Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
With Season 4 on the horizon and new costumes in the pipeline, I’m anticipating a number of new calls to rebalance new and existing heroes.
These debates are often heated and are one of the biggest contributors to moderator intervention due to incivility.
I’d like to take the opportunity to note down a few strategies we can all use to improve the quality of our arguments and remain calm and unflagged!
These are really simple guidelines that I’m sure we know, but a reminder never hurts!
The Golden Rule
Also known as ‘do as you would be done by’ - the general idea is that you speak to others the way you would like to be spoken to.
Never say Always!
It’s very rare in life that we come across true absolutes; by saying something is the ‘worst’ or that something always happens is usually inaccurate and provokes argument. Using softer words like usually, sometimes or rarely gives room for everyone’s experience.
In Text No-one Can Hear You Scream
What I mean is, tone is often lost. What’s more, it’s easy to project tone on to a statement. It’s good practice to read an argument in the most positive tone possible before reacting
Sleep On It
If you feel like you are losing your temper or ability to argue logically, go and do something else, and come back later. Or you might decide it wasn’t worth your time anyway.
The Triangle of Fire
Just like a fire,an argument needs fuel, heat and oxygen. By continuing to partake in an argument, we may actually be giving the subject more oxygen.
Cold, Hard Numbers, Warm Hearts
Using well sourced statistics and figures is often far more impactful than trusting our own limited experiences. In a game with long odds, it’s quite common for players to have different experiences and for some players to experience the extreme ends of statistical probability. As such, it’s unhelpful to assume our own experience is typical and should be extrapolated to everyone.
Virtue or Vice - The Circles of Life
Conflict Resolution is one of my key roles IRL. One of the simplest tools and ideas is Betari’s Box. This concept says that our attitudes affect our behaviour which in turn affects others attitudes.
This can create a vicious circle of feedback - bad behaviour begets bad behaviour.
We can all de-escalate conflict by recognising these cycles and making an effort to reverse them. Is someone being disrespectful? Make sure you are polite and kind.
What the Flag?!
It’s not unusual for a flag on a post to precipitate several more in ‘revenge’. This is against forum rules and is pretty petty. If you’re post is flagged and you honestly don’t know why, you can flag it as ‘other’ and ask (politely). The mods will normally try to explain as best they can.
Please note though, that all flags are considered in context - a thread going off the rails is much more likely to attract harsher flagging as we steer it back in a positive direction.
Some people perceive flags as censorship however I think it’s fair to say that we tolerate a lot of dissent and fair criticism of SG and it’s product. What we don’t tolerate are criticisms loaded with abuse and threats.
(Don’t) Show Me the Money
We all have different amounts of cash and choose to spend it in different ways. Making crass generalisations about players pigeonholed into particular arbitrary brackets makes for extremely poor logic when constructing an argument.
If in Doubt, Ask
You can @ us or, preferably, flag any post as ‘other’ to ask us a question. This doesn’t cause any kind of disciplinary record.