National Coordinator Blog Post #13 – Member Responsibilities

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Project Navy Kangaroo – Member Responsibilities

Membership responsibilities are something that we’ve been working at off and on since I took office.  You remember a while ago there was a blog post about Social Contracts in gaming?  This is something I do feel pretty strongly about, that we as a community need to figure out what we value and why and how it relates to other members and groups.

A fair number of people contributed ideas to this document (Greg, Audrey, Gordon, Jessica, Michael, Nathan, Frank, John, David, Vanessa, Aubin and probably more who didn’t sign their name) and it is still very much a work in progress but these are the sorts of things we’re looking at incorporating.

 

Creative

  • Play to tell a good story that involves more than just yourself – It’s easy to tell a story with your PC as the main character, especially if you have the skills and more dots on your sheet than another character does.  Why get someone else to do something when your PC is better at it?  Simple, because it brings that player into the story.  On top of that, more people means more things can go wrong and that is where the best stories come from.
  • Be open to new possibilities – Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.  If you always play the ass, try to play someone genuinely nice (I will do that one day…I swear).  If your go-to clan is Ventrue, then make an Anarch.  If Lost looks weird, give it a try anyway.  We are an insanely creative group of people and sometimes we just don’t go all in.  I challenge everyone to try something new in the club when opportunity arises.  Run for a position, play a different venue, write a plot.  Do something different!  That’s how I ended up here as NC and I don’t regret it.
  • Have fun and help others to have fun as well – If you’re having fun that’s awesome but the goal should be to ensure everyone has fun.  The ST should have fun, the players should have fun.  If you do, make sure to say thank you to the people who helped (because odds are you didn’t have fun on your own)

Integrity

  • Play fairly, and with empathy for other players – Especially in a PvP situation.  Some games are more oriented in that direction than others (internal vs. external threats) but it’s important to put yourself in the other members position.  Would what you’re doing seem cool if it was happening to you?  If the answer is ‘no’ then be careful.  Talk to the other member.  Make sure that the IC and the OOC stay separate.  Be mindful of the other member’s position and feelings.  
  • Treat all games with respect – Everyone has there favorite venue, even if it’s not yours.  STs and players work hard to put on the best game they can and if you treat the game with disrespect that undermines all the work they do.
  • Be helpful and respectful to other members, and to prospective ones. – All the time.  Everyone has a bad day but just remember that your fellow members are people.  If prospective members see us squabbling like school kids over things that are meaningless in the grand scheme of things they’ll turn their tails quickly.
  • Communicate openly , politely, and and respectfully – The reason we’re an 18+ club is not for the tantalizing bits of games.  Not entirely.  Members should act like adults, which means we treat each other with respect and we communicate with one another honestly and politely.
  • Treat the venues (game sites) with respect – Wherever you’re playing you are doing so under the club’s name.  I like to think of the Boy Scout Rule – always leave a place cleaner than you found it.

Community

  • Collaborate with others, such that their involvement leaves a lasting impression and tells a good story – If you want to play yourself there’s hundreds of games that will let you do just that.  The LARP experience is about interacting and playing with others.  Drag them into your plots, let them drag you into theirs.  When someone asks “hey, who wants to come to X” instead of finding reasons not to go, find reasons to go.  Collaborating with others isn’t just about being the main character, it’s about being willing to be Sancho Panza.  It’s about willing to be Wang Chi (bonus points for whoever names the reference without looking it up).
  • Be willing to lend a hand – If people are setting things up, ask “what can I do to help?”  If you’re not doing anything, ask the ST if they need a hand with anything.  

So those are some of the ideas we’re working on via Project Navy Kangaroo as a form of social contract as members.  Sometimes it’s easy to say “it’s only a game” but we’re so much more than that.

We’re a community.