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In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2030 in the Wizarding World

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OOC Discussions

on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:18 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
I want to say something about this before I start explaining why this topic is being posted in the RP Advice section. The stuff I talk about here refers to my time on sites overall, and is not (and should not be taken as) something directed at any person in particular, or even any group of people. This is something that I've learned over the years and is something that I think needs to be mentioned. The things in this thread don't even necessarily apply to PA, but I've listed them as a sort of heads-up. Some people don't realize how they speak to others, and thus have no idea if they're hurting feelings or offending. Anyone and everyone can learn from this, I think, and I want this thread to either be left alone, or treated as a place where people can make their own suggestions about ways to deal with the things I mention below. Or other issues that they think people should be aware of. It should not be used as a place to call anyone out, subtly or otherwise. Thanks.






So, I'm putting this thread in the RP Advice section because I truly believe that out of character discussions and bonding are just as important as what you actually write in your threads. It leads to plotting and friendships that last longer than any of us ever expect. It gives us something to do between posts and leads to our games section where we can feel free to say exactly what it is that we feel or believe.

The questions, though, are these: ARE we allowed to say every little thing we want to? SHOULD we?

In my opinion, the answers are YES, and NO, respectively. Here's why:

Let's say you absolutely love someone's character. That's the perfect reason to say what you think about that character in particular. For sure. We all need a little boost of the ego now and then - even those of us who never act like they need it. Especially for those of us who would never ask for compliments. We like to be encouraged and let know that our characters aren't just floating around or interfering. We want people to like them, which is why we put them up. Yes, we make characters annoying on purpose, but other roleplayers - other handlers - like them just the same. Sometimes they like a character for that specific reason.

But sometimes, you have to know when to stop. If you don't like a certain part of a character, it's really not in anyone's best interest to say so. It offends the handler, and almost undoubtedly would make you feel guilty. Have you ever had someone just diss your character OOC? I mean, in character is something totally different, and you have to be able to separate the two. Within posts, comments about your character should be taken as what they are: Opinions of the character, not the writer. Out of threading, though, any derogatory comments made about a character are often taken badly, and really should be curbed if you wish to keep the friends you've made.

On the last site I was involved with, there were two members who just had after everyone's characters to ensure that theirs were liked the best. Needless to say, it drove away many of the handlers (including myself, though I wasn't targeted. I just couldn't stand it anymore, and stopped posting). That's the last thing we want on a site like PA.




Something that I have seen more frequently than I care to admit is members condescending or sassing the Admins/Staff or each other. There is absolutely no reason to talk down to anyone, regardless of their role on the site. There is no rule that says that Staff members automatically have to be treated differently than members, and I don't believe that talking down to other members gets anyone anywhere. If you don't agree with someone, you can find a calm and respectful way to reply rather than writing down the first sarcastic thing that comes to mind.

Yes, many of us joke around and that's well and good. But that shouldn't always be done in front of other people. Teasing isn't necessarily a bad thing among friends, so I'm not at all saying you can't joke around and have fun. But you should try and pay attention to how a person responds before you continue to make comments about them. Short, even one-word replies, often mean that they're not taking it in the way you intend. The same goes for slow replies, provided the other person had been quick to answer moments before. I'm sure many of us already know this, but I want to remind everyone so that issues within the site are limited if not stopped. Sometimes we just take things too far without thinking, and it damages the relationships we have with other roleplayers.




If you have been on the receiving end of negative comments, as mentioned above, there are a couple things I suggest that you do:

1. Take some time away from that person. If you chat with them a lot or write with them a lot, it's sometimes good to back off for a while and cool off before getting into any sort of argument.

2. Let the person know, in a cool, collected way, and use the word "You" as little as possible. Direct attacks on the other individual makes it harder for them to accept what you're saying. It puts them on the defensive right away. Instead, say what you're feeling, using "I" more often than "you."

3. If things persist, pull away from that individual as much as possible. You don't want to stick around someone who hurts you through their comments about your writing/your character/yourself, or someone who talks to you like they know more than you do. If that means dropping a thread, just explain to that person that you need some time off. If you have already talked to them, as suggested in #2, hopefully they will understand that they did not fix the problem.

4. If all else fails, get in touch with a Staff member. We cannot take care of every single problem, though we would love to help as much as we can, so do be sure to talk to the person before addressing a staff member about the problem. I'm sure the staff would be encouraging if you needed a little help or courage to talk to the person in question, but it would be more beneficial for you to talk to them yourself. Besides, how would you feel if a staff member talked to you about a problem another handler had? It would feel a little like they had "tattled" on you or were just having after you. It's always best to do the talking yourself, first.
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