Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Be Prepared

"Yeah, we'll be prepared. Prepared for what?"
"For the death of the King."
"Why, is he sick?"
"No, fool, we're going to kill him. And Simba too."
"Great idea! Who needs a king? No king, no king, la lala lala la."
"Idiots! There will be a king!"
"But you just said--"
"I will be king. Stick with me and you'll never go hungry again!"


Sorry. I couldn't help it. As soon as I typed the title of this post, the next 15 minutes of that movie played through my head. Oh, childhood.

Anyway, complete and utter randomness aside. Being an officer of a guild is a crazy thing. In one respect WoW is just a game. But when people spend as much of their time playing WoW as a lot of people do, it becomes that extension of our external lives that people who don't play WoW enjoy mocking us about. And so personal aspects of peoples lives make their way into the game. When you're the officer of a guild--especially a guild that's built more around the social aspects of the game (rather than, say, bleeding edge progression)--you automatically don that social leader status. People will look to you, among other things, in order to resolve personal disputes.

Most of the time this is no big deal. You might have to break up an argument in gchat or deal with the news that one of your guild members has been called out as a loot ninja. But that's simple.

This weekend I experienced a whole new scenario. One I never expected to see while playing a game. And while I won't say I was shocked that I'd be dealing with something like this, I was definitely caught off guard.

Long story short, Sunday afternoon one of my guildies (Wilma, for sake of argument) logged on and whispered me, asking me to remove another player (Rose) from the guild. Rose was a personal friend of Wilma that Wilma had recently introduced to the game and brought into the guild. My initial thought was that Rose just didn't really get into the game much and had decided not to play anymore, but didn't actually delete her account or unguild her character. So it was more of a housekeeping thing. But just to be sure before arbitrarily gkicking someone, I asked why. I'm not going to go into full details, but let's just say that Wilma and Rose had a falling out of soap-opera proportions. Very personal and very un-WoW related.

So now I'm in this position where someone who has been with our guild for years is asking me to step into a personal situation. I'm in a hard spot because Rose hasn't done anything against guild rules, so kicking her from the guild when she's not even online seems inappropriate. At the same time, I can very easily see a situation occurring where both Rose and Wilma are online and start a shitstorm in gchat, which I do want to try to take preemptive measures to prevent.

The exact course of action I took isn't entirely relevant to this post. And in some respects we're still trying to find a reasonable end-solution to the whole mess. So far it hasn't impacted our guild in any way, and we're fortunate in that. Hopefully this can all be completely resolved before it does.

As an officer of a guild, these are the types of things that can come your way. It shouldn't happen in a game, but due to the nature of this game it can. And will. Hopefully not often. Just...be prepared.
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