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Never-ending tail chasing discussions that are about "The Primer"

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The Primer

I'm not going to repost the entire TG-Primer here. It seems like whenever a new game starts, this is the go to material that all members seems to defer to. I'm struggling to equate the Primer as it applies to TG as something other than religious text such as the Bible, Torah or Koran, maybe someone more articulate than I can do that. I see the Primer as the foundation of the belief structure in TG. I know, I'm making TG sound like a religious cult, but I don't see that as a bad thing. The problem is, unless the Primer were an end all be all set of rules, it is open to interpretation.

Here are the three points of the Primer I see referred to most, as if they were a set of rules

Tactical Gamer was founded with a few very simple principles:

1) Create an environment conducive for mature gamers to enjoy the games they play without the everyday interference from the less-than-mature gamers.

2) Create an environment where there was mutual respect for your fellow gamers and where all members would be working together to advance the enjoyment of their hobby.

3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine, regardless of the level of advantage, if any, it gives over the opposing team.
The first point here has been debated for a definition of mature. Most definitions of mature are pretty much agreed upon, but every once in awhile a certain action or attitude has come into question

I've never seen much disagreement in any part of point #2

The last point here causes the biggest discussions, arguments, breakdown of maturity and respect (myself included) within TG.

I wonder how often anyone really reads beyond those three points. The primer goes on to state that these three points can NOT be taken on a singular level and need to be taken together. and "The very nature of the community depends on the configuration settings for our games, and the rules that are put in place, and the inherent understanding from the players regarding what we are trying to accomplish. Without all of these factors working together, Tactical Gamer can not achieve its mission." I've seen members asking if you are only following the minimum amount of rules to be kicked/banned are you really TG material. I've also seen it stated that you can't rely on TG members to follow an agreed upon policy if there is no rule, because there are those that would say, if there's no rule, I can do it. Which goes against the belief of the Primer.

The recent discussions of the Carl Gustav as anti personnel weapon or a primary weapon is what has brought to mind all of the previous discussions I saw in 2142 where the Primer was thrown around and the term, "The TG way" I would personally like to see a statement of why a certain tactic and/or weapon usage violates the Primer in detail as opposed to a blanket statement of it's not how the weapon is used, or it's not tactical, or it's a waste of ammo. While I didn't see the CG usage as being against the Primer, as I reread it, I did notice this "We all want to win when we play, but the focus at Tactical Gamer should be one of winning with some sort of dignity, honor, and skill, not because you were able to out-exploit the other team or box them into a corner built on technological weakness that gives you the advantage." which has the potential to uproot my current position on the weapon as a primary killing weapon.

Now, with that being said, I would like to bring up another post. Asch's State of the Union post. Below are two parts of the post as they relate to my post today

Quote Originally Posted by asch View Post
State of the Union Address

Tactical Gamer's niche is mature, teamwork oriented gaming with a focus on the objectives.

Simulation does not equate only to realism.
After the statement of TG's niche, asch explains that some may ask where realism falls into the TG world. That the belief that TG was only about realism came from when TG was smaller and hosted games like Ghost Recon, America's Army and Operation Frontines, in which those games themselves contained the focus on realism. TG wants to promote "realism" in games where it applies. The belief that TG was all about realism lead to the TG Primer to address concern over support for games that did not support realism, but still left some confusion, so the term "simulation" was adopted over "realism"

It is stateed that simulation does not equate only to realism. Simulation is playing the game within the confines of the world the game creates. Armed Assault is mentioned as a game that relies heavily on realism, but games like WoW have elves, wizards and fantasy elements. TGers should immerse themselves in the world created by the game, with a focus on mature, teamwork oriented gaming with a focus on the objectives. AA and WoW are opposite ends of the spectrum, with a wide varied of games in between. Some servers may be modded to focus on the realism aspect that can be in the game and some "vanilla" style.

Here is where I feel we are failing in current and past discussions
It is not wrong to differ in opinion but it is wrong to belittle each other for differing opinions. There should be a mutual understanding of these different preferences instead of a chasm between the varying groups of players.
I feel by stating that a certain tactic and/or action goes against the Primer (which is TG's foundation for the community and what all TG member are to abide by) is a statement that anyone that employs such tactic and/or action is not TG material and is a belittling that person (group of people) that support those tactics and/or actions. If it's debated and the admins and game officer decide that a tactic/action does fall outside of the simulation of the game, but a set rule can not be put in place (for whatever reason), once that is decided and communicated to the community, we are to follow that code of conduct, we shouldn't need a rule.

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  1. Greyed's Avatar
    I disagree on your last point. Pointing out that a person's actions do not match what the primer sets forth is not belittling the person. It is the distinction of calling a person out on their behavior and making a value judgment about them as a person based on that. Let me give an example:

    "That weapon isn't used that way in the real world!" -- Not belittling, esp. if it is true.

    "You're a nimwit for using the weapon that way!" -- Belitting.

    This really stems from a larger social problem, really. One of over-coddling. Somewhere between my time in primary school and the present day the notion that pointing out someone is incorrect went from an acceptable thing to do to a personal insult. While one can be insulting in pointing out another person is incorrect the act of pointing out they are incorrect is not itself insulting.

    If I am wrong, tell me! But tell me in a way to convince me I am wrong. Don't tell me expecting me to take your word for it. Give examples, show the flaws in my logic, prove I am wrong and I will change my mind. I honestly want to know when I am wrong. I want my errors corrected.

    Such discussions are not reserved solely for the admins/game officers. They are not omniscient or infallible. Having the discussion in a calm and rational manner can lead not only to changing the mind of the person in question without having to resort to the heavy hand of admin action but might also serve to inform the admin/game officers of points-of-view not present in their own discussions. As WhiskeySix said in one recent debate, "great thread changed my stance 5 times already "
  2. Ferris Bueller's Avatar
    Catman, you know I love you and this post is a prime example of why. However, I do have to agree with greyed on his one point of contention. I dont feel that pointing out that someone is going against the grain, especially insomuch as the primer is concerned, is belittling in itself.

    It's all about the way you phrase it. There are times in which people need to be called out on their actions, but again, in following with the primer, it needs to be done in a mature and respectful manner. An example related to the recent CG thread would be something akin to this:
    "I believe that the use of a ranged explosive weapon that can be used as a close-quarters combat weapon with no ramifications is against the ideals contained in the primer. While it is a function of the game, its an unintended side-effect of bad programming that we can use the weapon in such a fashion. Issues in the past in other titles we host have viewed these things as being exploitative, but we havent yet made that distinction here yet."

    "Anyone who uses the CG for close combat is violating the primer. The developers screwed up and gave no penalty for waxing someone from 2 feet away, and opened up the door for an exploit. So the bottom line is that any of you who are trying to justify yourselves by saying that 'its ok because the devs didnt fix it' are wrong. It doesnt matter if we have a set rule on it or not, you should all know that we dont allow exploits at TG and yet you continue to use them anyway."

    Its a fairly easy difference to make, but some people dont grasp the difference between an explanatory argument and a directed argument. It's a sad truth, but the interwebs are the interwebs and we cant fix everything. So we get by.

    But the one big point that I absolutely agree with you on is the fact that the primer is deeper than just a few basic points. You do absolutely have to put them together and use them as almost a functional philosophy. I've been here a long time, as have you, and I'm sure you've seen people that attempt to follow the primer to the letter and not farther. I think what asch said in his post in the BC2 forum was dead on when he said that people who engage in certain varieties of actions are going against the spirit of the primer.

    The reasoning behind that is simple, and as you said. While its almost wrong (on a personal level for me, since i'm agnostic and dont particularly care for religion or its trappings...i much prefer celebrating christmas for santa claus ), the primer can absolutely be viewed on the same level as the Bible, Torah or Qu'ran. You dont read any of those things and only pay attention to the words and nothing more. You learn lessons and take a philosophy with you that is more than just the sum of its points. The primer is the same way, and after a while, its very easy to see who really understands that and who doesnt with relative ease. But rather than punish the people we dont, the primer leads us to try and teach the latter portion of people, training them to be the former. Not always successful, but as I said, we cant fix everything.
  3. Catman1975's Avatar
    I understand where you are both coming from in regards to my last paragraph and I'm inclined to agree. Where I believe the sentiments, it's how it is phrased, causes issue, is when it is brought up in a public forum. I'm going to try and avoid the specific discussion in BC2, which lead to this post.

    This isn't a perfect example, but right now it's the best I can come up with (right now)....So endure with me, a little story.

    My grandmother was a devout Catholic, in her late teen's she was even in a nunnery studying to become a nun. For whatever reason, she was drawn to my grandfather, left the nunnery and got married. She was Catholic to the core, she never missed church and raised all six of her children Catholic. She even went to college, I think she stopped when she would come home and the kids in diapers would be layed out naked on newspaper, my grandfather proud that he had taken the dirty ones off...lol. She had several miscarriages, six kids, her oldest a talented painter for his age, died before he was 20. She went to her priest, he told her that the Church does not believe in contraception, but considering her devotion and sacrifices, sometimes you have to do what is best for you and said if she thought she needed birth control, she should use them.

    Now let's say I had just posted this and another Catholic came along and said, "Natural family planning is the only birth control allowed by the church, anyone that uses condoms, birth control pills or UIDs has committed a sin and turned their back on the Lord" Now on the surface this is true, tell me how I am not to feel personally attacked, AND belittled? I don't think the correlation between my grandmother's devotion and that of TG members to the primer is too far off. Now granted my grandmother had some advice from a Priest, but that doesn't warrant it being brought up in a public forum. I think a lot of people identify themselves as TG, especially in the gaming community, saying they a tactic they employ is not TG does still, well maybe not belittle them, but it can definitely be interpreted as an attack on that person/group of people which none of us like.

    As for Greyed's specific post. I'm going to avoid point by point arguments with you. Just my opinion on what you've posted. I see how you're trying to distinguish between your two points, the problem is, my view of belittling or being insulted, treated without respect, could very easily differ from yours. Maybe I believe this "SIMULATED" world allows the weapon to be used this way. Maybe my definition of belittling isn't the same as yours, but telling someone that they are going against the core values that person holds near and dear is a belittlement. This is why I see open forum posts waving the Primer around like a flag to call other's out on their behavior is wrong. I think it should be brought up to the admins, if they're not responsive, to the Game Officer, if you really believe you've been treated unfairly. If they feel there is a point, they can address the situation. I believe such discussions are not solely for the admins or GO's, however, I also believe that "controversial topics" specifically addressing the Primer, should be brought to the admins first, for them to discuss and decide the appropriate forum for a discussion to take place, not for the masses. While (maybe) not omniscient, the admins are the be all/end all to discussions and rules.

    Ferris: you know I love you too, we both like to express ourselves in volumes of text

    I believe that your examples are a much better example of how the discussion should take place in an open forum. I am still reserved based on the fact that I have very rarely seen a post explaining a member's position on a subject in the fashion that you have. I'm sure I've forgotten some by now. Which is why I believe these discussions should happen first with admins to debate amongst themselves. I did a horrible job attempting to explain my position on bunny-hopping...The admins and I discussed it at great length also in the private forums. I can't remember where, but Whiskey finally said to me, "You are wrong!" I had to stop, he's the admin, the buck stops there. I went along albeit upset and brooding, threatening to fellow 8th's that I was going to report any jump and repeatedly bunny hop and see if I could get banned. Did I mean it, hell no, but I thought the admins were being bull headed, If I hadn't calmed down before responding I would have been banned. Many of us skim through the long posts looking for what we want, I don't' know how many times I reread that thread yesterday and kept picking up little things I had missed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferris Bueller
    the primer can absolutely be viewed on the same level as the Bible, Torah or Qu'ran. You dont read any of those things and only pay attention to the words and nothing more. You learn lessons and take a philosophy with you that is more than just the sum of its points.
    unless you're a corrupt holy leader using those texts to your own benefit by quoting it as specific lines that serve your purpose Just a note on religion for Ferris's benefit, nothing here.
  4. Harlequin's Avatar
    Wow, comparing the TG primer with ancient holy texts that the majority of the planet live by, die by, and even start wars over, and I thought I held this community in high regard, but you fellas take it to a whole new level!
  5. Greyed's Avatar
    Your making a few stretches here.

    I'm not going point-to-point either other than this.

    In the discussions I have entered in public realize that I did not initiate the discussion, did not name names of anyone whose behavior I find counter to the Primer and in every case was responding to someone who was defending those actions, often on the basis of the Primer.

    IE, they put it in the public forum. They often (but not always, I admit) invoked the Primer. At that point my reasoned, public, response is wholly appropriate.

    Let me give you an example of how careful I am on calling people out, by name. The other day a point had just flipped in Rush and a TG tagged person, after about 30-40s, stole the tank from the advanced UCB. I had known he was going to do it as he killed me way in the backfield on the way to the tank then killed me again once in the tank. I alt-tabbed to TS, hopped up to the admin channel where there was an admin present.

    Now, keep in mind, that is a private area, just me and the admin. I didn't go in saying so-and-so did something wrong. I didn't cite chapter and verse. I asked, politely, "Hey, is asset stealing in rush legal?" The admin let me know that at the present time it was; but asked why I was asking. I pointed out a TG tagged person just stole the tank but, to be fair, the point had just flipped. We chatted about that for a sec, thanked each other for our time and I went back to my game.

    The person's name never came up.

    When I called into question a move in BF2142 (which I am still waiting for a ruling, darn it) I recorded a TG player performing that move repeatedly. I made sure the names were turned off because the point was the move and how it relates to other established rules, not the person performing it.

    Having public discussions without direct accusations isn't belittling. If the person is incorrect in their interpretation and they are putting that view in public for others to see or to show how others might be correct/incorrect they should be ready for public refutation of that position. Provided that refutation comes in a reasoned, respectful manner and isn't just a simple stating of position but includes logic and facts to back up the position then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Belittle doesn't enter into it.

    So far, in the specific case of the recent BC2 discussions, the closest I have come is frustration and the unfortunate display of that frustration. Displays which I have, on at least one occasion, apologized for.

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