RESPECT: The FFRP Guideline
The following is an excerpt taken from Dictionary.com:
Respect— vb 7. to have an attitude of esteem towards; show or have respect for: to respect one’s elders 8. to pay proper attention to; not violate: to respect Swiss neutrality 9. to show consideration for; treat courteously or kindly 10. archaic to concern or refer toAntonyms:— disrespect, disdain, disregard, and contempt
The cold, hard facts (as they have proven to me to be over my years of experience…) the definition of respect varies wildly between individuals. Some believe that to be respectful to them the rest of us must defer to their IC at all times. Some believe that if they state something IC the rest of us, “out of respect”, must play to it no matter the consequences or perhaps even in spite of them or maybe even ignore them altogether. Some think that their IC is the one and only IC and it should reign supreme over everyone else for a myriad of self-oriented reasons. Some believe that their IC is the most original, the freshest, the best we’ve ever had the privilege to see or read and therefore we should be worshiping at their virtual feet, groveling for their IC endorsement via IC interactions. I am sorry to inform all those who believe any or some of what is above because… None of it is respectful.
Just because someone tosses a “hot-button” word at you claiming their behavior is “interactive”, “respectful” or “the mark of a good player” doesn’t mean it is. Con-men use this tactic all the time to entice people to hand over their money to them… Well, bullies use this tactic too to run rough-shod all over others. To play is NOT to consent. It is downright disrespectful to expect others to take whatever a player wishes to dish out. Respect infers we cooperate and there is no cooperation in being dictated at.
The entire goal behind the guideline of respect assumes a two-way street, an exchange of deference between all of the players. That means I consider your IC and you consider mine. At no point does respect infer dominance over others, in any way.
Respect is all about consideration, courtesy and kindness. I know I extend this to every player at least once. But if or when they do not extend the same to me in return… I tend to keep my distance.
When there are no rules or anyone to police them really, not everyone will adhere to the guideline of respect. Our only weapon to combat disrespectful play is to ignore the play and the player. It may sound harsh, but that’s the cost of refusing to work with others. FFRP is enhanced through a strong cohesive community, we should strive to nurture it not chip away at it. Work with us, awesome, work against everyone… well? I know I don’t have time to waste on that kind of bs. I do what better serves me and the rest of the community; I shy away from disrespectful play and players.
So how does one work with others in respectful ways?
Self-examination – Look at what you do and be honest! Would you want to play with you? Are you considerate of other’s IC (outside of your own and your circle of friends?) Are you interactive? Can you find ways to play off of what you are giving the rest of us to play off of? Do you think before you hit the send on how what your character is saying or doing will impact others? Will it invite others to play with you? Or will it make them blow you off? Take the time to read what you put into the room; maybe even cover your sn to encourage yourself to look at it with fresh eyes. Ask yourself is it something that you would want to play to, or does it put you off? Here’s the thing… if you can’t find anything to interact with, or there is an attitude about it that puts you off… then maybe you should work on refining your choice of content and/or presentation. Bettering ourselves is a good thing. Remaining ignorant and blind only reflects badly on the one perpetuating it. Sooner rather than later players with bad behaviors tend to feel “left out” a lot. Save yourself the grief and examine what you are putting out there before it ruins your reputation.
Communicate – Know what you want so you can communicate it to others!! That means you have to figure out what it is you want. It isn’t up to somebody else to figure this out… this is on you, and I mean every player. Our medium of choice is a chat room, a text-based chat room; we are here to use our words. We should use them to talk to one another OOC so we can get what we want out of the IC together. You will never get what you want if a) you don’t know what it is, and b) don’t communicate it to those that could have helped you to get it. Before doing anything to anyone else’s IC talk to them about it. Negotiate for what you want, be willing to compromise. Never, ever call consequences on another player’s IC creations or characters, let them do that for you! That’s what negotiations are all about.
Common Sense – If you don’t want something done to your IC, don’t do it to someone else. It really is that simple. If you don’t want another player coming in and riding rough shod all over your IC, then don’t do it to others. If you don’t like having consequences forced on your IC then… yes, that’s right, don’t do it to others. If you don’t want your IC ignored… Don’t do it to others! It really is a simple application of common sense. When you do any of the above to others, they tend not to want to play with you.
Be Courteous and Considerate – Think about what it is you are doing. Be courteous when chatting with others OOC. Be considerate of others IC as well as OOC. FFRP has been around a long, long time now. Many have come and gone. Many stories have been told, many kinds of characters have been created. There’s been non-stop drama both IC and OOC since the advent of FFRP. Never assume that you are the first and only player to have ever come up with <insert your idea here> because the likelihood is someone else has… and they may have played it better! If you want your IC remembered and given a place in the collective of the community, then give that respect back to those that came before. Broaden your perspective to embrace all the IC in a respectful manner. You don’t have to know it, you don’t have to cater to it, just give it recognition and respect through your play. It is all in the presentation really. Do you present yourself as someone who has respect of others and their IC? Or is it all about you and yours?
Tips and Tricks to Inspire Respectful Play –
- No one likes their IC dismissed, overlooked, ignored, or blown off. Don’t do it!
- Take the time to include others in interactive ways. The rewards are magical!
- Put your best foot forward when negotiating for what you want out of a shared IC scene/situation. Kindness goes a long way to winning over friends and getting what you want.
- Be kind and play up the other characters’ and their positions rather than hype your own character, let them do that for you instead! There is a mutual feeling of camaraderie when you play this way. It also makes for a more cohesive storytelling environment. On top of those awesome bonuses it creates a strong sense of community… everyone wins!
All of these tricks I learned in the trenches of AOL. Back in the day when there were anywhere between 13-27 RDI chat rooms open under Arts & Entertainment. Back then we either adapted or we played by ourselves. What I learned was if I keep to the mechanics of respect, people will play with me. Not only will they play with me, but they will come back and play more! At the end of the day… respect, the one and only guideline for FFRP is the one thing that always serves us best.