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On the topic of "Formal Complaint against Members of Staff - Sting and Mist"


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  • Executive Administrator

I want to weigh in publicly as some folks are out on manoeuvres.

 

There are certain topics that must be treated with deference in polite society and one of them is the topic of rape. It's not a topic that must be wholly off limits - war is hell - but, on the exceedingly rare occasion it is a topic touched upon, there is a way to frame it that treats it with the respect it is due, and having read the character biography (spoiler: the admin team do not and have never reviewed character biographies) I thought it was a tactless and excessively detailed way to approach it. I imagine it would have been deeply traumatic to come across were you or somebody close to you were a victim. Certainly I read it and as others in my circles can attest immediately went to have a cigarette. Rape isn't a shortcut to making your character more interesting.

 

The fact that they have hidden the complaint thread has drawn accusations of censorship or that they have something to hide: this is nonsense and indeed would defeat the purpose of hiding the offending character biography in the first place; it was disgusting and nobody should accidentally stumble across it.

 

That this is controversial is bizarre to me: it was the right decision. I would have absolutely made the same decision. Well done to Orwell and Misty for sticking to their guns.

 

 

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SST is not a space that has ever had complete freedom of expression in terms of what roleplay is acceptable. Your name, backgrounds and upbringing are changed if they break the immersion of the setting. Erotic roleplay was fade to black several years back and since 2020 has been outright banned on server. Underage characters (<18) have been explicitly only by XA permission - and I can only recall one to date which was ever acceptable, largely due to the extreme trust you place in the person to not roleplay unsavoury topics involving a minor. Questionable topics which have the potential to produce actual roleplay and thus content have always been possible, but they require a delicant approach so to not trivialise the topic.

 

Like it or not, rape is a very serious topic and deserves to be treated as such. It destroys people's lives and often leaves them shells of their former selves. If you don't have the capacity to treat the topic with the gravity it is due nor do you have the mental ability to understand boundaries of traumatising scenarios, then you shouldn't even think about touching it.

 

Orwell and Misty were right to ban them. Individuals like that aren't looking to create interesting narratives which improve all of your experiences, they're there to LARP as a victim, or worse fantasise about it - while treating the topic like a joke. If you want to become a mocked and reviled community, then go ahead and bring them back - but I would hope you actually have some quality control and more over, some pride in what you have actually built.

 

So to all the gremlins out there screaming about 'corruption'; you have one of the most transparent staff teams out there who let ex-staff members retain their ability to see the staff chats and their opinions even listened to. You have an owner and XA team who actually talks, reasons and asks for your inputs. SSTRP is as democratised as it can be right now and any claims against are from hostile actors with their own agenda's, with no concern of the health and wellbeing of players and SST as a community. Do not give these oxygen thieves a moment of your time.

 

Orwell and Misty, keep it up. You're doing a good job despite difficult conditions. As democratised as SST is right now, the health and reputation of the community is your responability, the effect of your choices will last far longer than these critics will be around for. Continue to make the correct and moral choices as you have and good luck.

Edited by jimalfkie
  • Like 4
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I wouldn't have figured writing something along the lines as I do now. I was only informed of what had gone on with the recent mess. I felt the need to at least tack on to both Xal and Jim's comments alone, even if it will just be in lines of a repeat of what they displayed.

Orwell and Misty both acted rightly to what was done and if in their place, I would have done the same in a heartbeat to see that gone. The subject in question is one that is a little too close to home for my liking and even the thought of it being used as a vile tool that offers nothing makes me sick. It isn't a joke and as Jim said, it's a topic that is heavy, an impactful event that will leave victims a shell of them self. The way that topic is conveyed here? Isn't so much given that sort of care to avoid making it nothing more than a twisted fantasy.

So Orwell/Misty. Thank you, from someone who's had this topic on hand be an effect in my own life in some manner. That you keep it away from people who see it only as a quick path to make an "interesting" character backstory.

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As someone who is often extremely vocal about admin ‘corruption’ and misdeeds, I really can’t see any reason why this wasn’t a good decision. Nothing but good faith decision making was made from staff involved with the decision. I agree with the prior notions that rape is an intensely touchy topic that, put frankly, has no place to be touched or explored even remotely in a roleplay community out of respect for those affected. As so often is the case, including this one, people can not be trusted to explore this topic sensitively. So they should not be given the ability to. It is not a matter of restricting freedoms or censorship.

If you’re one of the people who are appalled by the decisions made by Misty and Orwell you need a serious reality check. To argue in any degree in favor of the banned party, especially when being given the gracious courtesy of having received warnings prior, is to be demented. It should have been noticed sooner, but I am happy that when it was noticed it was acted on decisively - and it really goes to show just who is right in the head.

  • Like 1
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I've looked at the entirety of this situation and had respectfully removed myself from comment up until now, because this situation is getting escalated to a level where current and former XA's are now having to be involved to chime in with unbiased opinions.

 

Let me say firstly, I think conflict breeds creativity. I think trauma and history adds as much depth to a character as victories and achievements. I think all of these are necessary to create a three dimensional character. With that being said, I think we all can agree that the subject of rape is extremely volatile and can make a lot of people uncomfortable - rightfully so. I've been at SST a very long time and this is far from the first case of a character who has a history with abuse / sexual assault. However, I don't think there is any place in time where it's appropriate to go into graphic detail about said abuse. Most people tend not to read bios to begin with, of those that do, even fewer want to read those particulars of a fictional (or actual) character in detail. The same character development and results can be accomplished by broadly declaring it was a part of the character and moving on.

 

I think the idea that this is censorship is frankly silly, we've always had a very clearly defined standpoint on matters such as this and that's made even more apparent by the fact that you have a multitude of former admins (who frankly don't get along) coming together in unison about this. War is hell, we all get that. This is also Garry's Mod. This is not the platform to raise debate on sensitive issues like this and as a woman, this DOES make me uncomfortable and I don't see there being a place for it. The bottom line is that this is not appropriate in any form, the administration (rightfully) deemed it as inappropriate and took action. We have minors at this community who are here to shoot bugs, not read about rape in graphic detail.

 

At face value, I personally wouldn't have outright administered a permaban. I think the administration was right and should've pulled it, contacted the individual(s) in question for modification and based on that interaction and how the player chooses to respond, taken further action from there.

 

I stand by the decision that was made.

Edited by Luna
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the fact that this is even something that needs to be discussed is legitimately annoying. there should be no discussion required here. gmodders famously don't have the tact to detail even the simplest of touchy scenarios, and this is one out of a hundred dozen examples. it's outright appalling that this is even something that needs to be discussed or contested. sexual assault is a highly personal and uncomfortable thing to many many people. it doesn't need to be entertained in a media such as this. write a fucking book

 

were it up to me, anyone involved with this complaint and those crying foul would be swiftly told to leave the community and not come back. these things should not be entertained. garrys mod roleplay is not the place to play out your trauma or your fantasies; whatever the fuck led to this occurring. those involved should seek therapy or at least go outside; especially with the fact that the banned got warnings, which shouldn't have been necessary

 

the only things the current administration could have done better is ban these people sooner, along with anyone acting like this is a grotesque breach of the community's trust. otherwise, they did everything right. if you disagree then you have issues with yourself to reconcile

Edited by scout
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The idea of the server itself is to build the character as you go or to simply have a loose idea of where you would like the character to go, in some cases it helps to have a background especially for early on introductions with the wider range of teen novel characters on the server, now undoubtedly some characters have darker pasts than others this is the way of things, it'd be boring if everyone was exactly the same. 

When dealing with such sensitive subjects such as this it is imperative it is handled with the upmost care and respect, hence why there is a line drawn and even more blatantly towards erp and regardless of how you view the manner in which this presented, albeit in a character bio it's still something that should be left relatively unexplored and as it is so sensitive and inherently by it's nature does tie into erp.

The fact is the former player in question and circles they frequent have become synonymous with erp although not blatantly it's certainly not coy. The mere fact that someone thought this was acceptable and handled with the upmost care is bizarre, you don't need to have a 'reason' as to why you cyber with grown men on the internet you are simply just odd. If Orwell or Mist hadn't banned this former player I'd have serious questions of the leadership of the admin team, there is no time out and chill out here they crossed a line and the correct decision was made although I feel this could of been nipped in the bud earlier.

TLDR; Rape is an incredibly delicate and difficult subject and should not be brought into gmod rp, nothing less than a permanent ban was warranted and if you feel anything less than the decision that was made should of been used, please get some serious help.

Pulp Fiction Stars: Where Are They Now?

Edited by Odin
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Most of what I wanted to say was said already. Rape of any kind is not funny. It doesn't make your character quirky, it doesn't make their story better, it doesn't provide you a reason to act as if your character is damaged. I'm sure that you all have the writing abilities to cover such things. If you want to RP a emotionally damaged character that's okay, that's fine by all of us. War is hell. 

That does not mean you can go straight for such sensitive topics. (I say that as we RP Warcrimes). There is a line in the sand that must be drawn and this was very clearly over the line. There is no if, ands, or buts about this. I firmly think that Orwell and Misty have made the right call. Whoever thinks otherwise is a fool. Roleplay is suppose to be a fun medium. It's not suppose to be a place where trauma is the focus point. 

As you can see myself and other former XA's are putting down our foot on this matter. This is a no shit situation, this can ruin the lives of others. We have warned you all that people who have high end jobs can be affected by your actions. This is something that could easily be frowned upon if someone was looking into communities that some of us are part of. Your actions does not only affect you, but those around you. 

Please, Folks. If you have to ask yourself "Is this okay to write?" Nine out of Ten times. The answer is no. 

Think before you act. 

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  • Executive Administrator

I hid the complaint because it had sexually inappropriate content in it. I felt uncomfortable hiding a complaint, but it had to go. This was after it was resolved and well over 200 people read through the affairs, alongside a public statement from Orwell and myself, mind you.

 

I act as an XA in the best interest of the community and I'm willing to spend my time here because I love the community. I don't always make the right decisions; I'm not perfect, I don't even know what perfect looks like frankly. But I have to think about what I allow to fester and harbor in my community - I don't want my name attached to a community that allows deviancy and fetishism of the extreme.

Do you?

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TLDR; I've been asked to throw my hat in the ring and can't disagree with Misty and Orwell.

SST has adult themes and topics, as even though Hollywood would make war look cool, war is very adult. Its very brutal and humans suck. With this in mind SST is and I hope always will be a comfortable place for people to be and engage in entertainment. Can adult themes be done? If the tact, effort, subtlety under the umbrella of respect is applied, yes.


Orwell and Misty have banned a person for being tactless and breaching the standard etiquette of RP, by writing a unflattering description of rape in a character biography. Their decision was plainly that the mode of displaying this act on the forums for any to see is, obviously a bad move. It is cruel to victims and an awful look for the community and by leaving it up they passively endorse it. A serious topic was trivialised at the expense of any victims, readers and roleplay. From what I'm told there were multiple offences in the post that were trivialising victims of other topics as well. If you do not notice the problem with how being tactless on adult topics can ostracize and make others uncomfortable, then you have quite the lack or respect for others. 

SST has a very clear anti ERP stance ,and has been that way since at least 2017 when I first joined. The reason for this is blatant, it attracts an audience that use SST as a dating app over a place to play soldiers and engage in sci-fi military RP.  Relationships are fine, the adage of "Love finds a way" is prevalent here, but there are lines. The line is in the sexual aspect. Its not nice for outside audiences to see. It leaves people uncomfortable, me very much included. I see the description of rape in a bio as passing that line within the community. Their removal of the post, member of the community, and logs of the offence are normal. 

In personal opinions: I am livid with the thought this went under the radar as long as it did, though I understand. Orwell and Misty have made the correct calls here; as is their duty and right as owner and XA. Removal of morally offensive content and banning the member responsible for it.  As others said the topic of rape, sexual assault, or romantic abuse requires so much delicacy to write in a way that does not ostracize others, offend/upset victims it is practically untouchable on SST or Gmod. You need a novel, not a broken paragraph. You can not RP whatever you wish in any community, there are social lines. Please abide by them. Do what you would in public whilst in public on a public server.

  • Like 1
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There isn’t much I can add that hasn’t already been said, but I would like to reaffirm my agreement with the staffs decision here. 
 

I’ve been around SSTRP since 2013. One might say I’m fairly long in the tooth, even. Or they might just tell me “get a life, nerd.”

 

In all my years playing around on servers SST and otherwise, I can tell you nothing kills a server quicker than strange sexually deviant stuff. Especially anything to do with rape. We pride ourselves on not being an overly sensitive server, but trust me, I’ve seen servers more roughneck than our own bite it because of ERP drama.  

 

However, whatever my personal opinion on it may be, the server owner and executive staff have their own tolerance limits, and the absolute final say on what they want on the server. This very clearly passed their tolerance limit and so they removed it. Really isn’t anything else to say on the matter. SSTRP isn’t a democracy, and it isn’t answerable to anyone but the person paying the bills.  

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As someone in the current Staff Team and recently new to the community who has heard glories and dirt about it's past and am in the mud of the current state of affairs, helping clean up the house, I stand fully by Misty and Orwell's decision, and I'd like to think that's also the entire team's stance after a full review of what happened.

No Roleplaying medium should exist where topics such as rape is depicted publicly. You want to have that in the background of your character that's all fine and fair, but for crying out loud don't post it publicly and avoid having that show up on server as a topic of discussion. As others here said before me: It is a VERY SENSITIVE topic and those who actually experienced such a traumatic experience WILL NOT enjoy reading that in a place that they might want to think of as a 'Safe Haven' or a 'place to get forget life for moment'.

Literally: Have some common sense.

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Hi

 

Been a while since I posted but this is a bit too important of an issue to allow to slide by in my hermetic reclusion. I completely support Misty and Orwell in their decision, everyone else has pretty much said all that I could have wanted to say so to keep it brief;

 

As a group of individuals who come together to craft a community and enjoy the roleplay and experiences here we have to have some common decency and our own little social contract. I can't believe it needs to be said that something as triggering and traumatic as sexual assault doesn't have a place as something to just make your character more interesting. If it was actually well thought out and not advertised then my opinion might be different but I digress. Do you want to be associated with a community and allows people to throw things like that around willy nilly? I know I wouldn't and that's why calling this censorship doesn't make sense at all. It's a private forums, private server, and I'm sure you don't need me to explain the differences between government and a bunch of rp nerds like us. 

 

Just be better.

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