Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Fascist clans?
Because of my "near death," I missed out on the whole "hacking" and "droptricking" debate over at MFO. But there was an interesting sideline to the debate that I wanted to spend my two cents on. Clan AU has taken some heat over the misguided actions of AU_Kop which allegedly consist of both of the above mentioned activities. In defending his clan, our good buddy niDe had this to say:
Now, some remarks have been made about AU clan. If those people honestly think that one persons actions speaks for the whole clan, then they are easily deceived. AU doesn't condone hacking, drop tricking or excessive smack talking. Now we know kOp has had trouble with drop tricking and smack talking in the past and really these issues are rather trivial. A lot of people don't like kOp and are surely going to use this "hacking" incident as ammunition against him. But you cannot control a persons free will.
No, you can't control a person's free will, but you can control whether they are part of your clan or not. It's true that one person's actions don't speak for the clan, however, when a member violates the generally accepted standards of the community, the clan's response does. Whether we like it or not, in the RON community, clan tags are like brandnames, just like Ford, Apple, and Microsoft. Membership in a clan signifies something -- its reputation -- intended or not. Since there is generally some official or unofficial screening criteria to join a clan (e.g., skill level, location, etiquette, friends, etc.) you can generalize about the entire clan based on who gets accepted and how strictly they adhere to their criteria. And despite clan members' pleading to not diss the clan because of member x, people will naturally associate the behavior of member x with the expected behavior of members y and z. This is only natural. If Ford Tauruses all started randomly exploding, people would obviously stop buying Tauruses. But they would also think twice before buying any other Ford because all Fords would start to gain a bad reputation.

So while a clan may not be able to control the actions of a particular player, it can control its member roster. Clans with "problem" players need to consider whether they value having a certain member more than having a good reputation in the gaming community. The actions a clan takes to resolve breaches of community trust go a long way to cementing that reputation, whether for good or ill. Dissenting members are left with the decision whether to accept their new reputation or leave the clan.

On the specific incidents mentioned above we can't comment much, other than to wish good judgment on Clan AU.

UPDATE: Memento manages to publicly shame me, and he didn't even need to play Maya! Prior to me writing this post, AU had already taken action on this matter -- and I missed the post! D'oh! Well, at least it's good to see that Memento agrees with me :-)

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