member, 168 posts
Thu 5 Jan 2023
at 09:32
Prevalence of Ghosting
I was just wondering whether the added layer of anonymity (aka only the GM knowing the player account behind the characters) makes it actually easier to ghost.

Sometimes rpol feels like a giant graveyard of abandoned and unfinished games. Then again, even live tabletop suffers from RealLife (tm).

What is your experience with people just going MIA? Why do you think is it so difficult for people to be up front and simply say, "sorry, got busy/lost interest, good bye"?

This message was last edited by the user at 09:34, Thu 05 Jan.

 member, 298 posts
Thu 5 Jan 2023
at 10:03
Prevalence of Ghosting
Ghosting has been rampant for as long as I have run games here, it's just part of the whole package.  What I find amusing is when someone ghosts one of my games but then appears in the forums or even better, wants to join one of my other games.  But just like Santa, I keep lists :)
 member, 2749 posts
Thu 5 Jan 2023
at 12:02
Prevalence of Ghosting
 as i said  a fw times in forums, I played for years  and on different  sites. all those  sites have died. save for one. any others out there, i'm not interested in.

When i first came here, i swore i would never  GM. I just wanted to play. But as Shinanai  said,  GMs   ghost their games, as much as players, or even worse. ignore/shutdown a game to move to their next 'flight of fancy'. ( of course , RL  rears its ugly head as well)

 so? i started to  run games, I only run three, because  after  all these years, i still feel i can only give  that many the attention . Even though  i'm retired  I have grandkids  that live with me.

Now? Players  Ghosting. My rule of thumb is, i give an 'interview' of sorts , of what players can expect from me, and what i expect from them.  We ask for a heads  up, either in the OOC thread, or a PM to me, so other players  can plan posts accordingly. I have a couple players whose RL work took them out of the country, so we drag their  characters along in the background.

 IF....a player  goes  dark with out a heads up, I give a week, or two, depending on their past activity, then send a PM.  I will cut people who don't answer, if they didn't give a heads up.

 You would think they would say 'hey, this  game isn't for me, please remove me" Most don't None of us  are getting paid her, either to play, or to GM. But there  should still be  some courtesy .

But, in answer to you question, some folks  get beat up by RL, 'butterfly' players  flit  from game to game, losing focus  and getting bored. those players  aren't really  to be bothered  with, Focus on the players who bring life  to your game.

From a Players Point of View? you can do a thing, about a GM  Ghosting, so you move on.
 subscriber, 469 posts
Thu 5 Jan 2023
at 12:05
Prevalence of Ghosting
Why do you think is it so difficult for people to be up front and simply say, "sorry, got busy/lost interest, good bye"?

I honestly feel that in a lot of true ghosting cases, people are embarrassed.

I define 'true ghosting' as when someone disappears with no apparent rhyme or reason. Not the case of the player that's been bickering with the GM or the other players, then disappears - that's someone who got in a snit and took their toy and went home. Or the players that clearly aren't content and gelling with the group during creation, that then just quit showing back up. They didn't have the courtesy of slamming the door when they left, but you saw them exiting as it was happening, so you should realize they're gone even without them needing to say so.*

In cases of true ghosting, though...I feel like sometimes people get caught up in RL and overwhelmed and RPoL falls by the wayside, but then sometimes it's been so long that it's awkward to come back and say something. It's like when you have a friend that you haven't talked to in so long that it's easier to just continue to not talk to them than it is to explain why you've been silent for ages.

Other times, especially with GMs I feel, no one comes in and says "We're done here", because in their heads they're not done. Things may be hectic, life may be overwhelming, but they have every intention of coming back and picking up where they left they don't want to say things are over, because to them, they're not over. But then again, there's the embarrassment aspect of having to come in and explain/apologize for a long absence, which is sometimes awkward and difficult.

*- Realistically, though, is it truly necessary for every person to say 'I quit' when they decide they're done? I understand with something like a tabletop game, where the other players might be holding the game while waiting for someone to arrive, and it's then general courtesy to say you're not coming if you're not showing up. But with the post-when-you're-able aspect of RPoL, I equate it a lot more to something like a pickup game at your local card shop, or a LARP, where the game goes on even if someone didn't show up. I LARP'd for many a year, and no one /ever/ said "I quit" when they stopped playing...they just stopping playing, and no one else ever sat around going "Man, X was a real jerk for not /saying/ 'I quit' before quitting!"

I think the problem with players ghosting on RPoL, unlike those other scenarios, is that the /GMs/ are reluctant to puppet and/or replace players that are absent, and that can cause a flow disruption to the game if the absent player's character is integral to the game/scene. You really should, and in fact /NEED/ on RPoL to be willing to either step in and puppet a character SWIFTLY if their player isn't logging in to do it (Within days, not weeks), and then continue to do so as long as that character is needed for the others to be able to play, or you should be running a game where you can readily cycle out an abandoned PC and bring a new one in.

The only ghosting that should bring a game to a halt is the GMs'.