I thought I'd move this to a new topic as there are issues here that need to be addressed in the open. I'm sure this post will be long but there's a lot to deal with here. I will be addressing the least PR-friendly aspects of this server, and will explain and justify their existence to people who have been on the fringes of these events. Being fully transparent is important to me.
For those who don't know, over the past few days things have flared up again between AC and MCME. A video was made by @Eaglz24 which parodied the 'Head Designer' of MCME, Finrod_Amandil, as well as several other members of the MCME community. I was one of the people who contributed to the content of this video, and I will try to explain why I've gone down this path - given my previous statements about the importance of tolerating MCME and reducing drama, it's pretty clear that I've changed my position.
- The facade of 'tolerance'
To anyone involved in either community, it is very clear that AC and MCME are rivals. We're both attempting to do the same thing - build Middle-earth in Minecraft - and AC split off from MCME as we believe (and continue to believe) that there is a much better way of acheiving this goal. I am not ashamed of the belief that these are not two 'different visions' of Middle-earth, but that one recreation is quite obviously better than the other. I shouldn't have to explain why this is to anyone with a functioning pair of eyes. I cannot be impartial here, and neither can anyone who has thrown in their lot with either server.
As a result, there is an inevitable rivalry - and it is not a friendly rivalry. The history between the two servers, as well as their aims, makes reconciliation essentially impossible. But this rivalry alone does not explain why my patience has finally cracked.
Soon after this video was released, I got into a PM conversation with Finrod. I will admit that I was deeply angry when I wrote this PM, and so I did not choose my words carefully, but I hope its content will partly explain this anger:
Anger is not a positive emotion. It is not a pretty one. It is not, perhaps, an emotion that some people feel should motivate me. But I cannot ignore the way in which I was treated, and I cannot ignore the way AC is viewed on MCME - words like 'parasite', 'traitor' and 'collective enemy' were used not long ago towards us. If that's the way we're seen, why pretend otherwise? My conviction that what we are doing is something truly remarkable means that I am fiercely defensive of it.
As an addendum to that screenshot, Finrod's decision to throw his lot in with a group of people who discarded him at a moment’s notice last summer (as can be seen in this thread) has left me with no respect for him whatsoever.
So, I came to a position where I knew there was no chance of reconciliation between the two servers, and had been roundly insulted by people who still hold staff positions on MCME. As a result, I had no reason not to enjoy myself by collaborating with a group of disaffected MCME members in creating memes that parodied MCME and members of its community. Humour is the most subjective thing in the world but personally I found a lot of stuff that was created by the 'm3m3team' hilarious - as do some current staff members on MCME.
It might be argued that many of these memes were personal in nature, and therefore crossed some kind of 'line'. Certainly they broke MCME's rules on the matter (rules which their admins are not above breaking when it suits them - one of the reasons I have been banned on MCME is 'Sharing / publishing parts of a confidential conversation with an Admin' which is exactly what Q did when he spied on Finrod and I's conversation on the forums last summer and kickstarted that whole drama). However, nobody is above mockery, parody and critcism - even if it 'offends' them or hurts their feelings. Finrod literally has an entire server backing him up - I'm sure he'll survive a few maymays.
Anyone who has spent any time in this community knows that we mock each other all the time for fun. This brings me to the next issue.
Though I'm not sure which cases you're referring to here, Ruben, I'm going to pick the two most pertinent examples - those of hoppingharry and Atlantispy. These are both players who have some form of autism IRL, and were either banned or left the server.
Our server's purpose is to build. As a result, AC is set up to reward those who contribute the most, and to discourage those who do not contribute or who are not team players. Without writing out an essay to explain why, the former applied to Atlantispy (in the second half of his time on the server), and the latter applied to hoppingharry.
As a result, both of these individuals did not get on well with the community at large, and when they were mocked (like many other members of the server who are perfectly happy with the community) they left. To explain the difference here, let me list some of the most prominent members of the community and the things that they are regularly mocked for:
As you can see, these are all pretty personal attacks and could be considered 'offensive' to people with thin skin. @Chewiezhul has autism, and he always got on very well with the community as he contributed what he could. We have never mocked people for having a mental condition, but have mocked certain people with that mental condition for other reasons. There is a key difference there.
In conclusion, I am not claiming that either I or AC's community are perfect. We have always run things in a somewhat dysfunctional manner and have never been above making 'edgy' memes or jokes. Sometimes feelings have been hurt as a result. I believe, however, that the alternative to this state of affairs - namely, censorship and strict rules - would stifle creativity and vital criticism, and would force people to hide their genuine feelings behind a veil of 'family-friendly' communication.
I think that the results of that free and open system speak for themselves in our builds. Thanks for reading.