Guilds are not Businesses

Guilds in these online games are com­plete­ly vol­un­tary, at-will orga­ni­za­tions of peo­ple. This cre­ates a strange dynam­ic when it comes to leading.

When I was GM, a good friend of mine in the guild–we’ll call him Angus–was excel­lent at lead­ing groups and raids. He was­n’t shy about grab­bing a cou­ple of our more pas­sive guild­mates and mak­ing good things hap­pen like attune­ment require­ments, gear upgrades, and all the rest. In real life, Angus is a con­fi­dent leader who runs his own busi­ness, with employ­ees. His com­pa­ny is suc­cess­ful! I thought, “Wow, he’d be a great offi­cer, maybe even GM!” So he got the nod as offi­cer, and while he was gruff at times, he proved a great asset to the guild.

Over time, I learned that Angus had real­ly been eager to take a shot at lead­ing the guild. We fre­quent­ly had open con­ver­sa­tions among the offi­cers regard­ing whose turn to lead was com­ing. So even­tu­al­ly, Angus got the nod.

The problem–and it took months for us to learn this–is that his abil­i­ty to lead a suc­cess­ful for-prof­it busi­ness involves a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent skill set than lead­ing a suc­cess­ful vol­un­tary, at-will orga­ni­za­tion. Angus turned out to be a good boss, but not a great leader.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Guilds are not Businesses

Drama is Inevitable

Like most peo­ple, I learned the hard way about sec­ond chances at relationships–backsliding, regres­sion rela­tion­ships, what­ev­er you want to call it. Name­ly that they don’t work, despite the fact that regres­sion sex might sound like just what you need after a series of ter­ri­ble first dates. How­ev­er, unless one of you has been in a coma or sim­i­lar­ly life-chang­ing event, inevitably the crazy in your ex or the behav­ior that brought out the crazy in you (or both) man­i­fests again… and then you final­ly wake to find your­self stuck in a supreme­ly depress­ing place: exact­ly the same kind of unhap­py sit­u­a­tion you were in before, except you’re old­er and you have demon­stra­bly not learned your les­son. You’re con­nect­ed again to this per­son who makes you unhappy.

Then you some­how break it off. Whether you’ve extri­cat­ed your­self via your own force of will or via exter­nal caus­es, you’re free of this per­son and you now have some abil­i­ty to see this kind of sit­u­a­tion com­ing again. When faced with future back­slid­ing, even­tu­al­ly you either:

  1. Real­ize that the num­ber of sec­onds you have on this plan­et is finite, and per­haps regres­sion sex-and-crazy this isn’t the best way to spend those sec­onds. You opt out from that person.
  2. Let them back into your guild.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Dra­ma is Inevitable