Requesting: Ban on rape RP, admin transparency, newbie protection

IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
Request: Ban "rape RP," which covers all nonconsensual sexual acts. Nonconsensual sexual acts aren't all just rape; this also includes coerced consent, blackmail, eavesdropping, dubious circumstances, mistaken identity, being drugged or intoxicated, or otherwise unable to make an enthusiastic and informed decision regarding going forward with any and all activities.

Justification 1: Even for players who don't want to be anywhere near it, it's almost impossible to avoid. Due to the nature of the game, word extends as far as people hearing about the event after the fact, which, if it's RP-related, could mean your entire faction.

Justification 2: People with disabilities are incredibly more likely to be victims, as well as be victimized more frequently than other victims. MUDs in particular provide an experience that can be enjoyed by blind and visually-impaired people. Therefore Starmourn's playerbase is likely to contain more victims than other online games.

Lesser Compromise: Clear and easily accessible content warning given to all players detailing that rape RP is allowed. If you're not willing to do a diligent warning like this, you should probably ban rape RP outright. Take a stance one way or the other.

===

Request: A monthly report to verify that sexual offenders are being held responsible for their actions.

Justification: Unless we know that offenders are being dealt with appropriately and aren't being allowed to continue harassment for the sake of profits from whales, we can't maintain trust that these ISSUEs are being handled appropriately. Nothing fancy, just a short blurb to show that the admins are keeping the game safe. Like this:

Harassment ISSUEs: #
Repeat offenders: #
Bans for harassment: #

Lesser Compromise: A bimonthly or quarterly report.

===

Request: A two-week protection period for new characters, in which they are not allowed to be propoitioned for sex, flirting, or romance. (New characters may still make the first move.) This should come with in-game anti-harassment training, that requires players to understand how to avoid causing harassment issues and how to report harassment issues.

Justification: New players should be able to enjoy Starmourn without being targeted right away for sex, flirting, or romance. Let them enjoy the game without enduring cold-call solicitation. There's little way to differentiate between a total Starmourn newbie (or IRE newbie, or MUD newbie). Thus it should be the player of the new character who decides when such activities may begin. This will result in more players staying.

Lesser Compromise: At the very least, in-game anti-harassment training, It's clear that current training is inadequate based on what's happening right now in Starmourn.

===

It is my hope that these improvements will make for a more enjoyable experience for all.

Thank you.
KestrelZo_
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Comments

  • GrekGrek Posts: 52Member ✭✭✭
    Minion has the right of it: having monthly harassment reports and including anti-harassment training in the newbie intro is just going to give people the inaccurate idea that this is a game with a massive harassment problem and/or that it is a game that is about rape. It would do more harm than good.

    The only policy changes that I think are even kinda a good idea are:
    1. Make it clear that players should not try to handle game policy violations in character.
    and
    2. Introduce a new rule saying that you can't talk about rape on public channels.

    KiaraReeloc
  • EsheEshe Posts: 76Member ✭✭✭
    My suggestions would be:

    1. Clarify HELP HARASSMENT. I've submitted a HELPMOD for part of it, but the question of "At what point can you still issue?" is important and hazy. A lot of times, when you're in the moment it's difficult to feel if it's just you, if it's something to just IGNORE, or if it is a policy violation. Kneejerk issuing can feel frivolous, however legitimate it really is. When you get more breathing room after and can look back at a situation, it's easy to feel that it's too late to report because things have moved on.

    2. I know this will be unpopular, but: Recognize that this is not a PG13 game, and with that comes some trade offs. It isn't a safe space. Sometimes you have to be the one that qq's for a time. There are graphic themes in the game, character back stories, etc. Graphic crossing the spectrum of a war-torn, drug and flesh-trafficking space sector. 

    3. In light of the above, readdress a sense of LanguageRules. Cursing isn't banned, but some themes are better discussed in private. Using graphic content to harass or shock the larger community could come up as a Harassment infringement. But, harassment does not only equal rape. And where you draw the line of community consequence and accountability is tricky (and can shift the question of: who are you protecting?).
    DariosKiaraVaughn
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    This line is from HELP HARASSMENT:

    "Do not issue frivolously, especially for harassment. Recall the
    story of the boy who cried wolf, or look it up if you're not
    acquainted with Aesop's works."

    So it's up to the victim to guess at the admin's level of frivolity? What's a victim supposed to think? That the admins care about victims? Or just that the admins don't want you to annoy them with a sexual harassment issue?

    I wish I had never read HELP HARASSMENT. It's so victim-blamey.
    Vaughn
  • YalauYalau Posts: 68Member ✭✭
    edited March 1
    The thing is what's harassment for one isn't necessarily for the next.  Some things are very certainly harassment but many issues for "harassment" come down to "they told me to shut up".  Issue if you think it is harassment, and if it isn't important enough to issue, then so be it.
    MinionKestrelNykara
  • BeepBoopBeepBoop Posts: 69Member ✭✭
    To be honest, I find it a bit sad that a game for adults requires explicit statements about harassment. If you think it is clear cut harassment as in some of the examples lately, just hit the ISSUE command. If you think it is borderline, tell the person that you are not interested in interacting with them, IGNORE them, then if they continue, ISSUE them. There is no mistaking what this is then, so nobody should ever feel the worry that the admins will just dismiss it. 
    MogarcheYalau
  • EsheEshe Posts: 76Member ✭✭✭
    Theoretically that's great, but in practice it isn't always easy to do.

    As I said in the other thread: there's a lot of reasons why someone clams up. You don't want to make it A Thing, you just want it to stop and leave you alone. You don't want to be seen as overly dramatic. You don't want people to think that you're just a hypersensitive whiner, despite the reality of what you're dealing with - no one likes an alarmist and you want to avoid that. You don't want to upset the person's friends, especially when they have clout. You don't want it to perpetuate OOCly, get messages from others trying to mediate (which does happen), or get taken to forums. Issuing, you don't want to put yourself out there and have it in your record, or have that confrontation with them. Things easily perpetuate because those involved don't enjoy conflict and try to avoid it, or get wound up in the feelings and indecision and have trouble breaking out of that cycle to get a breath of air and act. This happens in person, and in the web, where anonymity poses another challenge to overcome. 

    Having HELP HARASSMENT be clearer for how to approach these murky bad-feels would be helpful, both for players and for the Team Upstairs to have the information they need to make a judgement call on Issues. 
    annys
  • BeepBoopBeepBoop Posts: 69Member ✭✭
    I get all of the reasons why someone might not want to say anything, but my point is whether or not some things are spelled out in HELP HARASSMENT or anywhere else, those reasons are still going to exist. Ultimately the best, and only thing, they should do is ISSUE. 
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Grek — Who says it has to be in the newbie intro? Give us a command. Put it in HELP HARASSMENT. Something like harassment report. Type this and see automatically generated stats about how many sexual harassment related issues result in actual consequence. I would probably never bother typing that command until/unless I had good reason to, like if I was debating whether or not to file an issue.

    @Indecision — Regarding your upset at the 'frivolous issues' warning. As someone who has both staffed games and, very recently, been the recipient of a host of frivolous issues by a particular crew of miscreants, let me tell you that players really are a whiny bunch. Not all harassment issues are sexual harassment related. As @Yalau points out, it could be something as trivial as 'this person told me to shut up, I feel abused!' Understand that any tool in the game that can be perceived as conceivably 'hurting' someone can and will be weaponised. Some people think that issuing someone will automatically get that person banned, and that if they can find any shred of evidence that a person once said something mean to them, or if they issue then enough times successfully, admin will, eventually, cave and ban that person. This is what is meant by a frivolous issue. To assume that every person using this system will be doing so in good faith is, frankly, naive.

    @BeepBoop — Evidently we know some very different adults! I'm afraid I've known (and worked for!) people in their 50s and upwards who still haven't quite wrapped their minds around what is and isn't harassment.

    Clear guidelines and better communication can never hurt. Aversion to communication is, frankly, what causes problems in the first place.


    I am overwhelmingly in support of accessible statistics on what gets done about harassment issues, particularly sexual harassment issues. It would give me a lot more confidence in the game staff's willingness and ability to take such matters seriously.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    edited March 1
    Thanks, @Kestrel, for your additional suggestions and clarifications. I still contend that what they meant in HELP HARASSMENT is not at all what it's coming off as, which is a warning against real victims to not bother the staff.

    ===

    Many people in this thread are like, "just IGNORE, or if necessary ISSUE, and move on," and to that I say that you're missing the point. You're missing the point that despite your confidence on how to resolve harassment issues, we're still losing players because of harassment.

    Something needs to be done to improve Starmourn, and it's not the victims' responsibility to improve it: they'll just leave and never come back.

    The problem is real, and your solutions aren't working.
    KestrelZo_
  • SozaSoza Posts: 71Member ✭✭
    There are many in game options to stop this sort of thing from occuring, not to mention a simple "Im ignoring you as I feel you are harassing me" will usually also do the trick. If they find other means to pester you after you have exhausted the in-game ways to stop this behavior ie. Ignore/ Bounty/ however you feel your character would respond to the situation. Then you ISSUE the person and its over. Think about it in terms of real life. If you are at a workplace and a person doesn't leave you alone, its not hard to just be older than a 5 year old and simply ignore the person move on with your life and if it persists contact someone who can do something about it. TLDR You have the means, Its your choice to use them or not.
    Mogarche
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    Many people in this thread are like, "just IGNORE, or if necessary ISSUE, and move on," and to that I say that you're missing the point. You're missing the point that despite your confidence on how to resolve harassment issues, we're still losing players because of harassment.

    Something needs to be done to improve Starmourn, and it's not the victims' responsibility to improve it: they'll just leave and never come back.

    The problem is real, and your solutions aren't working.
    I think this is a something a lot of people aren't seeing, and need to be more keenly aware of.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

    Zo_
  • WoodroWoodro Posts: 14Member
    Is this IC or OOC? If IC there are ways to handle this in the game! If this OOC then it needs to be handled by admins. This is a mature MUD for a reason. There is a way to IC handle this as Soza has already said so I will not go over them again. Now OOC sexual harassment is not acceptable and should be handled by admins and you as a person on the internet should take all measures to isolate yourself from said person. 
    KiaraMogarcheNykara
  • BeepBoopBeepBoop Posts: 69Member ✭✭
    The problem is the people who are causing players to leave the game because of harassment will only continue to be around while people aren't bringing up their harassment to the admins. It is exactly because most of the people who get exposed to this kind of behaviour will leave immediately that no amount of telling people that it's against the rules will help the situation. These people need to be removed, but I don't think it's up to the admins or anyone else to monitor everyone to make sure that nobody was being harassed such that they feel that they can't issue about it.

    No, it is not the victims' responsibility to improve it. As fellow players, if we become aware of such cases, we should offer our support to the affected players and perhaps even ISSUE it ourselves if we don't think they want to do it. If we see people in our social circles taking part in what could be construed as harassment, we should let them know that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable.

    I am just vehemently against painting the whole game and playerbase as such an unsafe space that we need to give new players warnings that essentially say "harassment exists in this game and this is how to deal with it", because that is surely going to drive way more people off before they even get anywhere near interacting with another person. 99% of people here are great. Let's not let a few rotten eggs spoil it for everyone else. 
    MinionDariosReeloc
  • YalauYalau Posts: 68Member ✭✭
    Yes if we notice it we can certainly aid, but it is also the victim's responsibility to deal with it using the tools available as well.  It needs to come from both parties, those who see it and those who are the target of it.  The victim in this game isn't powerless, and without their aid in the matter it will simply turn into a witch hunt.
    MinionKiara
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    Second-to-last paragraph desperately needs a rewrite, but this is a small step in the right direction.

    This is a good start. More still needs to be done to retain players. Ideally, it would be great if IRE didn't find it acceptable that they lose even one player due to being harassed.
    KestrelZo_
  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 155Member ✭✭✭
    Just want to stop by and thank those of you trying to make Starmourn a safer and more respectful environment for everyone. It requires no small amount of mental energy and you deserve a massive shout out. So, yeah, thanks <3
    Hi, I'm Ata. Oh and maybe some other people, too. o:) Check out my various packages for Nexus: Vuu combat system, Global Pathfinder, Slicer Tools, Ship compass, JS from command line, Vitals Tracker, and Equipment Manager.
    NykaraKestrelZo_
  • AniAni Posts: 6Member
    If the people who are leaving the game over someone harassing them, haven't used the avenues available to stop it (saying stop, IGNORE, ISSUE), then how are we to know who's a good lil egg and who the big bad wolf is? You can't crusade this "BUT WE ARE LOSING PLAYERS", because if nothing is done by the one being harassed - or someone who knows about the situation/if the victim has told someone etc., the bad ones aren't being identified and nothing will get done. I think that's what some in this thread are over looking.

    I know we've lost numbers, but it sure isn't from harassment that a few have left - whether permanent or temporarily until certain things are fixed / happen or their RL calms down. 
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 8
    Ani said:
    If the people who are leaving the game over someone harassing them, haven't used the avenues available to stop it (saying stop, IGNORE, ISSUE), then how are we to know who's a good lil egg and who the big bad wolf is? You can't crusade this "BUT WE ARE LOSING PLAYERS", because if nothing is done by the one being harassed - or someone who knows about the situation/if the victim has told someone etc., the bad ones aren't being identified and nothing will get done. I think that's what some in this thread are over looking.

    I know we've lost numbers, but it sure isn't from harassment that a few have left - whether permanent or temporarily until certain things are fixed / happen or their RL calms down. 
    People have issued and nothing's been done.

    Bad eggs have been publicly identified and we were excoriated for naming them, including by you.

    IC recourse was attempted and only made people mad. Issue they say, balderdash I say, it accomplished nothing.

    I've quit Starmourn and took a handful of players with me. We left specifically because of this.

    You and everyone else who accused people of lying over recent events are culpable. We tried to do shit and the community called us liars and accused us of doing it for the sake of 'drumming up IC drama' and 'political gain'. Rotate on it.

    It's 2019 and women should not have to deal with sexual harassment in gaming. Period. Stop shielding and excusing bad actors, stop handwaving it as 'flirting', stop blaming the affected for not speaking up for themselves or going through proper channels, because we went through every channel and there was an excuse around every corner for why this channel is the wrong one.

    All you people have is deflections and 0 solutions.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • SozaSoza Posts: 71Member ✭✭
    if I am to be completely honest with you, their response time may be a little bit slower than a triple A title, but as you can see they do check every single issue and seem to read over and reply to each issue individually rather than just give out generated bot answers like other games do. INCLUDING the triple A titles. https://i.imgur.com/HBMTNpy.png If your issue doesnt go your way then clearly the person didnt break any rules and therefor didnt get punished for it. If the games lean toward more rather adult themes is offputting to you I am sorry that you arent adult enough to handle it. I dont say this to be rude but quite frankly I have never once felt that anything in this game has ever made me feel uncomfortable. There are drugs, alcohol, sex slaves etc. littered across the entirety of the game and if its just not somthing you are interested in because of thin skin thats on you. However IF someone in game is harassing you by saying something to you that you dislike, The admins HAVE implemented ways that you can go about this. My question is honestly have you even tried to use them? If you have and they for some reason didnt work then maybe you just didnt give the admins enough time to respond, or if they didnt go your way maybe you didnt see that they werent actually breaking any rules. That doesnt however mean you cant just IGNORE the person in game and still enjoy your experience. If you dont like what I've had to say so far you probably arent going to like when I point out that this isnt a single player game and not everything is about YOU. Until I have been proven wrong I honestly believe that the admin team of Starmourn try their hardest to continually put out upates all the while taking care of ISSUEs and all sorts of other facets of the game simultaneously and I believe for the amount of people on their team, They do a damn good job at it. 
    MogarcheAniDariosZhulkarn
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 10
    • The person you're quoting isn't even me. I play Zah, you pillock, who was explicitly quoted by name in the log I supplied. I censored other names specifically to shield them from what you're doing right now.
    • Oh my God, I'm so sorry that a Margaret Atwood quote offends you. You must have had a great time in every bog-standard high-school English class. You get triggered by 'to be or not to be' too?
    • My character is a right-wing free-market Capitalist. Her player is on the opposite end of the political compass. Wot soapbox, you ninny. I just wanted to play a keiretsu-running rich bitch, had no idea I'd have to educate anyone on how not to sexually harass people in this day in age.
    • 'Mature themes' =! permission to harass other players. Christ.

      There's a reason we have NPC sex slaves and not a coded PC sex slavery system.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 149Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 11
    It seems you have quit Starmourn but apparently Starmourn has not quit you yet.

    But I believe there is no more reason to fling insults and such. This thread might have outlived its usefulness in my opinion.
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    Due to lack of any response or indication that this is being taken seriously, I've cancelled my IRE membership.

    I'm out. Take care.
    Kestrel
  • WoodroWoodro Posts: 14Member
    edited March 13
    Due to lack of any response or indication that this is being taken seriously, I've cancelled my IRE membership.

    I'm out. Take care.
    Looks like I have to subscribe now. Hope you take a step back and realize this is a game that is based around RP. Is rape ok? No, but that being said it is part of this world. I would suggest if it was an issue that you take the matter to in-game. There are plenty of people that would fight against rape for you. Also if it was too much there are several OOC avenues in which to protect yourself from that content. Maybe you are just not mature enough to play a mature game. I do think though if you would look at it as a simulation rather than a cater to me theme park then you would realize you are just making a big deal over something that is in your control.


    Edit: You could hire Sorrow Company to come handle those type of situations. I can assure you we would take care of the problem. Contact the Director Nykara for more info. As always, choose Sorrow to take care of the problems that you can't


     
    Soza
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