First topic message reminder :
In the light of the recent events, I feel the urge to write this post. I am sorry, if it’s too long for you. When I re-discovered JK2 six years ago, many people – especially in ATS – treated me like a youngster. They said: “You’re just a new kid, what do you know?” But now they often treat me like … like the pope. They listen to what I say, they even expect me to say something about everything, and on top of that they take my word as sacrosanct – unless you’re not a part of the SoL-religion, then I am just an old scrub for you. But even the believers are not content with me. In the end it’s all the same: Many people don’t really cherish what I say or do. And I see the same fate for this post. But what the heck, why stop now after 6 years? Just let me be a little less politically correct, than I usually try to be.
I know that JK2 is just a game and that many people think they can act like real douchebags because of that. But in my opinion, you’re a douchebag, when you act like a douchebag, no matter if it’s in the real life or not. And lying, badmouthing, harassing and things like that make you a douchebag.
Now you can disagree with this, which is fine. Some people have to be wrong in order to prove the right people right. The problem is just this: SoL was set up with a definition similar to mine – hence I joined it (ATS) or helped to create it (SoL). The words were different, the rules were enforced differently, but the essence was the same: We have more fun, if we are not acting like douchebags and playing with people that are not acting like douchebags. This basic distinction divided SoL from clans that only focus on the skill, clans that honor people, who are able to “rape” other people “into submission”.
But SoL has some more characteristics to it. I won’t go through all of them but two. One thing is that SoL believes that cheating is unfair and killing the game – even cheating against cheaters is not alright. If I say “believe” it can be taken seriously, or let’s say: take is as a religion (since I am the pope anyway). Why do people join this weird clan that is against cheating, while seemingly 99% of the players do cheat? It would seem like religious zeal to me, to join this sect against cheating while all the others cheat. But then I can’t help but wonder about the changes of mind, when I see people use cheats inside the clan or leave it in order to cheat or leave it and cheat a few days later. If you deem it viable to use cheats, then you shouldn’t have joined in the first place.
Maybe some people are wondering about our behavior towards cheaters, even after they understood our thoughts about cheating. But let me make it clear: We hate cheating, but we don’t hate cheaters for the sake of them being cheaters. (We can hate cheaters for being douchebags, just like we can hate non-cheaters for being douchebags.) A cheater can be a nice person – but he can’t be in SoL. Another aim of SoL is it, to save the game. A war against cheaters wouldn’t serve that goal. So we tolerate a lot of cheating – even if we whine.
Another problem is the treating of cheaters within SoL, which might confuse people. First thing is: We can only take measures upon proven cheating. To prove cheating is like proving the existence of bigfoot. You know it’s there and you even got a shaky screenshot of it, but in the end no-one can ever be sure, if it wasn’t only wishful thinking after all. So let me skip that. I rather want to address the misunderstanding of our “tolerance” of cheaters in SoL. We “allow” people to use cheats, as long as they do it with another name on another server. But fact is, we don’t allow it. We just cannot track someone, who is undercover on another server. I cannot check the IP of Padawan on a random server, so I cannot tell that it’s a certain SoL member, who is cheating. That’s all of the “allowance”. The point still stands: When you want to cheat, why join SoL in the first place?
Now our seeming allowance has gone very far in a few cases. But that is, because we can still like people who cheat, and consider them friends. I know Grimmjow uses cheats under circumstances. But he is honest about it. I like honesty. Grimmjow is a good friend. I don’t want him to disappear. I should maybe excommunicate him, but I am apparently a bad pope. But why would I like someone who is pretending or blatantly lying? So even in doing wrong, Grimmjow is doing better than people that have come and passed over the time.
The other characteristic of SoL is the unique fact, that it is a democracy. And again I can’t help but wonder how people can misunderstand what a democracy is. Sure there are different democracies all over the world and all over history. But this one is a very direct one. It is a democracy, because you gain power by applying it. By posting and by convincing, you change things. You don’t even have to own administrative rights to have more power than all the administrators. One thoughtful post can convince all the others. If you found the right thing to do and are able to explain it, you have the power. So everyone has the power.
And still there are people who are bold enough to complain about democracy, while all the possibilities are open to them. It’s like feeling rejected from a party, although you have a million invitations in your inbox. This means, if you think this democracy failed, you failed, because you kept sitting at home, instead of joining the party. I concede, that some of the complainers did join the party and now they complain that it’s always the same people choosing the music and that they don’t want to dance to it. But it is the same problem, if you think about it. Because usually there is no music playing, because everyone is sitting there staying at the ground. After a while always the same people walk up to the sound system and put their “Get-Psyched-Mix” into the jukebox, even though these people wish, that someone else would add their musical taste for a change. So again it is yourself, who were unable to apply the freedom of democracy.
And I also think that it’s foolish to blame democracy, if you dislike certain members of the clan. Just imagine it wouldn’t be a democracy. Then you’d be completely dependent on the choices of your divine leader. It can go well for a while, but then he might let a friend join, who is a pure pain in the butt. So you have to face this problem in any kind of clan. And now imagine your leader becomes devious. You’re screwed then. This cannot happen in a democracy like this. Not only is every member-to-be examined by all the current members, a democracy can cope with conflicts between their members, at times the democracy can even benefit from it: diverging opinions raise the quality of the discussion. Only as soon as people forget the benefit of diverging opinions, they can also lose the quality of discussion. They will turn the discussion into mere hassle.
Having said this in defense of the clan, I want to express my confusion about the behavior of certain people upon leaving this clan. How is it possible, that one day you’re in this clan and you acting like being dedicated to it, you contribute and befriend the other members; and on the other day you are despising the same clan and badmouth members of that same clan? Were they pretending all the time? Or did their personality change from one day to another? Maybe they haven’t been SoL material in the first place. Maybe I am wrong with feeling a loss and betrayal. Maybe I should just let myself be amused by the hypocrisy of blaming for hypocrisy.
SoL has existed for nearly 6 years by now – meanwhile other clans came and went, even “the game is dying”. The clan isn’t making all the things wrong. It cannot be, given the length of history. I am tired of telling the people who are SoL members by heart to keep their heads up. For once I want to tell the opposition: I don't only like turtles, I really love you, you kings of Burger King, give me a nice hug and fly some kite.
I’m done preaching my weekend-sermon.