Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why You Should Want to go to the Player's Meeting (and What It's Like)

By Angela "Phoenix" Gray

[Editor's note: originally published on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. Reprinted due to pertinence of topic]

One of the things that makes Realms unique is that we don’t have "a" person in control of the system. Instead, everyone has the opportunity to shape and influence the future of the game. While the final decision-making power is held by the Event Holder’s Council (EHC), initial decisions made at the Player’s Meeting limit what options event-holders will be able to vote on for the upcoming year. So the Player's Meeting votes do matter.

In addition, participating in the process at the Player’s Meeting helps people learn about game design and balance, as well as what works and what doesn't in terms of proposals and submissions. So if you have an interest in submitting proposals or plan to someday participate in the EHC, I highly recommend you make it to a Player’s Meeting to learn about the process and how people think.

The meeting starts with nominations for the Player’s Representative. The nominations are made at the beginning that so all of the candidates can take notes throughout the meeting. This is important, as the Player's Representative attends and votes at the EHC and is responsible for sharing discussion points and feedback from the Player’s Meeting with the event-holders. The Player's Representative can also, during the course of proposal discussion at the EHC, accept amendments suggested by event-holders to proposals submitted by players.

From there we move to general conversation about how the game is going - what people enjoy and what issues/problems are thought to exist. While there are some items that can be fixed by rule changes, there are also many that can (and have been) impacted by individual or national initiatives (like improving garb, encouraging NPC'ing, increasing the value of currency, etc). We include this broader type of conversation as part of the meeting in hopes that it will lead both to a shared recognition of areas where the game can be improved, as well as to future proposals or initiatives that can help do so.

After that discussion comes the proposal discussion and voting. Proposals that were submitted prior to meeting are discussed and voted on first, followed by all proposals submitted the day of the meeting. After these, all of the proposals that are already slated to go to the EHC are discussed so that the Player’s Representative can understand the Player’s perspective on those and share it with the EHC.

The final step is the candidates for Player’s Representative being questioned and then voted on.

Oh, and did I mention that we all get to snack on potluck food throughout the day, and that we have a huge number of AMAZING cooks in our community? So get planning on what you are going to bring, read through the proposals, and come prepared!

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