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HR Department
For Organizational and Fairness Purposes

New player here. I recently agreed to the legal agreement and having entered this contract understand the swiftness and consequence of its wording in relation to member disagreements. Wanting to keep civil is not always possible, but I do feel as though staff intervention may help prevent member ejection. My concern, however, is for those members that are not Associates, and hold power over myself and other Associates.

Our agreement seems much more casual and lays out an understanding that staff members are employees of the organization we are interacting with, inferring a degree of professionalism. I have so far seen nothing to dissuade me explicitly from this being the case, however, I have noticed that any complaints about staff will be handled by the same staff that holds power over you. While this is not altogether concerning in an online community, and I do not understand the reasoning for the need of the legal agreement (but must admit I was not blind to activity on Reddit before joining), I know it more easily opens this community to the scrutiny of its proceedings through legal means.

If this is the case, I suggest the organization keep a level of impartial behavior and open and fill a position of Human Resources, whose responsibilities could be outlined in a certain employee based board, to review and advise on hiring/firing, as well as member complaints; Associate or otherwise. This would be to show a degree of impartial thought and accountability if any legal proceedings arose involving the termination of membership or employment, and add a level of transparency to the community if Associates feel as though the initial logger of the complaint is not on any one person's side, held accountable to anyone they are receiving a complaint about, or hold power over those reporting issues to them.

If I'm just speaking into the ether and talking about fixing something that's not broken then please do not mind me. I'm just really enjoying my casual time running around in a cyberpunk world, and simply want to add what I feel like might be a nice thing to it. If it's not needed now, I totally understand but the reason I posted it now, in my Sindome infancy, is because it may be a good idea in the future, for whatever reason, and I'd forget what I thought about it!

Thanks and have a nice day!

what

The only reason you sign the contract thing is that because Sindome is so big now that it can be considered a nonprofit and allow for certain benefits governmentally when it comes to donations and similar from what I understand.

While the idea is nice, I don't believe it is required because there are some staff members that are on more rarely (Slither/Fengshui for example) than others and are used as mediators in cases such as this. A formal HR department is not required because of this.

I am not sure why you chose to post this on the forums rather than email it to us if it's specifically about our organization, and not a topic that concerns the public.

However,

The staff are volunteer members whereas the management and decision making done in regards to the player base is voted on and instituted by the actual listed Board Members of Sindome Corporation and the President/Vice President.

Regular Staff members do not create policy, they merely act on instruction from the management group. So in a sense, we have separation of powers to deal with hiring/firing at a hire level than the normal staff, already.

Why not just try playing the game? There's no reason to assume you'll have a problem with admins. I think the legal agreement thing is just for the way the Sindome Corp is organized.

I am confused on how to contact the organization aside from this board. I am not assuming I will have a problem with this game, in any case. I am simply thinking if anyone would have a problem and chose to pursue it legally, with a contract being enforceable only after being held up in a court of law.

I completely understand the reasoning for Non-For Profit status. Intent does not dissuade legal ramifications.

What would you legal action could you take for a free text based 'mmo'?

WCS killed my immy. Im gonna sue.

People have been sued for much sillier things than characters dead in a fantasy game if that makes sense.

As for others who act as mediators, I can agree with and accept that. I do not feel as though shared power will always make for comradery in decision making but I am aware it's a possibility and having a wholly separate position for such cases would remove those doubts. In a scenario where another of the same position is the initial contact for complaint, the impartial nature of the exchange can come into question, with information assumedly being disseminated completely to their peers in a review.

We have a pretty straight forward method for removing someone from our community.

You follow the @rules or you don't play Sindome.

It doesn't require much in a text game where evidence is logged, well, everything is logged. Like I said, there's voting and there's oversight of voting, all votes are logged.

It's rarely a complicated situation. Our membership agreement says as much, and if you click accept, then you're subject to the guidelines we put forth, regardless if you disagree after the fact.

I appreciate where you're trying to come from on this, but we have 50-97(i think 97) now players, at any given time almost 24/7.

If people thought we weren't fair or at least reasonable, and we didn't hold each other accountable then I don't think they'd play Sindome, and if that were the case, we probably wouldn't be #1 on TMC and top 5 on TMS.

But I appreciate the feedback.

My curiosity mostly lies in the course of action the organization would take if it were taken to court in regards to those guidelines.

Our membership agreement was crafted with the assistance of a lawyer. I assume we'd defend ourselves? Either way, I am stepping out of this conversation as I don't know how it benefits anyone to continue it.

As a player, having you pre-emptively inquire about suing the game you purportedly want to play doesn't fill me with happy.

Hi -

I am Slither/Fengshui. The contact info for us (email and us mail) is in the footer of the site if you click on 'The Sindome Corporation' link. It provides emails for help, comments, a few others, as well as my direct email address and our mailing address.

With regards to how the organizational structure of the game is laid out, the board members would handle any issues that came up. If there is an issue with a member of any level, and it escalates beyond the ability of a normal staff member to handle, it is elevated to a board member/senior staff.

I am the defacto HR person for the game. I think it's written into my job description somewhere, but if not, it's the role I fill. I have been at it for a while. You'll probably notice it from the way I approach players OOCly as well as the forums and emails.

We take issues seriously, but we are also all volunteers and none of us is paid. This means that there are plenty of times where I am just not around/available, and things are dealt with by another admin. That's the case across the board. We train to be cross functional. The higher level admin can all step into just about any shoes, at least temporarily without a major interruption to the way we run things.

if an issue comes up with a staff member, it is typically dealt with by another staff member or elevated to a board member.

It's important to remember that the social club itself (which you become a part of via the agreement you agree to upon joining the game) is meant to allow us to all interact on terms that everyone is aware of. It allows us to collect membership dues from willing members, in order to continue to run the game without staff pouring their own money into server costs, advertising, etc. It all goes back into the game to keep the game running.

I've stated this in other posts over the years, but if there are HR issues that you feel require a senior admin, please feel free to email me.

-- S

I totally understand coming at all of this from a community perspective and didn't think to have that agreement in it was a possibility without a lawyer. Hell, I'm not going to complain about the status; I'm loving that I can deduct my donations from taxes. It adds a little bit of interesting to my real life. I wanted to propose the idea having a fresh perspective and noticing the agreement's broader applications than what is defined numerically. If a former member or current member had an issue they felt warranted a legal course of action, the agreement helps to provide an avenue for that approach and while the ensuing case would be cancerous and mind-boggling, they could possibly stop operation of the game for its proceedings.

To me, the transparency of accountability and obligations in the roles may help if such a proceeding were to arise to remedy the situation quickly after identifying causes and would, in fact, benefit the existing infrastructure with one more check and balance.

Hey SLither, thanks for clearing that up for me in a very impartial effort! I very much appreciate the civility and the response. I feel like that clears it up for me!