Large Social Games and Mish Mash General Update

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Joined: July 01, 2016
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Post Post #4  (isolation #0)  » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:13 pm

So there's a larger issue to your questions regarding the lack of running games. Being a moderator is an incredibly thankless job. Given that I hosted my first game this year, Hybrid, people were incredibly quick to point out everything wrong, or how they'd do it better, or what they would do instead. The fact of the matter is that I ran 1/2 of the games this year and I love moderating. It's a lot of fun and I have a creative outlet that I would not otherwise have and it's been really good and empowering for me to even want to come out of my shell to make posts like this where I feel confident in what I am saying.

For me: I am not motivated by anything other than my love of Mish Mash, so regardless of whether I am thanked or whether I am hated, I love Mish Mash and I love hosting games as a whole. I've grown up a lot and recognized things that I'm not necessarily good at and how much I've improved as both a player and a person from hosting. Plus, in the months after my surgery it gave me a sense of purpose again which was fulfilling.

I cannot say the same for some of my cohosts. Creativemod1 made a post earlier this year regarding treating the mods like crap and it started with the first game I hosted. The players and even spectators got so bad and unforgiving to a team of 1st time LSG mods and a 1st time listmod that people had to intervene and say "hey go easy it's their first game." People have such an expectation of what games are supposed to be on LSG and that's because we have run a fantastic string of games in the past. The fact of the matter is that no one told me how to be a mod, no one helped me learn how to be a mod, and no one reached out to moderate with me to show me the ropes. I had to do all of that learning on my own. And yes, so did the first mods ever, I'll conceded the "Caveman Analogy". But the fact is that we have an entire database of amazing moderators who could have helped prepare a team of new moderators for everything they were about to face.

There are people I have hosted with this year, who don't want to host anymore because of how the players/spectators criticized months and months of labor. I have four immediate thoughts, but THIS IS A PROBLEM and its not a problem to just mass produce games and get people to do it, it's a problem at an even deeper level. It's taking someone's "child" so to speak and telling it that it's ugly and not perfect because maybe a couple details aren't great or aren't perfect.

I have some additional follow up on this item.

1. The moderator guides that have been created in the last few months are instrumental in the building blocks for more successful games going forward. I would suggest as a follow up, maybe we reach out to hosts of old and compile a list of their experiences (favorite moments, good things to know before moderating, things that were big learning moments, etc.). It shouldn't just be about getting player feedback, it should be about getting moderator feedback. Then, compiling this feedback from past moderators, we make a "first time modding? Here are some FAQs from past moderators you should know before dipping your toes in the water." I'm not saying this is a fix all solution, but having a working database going forward as a foundation for future moderators would be super useful and honestly? I could have really used it this year when I first started because it was extremely disheartening to have months and months of my life torn to shreds because I felt like I was thrown into the deep end of a pool and told to swim for the first time.

2. Idea generation can be kind of tricky. It's very very difficult to know what themes people will gravitate towards and what themes people won't gravitate towards. I think we as a community do such a variety of games that WE would think is fun that some times we put our blinders on to what would be fun for others. The amount of times I've had people put "idk the theme just pick for me." is something I've identified in hosting so many games this year, of what I would consider a very varied range of themes (ran movie series game, a video game game, and mafia style game). What I think could be interesting would be to do a "theme idea box". Because what people could do is throw ideas of things they would/might be interested in anonymously and what we would get as a result is a database of things people might enjoy playing/would gravitate towards rather than having to guess what people might play. It is true you are driven by the things you are passionate for, but I think having this database might be a good foundation for new prospective mods who just aren't sure what kind of theme they want to do/plan for.

3. So one thing that I think would be super helpful from both a player/moderator perspective would be a "why was this fun/why wasn't this fun" sort of thing that's anonymously sent to the listmods to compile some "behind the scenes feedback" to give to perspective hosts when planning a game. The listmods we have are lovely and fantastic and I want to hand them each some chocolate because I love them and they deserve it. However, even they aren't all knowing and can't predict what new idea might go over well/fail. People have vented to me so much this year about how they didn't have fun with various aspects of what I have planned. I have tried new things this year and tried to not just be "this is your dad's survivor", but the weird thing is even when I did with the game I've hosted (basically stripped everything back to basics) then people were like "I'm just not as engaged". It's a weird mentality to have because it basically states we want nothing new, but we also don't want things that are super old. As a moderator this makes it incredibly difficult to know what people want. Rather than just vent to moderators as the game is happening, what I think might be super cool is doing some sort of "LSG feedback" thing that's a database for the listmods where people can vent their frustrations or things they found fun/not fun privately so that listmods can sort of guide people who are planning a game with database of things like "this worked well/didn't work well." Rather than be like "I think this was well received?" And it's possible something like this is being done already, but it's not widely advertised and instead the mods are getting the brunt of things as the game is happening. As a moderator, I am so invested on making sure the game runs as smoothly and as fairly as possible, I don't have time to compartmentalize and emotionally handle the "I'm not having fun in your game" statements from people while the game is in progress, and I know we can't eliminate that entirely, but like it would help so much to have that frustration validated and streamlined to somewhere where it can be accurately handled. And maybe if a listmod is playing in a game they just don't access that doc as to preserve anonymity? Or maybe that just is known that it will be a resource available after the game for people to submit to, etc. etc. I just feel like, the job of moderator is thankless enough as is, they don't need to be put down more as the game is going on. It's demoralizing and it would be nice to streamline that frustration elsewhere so it can be parsed by an actual non biased 3rd party perspective who can address/do something about these valid frustrations. If someone isn't having fun, they should say it! I just want them to say it in a space and in a way that doesn't detract from people who are running it so they know they are being heard without making those who spent literal months, and sometimes years of their life putting into.

4. I have heard people say "Remember when _____ did this better" or like "I'm not having as much fun as I did in ______ game." Which like, I hate when people compare my games to previous games on whether or not they are "as good" or "better than" those games. People seem to have this standard of game based on a prior game they played of what "is a good game" vs "what is not a good game." It's a weird mindset to have, and I'm not saying I haven't played into this, but it's something I think we as a community could do less of. If you go into a game, expecting it to have the same levels of "greatness" as a prior game you've played, you are setting yourself and the hosts up for failure. I don't really know what can be done to change that mentality because when you play a truly great game that you love, you sort of want the next game to be as good or better. Plus if you like playing survivor a certain way, then if anything changes that status quo, you get disappointed. It's this thing that stifles new creativity and stifles people from exploring who they are and sort of adds to a number of the points I've brought up before. We don't get new games/ideas from people saying things like I've stated above, and if there's a genuine bona fide answer to this particular point I am all ears.

End of the day, I love moderating and regardless of how I am treated in a game, I will always love it. I love being creative. I love trying new things. I love exploring new options/themes etc. It's fun for me. I wish more people would reach out to me to want to moderate for me because I am active, I am passionate, and I would love to continue contributing to games in the future.

I don't need anyone to thank me for what I do. I know what I'm getting myself into and it's totally fine. I just think if you have the time to critique a game while it's running, you have the time to make your own games in the way you want and that's part of the issue currently. Turn your negative experience into a positive one in the future. But let's see if we can build some foundations or resources that expand upon these concepts rather than just say "we need more games". There are underlying issues that aren't just band aid solutions to a problem.

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