My friend, corp mate and newly-minted CEO posted an amusing chat log from last night on his site. In which I – Splatus – dive into some fake, pseudo literary, pseudo period ramble that likely makes no sense to the casual reader. Last time I did this ad-hoc style was in some rather unsavory part of a very savory town (Chicago) drunk as the proverbial skunk and making poetry about belly fluff. Landed in someone’s stretched limo for my troubles but found my way to the hotel after a hearty 4am huge burger with fries. But thats a different story.
Back to Orea’s blog and chat. Oreb, the other guy in this conversation announced that he would quit our WH corp since he does not have the skills to fully function. Now, we pride ourselves on having fairly detailed background checks on skills before we admit anyone into our “hole” (we call our WH “Shelly”, see for context from the chat log). Our background checks are not just to prevent us from getting robbed blind but also to make sure that the players who join us are having a good time. See, there are minimum requirements for every activity in the world. We can carry someone who has slightly less skills than others but nobody wins and fun is reduced for all. So, our rules on entry are extremely low but where we do draw the line, we should keep it.
In some cases, we accept people with the right attitude and forewarn them that they have to bone up on some skills if they want to have fun in their game time (notice, I deal with real people, so real people’s fun is more important than the avatar’s performance). Oreb did not see, discuss or follow the skill training we needed and – even after some time – was really not able to fly in the C4 in anything useful.
I blame myself for that and hence the rather off-key conversation that Orea posted. My job in this corp is to be H&R, Catbert or entertainment clown. My role is to capture and retain solid people like Oreb and grow the corp (actually triple its size since January…). I took on the role because of my weird personal interest in the interface between the game world and the real world (both regular readers of this blog will know that this is my thing). Motivated people make great corp mates in RL and in game. There is no difference. Corps – real and pixellated – fall apart when members feel as outsiders and assume that they can not contribute. It is not an easy role to keep an eye on every avatar and make sure that the people behind the keyboard are happy but it is fundamental to the survival of every corp in New Eden. No, let me rephrase. It is actually really “easy” to do this when the selection of people to begin with is sound (as ours is). It just takes time to engage with the person that drives the Tengu or Drake and see how their personal enjoyment can be increased.
With Oreb, I caught this too late, a sudden reminder that I am slacking at my role. I focused too much on acquisition of new players and not retention of existing ones. This, I shall address. And my fake period chat style? Well, Oreb is a very smart and well-read person. I thought by entertaining him on a different level, I can postpone his departure and rekindle his interest. His Bio reads as such:
Huxley preached a humility content to learn from Nature. But the new sceptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. Thus we should be wrong if we had said hastily that there is no humility typical of our time. The truth is that there is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether…The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern sceptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance. It is exactly this intellectual helplessness which is our second problem.-GK Chesterton Orthodoxy
This is such an appropriate quote for the way we operate as people, friends, corp mates and comrades and that I loath to see him go because of my inattention to my – chosen – role.