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BGBB Etiquette Harms Development
And How We Avoid The Spiral

Helloooo choombatas! How many of us have been in BGBB reading up on a hot topic, considering options, counter thoughts - even getting a response ready, only to find it has devolved into a contest of wills, miscommunication run rampant (at best), and outright hostility resulting in closure of the thread (at worst)?

Don't answer that, it's rhetorical.

I know tensions sometimes run high on the boards, and it can be difficult to take comments in neutral fashion - we all come from different backgrounds, read into things differently, "see" tonality and intent in prose, etc. That's all well and good, but what happens when we let our emotions run away with these interactions? It hinders constructive feedback, potentially harming game progression. For me personally, it is so so vexing to read a thread, put in effort to research the topic, prepare a response...and find myself returning to what looks like Defense Mechanisms Gone Wild, or worse, a locked forum.

Why? Because we take something personal, and it gets out of hand? Now there's an entire population of players that can't contribute to the conversation. This causes potential harm to the game's growth. How many ideas have been lost to the ether over situations like this?

Again, don't answer.

Anger and frustration *are* defense mechanisms, and my hope here is to allow for a space where we can assist each other in building a more stable BGBB environment, one in which we can work together and express our own methods for avoiding these kinds of situations in the first place, and failing that, coming to resolutions in amenable fashion.

After all, we are, along with staff, the de facto corpus curia of Withmore. And we're all here to RP and have fun together.

With this in mind, I'll start.

I go out of my way to avoid using singular pronouns (he, she, you, ze, hen, 'they' singular, etc). The only exception is "I" forms. At present, I'm the only individual I (arguably) know inside and out. Instead, I replace them with we/us/our when referring to anyone but myself. I feel this delivers a sense of collectivism and community, and avoids calling out individuals on the boards. It's sometimes easy to forget that my opinion isn't the only one out there, and that we communicate and read into things differently, but identifying myself as a member of a whole helps me keep this in mind. It also allows me to feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself, and that's attractive to me.

Second, I like to preface or end my BGBB thoughts with phrases that clearly paint them as opinions (when they are). I feel this helps clarify that I'm not attempting to dictate my opinions as gospel, or suggest that my way is the only right answer, etc. Ex. I think this, I feel this, In my opinion, From my point of view, etc. I don't always do this, but it's common.

Finally, I try to repeat the root arguments in my responses.

Ex. Joe Baka: There aren't enough strip clubs on gold. I want to be legally lacivious in public without going to the mix.

Me: Personally, I'm not sure we need more strip clubs on gold. There's already none there, and mix strippers are naaaasty. Then again, what if The Nu Golden Girls Corporation leased space on Soma, and hired strippers that qualify for corporate status?

This indicates and ensures that I'm actively listening to other people, and that I'm understanding them correctly. This alone can prevent all sorts of miscommunication. I've only recently started employing this technique, but it works.

Anyway, that's how manage myself on the boards. Any other strategies/advice out there?