that constructive criticism from the community is one of the greatest things about TSL and the Phoenix Online Studios team.  Through constructive criticism, the team is able to make TSL better than what it otherwise would have been if it was released as a single product all at once.  Everyone should take pride in knowing that a great many changes, adjustments, and tweaks to TSL have come about and continue to come about as a direct result of constructive criticism. 

What makes an individual a valued member of the community is how they express themselves and what they do to better the community... not what their opinion regarding TSL happens to be.     
 
Chronicling the history of Sierra through the conversion of it's premiere magazine into an easy-to-use, searchable wiki format.