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Author Topic: Courtesy  (Read 1516 times)

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Offline MusicNeverDiesTopic starter

« on: June 30, 2009, 07:00:33 pm »

1.       excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior.
2.       a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.

Seems pretty basic, doesn't it? Be polite and generally amiable to those around you. Alright. Good, we agree on the definition.

However, what one calls courtesy, another might think is 'above and beyond' being polite. Here is where the shifting line comes in. Helping someone pick up their papers, even if you did not cause the dropping of said papers, can be called being courteous, specifically stemming from the 'considerate act' definition. But running for the papers that have flown away and are still on the move- some would call that courtesy, and some would think that too much to do for a stranger.

Circumstance changes your inclination to be courteous. And in that sort of circumstance, where the pages are flying away and you're not likely to catch them, it may be considered less (socially, morally, psychologically, ect, take your pick) wrong to walk past without helping. It is more of a “Well damn that sucks, buddy” moment.

But what does courtesy have to do with the interwebs? Or Elliquiy? Well... a lot.

Basic netiquette includes things like remembering not to hotlink, or not to spam message boards. Generally people are a bit more lax on the first count, but it is still part of being courteous.

What about Elliquiy? Well, some things are protected by our staff already. Rude, bullying behavior can be reported.  Badgering for private information can be reported. However a few areas of courtesy are found to be.. well, disturbingly lacking- on all Roleplay sites I frequent or have frequented in the past, not specific to Elliquiy, and not just towards myself. The area where courtesy is still sometimes obeyed and sometimes tossed out like last weeks milkshake left sitting in the sun, is in dropping games.

Dropping games. Most people have had to do it, for one reason or another. There are three 'main' ways of dropping a game that I have seen. The first is the most polite way. In a timely fashion after getting a post, the dropper will send a PM to his or her partner and say that the game is simply not working for them. This can be stated any number of ways, but most of them end up being respectful and genial. Good. I'd still roleplay with this person, should they acquire interest in another game with me.

A second way is still rather polite, though not as much so. Sometimes it is necessary if a person has very little time online, and that is understandable. This is a blanket post in the members A/A. Normally this applies if for some reason the member can not continue a majority of their games. It is still polite, even if less personalized. Of course only if the person is dropping in bulk. To look at one of my partners A/A threads and see “Sorry about the lack of online time recently, by the way MusicNeverDies, I'm dropping our game.” would be a little less than pleasing. But I've never seen that done, thank goodness.

Then there is the ever beloved and sadly popular “If I don't respond to the Roleplay, they'll forget about it and I won't have to explain why I don't want to play with them.” route. This is, I think, the most blatantly disrespectful thing one member can do to another. Almost. It is the catalyst for the most rude thing. In and of itself, of course, it is rude. It is disrespecting to the partner.

That horrible, rudest thing to ever happen to myself on Elliquiy is this. A partner (Not just one. A few.) will stop posting. A PM will be sent by myself asking why I have stopped getting replies. It is generally as follows (Copied from my sent messages)
This is simply a PM to enquire about the status of our Roleplay. If you've dropped it, no hard feelings, I'd just like to be informed of such.
And that should clear everything up. Of course, sometimes the person will not respond to that either, and will continue posting in all their other games, ignoring yours along with your PM. At this point, I will maybe send a second PM, once it has been over a week.

I once watched a member who I had just sent a second PM to go to her inbox a minute after, then go to her other games and start posting. Needless to say, I never got a reply from this person. And I have this person, and people who have done the same, on a mental list of people whom I will never RP with again, nor ever suggest for anyone else's games.

Is it so hard to send a message saying “I'm sorry, but I've lost interest in our game.” that some would rather ignore and utterly disrespect their fellow members? It's childish and it's infinitely discourteous. 

So to anyone who has done that, recall next time you want a drop a game, that sending one brief PM can end things on a amiable tone, or ignoring the problem can swell to a degree that you have actually got members on this site who refuse to RP with you or mention your name to anyone looking for a RP. Why would I put my friends through the same sort of insult, should you lose interest in that game as well?

It is not a thing that is, to my knowledge, punishable by staff, but perhaps it should be. Someone who routinely insults or disrespects other members will get a castration after some time. But since this sort of rudeness and disrespect occurs behind closed doors, little (if anything) is ever done about it. Personally, I'd like to see a change to that. Elliquiy is a site that is supposed to be full of adults, and the silent treatment really doesn't show this off.

Hm. I see to have strayed from my first mentioned point. Ahwell.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Courtesy
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 09:43:27 pm »
I would like to start by saying that I agree with most everything you said!  But on the last point, I feel there are just too many circumstances to have any set rules and punishments for it.

Offline Nadir

Re: Courtesy
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 10:44:01 pm »
Ugh. I've had that happen to me - nine times in my eight months here, almost a third of all the games I ever started. It's alarming how much it happens. I have a 'black list' too. I have enough self respect to avoid people who don't respect me as much as I respect them.

This really needed to be said, so thanks for saying it MND.   

Offline MusicNeverDiesTopic starter

Re: Courtesy
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 11:18:22 pm »
I would like to start by saying that I agree with most everything you said!  But on the last point, I feel there are just too many circumstances to have any set rules and punishments for it.
Oh I agree it is way too varied to do so in most cases, but it should still be something that we try not to have an abundance of on Elliquiy. Like Eden showed, the stats are much higher than they should be on this sort of thing.

But closed door, personal matter. It could easily become an invasion of peoples personal spaces if the staff started getting involved. Not to mention all the time it would require, due to the scale it happens on. It is not possible to fix at the time, with the current scale of Staff on Elliquiy. Nor something I think any other site has addressed.

It's something we have to live with, but maybe letting people who do it know that it isn't just letting us forget, it is disrespectful in the extreme, will make some impact on the statistics. *Shrug* Also, I liked venting on the matter.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 11:21:54 pm by MusicNeverDies »

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Courtesy
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 06:28:16 pm »
There could be any number of extenuating circumstances surrounding the lack of a response to a PM inquiring about the status of an active thread.  I recently sent 3 PMs over the course of a month to someone I was RPing with to inquire into the status of our roleplay.  And though I saw this person online, I didn't get a response back for the entirety of that month.  Eventually, it was explained to me that some personal problems had cropped up, demanding a lot of that person's time, and though PMs were checked, responses often slipped their mind due to their pressing real-life concerns. 

I myself have sometimes gone quite awhile without responding to a PM, simply because I had several in a row and I missed one in my replies, or put it off to response for the next day and forgot about it, and eventually it got lost in the volume of PMs I keep in my inbox.

Some people just can't bring themselves to actively end a thread, so they choose the more passive, slow approach to their problem. 

This is not to say that the behaviour should be acceptable, but I hardly think that, because of the vagaries and multitudes of the reasons someone may not reply to a PM or may not post in a thread, it should be a Castratable offense either.   

Offline Haibane

Re: Courtesy
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2009, 05:30:10 am »
Some people just can't bring themselves to actively end a thread, so they choose the more passive, slow approach to their problem.
This is a very good point. We should remember that there are all kinds of people on Elliquiy, some of us may have difficulties through shyness and various other issues. Communications with strangers when you think they might be cross or react badly may be very hard for some people.

Despite playing a total of 41 games on Elliquiy (several others never got beyond the planning stage) and an unhappy total of 35 of those having ended prematurely I have never encountered a circumstance such as the original blog entry describes - a playing partner not responding to my PMs while they continue to play their other games. I'm sure such events are in the smallest of minorities. In a few circumstances site members simply vanish. We can't know the reasons and we can't judge them. In the vast majority of my cases however there was communication betwen the parties and it ended mutually.

While it annoys us all to lose a game we enjoy, we do need to accept this as a fact of life, put it behind us and move on. I have salvaged themes, characters and settings from a few failed games for re-use elsewhere so work is rarely completely wasted. And in a community of this size, there are thankfully always plenty more good gamers to meet and get to know.

Offline Caeli

Re: Courtesy
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2009, 07:15:50 am »
While it annoys us all to lose a game we enjoy, we do need to accept this as a fact of life, put it behind us and move on. I have salvaged themes, characters and settings from a few failed games for re-use elsewhere so work is rarely completely wasted. And in a community of this size, there are thankfully always plenty more good gamers to meet and get to know.

I think Haibane makes a really good point in her last paragraph. Sure, it hurts and is disappointing when a roleplay, a game that you've put a lot of effort into (whether it be posting, planning, character-creating, etc.) flops and doesn't come to a happy conclusion; however, there's really no point in dwelling on it, in holding a grudge over it, and being mad or irritated or frustrated with that person who never PMed you back when you asked if they were still interested in the game. Like Haibane, I've been forced to end games prematurely, but that is not always a bad thing; I know that at least a couple of my characters and stories came about because I really loved my character and/or the story, and thus salvaged her (or the story) to play again with a different partner.

I sincerely doubt that most roleplays that end are a result of the partner no longer being interested. There are often outside circumstances that you might otherwise not know about, as Rhapsody mentioned; I know I've sent my share of inquiries to partners, and not received a response for a good one or two months. Is it a little deflating? Undoubtedly so. But I understand that things come up (I've had my own share of those), and while I generally try my best to PM my partners to let them know when my life gets busy, I know that, unfortunately, some circumstances might prevent that.

This is a bit of an aside from your complaint, but there are also those that lose interest in Elliquiy altogether, or simply stop logging in. I might wonder why they haven't returned in months; but there's little that I can do about it personally, so I shrug and move on. No point on dwelling on lost roleplays.

Some people just can't bring themselves to actively end a thread, so they choose the more passive, slow approach to their problem.

Rhapsody brings up a good point here, too. I'm sure there are also those who are too embarrassed to admit to a lack of interest, or who are afraid of the repercussions of saying "I'm sorry, I don't want to roleplay this story anymore." this hasn't happened to me personally, but what if a partner who had done so in the past had gotten a lot of flak for not continuing, or for criticizing a part of the story to someone who believes they're the shit? It happens, and after a first time, not everyone will want to directly end a story, especially if they believe they'll get that kind of response.

It's all splitting hairs, really. And making it staff policy? Personal opinions aside, there are too many variables to make this kind of behavior castratable. Yes, perhaps it is disrespectful from your point of view - after all, what excuse do they have for posting in their other stories and not even giving you enough time of day to say "I quit. Bye."?, etc. etc. - but in my opinion, it's not a matter of respect or disrespect.

When you strip away all the trappings, t's an interpersonal issue - that is, it's a problem between you and another member on Elliquiy, roleplay or not. If you can't solve the problem, then live and let live, get over it and move on, shrug and let it roll down your back, etc. There will be other roleplays and other partners. The energy you're using to frown could instead be used for enjoying other roleplays. :-)

Offline kckolbe

Re: Courtesy
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2009, 08:24:42 am »
Music, I am completely with you.  Such things can be very hurtful, depending on the situation.  It seems there is nothing that can be done.  It is rude, but a lot of people don't consider it rude enough.  However, it seems the best you can do is make a mental note of that name and avoid them. 

Also, when leaving a game I try to include a reason why it didn't work out.  For example, I felt the sex/story ratio was too high for this kind of story.  [threadjack] By the way, whenever I start a story with someone, I always ask that question, and it seems the other person is often uncomfortable by it, and many times the answers have been inaccurate, with the sex level being much higher than advertised.  I can only assume it's self consciousness driving that situation.  Don't be afraid to candidly discuss what you want from the story.  Sexual gratification is nothing to be ashamed of, and I only ask so I can tailor my posts to the other writer's desires.  I have left more than one story because I got stoked about a psychological intrigue only to end up in sex fest.  The sad part is that had I known to expect that, I could have enjoyed that as well, but ruined expectations kill a story for me. [/threadjack]