ap-a-thy; noun 1: lack of feeling or emotion 2: lack of interest or concern: indifference
Speaking only of myself as a GM, apathy can present itself as a problem. Not just within the guilds’ membership, but also as a contagious virus looking to infect you. Surely, it is one of the many things a GM must address at some point, in some form. Logically speaking, the way to address any problem is to get to the root(s) of said problem. Kill the roots, kill the weed? Sounds like a plan. But what if you were the one who originally planted that particular “weed”, with seemingly better intentions in mind?
In retrospec, I back up a step and look once again at both our mission statement and the recruitment info page from our Wiki. From our mission statement:
“Gray Dawn” is based on the US Fenris server. We are a relaxed guild that values enjoyment of the game in many aspects. Although we’re starting out as a casual/leveling guild, what we become will be up to member participation.
As a member of Gray Dawn, we hope you’ll enjoy your time in-game and respect others while here. A sense of humor is valued, so are the quiet people. We hope to be inclusive to all types of players; no matter your interests, we’ll be happy to give it a try. Stress, drama, and unpleasantness are sometimes unavoidable in real life. We are going to make every effort to keep them from our virtual life.”
and from our Wiki recruitment page: “Your level of social interaction with the guild, amount of playing time and/or style is by your own choice. We do believe and practice that real life and family comes first. You will never be demoted in rank or removed from the guild for lack of play time.”
I would have to admit to fostering the level of apathy I now see within the guild. Although the intentions were honorable, I completely missed the mark of another goal I hoped to accomplish.
Along the way, Gray Dawn is advertised/promoted as a “semi-casual” guild, looking to build a 10m raid team. This “team,” has also been described as “semi-casual.” Perhaps, not the best terminology to use for attaining any goal beyond individual playstyle. In looking over the roster, I see a lot of alts. Even many of the “mains” in reality, are alts from somewhere else.
The ideal of a carefree/dramafree guild home, obviously met it’s goal. That’s a good thing. Trying to grow beyond that point? Problematic at best. You don’t really wish to dig out those roots of “apathy” you indeed planted for good reason, but must begin to look at ways to, (dare we say) splice in another plant-type with those roots?
Going through my usual reading list this morning I came upon a new term, at least new to me. “Midcore.” Not casual, not hardcore. Not semi-this or that. I really don’t think terminology makes that much of a differance, short of what so many players have already adopted for various use. Perhaps though, this is a plant worth nurturing. ~Ay