Archives, Columns, Ms. Netiquette|July 2, 2010 1:53 PM

A Little Clarification for Leagues on Game Rooms?

Hi there Ms. Netiquette,

As an administrator (but not the Head Admin) for one of the many leagues proudly using Pogo game rooms, and a long-time Pogo member, I’d like a bit of clarification on the rules of game room usage. Most of the time I am able to run tournaments without incidents involving players who are not members of my league.

However, there are occasions when I run into “league haters” and I need to be sure that my members and I are conducting ourselves within the Pogo Terms of Service. Rather than take a long time to describe incidents, I think the best thing to do is to list a few questions.

  1. Is it okay to tell people within the chat area what league I represent? Some leagues run a brief ad about their league, some only tell the room what league they’re in if someone asks what is going on, and some will actually wait and send an inquirer information only through Pogo Mail so that they don’t ever use the league name in chat at all.
  2. When someone complains about a league being in the room and suggests that we take the tournament elsewhere, what is the correct response as to why we are in that particular room? Does Pogo assign the rooms or are they assigned by the parent site for the league, such as Case’s Ladder?
  3. If there is a major issue with players not in the league, am I allowed (by Pogo) to move the tournament to an empty room for the same game, or must I stick with the room I’ve been told to use?
  4. If someone is being particularly nasty and I advise my members to mute the offender, but the offender says they’ve reported me to Pogo for some violation or another, how do I know what happens with that report? Will Pogo contact me if I’ve been reported?

While I can’t speak for all leaguers, I can tell you that my members and I are not only polite to non-members, but we encourage them to stick around if they ask, “Oh, this is a tourney room? I’m sorry, should I leave?” We also congratulate non-members on posted successes and thank them for in-game gifts, etc. I see no reason why leaguers and non-leaguers cannot peacefully coexist, and would love your help in making sure we are doing our part to achieve that goal.

Thank you for your continued sharing of wisdom and support.

Sincerely,

Loves Pogo AND Her League

Dear Loves Pogo AND Her League,Thank you for being such a considerate person. If everyone in every league was as sensitive as you and your league are, we’d have much more peace in the chat rooms!

Unfortunately, some folks have painted all leagues with an unfair brush. It’s a common mistake that we humans make. One person from a group does something rude and we assume everyone from that group is the same. Yes, there are some rude leagues and league members out there, but there are lots of wonderfully considerate and fun folks in the leagues and they get unfairly grouped in with the others.

Now, let’s answer some questions!

  1. Yes, it is perfectly fine to tell the room what league you represent. A single, introductory message letting folks know who you are, why you’re there and how this event will affect them will go a long ways towards a positive experience for everyone.
  2. The leagues decide on the rooms. If a game has Tournament Rooms, then the league should *always* (always always) try to hold their events in those rooms. In cases where there are no Tournament Rooms, or the Tournament Rooms that do exist are already in use, then a message stating this information is in order. “We’re playing in this room because there are no Tournament Rooms for this game…” or “We’re holding our Tourney here because the Tournament Rooms are in use” should suffice. You should also remind players how easy it is to engage the mute.
  3. Pogo has no involvement in where the tournaments are held. This would likely be left up to whomever runs the league. I’d hope that they would give the folks running the tournaments enough flexibility to make these sorts of decisions, but you’d really need to check with the leaders of the league.
  4. Unless you’ve actually violated the Terms of Service, you should have nothing to worry about. You may be reported, but it’s likely that the report will be dismissed as not a violation. Of all the reports we receive, only a fraction include real violations of our Terms of Service. Just being annoyed by someone is not an actual violation. If you’ve encouraged them to use the mute, then you’ve done your due diligence.Of course, if you actually have violated the Terms of Service, then you will hear from Pogo.

Thanks so much for doing your part to help run a positive league. It really does make a difference, and it is much appreciated!

 

Ms. Netiquette,

I had made what I considered “good friends” here on Pogo in one of my favorite games. I am not one to open up about my life or thoughts to anyone, but these people seemed to be extremely nice and we shared a common favorite game.

One of these people suddenly stopped talking to me completely. I had no idea why. I left them alone for nearly a week, then finally asked them why they were avoiding me. They said that they think I lied about something in my life and they didn’t want drama. I asked what they thought I lied about so I could try to prove that I didn’t lie to them since I have never lied to these people. The person just repeated that they didn’t want drama and was done. I have no idea what they think I lied about.

Well, since their favorite game is my favorite game, I’ve been avoiding it and the other friends in order not to cause anyone to feel tension. I would love to play my favorite game again, but I do not want to worry about entering a room that they are in and having drama caused. I also cannot play with my friends in that game anymore.

I know there are many rooms for this game, but there are only a few that are popular and since it’s a multiplayer game, I must choose one of these. What do I do about both the “friend” and the game?

Thank You,

No Drama Please

Dear No Drama Please,If I’m reading your letter correctly, and everything you’ve said is true, then what I’m hearing is that you’ve been wrongly accused of lying by someone you considered a friend. You spoke to her and tried to fix the situation, but she has no interest in trying to make it work.

Thus, you really shouldn’t need to change your ways, other than to respect her wish that you leave her alone. Since this only involves one other person, then I recommend that you keep the situation to only the two of you. Treat the others as you normally would. If she’s said something to them and you believe that they are now treating you differently, then you might want to ask one of them what’s going on. Hopefully you’ll be able to get to the bottom of it.

But, you gave no indication that others are involved, so I’d chalk this up to a miscommunication with the individual who isn’t interested in trying to rectify the situation. Continue to play in your favorite rooms, and with the people who are not involved in this particular situation. Of course, you’ll want to avoid playing with this one player, and that may mean you’ll have to find another table from time to time.

The bottom line here is that you can’t control what this person thinks, and it sounds like he or she just wants space. And you’re doing your part by leaving this person alone, but you shouldn’t have to stop playing where you enjoy playing, and with the people of whom you are fond.

 

Dear Ms. Netiquette,

Last night I was reading some of the letters you got regarding badges and badge day. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what I read about the grumbling and whining about “sharing” especially in the bingo rooms.

I started off the morning with a disaster at home before my first coffee of the day, then headed off to “Pogoland” to start on my badges. I never look beforehand to see what they are going to be, as I like the surprise each week. I saw the bingo badge on this week’s list and my first thought was: “Great, just what I need after my morning mishap.”

Shortly after I start playing – yup – it starts. The grumbling and whining about people not sharing. This was someone who came in after me. Immediately someone else jumps on the band wagon. I tell myself, you can turn off chat or you can try another room. A couple of minutes later a thought pops into my head: “Can I turn this into a positive?”

I’m not much of a talker at the best of times but I really wanted to try my idea to see what might happen. I waited for a bit of a lull in the griping and typed into the chat “The nice thing about blackout rooms is that even if people aren’t sharing it still goes pretty quick” I didn’t expect a response and was very pleasantly surprised when one of the grumblers typed in “You’re right – it does go pretty quick either way”. Now for the real shocker, ALL the grumbling stopped! People started saying wtg’s, ty’s and yw’s. The rest of the time I was there, it was very pleasant and enjoyable.

I was quite astonished at how quickly it changed just by pointing out a positive about the room.

So, thank you Ms Netiquette for all the sage advise you have given all your readers over the years. And thank you for giving us players a chance to air our opinions.

A Positive on Badge Day.

Dear A Positive on Badge Day.,Thanks so much for sharing your experience! It goes to show how what we say and how we behave can have a direct affect on the mood of a room. It may not always work, but when it does, it makes a big difference.

Bravo on your positive thinking, and hopefully your letter will inspire others to try to turn the negative chat into more positive chat!

 

Have an etiquette question for Ms. Netiquette? Email msnetiquette@pogo.com

Want to chat with others about this column? Visit the Pogo Forums!

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