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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #1 
Today's has a news story that I find relevant to our community:

Challenging the inevitability of online harassment

Reading it made me reflect on the role I have as one of your moderators. The article stresses that game developers have been facing increasing personal attacks and harassment in social media and in online gaming communities. It says community managers (like myself) have been forced to become defenders of their game developers.

And yet I generally don't find myself doing this. In fact sometimes I publicly agree with criticisms of the Artemis software and some of Thom's choices, and still these forums remain civil. I am pleased to say that everyone in this community is supportive of Thom and supportive of each other.

So I feel I owe a thank you to the Citizens of the Official Artemis Forums! While the rest of the computer gaming world is apparently spiraling into a toxic cesspool of hatred for their games' developers, this community has remained a bastion of class and civility. I appreciate you for keeping my role so pleasant and interesting.

"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill

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Reply with quote  #2 
The Artemis community is the best community.

-Captain of the TSN Gungnir JN-001
-Eastern Front online group member
-My continuing bridge build:

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Reply with quote  #3 

(If people still say that)


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Reply with quote  #4 
I suspect the lack of hostility in these forums is largely dependent on the size. Artemis still has a very "niche" audience, and these forums tend to attract only the most devoted fans. The larger the apple barrel gets, though... you get more bad apples. What drives the G.I.F.T. is the size of the audience. I suspect the formula is not Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = G.I.F.T., but (Normal Person + Anonymity) x Audience = G.I.F.T. It may even be exponential.

Right now, I think the only practical approaches community managers have to breaking the formula is to focus on the "Anonymity" portion, but as audience increases, the costs spiral out of control. Volunteer moderators only go so far, and at a certain point the costs of managing a social media platform are difficult to justify. 

Sometimes I hope that this problem will sort itself out as the concept of an "internet community" or "online reputation" matures into something more manageable. When your online reputation becomes ubiquitous with your RL persona, then the consequences of acting like an a-hole online will create more manageable behavior. This may be wishful thinking on my part. 

One thing that surprised me about the Artemis community is there are factions, and they do have very different things that they want to get out of the game. Again, small fish in small ponds, but the various factions as I see them:

Modders: I see them as "simulationists" who are trying to recreate a particular franchise (be it Trek/BSG/Honorverse or what have you) and want some very specific things in the code to replicate the rules of how a particular setting is supposed to work. This also includes modders who are not trying to replicate a specific franchise, but maybe create something new, and need the code to do something that the "space" theme didn't really anticipate (such as dirigibles). 

LARPers: They want more tools to tell interesting stories and create interactions with different characters. They aren't too concerned with changes to the code, game balance, or new features if it doesn't give them something interesting to do in a LARP. In my experience, they tend to be more militant about what they want out of the game. 

Socializers: Looking to recreate a social environment where they get to interact with new people, yell at them, and have an interesting social experience. Not quite so concerned about coding or modding, but wants more of a balanced gaming experience where everybody gets to have a good time. 

Storytellers: Ah, the dreamers and frustrated wanna-be novelists... mostly mission scripters who want to tell a story, but can't figure out how to get the stupid generic mesh to do what it's supposed to do, and would it kill anybody to put in some string variables or more conditional operators? 

I am probably mis-categorizing these groups, particularly the last three, as I'm probably conflating the Explorers and Socializers from Bartle's Taxonomy. There's probably enough overlap within these groups that it might not be worth it to categorize them.  


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Reply with quote  #5 
It doesnt hurt that players that like Artemis tend to be needs that want to work with with other nerds.
-Captain of the TSN Gungnir JN-001
-Eastern Front online group member
-My continuing bridge build:

Posts: 623
Reply with quote  #6 
Originally Posted by notsabbat
It doesnt hurt that players that like Artemis tend to be ne[r]ds that want to work with with other nerds.


This is literally THE reason I got into Artemis, and why I will likely host far more games than I will ever play.

Facilitating teamwork among fellow nerds playing Artemis is a tremendous encouragement--there is more to gamer culture than the headline-grabbing eSports crowds or toxic online harassment!

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Angel of Rust

Posts: 327
Reply with quote  #7 
I do really like this community. We're a relatively small group of nerds looking for a particular social gaming experience.

I would add Makers to the list of people attracted to Artemis as sort of a hybrid between the role-play and modder crowds. We like to build things that evoke a particular experience of the game.


Posts: 2,999
Reply with quote  #8 
I think by definition the Artemis community draws artistic creators that want to tweak the game for their own entertainment. The structure of the game, with its scripting and ease of modification lends itself to that, but even more so, it's the basic idea of building an environment in which a group of people can play a shared game. Even without a custom bridge, you are invited to imagine yourself as part of a starship crew and even behave as such. So even if you aren't actively role playing, there is still more of an immersion factor than if you were just playing a game.

I think "nerds/geeks" tend to be people who want to take things apart and mess with them, so this would definitely seem to be the game for that. And such people don't usually want to take other PEOPLE apart and mess with them. 😃 Even PvP in Artemis sets one team against another, so you can't be too antisocial. This just simply isn't a game you can play alone.

The size of the community has a lot to do with it, but I think at heart we're a cooperative bunch drawn to a cooperative game. And even in modding the game and writing scripts we cooperate and help each other.

On the Bartle system I would say the game holds little for Killers or Achievers, but a lot for Explorers and Socializers. Modders and Scripters may have something in common with Achievers, but the game itself doesn't have any achievements or rewards to earn. Achievers have to make their own rewards. And as I said, Killers either have to team up with other Killers like themselves, or talk other types into teaming with them so they can satisfy their competitive itch against another ship.

I'll also note that Socializers and Role Players are basically the same thing, but Role Players internalize the socialization, keeping it within the environment of the simulation, while Socializers externalize their interaction, being in the environment only to have a place to interact.


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Reply with quote  #9 
At the same time, thank you to all the developers, contributors, moderators, etc of this game and the community that surrounds all the parts of it.

As has been said a number of times, I got into this game to get back to playing nerd games with people I am sharing air with. As I've gotten more into the game, bridge building, and more I've found a great place to find new ideas, have learned new skills, and have had members bail me out when I've painted myself into corners.

I'm always excited when it's been a while since I've worked on my bridge and I see a Forum Digest email in my inbox (as I just did about 5 minutes ago).

... I should probably do some work on my bridge now.

Cincinnati Shipyards ~
There are no problems you can't fix with a large enough hammer.

--EYES ONLY: TSN Bergeron refit--

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Reply with quote  #10 
I've got nothing but love for Artemis. I think a big part of the community spirit is the "heart on sleeve" nature of it.

You openly admit the bugs, you don't charge for DLC, you do everything on an "honour" system and it works.

You don't commit to some washy PR exercise full of buzzwords, Thom and the team and the community literally say: "here's a game, have at it".

Also, the teamwork and cooperation thing is sorely, sorely missing EVERYWHERE else in Gaming, especially online. I mean even Guilds and Raids and whatever else MMOs do to FORCE you to play with other people are replete with horror stories.

I think as well, the way we don't attack someone's deficit of knowledge, skills or experience. I love how you can say "How canz ships be different PLZ??!?!" and someone will patiently re-post the links to the various tools, mod guides and scripts needed.

I wanted a cataclysmic event that literally wiped the map clean on a wavefront and people here helped me understand the programming of variables into the scripts and I was blown away (literally as it turned out). Since then I've been able to stand more on my own but I can always come back to get a roadblock cleared.

Recently I've been a LOT less involved in the community, thanks largely to RL issues, but I can always pop in, whistle through my teeth at some gorgeous Bridge Builds, laugh at some Mission Reports and give an impressed nod to someone's sandbox.

Thank you to everyone who make this community so awesome and thanks to Thom for putting his baby out there.

"Universal law is for lackeys. Context is for kings."
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