Hiatus: How BDI Finally Broke Me

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Preferred Title: Marog the Destroyer
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Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
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Hiatus: How BDI Finally Broke Me

Post by Nymphetamine » Sun May 26, 2019 5:24 pm

It's with a heavy heart that I make this announcement. I will be stepping away from BDI for the foreseeable future. This post will not be tactful or spare the details as to why.

I've been an op in BDI for nearly 9 years. With the exception of Amy, who was brought on at the same time as I was, this has been one of the longest tenures as an op in the channel. As many know, I took over BDI in February 2012, after several months of very little op presence. When I took over, there were about a dozen users in the channel, half of which were bots. Before me and the other two ops left were Herculean tasks of modernizing the content of the website, of drumming up an already declining IRC population to RP, and rebuilding of the channel. Over the course of the years, and with the help of a number of returning veterans and many unthanked people coming onboard as ops, we largely succeeded. BDI has boasted a thriving population with a robust wiki and a modern website for several years.

With the exception of a few weeks' break over the years, I have been present in BDI almost every single day. My own participation has waxed and waned over the years, some months seeing constant RP out of me, and others seeing me absconding off to Overwatch and recently Monster Hunter: World. The fact is, I would rather be playing video games or hanging out with my boys at home, than I want to be around BDI at the moment. And it's not hard to imagine the source of this particular malaise regarding the channel.

Every single bit of OOC drama is something that I personally have to deal with. Every time there's some OOC dust up to manage, I'm on the front lines trying to not only sort out what the fuck happened, but to mediate and moderate the involved parties so that the drama's dealt with. And let me tell you, this has been the single most annoying thing about BDI since day one. Nothing is more of an RP boner killer than having to drop everything that I'm doing to go put out fires. And maybe this has been the wrong way to go about it all this time, and I could've been doing something else to manage the various personalities involved in BDI. To me, the role of a leader is to do exactly as I have been doing. Attempting to manage players and ops, and salvage good working relationships between both groups.

However, despite how many times I've reiterated in the OOC and the forums that players should come to the op team, that they are welcomed to come into #BDI*Ops and air grievances against players or even the op team themselves, this space has been woefully underutilized. Despite how many times I've asked our -adult- players to conduct themselves as adults and handle OOC drama themselves, and then come to the ops, we've dealt with the same cycles of behaviour from a group of players all mired deep in the drama. The same dramatic people are behaving the same exact way by engaging in rumour mongering, conspiracy theorizing, and absolutely -not- coming to the ops to resolve their problems. Invariably, it eventually gets back to the ops, and we're stuck having to deal with this monolithic monstrosity of drama and bullshit that usually gets traced back to the same people.

If you think this refers to you, you're probably right. Dealing with the BDI martyr has been exhausting, completely and utterly demoralizing. You have been a drain on my sanity and patience, and no amount of attempting to talk to you either directly in PMs by me or other members of the team, or making public announcements of the behaviour, has yielded better results. You continue to engage in the same exact behaviours, roping in other people into your miasma of bullshit until everything's so convoluted and messy that sorting through it requires interrogating multiple people and their logs, and the patience of a saint.

Let's take the most recent example of these events. Summarily dubbed "the piano incident", it began with Uzzo suplexing a piano out of the setting. A comment said in the OOC and one that had been seen multiple times, both before Uzzo became an op and after. It has never meant anything more than a reminder that this thing is anachronistic. It certainly isn't an op directive, and to the best of my knowledge (reading the logs), that's all there was to it. There wasn't any PMs about stopping the RP, about even correcting the anachronism.

I understand if this is frustrating or annoying. I get that. If someone was constantly pointing out my anachronisms, I would probably be annoyed, too. But do you know how I, as an adult, would go about it? I would probably comment in the OOC about how, hey, could you not do that? It makes me feel <insert sensitive emotions here>. I would directly confront the issue and hope that would be all there was to it.

Literally in all this time that Uzzo has been suplexing cowboy hats and caravels out of the setting, no one has said to the op team, "Hey, that's really annoying." There has not been one mention of this particular emote. Which is likely why it continued.

So imagine my surprise that several hours later, martyr's roped someone else into the drama, to explode an entire dramatic bomb about "just inventing pianos!!!!" in the OOC with passive aggressive glee and ending with calls that "certain ops" should step down. Pardon me, offending party, but what the actual fuck? You want results, you come to the ops in PMs or #BDI*Ops and you air your grievances. You don't turn it into a dramatic explosion in the OOC to get what you want. You are not the martyr wrangler, you're under no obligation to speak for someone who is capable of speaking for themself, and you most certainly do not just explode the situation hours later in the OOC, disrupting the channel that was largely quiet, and turning it into a witch hunt against the ops. Excuse me, but you were a fucking op at one point, and you know how much drama you created that night. You effectively sowed dissent between the ops and the players, and then had the bullshit audacity to demand that the offending ops step down. And in all the process of this, you create yet another dramatic scenario that -I- have to deal with, on top of all the other shit in my RL, which you know because of FB. So thank you so much for that, really appreciate how you conducted yourself with grace and nobility.

But even this circles back around to the same person. The same person that you said told you, "they didn't want to keep RPing", but they fucking did anyways. Uzzo suplexing a piano in the OOC, which he does all the time, was the spark that made martyr complex not want to RP, even though they totally kept doing so. Because as you know, you can't change anything if you don't know it's bothering anyone. Of the people it did bother, one spoke to Uzzo directly and resolved the issue in PMs via conversation, like a reasonable adult, and the other one just ragequit, but was probably gonna ragequit about something in the future.

Martyr, you have literally preyed upon my attempts to foster a welcoming space for any player. Because I've been concerned about YOUR fun, about being understanding towards YOU and YOUR mental health, about being patient of your foibles, I've sacrificed my own peace of mind. You're as toxic and unhealthy for the channel as Alex was, for different reasons, and like with Alex, I've put off dealing with you because I've been afraid of the optics of the fall out. I've put off dealing with you because you wear your persecution complex like a shield against taking any personal responsibility for your choices and behaviour. No matter how I deal with it, it's a no-win situation. Deal with the problem players, face the rumour mongering and drama campaign that will spring up elsewhere, or step away and let someone else with more patience deal with the situation. Unfortunately, I feel like my patience, the op team's patience has been taken advantage of in this regard.

The reality of the situation is that the piano incident, and how all of that went down was literally the last straw for me. I have entirely way too much going on in my RL right now to want to continue in my role of manager of the BDI daycare. I am not your fucking babysitter, I am not your mother, and I am tired of being forced into the position of sorting out the same bullshit over and over again.

I love BDI for the same reasons as everyone else. This has been my RP home for more than a decade. I have cried, ranted and raved about BDI. There are few people who have committed as much time and energy to fostering BDI as a welcoming space, who have dedicated to keep it going even in the twilit years of IRC RP as I have. And for what? BDI is literally not fun for me because I keep having to deal with OOC drama. Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe, it's too much to expect that people conduct themselves as adults, that they handle their OOC disputes, that they not blur IC and OOC lines, that they accept that this shit is just a game, and that they not take things IC too seriously as signs that they're being picked on. But then I look at the majority of the population, who are all capable and do these things regularly and I realize that my expectations are just where they should be.

I had originally intended to see BDI through its own twilight, which I had expected to come in the next few years. When the channel's population had declined and play was far more sparse than it is today, I was intending to gracefully close the channel or to move it to Discord. Unfortunately, my desire to commit additional time and effort to a community that has been largely ungrateful has waned. I hardly want to spend any time in channel because of the bullshit that is regularly circulating.

In discussing my options with the op team, I came upon the description that my relationship with BDI has been like that of a hostage situation. I'm aware that there is no succession plan in place in the event that I do decide to leave during this hiatus, that there are few good candidates for additional ops, let alone someone to take over the role that I have fulfilled over the years. I've put the health and well being of the channel at the top of my priorities for years, and it feels like all I've gotten in return has been grief and bullshit. I cannot simply allow this to continue for my own sake. There's plenty of shit going on in MY RL that requires my attention.

I'm aware that this might make people nervous about the future of the channel, and I'm deeply sorry for that. Please go to the ops in #BDI*Ops and talk to them about it. I don't want to be hearing about anything BDI-related while I'm gone. Please don't reach out to me about any of that.

To those players who've never caused me grief, thank you. I love you all very much.