Now you know I usually write about positive things in SecondLife, but I also feel a way of staying positive is to avoid the negative things as well. One way to do this is to stay away from bad Role Play sims at all costs!
"Role-playing refers to the changing of ones behavior to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role."
When I first joined SL years ago I got involved with an RP sim that in the end didn't work out. However I did make some nice friends that are still friends to this day. Unfortunately the admins and I didn't get a long and I eventually left. I have joined various RP sims since then and most of the time I kept finding the same thing....... BAD ADMINS.
What I have noticed most of the time in these poorly run RP sims are admins (who are usually the sim owners) that lack real life self confidence so they use SL as a way to justify and validate their existence. They boss people around, constantly change the rules, give special favor to close friends and worst of all ALWAYS break their own rules.
Recently I was invited by a friend to visit a sci fi RP sim. We'll call this sim SBZ for this discussion. When I visited the sim what I noticed right away was the very poor builds. I have a pet peeve about RP sims and builds. My opinion is a build should kick ass. There should be attention to detail..... and if that is missing... it's the first sign of trouble. But because my friend was there I hung around and was soon asked to join the sim. I filled out an application, created my character, read through the rules thoroughly and was assigned a room to live in.... COOL! So now I'm thinking "OK..... the build is terrible but I can make this work."
I settled into my quarters which was only a few doors and levels away from my friend and 2 other friends who also happen to be RPing there. because of my reputation as a builder and experience in sci fi I was asked to attend a meeting to decide on a ship to ship combat system. 5 people attended the meeting and in the end we all agreed that VCS would be the main combat system for ships with CCC as the backup. I was getting the feeling that they needed our help.... and by "our" help I mean the experienced builders and RP'ers of sci fi........ That feeling proved to be very wrong later on.
The next day I was speaking to an old friend from another RP sim. She asked me what I've been up to lately and I told her about me joining SBZ and who the owner of the sim was. She immediately warned me of her experiences with this person. She had nothing good to say about him..... we'll call him.... "FD". Now I usually reserve judgement for my own experiences with people but I do take note when I hear something. It wasn't long before those words would proved to be more then accurate.
The first instance started when FD disguised with an alternative avatar named "MB" was attacking a merc named "VL". The basic scene was VL was confined to quarters for a crime but after 3 real days of being confined and ignored by the admins VL decided to create some RP and left his quarters to get food and water. Next thing you know a security officer is in his face and even draws their weapon and fires at VL. So after hearing about this I figured this would be a good time to do some fun RP and I get involved as a concerned citizen. I approached MB who had weapons drawn and was on the hunt for VL and pleaded for him not to attack the non-hostile VL. To summarize MB told me to butt out and even went as far as attacking me with some sort of aura type damaging weapon that took points off my health meter. A direct attack if I ever saw one. I asked why a non-violent woman who's gun is not drawn is being attacked for trying to reason with security and I was attacked several times more. So I ducked away into the next room..... armed my gun..... set it to stun and burst rounds and came back guns blazing knocking MB on his ass. Next thing I know..... I'm ejected and getting an instant message about how my weapon is illegal..... Huh?!?!?
Sounds bad so far doesn't it?....... it gets worse. MB and I get into an argument about my gun. I tell MB that the bullet in the gun was approved by FD. Now before I go on let me say that my friends told me that the bullet was approved and I thought it was approved by FD. But more to the point........ and I'm going to put this in caps to emphasize...... IF ONE ADMIN APPROVES A GUN DAYS AGO ISN'T IT SAFE TO ASSUME THAT ALL ADMINS KNOW THIS?????? Not in this case however HAHA! See a pattern here? ;)
So I tell MB who I didn't know was FD at the time that the gun was approved by FD and next thing I know he reveals that he is FD and never approved the gun. So I instant messaged my friend VL and asked who exactly approved the gun and I was told it was approved by KD (one of the main admins). So I corrected myself with MB/FD and admitted I was mistaken about who approved it... but that it was approved none the less. Long story short KD, myself and a few other people gathered and it's revealed that my gun is totally legal according to the rules that were in place at the time. KD admits that she approved the gun. A few minutes later they release NEW RULES about the gun..... and MB/FD decides to use the new rules as the evidence against me..... yeah that's right... rules that were NEVER released are all of a sudden in effect. yeah... he's THAT DUMB!
MB/FD even goes as far as calling me a liar when I confronted him about his mistake and asked for an apology. He was so embarrassed that instead of being a man and admitting his mistake he decided to turn it around and accuse me of lieing..... which I never did.... which is all backed up by recorded messages and the people around us. Yeah... he's THAT DUMB!
I realized this is the ever dreaded DRAMA that I try hard to avoid and I left. A few minutes later I get an instant message from MB/FD apologizing. WOW! Maybe he's not that bad after all.... hmmmmm........ read on.
A few days later I find out my friend VL was banned for doing something that was completely legal. The rules of the sim state that if you have your meter on then you consent to being attacked. It just so happens that VL who was labeled and classified a bad guy and to "shoot on site" saw and shot MB/FD. While MB/FD layed on the ground stunned (he's really not good at combat) he yelled at VL saying "I'm OOC asshole!!!" OOC means "out of character".... yet... he has his meter on?!?! So VL says "you have your meter on and spitefully shoots the downed MB/FD and kills him. Ahhh poetic justice.... you gotta love it. But... it gets VL a 1 way ticket to ban land.
So after a few days I decided to talk to MB/FD and plead VLs case. MB/FD basically went berserk on me. Called me a liar and even went as far as saying that EVERYONE on the sim "hates" me. WOW! This guy is delusional. You actually have to have contact with people for them to hate you and if memory serves I barely got the chance to interact with anyone. Also..... "hate"?! What on earth did I do to deserve such a sentiment? Absolutely nothing..... nothing more then the conjuring's of a diluted and insecure child looking to hurt some one with insults because they can't have an intelligent conversation or argument. Next thing I know I'm banned.
How do you avoid sims like these? Well it's not easy because at first they appear to be just what you're looking for. However here are a few things to look for.
1. Reputation. Do a little research into the sims history and more importantly the history of the main admin/owner
2. Build. Doesn't seem like much but a person who pays attention to the details of their builds is most likely going to pay the same attention to the details of their rules.
3. The Rules. Learn the rules then see if they actually obey them.
4. Starbucks. My friends and I have a little joke that is soooooo true. In most RP sims everyone wants to be Starbuck, or Luke Skywalker, or Darth Vader, they are an expert with weapons, ace pilot... blah blah blah. If the admins are like this.. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!
5. Admin hanky panky. If the admins are "getting it on" in the sim where everyone can see. They are trouble. BDSM sex on a Battlestar?!?!.... um... bad idea.
There are just a few... I'm sure you can think of more ;)
Now for all you RP fans out there don't lose hope. There are some wonderful RP sims out there. If you're lucky you'll find them. But if you explore as much as I do you're bound to find RP sims run by people like FD. If you're into Sci Fi then you want to stay as far away as possible from the SBZ sim. Save yourself the headache. Now according to Linden Labs Terms of Service I can not reveal the names of the people involved or the actual name of the sim. But if you're smart... and most of my readers are..... you'll figure out exactly who I'm talking about. So good luck my friends and remember..... be careful out there... especially in RP.