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Major issues with the administration team in general
Writing this up as a forum post because I couldn't make it to the town hall and it's a bigger think than a single question-response anyway.  The short version is there are profound problems with the administration structure, current and past admins have been pointing this out for months, and nothing's been fixed. This is causing Problems.  Though I will do my best to be civil in this thread, I am not interested in being particularly quiet or friendly (because I've been trying that for the past year and got nowhere). I am probably going to piss you off, and I'm sorry for that, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong or I don't know what I'm talking about. Okay? Okay.

This is going to be a long read! I am not sorry about this in the slightest! This is a longstanding problem and the admin team has had many, many opportunities to resolve these concerns. If you are not interested in putting in the work to maintain the community when that means five ten minutes of reading, then that is not my problem.  What is my problem is the deep issues in the administration team - and it's worth noting that I hold the administration team as a unit responsible for the problems, and actions by individual admins, though they may be reprehensible, are more of a symptom of a problem than the problem in and of itself.

Any declarative statements such as 'X said Y to Z' have proof in the form of links to specific messages and conversations and screenshots (just in case someone decides to edit what they have said). If I can't prove something happened, or I am speaking in a general sense or providing interpretation and perspective, I will say so.  I'll put the screenshots and links in a separate googledoc I'll link here: footnotes and references so people who don't feel like checking my work don't have to scroll past it.


Multiple admins have exhibited behavior in cool zone that is against the rules for all people in the discord server and the admin guidelines which apply only to members of the admin team - specifically, statements that if made by a player would be considered 'deathwish / death threat' (01-01 and 01-02 in the footnotes and references document), starting a lengthy argument that complains about 'virtue signaling' (those exact words were used) and is generally dismissive and denigrating to large numbers of people, (01-03 in the footnotes and references document), telling members of the community "Well, you make this discord a worse place" (01-04 in the footnotes and references document) - a statement which he admitted later was inappropriate, but not directly to the person he directed it to because she had been banned in the meantime, and there is no indication he asked for someone in touch with her to relay his apology (01-05 in the footnotes and references document).

This is not an exhaustive list, this is just a few examples I can come up with off the top of my head that have happened in the last three months - and many of these have happened within the last week.  There does not appear to be any rules or guidelines that prevent members of the admin team from doing whatever they like in cool zone; or at minimum any rules or guidelines which do apply are ignored with no real consequence.

On the rare occasion an admin's behavior is egregious enough for a member of the admin team to believe it warrants mention later, the mention is never more meaningful or toothsome than 'we talked about it, move on' (01-06 in the footnotes and references document, representative sample).

DESIRED OUTCOME: Members of the admin team should not be above the rules that govern people's behavior on the Discord server, especially in player-facing areas.  Those that break those rules should be held to the same standard of punishments as any other member of the Discord server, and if that means temporary or permanent bans, so be it - if a member of the administration team cannot keep themselves under control in this manner, Goonstation is better served with their absence in any case.  If it's decided that a simple apology will suffice (judged solely on the scope and magnitude of the offense, admin status should simply not be considered when adjudicating the issue for fairness' sake if nothing else) then that apology should be in the same setting as the offense was - in that same player-facing space, *and* directed specifically at the target of the rule-breaking behavior (like with an @ ping, or a @here if the offense was to the channel in general). If this means the administrator who erred will feel embarrassed, that's a good thing actually, as it will incentivize them to not repeat the mistake.  Note that this is to be considered a bare acceptable minimum - if the administration team wanted to seek out free materials for anger management strategies or set up their own no-holds-barred vent channel to give an outlet to admins who for whatever reason *really need* to type whatever they're thinking into a discord window, that would be nice, but the above is a minimum.


As of the time of this writing, ratsofftoya is currently on a weekban from the discord server for a statement that was judged to be wishing death on others (02-01 in the footnotes and references document) - it is worth noting, however, that the offending statement was not challenged by anyone, including the same member of the administration team who later went on to make a statement hoping for the death of a previous president (01-02 in the footnotes and references document, previously mentioned).  Later in that same conversation, Rats called out the latter statement as crossing the line, and was rebuffed (02-02 in the footnotes and references document), insulted (01-04 in the footnotes and references document, previously mentioned), and told that the 'deathwish' statement that Souricelle, the administrator in question, had made would not necessarily be considered acceptable if it came from Rats (02-03 in the footnotes and references document), the exact words were "You might if you were doing it just because you were mad at me or something" which is a problem because last I checked, the administration team is not able to empirically know someone's motivation for a given act, and quite frankly I don't trust the judgment of any member of the administration team, past or present, myself included, to make that judgment call without letting bias into the equation.  It is furthermore worth noting that Rats has been banned previously for a video which was decried to contain an 'ejaculating penis' (no screenshot or link for this one, it's alleged that the video was referred to as such in admin chat by an unknown member of the admin team, the person who relayed this information to me is someone I trust and who has no reason to lie about it and judging by the fact that it has cropped up elsewhere before I mentioned it, this was leaked to others as well) but contains nothing more offensive than a still image of Biggie Smalls sitting on a sofa while an AI mimic of his voice calls himself worthless and a 'penis sucker' (I have a copy of this video and can provide it upon request).  I don't recall the specific timeframe, but the elapsed time from 'Rats was banned for this' and 'the ban is lifted' was at least overnight, and it took rather some doing to convince Huk, the admin who banned her for this offense, to admit that he was in the wrong and give his consent in her appeal thread for the ban to be lifted.  At least one member of the admin team has acknowledged this and other handling of certain members of the community was unfair (02-04 and 02-05 in the footnotes and references document), but the mentioned "certain staff" who are "very ashamed" have not apologized to Rats for this to my knowledge, and in any case have not done so in the same context the poor handling (public apology).  

DESIRED OUTCOME:  Members of the administration team who have something to apologize for should do so, ideally in the same context in which the offense happened (so if the offense happened in a public channel, in that same public channel with a @ ping for the target).  Going forward, there should be greater transparency between the community and the administration, instances where a member of the community was treated unfairly should be admitted to, apologized for, and learned from. Occasional "this was discussed in admin chat and handled" and the exceedingly rare "people who i refuse to name feel bad about how you got treated" with an unspoken implication of "but not enough to do anything about it or apologize directly" are simply insufficient and insulting.  As was mentioned in the desired outcome for the previous point, members of the administration team should be held to the same standards of behavior as members of the community, *especially* in community-facing spaces.  To do otherwise is to, explicitly or implicitly, anoint the administration team as 'above the law' and that is not acceptable.  Again, this should be considered a bare minimum - suggestions for 'bonuses' right off the top of my head include greater accountability for the ticketing system (who responded to your ticket? what's the average elapsed time between ticket submission and someone looking at it? how many tickets never get looked at? No idea.) or more frequent townhalls or other situations where a member of the community with a concern can raise that concern, know that it is being taken seriously, and is public enough to provide pressure on the administration team to follow through on the concern.

SIDEBAR: I'm not really calling for anyone's heads here. Admins are screwing up and doing bad things, yes. My perspective is that this is more down to a fundamental lack of structure and the systemic problems within the administration team than it is to bad actors. I figure everyone on the team is there because they want to make the game and/or its community a better, cooler place to hang out, and the problems arise when there is no structure beyond 'don't do these things or... well, nothing will happen, really. but please don't do them.'

Currently, anyone who's on the admin team is expected to be at least competent in dealing with ingame issues (including using tools like varedit or build-mode to fix problems with a round), dealing with problem players (including chewing through log files to prove / disprove statements), dealing with the Discord server (including calming down arguments or dealing with people who have broken rules), dealing with meta-issues (like activating forum accounts and moderating the forums), and optionally Coder Things.  That is a lot of hats!  It does not need to be that many hats! It would make far more sense to have 'admin' have a more granular definition that lets people do what they are good at without expecting them to do things they hate or are not good at.  This idea has been floated previously and shot down.
Another issue, and probably a more grave one than the first, is that the flat administration structure has outlived its usefulness.  There is no direction or drive to handle important issues, and attempts to resolve issues often wither before bearing fruit because the people who were working on it got tired of dealing with it, or they got distracted by something else.  A steering committee that existed solely to *encourage*, but not *require* work on important but unsexy issues would help a lot with this.  'Okay Tom makes a good point that someone should figure out a policy for who gets to use the donglabs company boat.' time passes. 'Hey we haven't heard anything about the boat policy, let's ask Tom where they're at with that and ask them if they need any help or if they have something they can show and get feedback on. Hey Tom!'  Everyone is expected to have a hand on the steering wheel, and as a result, the team is rudderless.

DESIRED OUTCOME: Fix it! Pick a group, start with Wire because he's the guy who owns the servers, and build a steering committee. Figure out what that means - what powers should it have? What powers should it NOT have? Figure that out and you're most of the way home, honestly, because that gives you structure and foundation to build upon.  Hell, opening up the discussion of that to the entire community wouldn't be a terrible idea, because chances are a bunch of people have some real good ideas about how things could work even if their name isn't orange or red.  Let admins focus on tasks they are good at and enjoy doing, and don't expect them to perform tasks they are not good at and don't enjoy doing. I know for a fact there are members of the administration who are real good at in-game things and enjoy handling that, but hate dealing with the Discord server. Similarly, there are also members of the administration who are real good at dealing with the Discord server but aren't all that excited at dealing with things ingame. Stop getting in their way! Maybe even pick people whose only job is to deal with the Discord server so the administrators who don't want to or aren't good at it don't have to! Expecting everyone to do everything is bad planning, and the lack of structure and competitive / sniping aspects to a completely flat administration structure (especially given how that power vacuum was reacted to by some) in addition to burnout has cost the administration team a number of people who decided that as much as they love this community, they can no longer help it along. That's bad! If you read and address only one of the three complaints in this thread, please for the love of god let it be this one, because everything else rests on it.  Similarly, if you work on this one first, you'll find the other two problems much easier to chew on.

I love this community, I've loved this community for over a decade now and gave about ten years of my life to helping it grow and strengthen.  Please understand that this complaint comes from a place of love - i want to see the admin team do better, because that will mean the community i love is stronger.  My specific complaints about specific statements and actions are pointing out behavior I believe to be in the best interests of the administration team to address and assign proper consequences for, yes - but the importance, in my mind, is not on 'punishing the guilty' so much as it is 'strengthening the community' and 'rebuilding trust between the community and the administration team'. Trust is a big one, and you're not going to get it by failing to address your missteps - and you can start with casting a critical eye on some recent bans (Rats, Kate) and having an honest discussion with yourselves about how much of those bans were really about being presented with arguments you don't like. Address your missteps honestly and fairly, show a good-faith effort to improving the systemic problems in the administration team, and we'll finally be able to move on and work together to make this a great community where anybody who isn't an asshole is welcome.


If my base assumption of 'the problems we are seeing now are enabled by a fundamental lack of structure and leadership in the admin team' is accurate, then where does that leave us? we don't really have structure or leadership largely because whether out of fatigue or apathy, the admin team didn't set that structure up a year ago after the collapse of wizards.  i have no reason to believe the average member of the admin team is *less* fatigued and apathetic now than they were a year ago, and it's easy to see this is likely to become, if it isn't already, a vicious cycle that leaves everybody burned out and jaded.

Y'all, you have help.  Most, if not all, of the work of defining the structure of the administration team could be done with the help of players and other members of the community. You don't need the gibself verb to have some ideas about how a team can work together, and someone whose name in Discord is blue has just as good a chance as an orange name to have insight into organizational dynamics.  Maybe pick a few people willing to volunteer to run a thread, or even a subforum? You'll probably get better results if you start with a skeleton - maybe write down a list of very basic things like 'how do people join the team', 'how should the team deal with players' and 'how does the team decide things' and ask people for thoughts.  not every idea you get is going to be a good one, and of course you won't be expected to codify some rando's shitpost into policy, but hey - you might get something you can use, or at least use as a foundation.  Do you really think the community that surrounds this deranged little game sticks around only because they like the way the fart noises sound? We stick around because we love this game and the people who play it, and we would like it to continue.

This flat-structure, everybody-is-in-charge thing y'all have been doing isn't working. it hasn't worked for a long while, if it ever did. adminchat is a toxic hellhole much of the time, ameliorated once in a while by some hail-mary to try and take the pressure off like screaming at the squeakiest wheel until they cower or leave for a while, or making yet another new channel for the team to scream in consequence-free, or or or - and some of them even work for a while. but sooner or later, y'all are at each other's throats in adminchat again, again, again and the pressure builds until someone does something stupid, usually in cool zone.  how many people who used to be on the admin team have been saying for months now that there are profound structural issues? how many people have the administrator role and haven't been seen for months because they got burned out or needed a short break and that turned into weeks? Exactly how many people do you need to see pointing at the admin structure and say 'problem!' and how many people do you need to see noping out of the team before you acknowledge that this shit isn't working?

I get it. building organizational structure is grueling, boring, fundamentally unsexy work. but none of that makes it any less important. let us help you.  we might have some ideas.  You have to be willing to hear them, though.  Ball's in your court.
Hello, given that this complaint touches upon the entire admin staff and not any particular member, we are collectively discussing this internally so that everyone gets a say in how we respond and can discuss each particular point that you make. We've decided that we'll make a response as a team because otherwise it would be two bajillion posts by admins probably repeating themselves. This process may take a hot minute (days), so thank you for your patience.
oh yeah absolutely, i mentioned this in a conversation with a current admin but it's probably worth noting for anyone reading this thread that yes i understand this shit takes time, as long as it is actively being discussed / thought about / worked on i am 100% cool being patient for a bit. i'll let y'all know if i'm starting to get antsy.

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder that the purpose of the Admin Feedback subforum is the discussion of grievances levied against an admin(s) or the administration as a whole between the accused, the submitter, and the parties named in the thread. While well-intentioned, suggestions on how best to resolve these issues and move forward do fall under the umbrella of "Peanut Posting". We understand that you may have suggestions, but we want to keep the discussion focused on the matters at hand. Please keep the discussion within these threads between relevant parties, unless you have certain details that may be relevant to the event in question.
As I said in Discord the other day, I'mcompletely OK with other people using this thread as long as it stays on topic. Obviously that's ultimately up to the staff to decide if they want similar thoughts from others in this thread, or if each person who wants to chime in should start their own thread, I'm just saying I have no problem with it.
At this time we do not want people replying in this thread as it will derail our ability to get a timely and coherent response out.
Admin Behavior In Cool Zone

From its inception, this was a space to discuss "heavy topics." Unsurprisingly, this caused friction between incompatible ideologies. Admins both current and former have behaved badly there, from getting into shouting matches, talking disrespectfully to community members, to breaking TOS policy. These issues haven't been ignored, there were internal discussions almost every time. Sometimes they were productive, with admin members agreeing to police themselves more, sometimes staff have chosen to resign over it. Importantly, the perception that these issues are simply ignored is false.

Prejudicial Treatment of Community Members

Over the life of the Cool Zone, certain members have stood out as very vocal, passionate people. They defended their beliefs aggressively, and tended to be involved in the disputes that would require administrative actions. As such, they started to gain reputations. Rats is one of those people, and she's acquired several bans for violating the same rules. This does not excuse the failure on our end to do our due diligence in properly investigating one of those reported violations that ended up being grossly exaggerated. That was a failure on our part, and the ban was reversed shortly after. However, in most circumstances that administrative actions were taken, a clear violation had occurred.

We have deliberated privately on your comments, but exposing the details of the bans because another player has made a complaint would be unfair to Rats. Therefore we are refraining from making that discussion public. She is of course free to appeal her ban or post an admin complaint of her own via the usual means.

Fundamental Flaws in the Administration Structure

While internal discussions would happen over the appropriateness of certain actions, words, and behaviors that current and former admins would take, we've relied on their ability to self police. This hasn't always worked out. It's an issue we are aware of, and while we appreciate the offer of outside help, we feel that it's a matter others who are not currently moderating, coding, and maintaining the game and community should not be handling. Suffice to say that while this is something that was already being worked on, recent events have made it more of a primary focus.


The Goonstation admin team.
ADMIN EDIT: Please avoid knowingly peanut posting, thanks!
(05-28-2021, 07:58 AM)Wire Wrote: Admin Behavior In Cool Zone

When nonadmins in cool zone hear 'we talked to them and they said they wouldn't do it again' only to see them coming back in and doing it again a few weeks later, 'we talked to them and they said they wouldn't do it again' loses all credibility.  The second or third time Huk blundered in hollering bootstraps or 'fire the shotgun into the space around them, you see' or similarly extremely not cool things, 'we talked to them' ceased to have all meaning.  Either actually hold the admin staff to the same standards and consequences for failing to meet those standards as players, or stop pretending you do and admit you are missing either the will or the ability to do so.  This half-measure of 'well, we'll yell at them, but nobody feels like firing them for it and we literally don't have any other tools in the box' nonsense is insulting to the community. If the administration team does not have the structure that would allow them to meaningfully stop people from breaking the rules, that problem is yours to fix.  Please let us help you with that, because you (general you, the administration team) has needed structure for quite some time, and if one of the team was going to get it going, it would have happened by now.

(05-28-2021, 07:58 AM)Wire Wrote: Prejudicial Treatment of Community Members

This paragraph parses as 'yeah ok you caught us railroading her once, but that doesn't mean we ever railroaded her before.'  You'll have to forgive me if I don't find that especially convincing.  (Sidebar: I, personally, have never had reason to believe that you, personally, were being anything less than honest.  However, given the context of this thread and the long-standing issues you admit in your third paragraph exist, I am not comfortable leaving anything to personal trust - especially as these issues effect the entire community, not just people who happen to have a good relationship with you. Okay? Okay.)  If Rats were to give her blessing to these details being discussed, would you be willing to discuss her other previous bans - and if not, why not?  Adhara already admitted that Rats has been treated unfairly in the past, not strictly limited to the biggie video, so I think it's fair to (again, with Rats' permission) press that claim.  If this results in the administration team - either individual members or as a whole - being embarassed at their past missteps, good.  That will serve nicely as incentive not to repeat those missteps, and the health of this community is far more important than someone's ego.

(05-28-2021, 07:58 AM)Wire Wrote: Fundamental Flaws in the Administration Structure

I am surprised and disappointed at this decision.  What does it cost you to hear ideas from the community?  Surely you can't be thinking that it's not possible for people who aren't on the admin team to have ideas worth hearing.  You've had well over a year to do this, you've failed to.  I was around for a lot of that time, so I know the reason nothing much has been done - burnout, infighting, and where-to-startism.  Is your honest assessment that the administration team is less burned out, less likely to give in to infighting, and clearheaded enough to prioritize tasks and stick to those priorities?  I, and surely others, would greatly appreciate some reasoning behind that decision.

I am saddened that the official reply, which apparently took four days to land on, boils down to 'yes, admins are screwing up in cool zone but we're not going to do anything about it we don't already do; we admit that one ban was BS but refuse to discuss any others; and no we're totally going to fix all this stuff anytime now yep just look at us go'.  I hope your plan wasn't 'Let's throw Pope some moderate language and apologize for one of the things he's got us dead to rights on and just sort of no-sale the rest of it' - because I am not going to stop hassling the administration about this until either you make some very profound changes for the better, or someone bans me.  You of all people know how good I'm not at letting things go.

I would appreciate replies to these thoughts, especially the three bolded questions above.  I am of course willing to wait a few days.
Guess I'll post here since a big-ass chunk of this revolves around me.

4 long days of internal deliberation for what essentially amounts to 4 short paragraphs of non-answers, but I'll mostly stick to the parts that regard me and the Cool Zone.

Since it appears that a majority of admins stay clear from CZ, except for a few regulars and the occasional intrusion by one to make some unwanted "wow, this place sure sucks!" comment, I should probably shed some light into the type of internal subculture that has developed around the channel since misinformation and second-hand accounts of what happens seem to be a prevailing problem around the channel. You can say it however you'd like, but the channel was created as a quarantine channel for the discussion of "heavier" topics, notably political discussion and debate, inequality, poverty, homophobia and transphobia, and especially the Coronavirus pandemic, since such topics were becoming more frequent in General chat and causing arguments to pop up frequently.

Over time, especially as the pandemic got worse and political tensions within the United States escalated during 2020, certain members of the community found comfort in CZ as some topics became taboo to discuss in other channels, with people telling others to "take it to cool zone" whenever 'politics' arose during public discussion. We also had an increase of people coming in and publicly expressing bigoted ideals within the server. You now have a small group of people, lots of us queer, angry, poor, and disabled, feeling increasingly alienated and isolated within the community. This feeling gets worse when the people inside it are viewed as unstable freaks and are being made fun of in outside channels.

How does this relate to problems with administration? A lot of you really do not know how to read the room or empathize with nonadmins, especially in CZ. A lot of you are incredibly out of touch. It is absolutely disrespectful and insulting when someone like Huk butts in when someone is going through a traumatic recollection of being homeless in chat to flaunt his wealth and advertise self-help venture capitalist bullshit and other "bootstrap" crap. Or someone discussing incidents of transphobia against them to be interrupted by one of you coming in out of nowhere to post unrelated memes. Or getting in a heated political debate with nonadmins and then using vague threats of administrative punishment to shut down the argument. It causes a lot of bitterness on both ends, with nonadmins growing increasingly impatient with certain admins for repeated aggressions like this, and admins carrying pettiness over to adminchat, since a lot of you have admitted to not knowing what the hell happens in the channel, just that you've only heard of what happens there.

As for me, I am not going to pretend like I'm perfect and innocent in all of this. I'm loud, outspoken, and have a very colorful way of expressing myself. I have and will acknowledge that I've said things that have violated TOS and rightfully deserved reprimanding and punishment in some of the things I've said within the channel. What others and I are upset about however, is that there in fact is an obvious problem with personal bitterness and bias having a significant hand in punishment of nonadmins within the channel, even though you folks say that isn't true. How the hell you mistake a video of Biggie Smalls sitting on a couch with a sentence-mixed parody of Suicidal Thoughts as a video of an ejaculating penis is beyond me, but it's pretty damn telling when a bunch of you apparently just believed whatever was told of you and assumed that was something I would do. This isn't the only time that slander about me has been spread amongst you, since apparently some of you believed Vampirate (before he got permabanned from the discord) when he cooked up some bullshit story about me wanting to decapitate Huk for not paying for gender-affirming therapy. 
[Image: chop.PNG]
[Image: guillotine.PNG]
A lot of you obviously don't have a high opinion of me, especially given how I'll have admins like Sov call me fucking unhinged, only to backtrack and apologize once folks start jumping on your backs over how unprofessional and cruel that sort of conduct is.

I also have no clue where this thing about me being banned numerous times has come from, you make it sound as if I get banned every other week. As far as I can tell, my first ban from the discord came from that nonsense related to that video, in which the ban was revoked, then reinstated by Huk shortly after, who I should note did so after I went offline for the night, with no given reason, for no given duration, with no banning admin stated. I had to fight just to find out what the hell had happened, and was given the pathetic excuse that Huk, a long sitting admin, just didn't know how to use discord. I've only been sent to Lets-Talk a couple times, the first time over an incident where people pinged me and goaded me into spamming NSFW nonsense in the RP channel when I was in the middle of a manic episode after being cut off from my medication. I have no clue what goes on behind closed doors, but I'm not sure where this narrative of me being some sort of Ted Kaczynski-ass bashit insane serial offender is coming from.

What I think people are upset the most by, however, is the total and complete lack of responsibility and accountability on your own part. You expect us to show the utmost restraint, especially in regards to TOS violations, and have adopted a no-tolerance policy of punishment in paranoia of the server being shut down by Discord or being investigated by the government. It's absolutely nuts how someone can get in serious trouble in the server for making a goddamn JFK assassination joke, as if it's an actual threat, yet admins are allowed to come in the channel and discuss how to legally kill someone whenever chat starts talking about firearms. In my current ban, I used offensive, yet obviously figurative language during a discussion on police reform ("Better to just antagonist cops until they hate their lives and quit their jobs or kill themselves or w/e"), and that nets me a ban, but sourcielle can openly wish for the death of former president donald trump "so he doesn't maintain the gerocracy" immediately after, follow it up with some "by old age" excuse, and have other admins tell us in chat that it did not violate TOS since it's natural causes, and then we are told to drop it.

What makes you exempt from TOS violations, but not nonadmins? You clearly aren't doing enough to stop the administrative team from making comments like these, since they keep happening repeatedly. We have absolutely no clue what you people do in privated admin channels in regards to punishment,we are only told some vague crap about admins being scolded and then apologizing, and it is never in public. Every time this is brought up, we only get the same, lame-ass "we are currently working on that" answer. Your self-policing policy obviously isn't working, and you refuse to be transparent with the rest of the community in regards to handling admin-related incidents. Every attempt by the community to assist in this matter is rejected. How the hell do you expect the community to follow your rules when the people leading the community continuously break these rules in public?

Its also very obvious that all sorts of things are fucked up within the administration, with long-time admins and people of notice like Kate, HipBEE, and Bob leaving administrative duties or the community as a whole over general apathy and disinterest in productive change from within the administration, as well as how toxic and spiteful and shitty things reportedly are on the inside. I have no idea when, but with my own experience in administrating large communities, it's only a matter of time before this facade of stability breaks apart.

I guess that's it for me! I don't really have anything else to say, I've been with goon for a little over 6 years now but I'm just exhausted by this place now.
The recent discussion to remove cool zone without even giving its denizens the courtesy of a heads-up tells me all I really need to know about the administration team's priorities.

When I started playing this game ten years ago, it had two major strengths: it Got Weird, and it had a community around it. Over time, the 'weird' has been not exactly discouraged, but not embraced to the degree it had been - any given content update is more likely to contain minor tweaks to existing things that elicit no more than a 'huh. cool' if they're noticed at all, and truly gloriously *weird* stuff like the grillnasium is a rare treat indeed. (Gee, I wonder why warc hasn't been working so much on that? Oh, because they can't stand the admin culture. Whoops.) The community has become something tolerated by the administration team instead of something seen as a vital need to the health of the game - anytime dealing with the community gets complicated, the usual response is to segregate it (cool zone being created), poke and taunt it until it explodes so you have an excuse to throw it away (kate, rats), or ignore it and use the very fact that you're ignoring it as an excuse to throw it away (cool zone).

I am having trouble properly putting into words how much it hurts to watch something you gave a decade of your time and effort to be neglected in this fashion. I trusted you all to make something better than wizards, and did everything I could to help that along. You didn't. I rejoined the administration team a few months ago to try and help when I saw severe cracks starting to form, and accomplished basically nothing. This was my last attempt to get you all collectively to *stop neglecting something you profess to love, and that i have loved longer than almost all of you have even known about*. Given that cool zone got deleted with no warning and Souricelle, one of the admin teams who was breaking The Precious Rules just the other day (oh but don't worry, 'we talked to them and they promised not to do it again so we consider the matter closed' is all the explanation and transparency you feel the community deserves, so that's fine then isn't it?) in General just now saying 'cool zone is gone and anyone posting like that in other places will be dealt with'. The message is clear.

I can't be part of this community anymore. I love it too much to sit around and watch you let it slide into ruin because building the infrastructure it needs to be healthy is too much work. It hurts too much, simply put. I would really rather not grow to hate some of you for allowing it to happen, so I'm just not going to.

I really hope I'm wrong and that all of this works out, but I don't think I am. I gave this community ten of my years, I am not going to watch you starve it to death.


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