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Print at Dec 10, 2019 5:28:01 PM

Posted by Antique at May 7, 2009 7:43:25 AM
Re: Conference of the Monarch (Thoughts)

They absolutely have standing. They're almost without exception among the most frequent players, and many of them have much more broad-based interests in game than they typical pirate, or at least are aware (by virtue of running a successful flag) of the need to balance many competing demands on a poor pirate's time. They don't have to represent our interests, per se, because it's in *their* interests as monarchs to see that *our* interests as pirates are met.

Whether they do a good job of representing those interests is another question altogether. But it's not a matter of authority, it's a matter of experience.

That (bolded) is exactly the point some of us are making. "Monarchs" is, by and large, a homogenous group representing a small, minority subset of the players of this game. One that's already extremely well-represented here in the forums. As you yourself said, they are not typical players.


The fact that they used monarchy as their proxy doesn't mean they couldn't choose other proxies another time (I vote swordfighting and rigging experience!). I would, for sure, argue that monarchs are more likely to be prepared to represent the average pirate than any *other* exceptional group of pirates you select--and selecting 30 average pirates would just be an exercise in chatspeak these days. So you have to select exceptional pirates.

It partly comes down, I think, to how we conceive of these conferences. (I'll take a minute here to inject, as well, that I always found this "pretend monarch given standing to represent me as a consumer in real-life" factor mildly annoying, but it's not something I cared a huge amount about. If it were, I'd have brought this up back when we were having the monarch conferences.) These conferences could be viewed in a couple of different ways:

(A) The attendees are a sort of player delegate representing the interests of the player base at large.

(B) It's a focus group.

The presentation around the events themselves always treated them as the former. Which is where I assert real-life primacy over pretend monarchies. I'm a paying customer using some of my hard-earned money to buy a product. You don't "represent" me in my dealings with that company unless I ask you to. Period. If, in fact, these attendees are intended to actually represent the player base, I'd submit there are two selection criteria far more important that what sort of role one plays in the imaginary world.

(1) AGE - Adults only. Chatspeak problem solved.

(2) PAYING CUSTOMERS ONLY - By which I mean paying, not doub sinking. As a paying customer, my interests are not represented by anyone who isn't. If freeloaders don't even warrant the OM time/effort of a banplead, they certainly don't warrant a direct-level of access to support staff that the vast majority of actual customers don't have. Or, if you prefer, no Representation without Taxation.

If, on the other hand, these are focus groups, there's no point in repeatedly running the same focus group on the same narrow demographic over and over again. OOO would learn far more by setting entirely disparate criteria each time they held such a conference, or even by doing a completely random selection. (Or, as has been said, with instruments like surveys.)
Antique of Cerulean!

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