Shitposting Rave OOC: Anecdata Sharing and Policy Discussion

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by swirlingflight, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I like the thought of the stop light system. It offers an aid to communication, one that permits us to give a signal about of comfort level, and more what we want to do, without being to find words for it. Verbal processing problems friendly.

    I can easily see how it's useful for one on one rp. Red as a minimal word processing way to say like... "I'm not comfortable about something in the way this is going, and can't/don't want to keep playing this out, please meet me in ooc to talk," yellow as more of a "tone things down please, I'm experiencing some difficulty, and ask ooc clarification if you're not sure what."

    A signal check is easier for me to imagine using than managing to create a comprehensive list of stuff that's difficult or untenable for me to rp. I know some of us cannot keep consciously in mind the lists of stuff people want spoilered. It will help a good number of us, for sure, but there's something more versatile in live communication... And more healthy in establishing the norm of checking for signals and respecting them.

    My asking for rough lists is more to get a headcount of what things are unplayable for most of us, what are for some of us, to reference in guidelines of like, "generally speaking, unless you know the other party is cool with this, please don't initiate stuff on X topic to Y level of detail." Sex, gore, and violence seem to be the big ones there.

    CT, I'd like to move this conversation path to somewhere else, or put it on hold for the time being. It's difficult for me and not super relevant to the purpose of this thread. The other thread, PM, discord chat, whichever.
    • Like x 2
  2. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    We can continue it later. When I'm like 3000% less triggered and no longer feeling consumed with the desperate desire to punch multiple people who aren't even posting here in the nose.
  3. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I´m fine with a stoplight system if it helps people, I will say people will kinda have to tell me in OOC What precisely they object to or I will just stare at them in confusion. Which does mean words. (Since unlike live action RP, we Have an OOC space to talk in without breaking character.)

    I don´t like the idea of a lot of things not being ever allowed to be played, and would prefer that kept in reserve for only a few things with fade to black for sex specifically rather than "You can never have your character initiate sex things with another" (No one has suggested this but I´m being a clear and explicit as i can here)

    I´m with uA on really wanting there to be more encouragement to communicate discomfort OOC rather than rules, with the understanding that beyond spoilers, there is a limit to how much people have to cater to your (general you) likes and dislikes.
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  4. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I've got a couple ongoing meatspace things still sapping my spoons for collecting and summarizing, but I've been thinking over the last few days.

    The shitposting rave started in CDCF as a several page derail of people being silly with subaccounts. We were having a lot of fun, and making the thread very bizarre for an archive diver interested in the thread's purpose, and all in all being a little annoying. The sensible thing to do when a derail is interesting is to make a new thread for it... so I took initiative and did so. And that was my whole thing, that anybody could have made the thread for the derail, I was just the first one to step up to do so, happy to do it so we could get back on with the silliness.

    A couple pages in, a couple people got into what they were doing, bringing characters and theories and worldbuilding in, and started making a game of it. I didn't make a derail thread for that because at the time I'd thought it was just a temporary bubble of someone offering structured stuff for others to play with. And I'm saying "someone" not to be vague but to highlight that back then I had no idea who was playing which characters. No idea which ones were from unfamiliar canons, which were original characters, none of any of that. All I'd really been thinking about was doing silly stuff that wasn't really in-character with GLaDOS, making a Papyrus account to go pester the Sans, and popcorn.giffing at things others were doing. It took me at least ten days to realize that it was an actual game, that we'd stopped shitposting but still wanted to, and to make a new SPR. Whoops.

    And like... I've assumed all this time that we'd spontaneously decided to make a game with some of the SPR material, that we could do so again. That games can bud out of the chaos of the SPR, if someone with the inclination to mod has an idea and enough people demonstrate interest. I've looked at the shitposting rave as being the continuation of the CDCF derail. A catch-all thread for bringing rp derails from other parts of the forum. A thread deliberately lacking a setting, deliberately lacking a story, an open rp place where there's little that people need to read be able to participate. Something more like Whose Line Is It Anyway than any of the popular D&D games, improv story snippets that we play with and drop when we're bored of them.

    I've assumed this, but it hasn't always been the case. There's been things over the last couple years (holy crap it's already 17 months old) where players with very different expectations bumped heads.We've had a lot more characterization and more conversation about heavy and painful topics than I ever anticipated. We've also had more out-of-character hurt than I ever anticipated, which sucks. I haven't policed people to only shitpost, because that would be unfun very quickly, both for me to do the policing, and for everyone to try to obey whatever arbitrary lines I drew as acceptable shitpostiness. But it's clear we do need to change something. Some mix of clarifying rules and offering tools to help us be on more of the same page, with stuff like how to treat each other out-of-character, what to expect from the shitposting rave, and what not to include in the thread.

    There are plenty of situations that need really restrictive rules, games where it's a big undertaking by the mod, with a lot of sweat and tears poured into making it work. Those games almost always have more rules, clearly defined rules, because the people running them can only do so much. Mods need the people who join their games to work with them, to have a common understanding of how it works and what not to do, and to know upfront that anyone unwilling to abide by the game's rules should look elsewhere for a game to play in.

    For me, the appeal of the shitposting rave is that it be silly, easy, and low-stakes. A catch-all space for people interested in roleplaying right that moment to try to do so. Minimally restrictive rules help with that, so that starting takes little effort, and whatever people end up roleplaying is an agreement between the people who happen to be online at the same time.

    ...But, plenty of us like to archive read the stuff from when we weren't online, and sometimes even respond to those things. People who are online at the same time might want to pursue completely different things. It can't be just a matter of whoever's online makes the rules, there's gotta be a common understanding and a way we'll actually use for communicating. So my purpose in this thread is looking for a basis of a common understanding of what sorts of things to not bring into SPR because they're likely to be upsetting.

    I also want to find some way to... not quite refute, but point out the flaw in the notion, "it's not against the rules, so it must be okay for them to do, so I just have to put up with it or leave." I don't know how to make good enough rules to prevent harm. I know plenty of ways to make rules that cause harm. And I know that notion kinda sucks. At least some of the time people will be willing to stop doing a thing in order to not discomfort the people around them. I just also really don't want to push that so hard that it makes people feel like they have to stop whatever they're doing anytime anyone expresses discomfort.

    The traffic light system is a nice framework to start finding words. I suspect it's not enough for us to be saying yellow and red, that we've also got to be making announcements of green. Offering that status from time to time, such as by sticking it in a comment of "green, hell yeah, I'm having fun!" Asking for people's status, and pausing in order to ask because checking oneself for the answer might take a couple minutes.

    ...I've been wording and rewording this for two hours. Let's call this a State of the Swirl Re: SPR update and let me disengage my brain from this before I lose all day to nitpicking my own post.
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  5. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    For whatever it's worth, things have been super chill lately and I think it's because we don't have anyone in the rave who really enjoys making other players/characters uncomfortable.

    I am not saying this to be fighty or make it about "personalities".

    Plenty of people like playing fighty, disruptive, uncooperative characters, and the SPR is a really good place for that because it derails plotty games like WT when we constantly have to stop because someone is always creating interpersonal drama if there isn't enough to suit their tastes.

    But there is a difference between that and a player who enjoys making other characters uncomfortable even past the point where it's kind of obvious that they are either making it difficult or unfun for other characters to the point where the other player is frustrated that nothing will resolve the conflict or is even upset and/or triggered on a personal level.

    I feel like we need to have a plan for handling that because this is not unique to any of the people who left SPR and I have actually seen it in other RPs.

    I frankly handle it in games I run by telling these people to go away. I like to run plotty stuff and I don't have time for it.

    But these people usually get away with it by being sufficiently funny to most of the other players that everyone who has a problem with them feels like saying something will make them unpopular because they "can't take a joke" and are the FUN POLICE. (Their characters have usually already been made out to look that way.)

    I don't know why people do this, but the fewer rules and the less moderation you have, the easier it is to pull this crap. We do not collectively want more rules or moderation, so we need to be prepared for this style of player. We lost several people because they felt SPR was too hostile, and that's what happens.
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  6. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    minor quibbling point: nothing is ever 100% obvious to everyone and like. Especially in this forum it's really just unlikely to work out well to assume "oh my emotional state about this is SO OBVIOUS" when no OOC communication has happened about this? I know for a fact that I am 100% primed to assume things said IC are so far removed from actual OOC communication about boundaries that it wouldn't even OCCUR to me that (as a random example) you yourself as the player are uncomfortable when you post as Valiska making upset noises. That is what the OOC thread is for. The literal only way to resolve these things is with communication, and the shorter and more neutrally phrased the check-in is, the better.
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  7. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    I absolutely understand what you're saying. But I'm also talking about a pattern of behaviour I've seen in multiple RPs. By the time that the person I am thinking of who exhibited this pattern of behaviour left, it was very clear that they had upset me multiple times, because there had been several discussions OOC about it, including the one you were thinking of which in fact did lead to a discussion that happened OOC.

    I take ownership of the fact that I lost track of my own feelings there and didn't realise that I was as upset as my character was. And you know that I do.

    That does not detract from my argument that this pattern of behaviour is a thing that happens, because it continued long after it was clear that it was upsetting to me.

    It's very easy in a place like this to assume that everyone is doing their best to communicate across multiple brainweirds and does not want to actually upset anyone else, because that is usually true. Unfortunately, sometimes people actually do enjoy upsetting people, or upsetting specific people, and are not trying not to do that. It's actually not that hard to tell if you are willing to admit that it is a thing that happens (unless you're the one flailing because it's aimed at you). Normally, when people who don't want to upset each other do communicate OOC, they may start out defensive (because people do sometimes) but eventually they'll start talking to each other about how they can accommodate each other.

    As I look back on the situation, and reflect upon how much easier things are right now, the person I'm thinking of didn't really ever do that.

    They didn't respond to discussions in the OOC thread when I was upset. Other people did. But it wasn't very helpful because it was all "pretend it's not happening" advice (which I understand does work for some people, but not for me so much) and the person I was upset with didn't say anything at all.

    When they were directly confronted by name because I thought they were upset as well, they flounced--and said something elsewhere, IDK what or where, that led to a flood of uninvolved people white knighting on our OOC board.

    I'm sorry--that's hostile/shit-stirring behaviour. I take ownership of the fact that I was furious at the time and confrontational, but I was confrontational and furious HERE, not at other people who didn't know the whole story and would be primed to take up my cause.

    Most of the time when I (or others) have got into it over something that happened here or in WT, all the parties directly involved showed up at the table to talk about it and it eventually got resolved. When somebody doesn't, I think that's a red flag. At that point, whether or not the person actively enjoys the chaos/upset they're causing (and some of them really, really do--it took the Lightning War mods months just to find all the damage one such individual did), they're at least showing that they're not willing to talk it out.

    Another "red flag" pattern is a habit of winding up people/characters who are easy to wind up due to having obvious buttons when it's well-known that the person/character will get slightly manic in humorous situations and eventually do something inappropriate that will upset other people IC and possibly OOC as well, and then take no responsibility for the results because they didn't actually do the thing that made everyone mad themselves. (Involuntary pregnancy and waterpark orgies, for example.)

    I've never been in a text-based RPG where most of the participants weren't somewhat mental or spergy or both, because I don't think NT people are as drawn to this form of entertainment as we are. So I really don't think patterns of behaviour I've also seen in Lightning War (or Year of the Snake, or Marvoloverse, or Nox et Lumos) are not applicable, because there's no real difference in the amount of brainweird, only the amount of talking about brainweird OOC.

    So yes. Communication, as neutral as possible, is important.

    But also, there are people who don't "play well with others". Whether it's because they're malicious or because they're unhappy and are spreading it around elsewhere, or they are trying to work through their feelings about something in a game with people who didn't agree to be their therapy dogs instead of in a fic, or just don't understand that things can be funny to some and hurtful to others, does not really change the fact that this pattern of behaviour is damaging to any RP it takes root in.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  8. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    tl;dr version

    yes communication is important but it's also important to understand that people who do not have the best of intentions exist and know how to spot them and what we intend to do about that when we do spot them.
  9. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    I'm not sure how to articulate this but I think that if we like. Set a precedent that DOES assume that people are completely unable and unwilling to communicate this might cause more problems than it fixes? I can't quite properly word it except "that is the risk of minimum-rules spaces" as flippant as that sounds? I dunno it just doesn't work with the set up of the spr? it sounds to me like you're looking for the tools of invitation-only-modded-games where they just. Aren't there. SPR has no mod. SPR has minimal rules. SPR is not invitation-only. We can only respond on a case-by-case-basis to people who are dicks if we don't want to go literally counter to the entire point of the spr?
    • Agree x 7
  10. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    I am not asking for any kind of rule, nor am I asking that we prejudge people. :)

    What I am trying to get at is that we should pay attention to how people respond to complaints. Especially when they don't.

    There are certainly situations in which "I get that this bugs you, but for Reasons I need to do it this way," is a legitimate response to a complaint.

    But not responding at all, even just to say "Sorry no spoons I can't right now" (Also legit!)???

    I don't think problems can be solved by the bystanders.

    I am pretty sure that the reason I thought nobody cared how I felt as long as the rules weren't being violated is because everyone essentially told me I was thinking about things the wrong way and nobody commented on the strange silence of the person I was unhappy with.

    As a group, we might want to be conscious that even though we as individuals may like a player someone else is upset with and even think the things that upset that person are funny, it's really not OK to ignore someone who is unhappy with what you're doing until they get mad enough that they let you have it with both barrels.

    If someone continually ignores another person's complaint and isn't talking to anyone looking for a middle leaf, experience has taught me they either don't care or are enjoying other people's discomfort.

    Especially when they play wind-up with other people.

    I don't want anyone to be prejudged but I do think we can learn to recognise toxic behaviour patterns and confront them by saying things like, what do you have to say, what's your side of this?
  11. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    i think I get what you are trying to say but I'm not sure we can like. Effectively do anything about that without an actual case of it happening right in that moment? So idk what to actually *do* to make it so we are all on the same page about it.
  12. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    We cant really do anything right now. So ill just sit.
    • Agree x 1
  13. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    No there is nothing you can DO when it isn't happening.
  14. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    i feel much more aware of the issue now that you've explained it, cT. it hadn't occurred to me before that fl not responding to complaints was a red flag.
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  15. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya your purple friend

    okay, but conflict avoidant people are not necessarily toxic
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  16. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    Yeah the thing is just. Being conflict avoidant is fundamentally the problem of the person who is conflict avoidant and making it everyone else's problem is really unfair? We can't do anything to help except ask/say something when we're uncomfortable. Conflict Avoidance is unfortunate, but communication is in this case more important than a single person's sensibilities.
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  17. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    People don't have to be toxic for the results of their behavior to suck. Playing a character who's prone to conflict carries the responsibility of being able to communicate about it, or the ability to step out when it's unfun. I love trying to play Flowey and GLaDOS, and they are both such sickly sweet sarcastic murdery assholes... but when I know I'd have trouble talking ooc about in-character conflict, I either don't play them, or I downplay their fightyness. Getting into fighty words is hard sometimes. A lot of the time. And my avoidance style tends toward me stepping out of roleplaying, or playing them somewhat out of character, because emotions at high speed are too much.

    The point about asking someone to be the middle leaf is relevant. Talking in the ooc thread can leave one feeling open and revealed and exposed to anyone else commenting on one's feelings... which makes it difficult for some of us. It helps to have someone who's feeling calmer, or at least managing to pretend to be calm, stand in between as someone to go "it sounds like you're saying X, am I understanding right?" to things before sharing them to the person one's in conflict with. UA's helped me out a lot of times by listening to me and CT so we had a bit of a buffer.
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  18. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    yeah, and like, i think i'm pretty conflict-avoidant myself but i've managed to respond to cT's criticism of me before, even when i was scared that she was really mad at me. i didn't just ignore it and leave it for other people to field. my response to wanting to avoid conflict was to try to be as calm as possible and think about what she was saying and reduce it that way, not pretend nothing at all was going on.
    • Like x 1
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  19. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Witnessed for both witnessed and relatable.

    A personal tangent, not sure if relevant enough to stay here, but I think it is, and there's useful stuff in it that I may try to pull out for clarity later. References to emotional abuse and self-harm.

    Exposure to some kinds of anger and disapproval push me right into a the parents are arguing state... where I'm used to the arguers talking over anyone else, seemingly only caring about expressing their persepctive and feelings, and digging up months or years' old resentments in their drive to Win The Fight.

    If I'm stuck in that state, I get stuck paying obsessive amounts of attention to the fight, and listening for points where the arguers are setting each other off more. Wanting to resolve the conflict, to step in and de-escalate so they start talking with each other instead of yelling at each other again.

    If I'm a target of the tone, it's a hell of a lot harder to think, let alone respond with anything besides more fighty words or silence.

    If I feel resentment strong enough to refuse to sit and take it, and fight back with lots of redirecting words thrown back in the arguer's mouth... well, that's a nice way of going prickly to refuse to be treated a given way, but it doesn't do anything to help calm the person who's so angry and clumsy with their words as to start the fight in the first place.

    Without that anger, I tend to feel down, disliking myself enough that I feel I deserve to be yelled at, and do little but bow my head and listen as another harranges me (and then maybe apologizes later but does nothing to prevent doing it again in the future). That kind of silence looks like ignoring, and if I'm letting myself be a target for someone's anger, what I'm doing is self-harm... which means I'm not actually listening with intent to change, but listening for things that hurt me.

    I know I'm not the only one who reacts to strong anger in these ways. That's part of why I try to avoid using anger when I'm making a point or requesting a change, regardless of how angry I am; if I want to make my point come across, I try to use the way that I believe will be most effective.

    But my ability and general willingness to hold back my emotions to the extent that I do is a result of my own damage and bullshit I've gone through, and it's sometimes harmful to myself. So not everyone has the same ability/willingness, and it's not fair or kind for me to expect anyone to go about it the same way as me.
    That's where the calm listener who filters out the attackative energy, laying out the points themselves, is really valuable.

    The ability to just say "fuck it I'm stepping away from this," and close websites and genuinely ignore it, rather than being stuck in hearing range of the yelling, has been such an addictive delight that I've gone overboard with not at least attempting to listen in a timely manner.

    eta clarified wording in the paragraph about feeling down that gave a very different impression than I mean.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  20. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    I think this is why you have so much trouble with the cattes' insistence that only the people who are actually fighting talk during fights (unless they specifically ask someone to mediate) and that representatives of the pride meet to work things out in inter-group conflicts, while everyone else shuts up and lets them do it. But it's not the same dynamic. It just feels that way. It's how they keep things from blowing up because ten cattes fighting is like ten cats fighting.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
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